My waffle: Tessa’s big girl bed

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This is my daughter Tessa. What’s that you say? She’s all blurry? Yep, it’s hard to take a clear picture of Tessa because most of her waking day is spent twirling, leaping and dancing. Hence the blur of pink.

Tessa has been asking for a “big girl bed” for two years now. No, I’m not so deranged that she’s still sleeping in a crib at age four…I’ve just been waffling so long over what bed to get that she’s sleeping on a mattress and box spring. Here is Tessa’s current bed situation (the toe shoes were mine during my brief and painful year on pointe):

View from the doorway

Here’s the rest of her room, just for kicks.

The other side of the window

Bookcase and reading chair are to next to the doorway. I know, I know, I should hang the pictures already.

But let’s get back to Tessa’s’s bed, or rather, the lack thereof.

See that window? It’s great, but as the top of the sill is 36″ from the floor, it means that most headboards (most of which are 42″ to 54″ tall) are going to stick up higher than the window sill. The green polka dotted drapes might act as a visual “wall” for the headboard, but I wonder if a tall headboard will look funny. What to do? I’ve tried the bed on the far wall, but trust me — it looks best diagonally across from the door.

I also want a bed that lasts. That means choosing something solidly constructed as well as something Tessa will enjoy for many years to come.

Ikea’s Malm Bed is one option that will fit under the window sill. My son actually has the Malm in his room. It’s fine, but a bit difficult to make, plus it sticks out and I’m always stubbing my toe on it — though that might just be due to my klutzyness and not the bed.

ikea. malm bed, low beds, platform beds, kids beds, kids room, design dilemma

The Kendall Bed from Pottery Barn Kids looks nice, but the one I’ve seen in the store is pretty banged up so I wonder how durable it will be. Tessa’s room is also on the small side — will that footboard make the room feel more chopped up?

Kendall bed, pottery barn kids, kids room, design dilemma, decorating a kids room, kids room

Kendall Bed

I also love both of the Land of Nod’s Simple and Jenny Lind beds. They would both stick up past the window sill a bit, but I like how the slats and spindles would also allow you to see the green drapes.

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Simple Bed

Land of Nod jenny lind bed, kids beds, kids rooms, interior decor, design dilemma,

Jenny Lind bed

Another idea is to go the custom route. This would mean I could specify the height and look of the headboard. On the other hand, the non-returnability of this option gives me heart palpitations.

So what do YOU think?

PS — if you are wondering why I didn’t include a Craigslist choice, I actually did buy a used be for $25 a few months ago.  It had a beautiful carved headboard, but the side slats were warped and didn’t fit into the head and foot slots anymore.  I returned it, got my money back and resumed waffling.

What have you been waffling about lately? Click on the button below to send a waffle and get help deciding.

19 responses

  1. We had the Kendell crib from Pottery Barn Kids for Garett as a baby/toddler. It was red and really cute unfortunately the pant chipped especially when he chewed on it when teething. Also the side that dropped down became useless when a little plastic piece that made the side slide broke off. It took a lot of complaining and talking to Pottery Barn Kids customer service to get them to replace it because it had been over a year (Garett was only 10 months old since we got it before he was born-silly us). So I think any of the other choices are going to be better quality than what we paid for with the Kendall.

    • Thanks, Aimee, this is good to know. I’ve always had my doubts about PB’s wood products. It’s kind of crazy, as their prices are fairly high. Good for you for complaining and getting a replacement.

  2. I like the Simple with the rest of your house/furnishings. I also have a Land of Nod bed (Cottage), and the quality is incredible–the bed could go with them to college and beyond. I also like the idea of an upholstered headboard, and turning the frame to the wall. The malm is maybe too modern and blocky for Tessa, and the Jenny Lind is too young. Think about girly accessories like a plug-in chandelier (i’m getting those for our girls), those can change as they grow out of their princess phase and into their punk phase :). The bed can be a foundation piece as the other items change.

  3. Hi Molly! My vote is to let Tessa choose!

    • I would love to present her with a “top two” options that she can choose between. Right now her taste is so extremely girly that I worry about letting her have full reign. But you’re right — this is her bedroom after all!

  4. I think any of the choices would be beautiful, but my fave is the Jenny Lind. Have you considered a Day Bed?

    Is her room always that tidy? Wow!

    • I think a daybed would be great — I could center it on the far wall and I think it could be super cozy with lots of pillows. BUT. I hesitate about getting a daybed because I don’t quite understand how you make them…it seems like it would be hard to get the quilt/duvet to get tucked into the side, or at least hard to make it look nicely made without a lot of work. Tessa and Will don’t really play in their rooms. Stop by anytime to see our disaster of a basement!

      • There are bed spreads specifically made for day beds. they are constructed with only one long side ‘drop’. The front can be made any way you like, and the sides, below the mattress bottom, are separate drops as well. I believe they are available retail as well as custom.

      • I never knew about this — thanks for the info!

  5. I would simply swivel the bed–head of the bed on that wall to the right and window on the right side of the bed. Lucy has that configuration n her room, and loved to be able sit up and look out the window. If the window is at her head, a cold and windy day will blow any drafts right at her little head. (not to suggest that your house is drafty, but mine sure is!)

    • Okay, I think I’m going to post pictures of how her bed would look swiveled to the right as well as against the opposite wall. Stay tuned…

  6. In my prior life as an interior designer/fabricator I have made upholstered headboards for both boys and girls rooms. But I also made the window covering and padded window valance to match so that all the fabrics were interspersed throughout. A padded headboard adds a plushness that would be appropriate for a girl, and I would then add a ruffled bed skirt, probably in white.
    My question for you, Molly; how do you manage to keep a four year old’s bedroom so empty and tidy?

    • The kids don’t really like playing in their bedrooms. They play in the family room and basement, so those end up being the least tidy areas in our house. I’ll be posting pics of the basement in the next few months so you’ll see the mess that it is.

  7. The Simple goes best with the rest of the furniture in the room. It will grow with her. I also like the Jenny Lind but have decided that it might look a bit spindly.

  8. I think you need to post a room layout so we can see if the bed would be better under the window or flipped around. I think a basic metal frame and a custom or DIY tufted headboard would be awesome!

  9. Try West Elm bed – just the frame, optional with the headboard. Or costumize the headboard – you even can do the headboard yourself.
    Check out Serena & Lilly for fabrics ideas.