Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Making the Bed: A DIY by Nathan

The only real downside of moving to North Carolina has been Nathan's unsuccessful job search. In Texas he worked as an environmental scientist, identifying wetlands with a private consulting company. While he researched companies before we got here and identified a few that looked promising, it turns out that no one is actually hiring. Have you heard about the economy? Apparently, it sucks.

Luckily we have a fair bit of money in savings and my stipend at least pays for rent and dog food, so we have a cushion before the real worrying starts. In the meantime, Nathan is enjoying his funemployment stint by taking the dogs to the park every day, finally beating Super Mario Brothers 3 and building all kinds of furniture for our home. The first project he started and finished was not one, but TWO, beautiful bed frames.

He started with a basic design and made adjustments as he went. Nathan did all the measuring, planning and cutting. I mostly sanded the wood, which was an important but incredibly dull job. Shortly after we moved here, we purchased a new mattress for ourselves, upgrading from a full to a queen, which has been awesome (mostly because it provides more room for Calvin). Our old mattress now serves as the guest bed. And can I just say how grown up having a guest bed feels? Very grown up. Being able to provide an actual room with a real, live place to sleep, as opposed to a pile of blankets on the living room floor, or a couch for which one must fight Seamus, feels very swanky indeed.

Back to the bed. 

Here is the finished product! It's a very simple platform bed, lower to the ground which we prefer. This photo is not the best, but you can kind of see the curved legs. Nathan used the router on those, which took forever. This bed is also really, really heavy. Let's just say I'm not looking forward to moving out of this house.

And here is the bed frame with a mattress on it! Our bedroom is not actually decorated yet, so forgive the bare walls. I do like those red curtains (they need to be raised - we used the existing hardware, which was too low) and the matching red sheets. The walls are a mossy green (the photo above this one, of the frame, is more true to life) and we don't plan to repaint them.

Here's another angle, including our second window which looks out over the backyard. As far as bedrooms go, it's small but comfortable and perfectly functional. Especially now that our mattress isn't on the floor!

Nathan's next few projects, in various states of starts and finishes, include a compost for the backyard; a bookcase for the study; a credenza and coffee table for the living room; and a kitchen table so I no longer have to serve dinner on the couch. Nathan may be unemployed, but he's definitely not bored.

Have you and/or your partner ever built furniture before? We've built some crappy bookcases in the past and Nathan made a decent hutch in our last place but this is the first time he's had the tools and time to build things he's actually likes. It makes a difference!


  1. I'm quite impressed with your handy man. :)

  2. Has he looked into consulting with the EPA, which is based in Research Triangle Park? I know that's too far to go from Wilmington for a job, but the government usually hires a ton of contractors, especially when they're not hiring in house, so it might be worth looking into. Looks like you all are starting to get settled! Hope you're enjoying Wilmington.

  3. We too upgraded to a queen from a full. The full will go in the guest bedroom. The new queen mattress is glorious and is almost too comfortable, if there is such a thing. Tricksy isn't as big as Calvin or Seamus, but all three of us are happier at night. Christy and I haven't built furniture together, but some Amish folks built some for us. :)

    Nathan's frame looks incredible and quite sturdy.

  4. These look awesome! It definitely inspired George as well and he has been making sketches to make us a bed too... I think if he (George) could only make furniture, he would. Maybe him and Nathan could start a carpentry company... they could use all second hand wood (upcycled) to get the yuppies going. Though maybe they should live in the same state first! How lucky we are to have handy partners!

  5. This is very, very cool!  I like that you shared it with us--it's fun to see your new house become a home with all the DIYing :-)

  6. We are hoping to upgrade from a full to a queen soon. I'm so tempted to quit both my jobs so I can work on stuff like this. Alas, money is sort of necessary. :-/

  7. I'd like to make a platform bed for my son's room. Any chance your husband can give a bit more information about how he build this platform bed? THANKS! Beth in Nebraska

    1. I'm hoping he'll have time to do a step by step tutorial soon, but it might not be for a few more weeks. Keep checking back, and I'll update this post when it's finished!

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