11 October 2010

"fence bed"

furniture design

I've come to realize that furnishing an apartment can get very expensive very quickly, especially in Manhattan. To avoid breaking the bank, this past summer at home was spent scavenging for beautiful, but inexpensive household items. About once every month, I'd find my Civic joining the slew of pick-up trucks driving around my neighborhood, hoping to find treasures among everyone else's bulk trash. On days off from the farm, visits to Goodwill and yard sales became weekly rituals. I refused to Ikea-fy my room. It isn't that there is anything particularly wrong with Ikea furniture, but this was a chance for me to be creative and rise above the bedroom set. I was so excited with this opportunity.

This is one of my proudest creations. To give myself full credit would be unfair. A big thanks needs to go out to my carpenter friend Brian Carney, for helping me both design and build it, and to Mom and Dad, for not only sweatily helping me reassemble it for two hours in the August NYC heat, but for also renting the U-Haul van to get it down there in the first place. None of this would have been possible without you guys!

"fence bed"
Made of:
-Old wooden fence posts, pickets, and rails
-some 4x4s and 2x4s
-eight 10-inch bolts, nuts and caps.

The majority of my full-sized bed is made of torn-up fencing found in an old barn at Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown Heights, NY.Most of the white paint was still in tact on the posts, which I scrapped and sanded off at my own discretion to maintain its weathered look. Not only was this wood absolutely free, but it also has so much personality!

The entire bed cost me about $16 (for the nuts and bolts) at the hardware store.
Yep, that's it.

Click below to see a slideshow of the process and the finished product!

Brian measuring the 2x4s

Building the frame

Making it secure with some 4x4s

Attached the slats to the frame

You need at least five to be safe, so I screwed on eight!


The next step was ripping the pickets off of one another.

The headboard and footboard both have a base made out of two fence posts (for the bed posts) and 2x4s attached horizontally.

Lining up the pickets in the arched design for the headboard

Screwing in the pickets to make the headboard.

Making sure that they are all evenly spaced.

Headboard done!

Brian using the scary table saw.

We admired our work for a good ten minutes.

Finished frame and back of footboard

Finished product

It goes great with my eggplant duvet from Marimekko for Crate and Barrel, white sateen sheets, and homemade pillows made with toule de jouy fabric!

Well, my first venture into furniture design was pretty successful. Next stop: reupholstery!



    it looks better in your room than the shop.

    next stop bedside table!

  2. Congratulations from Barcelona, Spain. Nice work!

  3. Awesome job Michelle! I was super psyched to see that this was made from a fence (it's all about recycling)...but even more excited to see that it came from my home town, Yorktown!!! YAY!

  4. This is beautiful! Came across it on apartmenttherapy.com. So beautiful! If I ever end up finding someone with an old fence they're giving away, I'll be all over this.

  5. This is just great. Super reuse of found material. And an absolutely charming bed. Kudos to all involved.

  6. Wow, that's gorgeous- love!

  7. I am SO impressed - it looks wonderful... Really cool and unique :)

  8. Hey!! you just help me toget some ideas to help a little 11years old friend who lives with her dad and dont have any bed ... im thinking on decorate her room so this proyect its gonna be a really good start.

  9. How did you attach the head and foot. Board to the fram?