Well, you’ve heard about the mattress (queen size MYRBACKA from IKEA, and it is awesome—feel free to ask any mattress-specific questions you might have), you’ve seen the cute, cheap sheets, and now…the bed frame!
Nearly all of the components of the MANDAL bed are solid birch that’s been finished with a clear lacquer. I was a little concerned about how such a light wood would look in combination with the very warm, oak floors in the apartment, but it turns out to be a perfectly happy mix. The birch will darken a bit in time, anyway, so I’d imagine that in a year or two they’ll be almost the same tone. That inset white “floating” platform helps prevent the whole thing from looking like a continuous block of wood, too.
The best thing about this bed is the storage. There are four nice, big drawers underneath, perfect for storing extra linens, pajamas, or, as seen here, a bazillion tote bags. I’ve even thought about turning one of them into a little trundle bed for the dogs…
I never could get into under-bed storage boxes, but this? Amazing. The amount of stuff you can fit into these drawers essentially clears out an entire closet.
Here’s a closer look at the construction. On the left, you can see the mitered corners (one of the many nice details IKEA has been incorporating in their solid wood pieces lately) where the sides and top of the frame meet. The picture on the right is a little weirdly angled because I was hefting the mattress up with my left hand while shooting with my right, but I wanted to show how the wood slats (which support the mattress in lieu of a box spring) sit flush with the top of the frame. The whole thing is just so well put-together.
Speaking of being put-together, I’d estimate it took about three hours for me and Evan to assemble the bed. No biggie. Of course, I don’t really understand when people say they hate putting together IKEA furniture. Personally, I find it very relaxing and satisfying. It’s like adult Tinker Toys.
Oh, ALSO. For the first time ever, we sprung for IKEA’s delivery service. The price varies depending on location/distance, but in Brooklyn, it’s $59 no matter how much stuff you’re having delivered. Yeah. At that price you still have to load up your cart in the warehouse yourself and go through the whole checkout process, but if you pay $99, they’ll do everything for you, including pulling the items…but only if they have more than 10 of each thing in stock. And that’s the kicker, of course, because if you’ve ever been to the Brooklyn IKEA, you know that stock counts tend to hover around 0–3 at all times. So we went with the $59 option. SO WORTH IT, OMG. Our apartment is on the 3rd & 4th floors of our building (and of course there’s no legal street parking out in front), and this stuff is heavy. Having a couple of dudes drive it over and carry it upstairs made life so much easier.
I haven’t done much serious decorating in the apartment yet since I’ve been so focused on just getting large pieces of furniture into place and organizing all of our stuff, but I did order two of the “Bigmouth Strikes Again”-themed prints (Sweetness and Joan of Arc) from my K IS FOR BLACK shop and put them into frames. I’m not sure this will be their final destination, but I do like them leaning against the wall side-by-side.
For reference, these are the X-LARGE size (28″ x 38″) prints in the largest size RIBBA frames (27 ½” x 39 ¼”) from IKEA. This is the birch frame, which they’ve inexplicably discontinued. Weird. At least you can still get them in black and white, though, and the aluminum STRÖMBY frames are an even more affordable alternative that looks great. But I digress.
Yeah, still using my faux-Aaltos (aka hacked FROSTA stools) as bedside tables. Love ’em.
If you’re wondering what happened to our former bed, the discontinued (all together now: of course) green wool-upholstered GRIMEN, it went to live with my friend Tiesha, who is awesome. I really loved that bed, and we’d definitely have kept it if it were queen-sized. Two people and two dogs in a full size bed is…tight. Anyway, I’m happy it went to a good home.