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The Wood Shed

Oct 21, 2015

Collaboration is Key to Success

Oct 21, 2015

Last week I delivered a custom bed to a fantastic customer with whom I had collaborated to meet her specific design requirements. She wanted to have drawers under the bed because of limited space in the bedroom, and a low mattress height for her aging dog to climb on with ease. While it sounds simple, these requirements had me rethinking basic bed design and how I could meet these seemingly conflicting needs. The drawers needed to match the design of the Mid-century Modern Bed and be attached to the bed. I also wanted to be sure that the bed could be used independently of the drawers should the need arise. The solution was a platform bed that partially used the drawer boxes for the platform and the use of only a mattress without the box springs to decrease the overall height.

Of course, you always learn when designing something new and different and this was no exception. Since my designs almost always use solid hardwoods, the use of plywood for the drawer boxes was new to me. The ¾” plywood that I used was definitely overkill and made for an extremely heavy box. Next time I will use ½” plywood that will be more than adequate. Because of the low position of the drawers, I used purchased heavy duty, full-extension drawer slides instead of using my normal design of wood-on-wood Maple runners.

While the purchased drawer slides worked well, I prefer the feel of the handcrafted smooth gliding of the waxed Maple.Why was this a fantastic customer? Because she articulated her requirements and actively took part in the design to create the perfect bed for her and her beloved pet. She reported that Toby could easily climb onto the bed and was laying claim to his spot. A wonderful seal of approval and a great example of how collaboration can be the mother of invention.

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2015, Southern Joinery, LCC Photography by Paul O`Mara