Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Here's the Story of a Lovely Bed: A Novel by Beth

Chapter 1: Introducing my Big, Black Bed. 

Here is a picture of my bed, all gussied up in its staged glory prior to the sale of our old house:

Let me tell you, making that bed prior to showings took a good 5-10 minutes alone.  I remember working up a sweat as I ran around the house picking things up faster than the kiddos could mess them up.  Thankfully, Charm wasn't walking yet and I only had to do it for six weeks! 

Here is a close-up of the detail on the bed:

The big, black bed (BBB from here on out), was perfect for that master bedroom and perfect for that house which had lots of black accents.  It was big and grand and filled the large master bedroom nicely.  It was a true statement piece.  It made me feel like a queen, and I loved it.  In fact, even though I like to change home decor often, it probably would have been our forever bed IF we had lived in that house forever. 

Chapter 2:  Moving the BBB
We moved into our new home with BBB, and although the new master bedroom (which is decidedly smaller than our old master) can handle a king sized bed, something was off.  Every time I walked into the room, I felt like the air was being sucked out of me.  I don't know how else to describe the feeling.  I just didn't want to be in there.  It felt cramped, like the walls were closing in.  The room definitely needed a lighter bed, but it didn't make sense to switch it out given that the bed was only 3 years old.  Surely replacing it would be a costly venture, but I needed to do my research to see how bad it would be.

Chapter 3: Finding a Potential Replacement
First, I needed to find out what I wanted in a new bed.  I looked around online and in stores and fell hard for this sweet lady named Collette:
Colette King Bed
Courtesy of Crate and Barrell

I loved her simple curved headboard, the nailhead trim, the fact that it would be easy to switch up the room's look/colors by switching out bedding (this was tricky with BBB due to the ornate pattern on the headboard and footboard and the gold touches on the predominantly black bed). What I didn't love was her $1899 plus shipping price tag.  That wasn't going to work at all.  I did some more searching and found another option at my new favorite online store, Overstock. 

Now introducing Ms. Aisling:
Courtesy of Overstock

Aside from some slight differences in the shape of her dark feet, she was a super close match to Ms. Collette.  And her $821 plus $2.95 shipping was definitely more reasonable.  I was getting excited, but there was one big problem: she was out of stock.  I didn't know if she would come back in stock so I watched and waited.  I watched her go in and out of stock a couple times.  It was clearly a popular bed, with great reviews.  On the day in early March when I saw her come back into stock with a quantity of 17 (I signed up to receive an email when she was in stock, and they give you the specific number that are available.), I knew it was time to attempt the big bed switch of 2011.  (Prior to this 'back in stock' email, I'd only seen Ms. Aisling come back into stock with a quantity of 1 or 2.)

Chapter 4: Selling the Big Black Bed
Before I could justify the purchase of a new bed, I had to sell the old one.  Not only for some cash to use towards the new bed, but also because it's still winter in Minnesota, our garage is full to the brim (a project for spring) thanks to our basement finishing project this fall, and we have no place to easily store a spare king bed.  Enter my good friend Craig and his amazing List.  At first, I was planning to list BBB for $500, which is half the price we paid for it in 2008.  When I uploaded the staged bed photos and made my listing, I decided the bed was pretty enough to be a $750 used bed.  It was truly a random number, and I figured I could always go lower if needed.  I made my posting on a Sunday and got a couple hits within the first hour and they weren't scams.  One person wanted the mattress and box springs too, and that wasn't going to happen.  Another person was interested but apparently only checked her email once a day, so we had a drawn out exchange that led to....nothing. 

On a Thursday, I checked on Ms. Aisling on the Overstock site to make sure she was still there and got some scary news...she now had an 'extremely high sell out risk'.  Ahhh!!!  I didn't know if that meant there was 1 bed left or 2 or 5, but I knew I needed to up the ante on my bed posting.  I talked to my hubby who told me to just order the Overstock bed, because the shipping would take awhile and we could 'just figure it out'.  Normally, given the green light to spend some money on something I really wanted, I'd jump on it.  For some reason, I just couldn't do it this time.  It made me way too nervous spending that kind of money and potentially having 2 beds to deal with.

So here is what I did:  I took off my original craigslist post and made a new one.  This time I increased the price to $1000, but threw in the Home Goods bombay chests (nightstands) that I got for $150 each and the lamps (which I hated, BTW.  They were too tall for next to a bed and you needed to sit up in bed to turn off the lamp at night), which were also Home Goods purchases = not expensive.  I figure I added about $350 in goods and asked $250 for them on top of my original bed alone listing price.  This was a very reasonable price to me, and apparently, it was very reasonable to lots of people out there who are surfing craigslist looking to drop a grand on a used bed set. 

I re-listed the bed set at 3pm on Thursday, we received close to ten 'seriously interested' emails by 7pm and it was sold for the asking price with a $300 cash down payment (bed to be picked up two days later) by 8pm.  No joke.  I was sky high!!  Yippee!!  I immediately ran to the computer to order my very own Aisling bed to find this on Ms. Aisling's Overstock webpage:  Out Of Stock.  I wanted to cry. 

Chapter 5: The Silver Lining
If you look hard enough though, you can find a silver lining in almost any situation.  My silver lining: I just added a grand to my previously dwindling 'decorating fund' AND if Ms. Aisling ever decides to come back into stock, I have enough moola to completely cover her cost.

Here is our bedroom today:

I brought up a couple tables we had downstairs to use as nightstands.  The round one was our old home's foyer table and the folding tray was what we used in our old mudroom to drop keys, mail, etc.  I also grabbed a couple of lamps we already owned for a temporary lighting solution.  The big round guy was a house warming present from my main man, and the desk lamp was a Target clearance score for $7.48 that I had purchased a while back.  The comforter was a Christmas gift from the in-laws last Christmas and the duvet cover was a cheap $17 Target find that I bought several months back in an attempt to work with BBB.  Everything else we had in our old home, except the small black, round mirrored table between the two side chairs.  I picked that table up for $15 on clearance at Target a couple months ago and I'm thinking it may be painted white in the future.  Overall, the room obviously looks less finished than the staged picture of BBB, but it feels so much lighter to me.  Even without a headboard, at least I don't feel like the walls are closing in on me. 

Chapter 6: To Be Continued
There's more to this story.  Stay tuned to read how it continues in 'Here's the Story of a Lovely Bed: Part Two', which I promise will be much, much shorter.

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