Saturday, May 07, 2016

My One American Demand!

I hope to not come off as one of those annoying Americans who think that their existence in France must be exactly the same as their existence in the United States.

In spite of this, I have One American Demand!

Giant Bed.

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. 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.)  

One headboard

Then assembly of two of these...

Headboard Added!

Viola!  Short, but effective headboard added.  Places to leavwe our phones charging overnight and we even added clip on reading lights.  The giant summer-weight duvet is on its way and finally the bed will be complete.  Onward to preparing guest beds!


Unknown said...

Angela, I am so impressed and inspired to persevere to solve challenges. I have an issue like this. Now I am determined not to give up. I love your new bed! Great job!

Anonymous said...

Hey Angela.....Thanks for sharing. Every once in a while I check this website to see what's happening with the Kroboth's....Hope you all are enjoying the adventure!!! One day, if I'm brave enough....I'll do this to with my kids (at least the ones that are still at home). Take care and good to connect via this website. Daisy :o)

Dylan Lovell said...

How creative! Living in another country can be difficult to say the least, but mastering creativity like this is amazing. I am impressed with your step-by-step knowledge on purchasing the correct tools and supplies to build your bed frame and headboard. Size definitely does matter when it comes to sleeping, and Amazon is an excellent tool for the have to have items.

Dylan Lovell @ Mattress Sale Liquidators

Dante Storey said...

Your new mattress looks so big and comfortable, and I can see why you wanted to make it work. It is great that we can order items such as fitted sheets from Amazon regardless of our location. You did a great job at creating the base and headboard on your own, and I love the idea of adding clip on reading lights to the headboard.