Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Daybed

Photo courtesy Flickr

One of the morning electronic design newsletters featured a double-height living room in a Manhattan high rise. Two big names put the space together, and one of the features was a familiar staple of the nineteenth century: a flat, padded surface wide enough for comfortable sleeping. The one in the mail was part of a modular upholstered seating system, but there’s no essential difference between it and the freestanding twin bed that was a staple of every Victorian parlor. A common room furnished with a congenial table and chairs with a sleeping area in the corner supports hard-working community life and adds value to every expensive cubic inch of home. The illustration is made up of scraps of tribal rugs. Scraps of any tribe, like the Yankee, would do just as well.

It’s trivial to add decorative short legs or locking castors to a box spring, top it with a mattress of some kind, and cover the two with a parlor-legal textile. Futon over box spring is surprisingly comfortable. Diana Phipps uses grand, whole skins of good leather (not a bad investment). A friend inherited several bearskins that would be a blast in the corner of the room that houses her wood stove. One of the established American designers can be counted on to market parlor-worthy spreads in the Christmas Miracle Department Store chain. A high thread-count putty colored cotton dropcloth from the Righteous Value Hardware is a good default choice.


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