Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Shopping Report: Loft bed

The bed in pieces on my front porch
The time has come for my 3 year old to move out of her converted crib and into a twin bed.

I posted a want ad to MomMail (a local newsletter) and spent Sunday afternoon checking out second hand beds in OPRF. I saw two Pottery Barn beds, but the cottage style and giant headboards were a little too stylish for my kids' "IKEA-eclectic" bedrooms. They were also priced at $175 each--a decent deal for PB, but pretty pricey for something I'd have to haul home in my CR-V.

One River Forest mom led me up to her garage attic, where she showed me her collection of twin headboards and a pile of frames and bed rails. She told me I could take whatever I wanted for free, but that she'd need to have her husband sort through the stuff to pull out all the necessary pieces. One of the beds (last used in the early 70s) was pretty appealing, but midway through the consideration process I'd floated the idea of putting a loft bed in Z's room and handing her bed down to A, and it was seeming more and more like the smartest way to maximize the space in their small bedrooms.

So I ended up purchasing a second-hand IKEA loft bed for $75. Josh picked up a mattress ($99), duvet and sheets on Wednesday, which means we my mom and stepdad can assemble it this weekend.

Why did I decided to go the second-hand route? A couple of reasons. I don't think our current house is our forever home, and I anticipate moving sometime before both of our girls are teenagers. I imagine their rooms in our future house will be more spacious--perhaps even big enough to accommodate a double bed. That means the beds I'm buying them for early childhood only need to last 5-10 years. I also don't believe children need fancy, super-supportive mattresses. Z's been sleeping fine on IKEA's entry-level foam mattress for a few years, and I've even spent the night on it once or twice. It's firm, but perfectly adequate.

This is what the bed looks like assembled but unmade
I also believe second-hand is an excellent way to afford higher-end furniture that can last a lifetime, like my beautiful dining room table and chairs. It's cost-effective and better for the environment, too.