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October 28th, 2013
Bourbon Street Balconies in French Quarter

So what you ask makes a designer worth their salt in the design world ? Well when it comes to southern designers throughout the state of Louisiana and in particularly New Orleans, it’s attention to detail. Some of the better designers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 40 years have been [...]

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October 27th, 2013
V #16

For all of my Irish friends I bring you an antique iron bed with a true Irish heritage. The headboard currently stands at 64″ and the footboard at 39 1/4″tall. It gets brass corner finials . The painted “finish” is actually the original one put on back in the mid 1800′s by the manufacturer. The [...]

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October 27th, 2013
Picture 4

This happens to be one of the top three antique iron beds I’ve seen, in the 40 years of being in this business. As you’ll see from the photo?.. it’s not a bed for everyone, rather a select few. It has quite a fun pedigree. I’ve actually known about it for over 10 years. A [...]

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October 26th, 2013
Lincoln

No………Lincoln DID NOT sleep in this bed. But consider this On the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln, one of the best-known [...]

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July 14th, 2013
Clover Leaf

The three leaf Clover, symbolizing Irish pride, was coined by St. Patrick to represent the Holy Trinity. We discover this bed, with it’s beautiful large Three Leaf Clover castings, in a predominantly Irish neighborhood of Chicago. Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine, in Ireland, killed over a million men, women [...]

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June 19th, 2013
Painted Brass

Over the years, I’ve had quite a few people that weren’t crazy about brass on their bed. But back in the 1800′s the manufacturers of iron beds were desperately trying to offer the brass bed market a better, stronger bed, yet still give a touch of the then popular “brass trim”. With brass the public [...]

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June 2nd, 2013
Grape Casting

One of the more unique and collectible beds I’ve come across over the years is one we lovingly refer to as the “Grapes of Wrath” bed.

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June 2nd, 2013
Lion Head #2

Antique iron beds, generally speaking, were feminine in design.

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June 2nd, 2013
Twins

Matching Twin Size iron beds are about as scarce as any antique item you’ll come across.

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June 2nd, 2013
Jolie In Bed

In recreating a true period in history, the set decorator will stop at nothing to try and recreate the furnishing from the period in history they’re trying to duplicate for authenticity.

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June 2nd, 2013
Texas Star Casting

Decorating with antique iron beds has become more and more popular with interior designers throughout Texas.

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June 2nd, 2013

On Oct.28th, 1886 the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor.

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June 2nd, 2013
Deco Style Iron Bed

Quite often the style of an antique iron bed was way ahead of the style catagory it would fall into. Take for instance the Art Deco Period.

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June 2nd, 2013

Why is it that there was such a broad spectrum of iron bed designs throughout the 1800′s?

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May 25th, 2013
" Crown Canopy " #2

Canopy iron beds were not popular in this country back in the 1800′s.

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May 25th, 2013
iron bed photo

Back in the early to late 1800′s the double/ full size was the largest iron bed being made.

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May 25th, 2013
Art Panel Bed Close-Up

There was a very popular style iron bed back in the 1800′s that has also become a very popular iron bed today, with the “Shabby Chic” set.

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May 25th, 2013
Good Hitch & Side Rail End

Assembling an antique iron bed is a simple process……..but be careful.

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May 25th, 2013
Picture 1

To the untrained eye…..the construction of one iron bed is just as good as another.

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May 25th, 2013
Broken Side Rail

One of the most difficult repairs to make to an antique iron bed, is a broken hitch.

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May 25th, 2013
Picture 2

Whats the best way to refinish an old antique iron bed?

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May 25th, 2013
Iron Bed Support System

Antique iron beds used a spring unit that attached to the side rails and that houses a feather mattress.

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May 25th, 2013

Here’s a little education if you’re missing siderails for your antique iron bed.

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May 24th, 2013

The largest size bed being made back in the early to mid 1800′s was the double/full size,

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May 24th, 2013

What made iron beds so much more popular than wooden beds of their era?

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May 24th, 2013

In the early to mid-1800′s, the center of steel production in this country, was in Pittsburgh Pa.

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May 24th, 2013
Casting #1

The quality of an iron bed is most often determined by the quality of it’s castings or “Chills” as they were called back n the 1800′s.

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May 24th, 2013
Accessorizing

The beauty of just about anything in life, be it a beautiful woman, or a piece of bedroom furniture, can be enhanced by the way you accessorize them . Bracelets , necklaces and earrings on one , and lamps, pillows and comforters on the other. Although a Spartan setting might call for a minimal amount of [...]

