*Lyrics from another song, Givin’ Em What They Love, from Janelle Monáe‘s new album The Electric Lady (deluxe album via Target, regular iTunes album here). This song features Prince, and is one of those songs I’m sure could turn into a 20 minute set at a concert. At least I hope. Great song, great album, great way to usher us across that early September doldrum into autumnal sexiness. Perfect for a post about our bed, right? Too much information?
While we may not have a full-on bedroom at The Pied – what we have is technically a ‘sleeping area’ since there is no closet, no door, no window, no means of escape – we do have enough space for a queen sized bed. I should say mattress, not bed. Even though we were lucky enough to carve out enough room for a dresser, some shelves, a mattress, and side tables, we can’t exactly devote any more space to the extra inches that a true bed frame would need. The mattress on the floor option was the cheapest bed solution, but the dramatically unlevel floors (I would roll toward the edge of the bed during the night, often waking gripping the side of the mattress for stability), combined with our need to have more options for under-the-bed storage made it necessary for us to think about getting yet another this’ll-do-for-now bed. The simplest (read: next cheapest) solution we could think up involved a split box spring, some form of risers, and a whole lot of screws.
After our real bed didn’t fit up the stairs (I still miss it), we ended up bringing it back with us to the former Big House, including the split-queen, low-profile box springs that we had ordered especially for it (we’d only ever had platform beds until then). When we sold the house, we decided it would be easiest to simply store the entire bed together, rather than hauling the box springs back down to Brooklyn. The cost of renting a truck, plus gas and tolls equalled the cost of a new split box spring, so, while it’s absolutely ridiculous that we bought the same thing twice within several months for the smallest place we’ve ever lived, that’s exactly what we did.
We have several clothing storage boxes that measured 8-1/4-ish inches tall, and adding that to the pile of the carpet we brought with us, we figured we’d need at least 9″ in leg height to give us easy access to our storage bins. And, since the floor was so out of level, we thought we’d err on the side of caution and find 10″ tall legs to attach to the box springs. Well, after a long search we decided that (a) furniture legs were too expensive, (b) we would probably hide them (along with all the storage bins) anyway with some sort of bedskirt so what does it matter what they look like, and (c) furniture legs at that height might not be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the mattress, plus us. In the end, we opted for a 4×4 post, cut into 10″ sections (we had the HD/Lowe’s person do it for us).
Jeff attached each post, after lightly sanding them and cleaning them off a bit, with 3″ wood screws. He went in on several angles to secure them as firmly as he could. For the middle/split area of the box spring, we simply straddled the box springs across the riser (attaching it so there was about 2″ of support on each side) to maximize the floorspace that would be available to us in the end. In total, we used 9 risers to make our bed.
Once we completed the assemblage of pieces, and placed the now incredibly tall (tallest bed to date) bed on the rug, the unevenness of the floor seemed to diminish somewhat. Not sure if it’s due to the fact that Jeff is sleeping uphill, and therefore compressing the carpeting a bit more, or if the post risers, which were not cut precisely level, had enough of an angle to overcompensate for the pitch of the floor. Either way, we are just going to go with it for now, and hope it doesn’t become a problem.
The space is still incredibly crammed – in other words, when I lie on the bed I can touch the dresser with my toes, and we both have to squeeze by the foot of the bed when exiting the room – but we’re managing. Better than sleeping on the floor. Better that we have somewhere for our seasonal clothing, suitcases, and seasonal blankets to go. Better that we can still use one fan for the entire apartment (albeit propped on a suitcase at night). Better than waking up with sore shoulders and hand cramps from trying not to roll off the bed onto the floor. Not bad for a $20 investment (plus the box spring and bedskirt).