When we first moved in, we realized we needed another bed. Now that we actually had the space for a real guest room, we’d need a guest bed! Our bedroom was so large that we could even graduate from a queen-sized mattress to something larger. Since Jon is so tall, we began looking for California King beds.
On Craigslist (what a surprise), I found several Craftsman-style bedroom sets immediately, but they were all quite expensive for our very low budget. Moving and all the associated fees with buying a home had stretched us a bit thin! I knew I’d struck a jackpot when I found a huge Cal-king craftsman bed that was handmade with very solid wood AND authentic Batchelder tiles for $700! However, since money was tight, I decided to go for it and see if the seller would consider selling it for just a little less so that we could continue to get some of the basic things we needed in a house that we didn’t have in our previous rented condo. I messaged, asking if the seller would accept $625 for the bed, and included our house tour video to let the seller know that the bed would be really and truly a perfect fit in the home.
To my surprise, he responded with a resounding yes, even though the materials for the bed had cost over $1300 themselves! Keep in mind that authentic Batchelder tiles sell for between $30 and $3000 by themselves; these would be on the cheaper end since they’re plain, but still pricey. I’ve seen a few in architectural salvage stores such as Olde Good Things in downtown LA, but not in many other places.
We drove up to Silverlake to pick the bed up. What I didn’t realize from the original Craigslist listing is that the owner of the bed had built it HIMSELF. I would have never asked for a discount had I known I was messaging the actual builder, and I felt awful! However, he was so happy to see it go to a good home. In fact, Al shared with us that he was a contractor who had built his entire home in chunks after the Northridge earthquake, when the home had been condemned. He’d gone into the condemned home to try to find pieces to salvage, but when he saw the home’s spectacular view of Los Angeles, he knew he had to buy the property. He’d driven around picking up salvaged materials to create this three-story masterpiece, including a sink made from a sideways urinal (Marcel DuChamp, anyone?), a floor made from a recycled gymnasium floor, and so much more. Al was adding more roommates to his home, and didn’t have room for the bed in the new bedroom he was choosing. He made us promise that, should we ever decide to sell the bed, we’d give him the first option to buy it back. I loved seeing how attached Al was to the bed and his work in creating it- what a great foundation of care and precision to sleep on each night!
We found a great Groupon for a cool-temperature memory foam mattress, which was delivered to our door. Jon added some plywood to the inside of the bed and voila!
Al told us that he’d wanted to grout the tiles in the bed- maybe with some green grout, which would be perfect for the colors of the times. I’d like to finish his mission, but after grouting the kitchen floor, I don’t know!
Also, we’re planning to hire Al to do some contracting projects soon, so it looks like this bed has brought us great connections already!
Oh- and check out the bedding and matching curtains; those were also hand-made (by the seller’s mother with quite expensive fabric), and also found on Craigslist for a great price. I have gotten quite lucky with my finds!