In spite of this, I have One American Demand!
When Dan and I got married, we got a queen-sized bed, 152cm x 203cm. When we moved to California four years later, we got a king-sized bed, 192cm x 203cm. This is the most amazing thing. Space to sleep is quite important. Especially since Dan's muscles seem to think that he is running-biking-swimming when he goes to sleep.
Giant beds aren't really a France thing. The largest bed you can find in most stores is 180cm x 200cm. The boys have beds that are 90cm x 200cm. Even if you find a bed, there are no sheets sold in large sizes. And there are no headboards in that size.
I am happy to report that we found a 200cm x 200cm mattress. It was available at Alinea. They delivered!
|It's taller than me!|
Of couse, there were no sheets in that size and no bed frame or base or headboard either.
|Mattress! Now what?|
Fortunately the internet and amazon exist. amazon.fr managed to carry some 200x200 sheets. For a while, we enjoyed sleeping on our giant mattress on the floor.
|Duvet... just... big enough... to cover the mattress|
The next phase of the project was to find a suitable and large enough base and headboard. Dan turned down my brilliant option to buy from this awesome custom bed design site:
|Many Euros can provide you with this lovely set-up for your giant bed|
So instead, we opted to build our own IKEA hack bed. First, we started with two 90x200 FLAXA bed frames. Cool thing about this option is that we get extra storage. With two bed frames, we end up with a total of four large drawers, two on each side of our bed configuration.
|Single Person Bed or Base of Giant Bed?!|
The hack? We couldn't just put two of these beds together and put the mattress on top. The actual mattress in the picture above is recessed somewhat. If we put our mattress on the two beds, it would be elevated in the center and have an uncomfortable bump. So, we needed to go to the Home Depot of France, one of which is called Castorama. On one of the Wednesdays when the kids didn't have school, the three of us bravely drove our rental car to Castorama and entered into the zone of finding stuff in a giant home improvement store. First stop... lumber. Typically we go to the lumber aisle with a lumber cart and pick the inexpensive pine boards. There were no pine boards. Other stuff made out of pine, but the boards... "La choix facile" Alledgedly the choice was easy.
|5 types of boards listed and three alternate materials|
Ultimately we determined that the boards were organized by quality/price and went with the cheap ones on the end. Which were "sapin du nord" or fir of the north.
Next issue? In order to use our fir of the north, we needed to be able to cut them slightly shorter. Ok, we can do this. What is French for "hand saw?" And no, google translate is not helpful. It's kind of literal. So I wasn't going to go up to a Castorama employee and ask for a saw of hands. Instead, I got a Castorama employee, brought him over to my cart of sapin du nord, and made motions of cutting while saying, "hand saw." He showed me to the right place. The children looked at me like I was crazy.
Finally, we needed screws to connect our sapin to the bed frame. I google translated "wood" so that I could get the right kind and found some on my own.
|Screws for "bois"|
We managed to get the boards in our small rental car without causing too much damage. We brought them home and added them to our bedframes. You can see them under the slats, perpendicular.
|No more raised center part|
|The mattress fits!|
|Nearly completed bed|
So now the bed was only missing a headboard. Why? Because if you notice, the drawers go nearly all the way to the wall. We couldn't put nightstands there without blocking the drawer. So we needed a headboard to move the bed away from the wall to allow for nightstands. That way, we could have somewhere to leave our charging phones during the night.
Much like the approach with the base of the bed, we opted to get two twin-sized headboards and put them together. We were able to find these at the Alinea (the IKEA of France. Oddly IKEA is not the IKEA of France.)
Then assembly of two of these...