Just because something is shiny and new, that doesn't always mean it's better. Perhaps that fact is truest when it comes it to furniture.
For her sixth birthday, my daughter and I started redesigning her room (again. She's a little designer in the making). One of the central elements of the new design is my childhood bed.
The bed has become something of a family heirloom over the years. My mom got the bed from my “Grandma Jean” – that's what we called my mom's boss back then. The bed had belonged to Grandma Jean's kids, long before my time.
The bed was made in 1951, by the Davis Cabinet Company in Nashville, Tennessee. The Davis Cabinet Company, which has been around since 1929, specializes in solid wood furniture that doesn't fall apart with age. Their founding principle is “anything can be accomplished if it is done correctly.” And this lovely bed was most certainly done correctly, it has held up the test of time . Notice the date stamped on bed (typical of the Davis Cabinet Company ) , it also has original label on back of bed for authentication. This kind of stuff is pretty neat!
The bed has been in my family since I was four or five. After I outgrew it, it was passed down to my little sisters . Now, I'm going to pass it on to my little Charlotte.
But not before I give it a little bit of a face lift. It is 60 years old after all. First, I had my re finisher strip the many layers of paint that had built up over the years until we got down to the original wood , then we lacquered the bed in a soft cream color.
This bed has held up very well over the years, despite all the wear and tear that comes with being a kid's bed. They just don't make them like they used to.
You can't expect that sort of longevity from other big box furniture companies, you know the ones I'm referring to. Good news is, there are many manufacturer's out there that build on quality, like Hickory Chair who just celebrated 100 years, Henredon , Drexel Heritage , Thos Moser, and B&B Italia just to name a few. You may pay a little more, but that is exactly my point here.
As a general rule, it is a good idea to think of furniture as an investment. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it and if you invest in good furniture, it will go a long way.
It's my hope that one day, Charlotte will be able to pass this bed on to her little one. And, because of the solid material and excellent craftsmanship, this bed will stay in my family for many generations to come.
Stay tuned for pictures of the finished room, complete with Charlotte's new (old) bed!