Furniture and family history

I've been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, soaking up all the knowledge I can from all the designers who are willing to go on air and share what they know.  I recently discovered the

Business of Home podcast

and listened to Bunny Williams and Nina Campbell back to back.  I loved hearing from these "grand dames" of decorating on their philosophies and how things have changed in the industry.

Two things that stuck out for me:

1) Nina Campbell talking about how, in the early years of her career, everyone had a house full of inherited furniture to work with (making buying furniture something you just didn't do)

2) Bunny Williams talking about her philosophy that you buy forever.  Her own couch is 3 decades old and has been through multiple reupholsterings.

I have to say I love how furniture floats around through my family on my mom's side.  Anytime anyone is done with anything, it gets offered up to second and third cousins.  When I bought my first apartment in Brooklyn, I raided my grandfather's basement.  My niece grew up with my childhood bedroom set.  When I recently realized I no longer had room for two tables, one my grandmothers' and one my aunt's, my aunt reclaimed them both for her own house.  There's something sort of genteel about this.

In my own house, I have pieces of my parents' bedroom set, purchased in California when I was a baby.  It traveled with them to a cul de sac in Minnesota, where it lived in their master suite.  When I was a teenager and we moved a mile away, it went into my room.  Later, I drove it out to Brooklyn, then Colorado, then back to Minnesota.  I imagine one day my girls will each take a piece--the armoire to Eleri, the headboard to Clio, or vice versa.

So I didn't really imagine I would be in the market for a bed.  Like, ever.  But mattresses, as a rule, are not items that pass through families or stick around forever, and we are overdue for a new one in our bedroom.  After many months (years? Literally years, I think) of research, we pulled the trigger on an

Avocado

, taking advantage of a President's day sale, and the dominoes started to fall.  The Avocado requires a platform bed, and my parents' headboard is attached to a simple metal bedframe with bedskirt, box spring, and mattress.

Naturally, I am now thinking about every bed I have ever loved or longed for, and feeling slightly excited by the prospect of change.  I often tell clients not to go crazy splurging on a bed, or certainly not a headboard, as it doesn't get a lot of wear and tear, construction wise.  I stand by this, but knowing that I do tend to buy for the long run, I want to be sure to be thoughtful.

These are some of my favorite beds of all time:

None of which will work for various reasons.  (Two are headboard only, the room is not big enough for a four poster or canopy, my husband is too tall for a footboard, ans the John Robshaw bed in the top middle--which I LOVE--is too expensive.)

These are some actual options:

The top middle is a version of my all-time favorite bed.  Bottom middle is a take on the John Robshaw bed.  The two on the right are total blank slate beds--I could layer textiles over them, change them up with bedding, etc.  Top left I know as I type this I will not do, but I do love rattan.  Bottom left is the wild card dark horse that I am sort of kind of loving!  Love the shape, the slim leg, the fabric color, and most of all, the gimp and nailhead trim.  This will go with anything forever but is more polished than the two neutral options.

One of these beds is already in my cart for a one day deal, but it is final sale.  And then there is the question of whether it works with everything else in the room, or if the dominoes would continue to fall.

What about you: does your family rotate things around?  Or are you more the start from scratch type?

Heather Peterson