Saturday, February 13, 2010

Handmade


When I look around our house, I realize that so many pieces of furniture we own were made by my parents.  My father was a retired engineer who became a gentleman farmer and woodworker, and my mother was his ever present faithful sidekick who painted and finished many of the beautiful pieces that he built.

The two of them were quite a team, traveling all over buying wood, and there really wasn't anything they couldn't make together.  We would find a picture of something we loved but couldn't afford and they would make it for us.  A handy thing to have when you're a newly married couple with no spare change for fine furniture.

For the first 10 years of our marriage we never had a real bed.  We had a frame and a mattress and box springs.  Not because we didn't care about having a bed, but because picky me could never find something that I liked or if I did, we couldn't afford the high price tag.  I wanted solid wood, preferably natural cherry and a tall 4 poster, but not a tester or a rice carved bed, and I wanted it to be tall enough to need steps to get into it!  See what I mean about being picky?!

So finally I just made up my own design and gave it to my mother and father.  I said I wanted a heart shaped headboard and lots of turning on the posts.  I also wanted it to have some "weight" to it, but didn't want it to be too massive and imposing!



So, almost 14 years ago this is what he built for us and my mother then helped him finish it.  After my father built it, my mom applied a Briwax finish to it which gives it a subtle sheen.  The cherry wood doesn't have any stain on it, but it's aged beautifully over the years and I love the patina it has developed.  They also made the cherry tavern table that I use as a night stand on my side of the bed.



Ignore the poorly dressed bed, like me it's not perfect, but at least it's made right?! :-)



And in this picture you can barely make out the matching cherry steps my parents built for the bed.  And what's that big hunk of cardboard under our beautiful bed you ask?!  Well that was from the days when I obsessed over our new wood floors and the fact that our Border Collie loves to scramble underneath during every thunderstorm.  You can read about my floor obsession HERE!



Every night when we climb in to our solidly built bed, we are reminded of the love and labor that went in to its making.  And even though my parents are no longer with me.  I can walk around my house and see little pieces of them everywhere in the special things they made for us.


To see other great furniture pieces be sure to head over to Miss Mustard Seed's  for Furniture Feature Friday!

Furniture Feature Fridays

15 comments:

  1. This is a gorgeous and sentimental piece that I am sure will be a cherished heirloom. And the Border Collie scared if storms makes me laugh and think if Marley and Me!

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  2. What an incredible bed and an equally incredible memory to go with it!

    I have a very simple highboy that was given to me thirty-seven years ago. It was used then and painted an olive green (yuck), but was so well-built that my father said he would restore it for me. Under the paint was a beautiful wood and I ask for a natural finish. I still love that piece and it has never needed any more work. I can look at it and envision my father in his workroom lovingly restoring it for me.

    Laughed at the story of your dog. Mine weighs about 75 pounds and while he can't fit under my bed he scrambles under whatever the closest table is — even if it's just a light rain! Or is at my legs if I'm moving around. Big baby! lol

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  3. That's one of the best looking beds I've seen. Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing its story.

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  4. Your design is beautiful, and your parents' craftsmanship is awe inspiring! Family treasures are the best kind.

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  5. handmade always has a wonderful story to go with it. While my parents never made anything, they bought things that were handmade and have passed them down to me. I love that my house is fulled with their love for each other and love for me to share it. Thank you for sharing.

    The new blogger,
    annelise
    southern maryland

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  6. Wow, that IS gorgeous!!! I love it!
    How special that it was handmade by your folks!

    suzanne

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  7. Not many people can say they designed their own bed Kat and have it end up looking like something right out of a fine furniture showroom. And what makes it even more special is that it was a collaboration between you and your parents. What a treasured family heirloom you had a hand in creating. I love the rich patina of the wood against the backdrop of your aqua walls. ~Lili

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  8. That is so great to have. Your parents were very talented. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. Kat, Can you send me your email again? pretty please, this time I will check spam before I send to recycle bin... ~Lili

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  10. Your bed is beautiful - what a great way to remember your parents! I didn't even notice the cardboard underneath :)

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  11. Your bed is lovely and I know you will always treasure it. Furniture made by loved ones is the best.

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  12. What an amazing heirloom you've got there. They did an awesome job!

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  13. That bed is absolutely gorgeous. Definitely a keeper and family heirloom. Thanks for sharing it with us...and making me a little envious.

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  14. Thank you for sharing such a special part of your home with us :)

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