Wednesday, September 2, 2009


OMG, y'all. I want that bed.

And I don't just mean that it'd be cool to have that bed. I mean that without that bed, my life will have no meaning. My salt will have lost its savor. Wherewith shall we flavor the meat, readers? WHEREWITH?

Sorry, I got a little bit carried away there, but it's been a tough week, you know? I got deadlines and there was that literature-destroying flood and this morning EFU called me with a list of textbooks that she wants me to find cheaply for her (i.e., buy for her) and there's the house closing in three weeks and then the heavens part and the angels sing and I see a picture of this bed and all is right in the world.

And -- you know what? -- that bed is available online for the low, low price of $1,339.18, plus shipping, and I want it so badly that I might consider paying that, even though that's an obscene amount of money to pay for a bed frame, and if you don't think that's an obscene amount of money to pay for a bed frame, then, well, you're not me. But at that price, it comes as a kit, so it requires assembly, and if that's the case, I might as well buy the parts from a plumbing/metal supply place. So I priced the components, and I could get all the pipes and the fittings for $577.64, including shipping. I'd still need a pipe cutting wrench, but I bet Dad still has at least one of those.

But life is never so easy, is it? As I was dreaming of that bed, and all of the uses to which it might be put*, it occurred to me that I'm buying a Cape, and the ceiling to my bedroom is slanted, and I might not be able to fit that bed in my room. Bitter pill, meet swallow.

Then I realized that I could modify the design, take away the canopy feature (which somewhat limits its functionality, but c'est la vie) and build it for even less ($507.97, including shipping, if you're keeping track). But it's a compromise, and life is full of compromises, but this is one that I'd really rather not make.

And then I remembered that before I'd seen this bed, my dream bed was one that I hadn't actually seen but had only, well, dreamed of, and that dream bed is built entirely from 4x4 lumber and lag bolts.

And heavy wood dream bed, which, with some ingenuity, maintains all of the horizontal functionality of the pipe bed, would be much cheaper. I wasn't able to price it precisely, but based on my most recent trip to Home Depot, I'm confident it could be built for less than $120.

And that would still be awesome, but there's a problem: every source I find for 4x4 dimensional lumber only sells that size in pressure-treated wood, and pressure-treated lumber is generally reserved for outdoor use because of the nasty chemicals they use to make it impervious to the outdoors. And it might be possible to seal in the nasty chemicals with several coats of paint, but there'd still be the cutting and drilling phases, which would subject me to sawdust. And maybe that can be made safe, but I just don't know.

But the main problem is that the sturdy wood bed -- however functional and cool and attractive it might turn out to be -- isn't the pipe bed. This is what happens when you dare to dream, people.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other things to obsess over besides my probable inability to have my dream bed. I'm still thinking of the living/dining room paint treatment and furnishings, for example. I think I've decided to do away with the faux chair rail border, but in the interest of effective space management, I believe that the dining area of the living/dining room will feature a banquette. Like this, but not like this:

Different colors, probably, and I'd have built in storage and maybe not such a thick back cushion and yadda yadda yadda, but still a banquette, then a dining table, and maybe three padded chairs that could do double duty as living room seating for that moment during the dinner party when the guests migrate from the dining portion of the living/dining room to the post-dining lounge portion of the living/dining room.

I still have weeks and weeks in which to change my mind countless times work all this out.

*For instance, it would make an excellent support for a clothesline, or even a frame for a make-shift greenhouse. What did you think I meant?


  1. Below is a link to where I got the Kee-Klamp parts for a similar project, in my case a very large (32 feet x 7 feet) wall unit. They will also cut the pipe to size for you. Shipping isn't bad if you can accommodate delivery by common carrier. Advice gleaned from personal experience: do not attempt a project like this with plumbing parts. More such advice: clean all the parts with heavy-duty degreaser before, not after, assembly.

    4x4 lumber in anything but pressure-treated wood -- that is, anything you might actually want to build furniture out of -- is staggeringly expensive. Even the price for salvaged wood (if you can source it and find someone to mill it) takes the breath away. By this I mean that the materials alone for the dream bed would cost at least double the first price you quote above.

  2. Turned out to be a pipe dream, eh? ;)

  3. I love the plumbing bed and you could even keep the canopy but ogee the corner that needs to bow to the slanted ceiling area.
    Here in Manhattan, I have designed a bed that gets hoisted up to the ceiling. I have purchased two sets of ceiling mounted bike brackets with pulleys (I saw them in Sky Mall magazine on a flight to FtL. I'm going to make the basic rectangle out of aluminum angle (husband has a design/mfg company with all the big girl tools) and top it with memory foam which is not so heavy. Better than a murphy bed because when it is aloft it won't even take up wall space. It drops into place using the same mechanism that controls a venetian blind. I hope it will work, but if it doesn't, I won't be out much money.

  4. Here is a shelving unit to go with your bed: