A Tale of Two Beds

Beds crafted with architectural antiques – carved antique columns, corbels and surrounds.

Our story starts in the year 2000, a year before I even came to LPO.  Our client happened into our old location and was taken with a bed in the showroom. Usually the showroom is filled with finished product waiting to be shipped, but occasionally we have things for sale, and this was one of those rare occasions. I even found a photo of it that was taken in the parking lot.

It is a fabulous bed, with great details, mixing antique columns and panels from an intricately carved antique door surround.

These door surrounds are amazing in their detail and variety. Some feature swirling carvings with floral designs and other images from nature, such as scales and leaves, while others feature geometric patterns, and some combine the two. It is fascinating. The bed is full of wonderful detail.

Fast forward to 2014, when our client decided she wanted a comfortable day bed for her living room, and that the people who made the original bed should be the ones to make the day bed. She told me that really, her only instructions to Scott were that it should be sized to accommodate an extra long twin mattress, she wanted curves, and she wanted the bed to include more of that fabulous carving. There was also one little detail that I will show you later.

So, Scott designed the bed, curves and carving included. Raw material was chosen.

Our client approved the design and the raw material, and into the wood shop it went. It landed at Elio’s table – he is an amazing craftsman. I still want to feature an incredible staircase that he did a couple of years ago, but we will get to that…

Working with the scale template for the curves, Elio works his magic. Look at the thickness! This is going to be one solid piece of furniture!

He also carved the twisting leg fronts.

And then the antique material was skillfully incorporated into the panels and finials. While still in the woodshop it is easy to distinguish  the raw material, which is weathered and gray, and the newly crafted sections, which are made out of reclaimed Douglas fir.

And in the photo below, we can see at the top left is the curve that was shown with Elio and the clamps, and on the right is the curve that we saw sitting on the saw table.

Next it was on to the finish shop.

The finishes at La Puerta Original are multi-layer, and it is often surprising to see the different colors along the way. The side above is in the beginning stages, and the one below is further along.

Finish samples are usually blocks of wood that we have finished to the client’s specification, for approval. In this case, it was an antique panel that served as the finish sample.  I think we nailed it, no?

After the finish was applied, the piece was embellished all over with stars and clavos.

And then we have the completed bed. This is a huge hulking thing! Look at that! It weighs a ton, and has so many fabulous little details!

Mm! Mm! Mm! I just love that! I thought I would show you some of the ways that the raw material was incorporated. I am not going to do the whole thing, because there is just so much, but I do think it is fun to see how it all fits together.

We saw some of the antique material in the photos earlier. Below I have annotated the photo with the placement of the original raw material, and where it appears in the finished piece, and then I will repeat the pics without annotation if you want to look at the details.

And we can’t forget the finials! The finials themselves are from antique dowry chests, and their bases were set with more intricately carved material.

And finally, we have the installation photos. I was so excited to see the bed in place, and I was not disappointed. It is amazing how all this works together. The house has Moorish influences throughout, as you saw in the swooping alcove for the bed, and the daybed, continuing that theme, makes the living room.

And the little detail I told you about has to do with the left front finial. It is removable to be occasionally swapped out with a small statue.

I would say it has been about 8 months since the bed was installed, and when I went to visit, our client was still so thrilled with it. Her little canine companions are too (they think it is theirs). It is one of the things La Puerta Originals does so well – combining form and function, for a function work of art! Thank you so much to our client for welcoming me into her home.

No two pieces are the same.

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