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May 24th, 2013
Green Iron Bed

Antique iron beds have become one of the most popular items being used by green decorators today. There are no better sustainable items than antique furniture.

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May 24th, 2013

Back in the early 1800′s the more affluent people in this country sought out the beauty of shinny brass beds.

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April 21st, 2013
cathouse antique iron beds

They are unmistakable. Their construction is very standardized. Yet the metal beds being made in England in the 1800′s all have the same problem …… instability. Why? Because there are way too many connecting points, where iron tubing is joined to brass tubing or iron rods are connected to iron tubingand those connections are problematic [...]

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April 2nd, 2013
Repro:Original

It is said there is no great form of flattery than to impersonate someone. When it comes to original “antiques” and “reproductions”, it couldn’t be more true. You can count on the rarity and popularity of original antique iron beds, by the number of companies that are reproducing them. You can also tell which beds [...]

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March 19th, 2013
abstract-valentine-background-with-hearts

The vehicle that is bringing you this information has done more to  better the world, bring people together and make our lives better than any single invention since the telephone  or possibly as far back as Gutenberg’s printing press. It has narrowed the gap between nations, brought us closer to a cure for countless diseases  and [...]

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March 18th, 2013
Arched Brass Top

Elevating todays mattresses on old antique beds can often pose quite a dilemma. When antique iron beds were being made back in the 1800′s, the rail system that held the mattresses off the ground was at an average of 13″. Todays Hollywood and Harvard bed frames are only 5″ off the ground. This whole issue [...]

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March 14th, 2013
Side Rails

I receive at least 2 emails a day from people wanting to buy side rails for their antique bed. It’s unfortunate that people aren’t aware of how vital their side rails are. If they were, more people would take care not to misplace them when they move or disassemble their beds. Because they look like [...]

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March 7th, 2013
Picture 1

There are a number of things that make one antique bed more valuable than another. The first thing:  is the size of the tubing. To be more specific, the size tubing going across the top of the bed. Nearly 85% of all the iron beds that were made back in the 1800′s had 1″ thick [...]

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March 6th, 2013
old_fashioned_mattress

To understand the possible adjustments you might need to make to your antique bed, to use your modern mattress…..You first need to understand what was being used as a mattress and springs back when these beds were at their most popular in the 1800′s. In the 1800′s there was no such thing as a mattress [...]

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March 3rd, 2013
Wood vs Iron

To trace the origin of the switch in popularity from one item to another , you need look no further than the price the new item was offered at. Dollars and cents always seems to be at the inception of a changing of the guard……. For the longest time wooden beds held the spotlight in [...]

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March 3rd, 2013
Blue Bed

When most people think about antique iron beds, they think “white”. What most people aren’t aware of is that “white was probably the least popular color that beds were painted back in the 1800′s. “White” only became popular when “reproductions” started to help satisfy the demand for the lack of original antique beds that were [...]

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March 1st, 2013
Half Tester

A “half tester” is a form of canopy. The manner in which it differs from traditional “four poster” canopies is that it is only attached to the headboard…..not the foot-board. So why, you ask yourself, would someone want a canopy just at the headboard and not at the foot-board, where it would encompass the entire perimeter [...]

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February 23rd, 2013
3:4

Over the years, I’ve come across a good amount of the old 3/4 size bed frames. You might ask yourself what possible purpose did they have and their usage. A 3/4 size iron bed measures between 44″ and 49″ wide. An antique  twin size measure between 38″ to approximately 41″. A Full/Double size measures right [...]

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February 13th, 2013
Industrial Finishes

Although antique faux’ finishes are still the most popular we do, “Industrial” finishes, along with more modern styles have been gaining in popularity more than any other style or design. Industrial finishes include any finish that have  a new “unused” look. They can be “powder coatings”, which is a type of coating that is applied as [...]

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February 9th, 2013
Picture 1

Regarding your home, color has long been used to create feelings of comfort, peace or space. Not only on interior walls, but also on furniture. Throughout history predominant colors have given us insight into a societies mores and beliefs. The Victorian Era was dominated by oppressive dark colors. Primary colors were unheard of. Iron beds were [...]

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February 4th, 2013
iron bed from New Mexico

So you’re hunting for a bed….. not a “replica” or “reproduction”, and you want to know where to start. You should first know that there is no comparability between an authentic old antique iron bed and a reproduction. They are constructed very differently, the reproduction being produced with aluminum castings and thin wall tubing and the original [...]

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January 17th, 2013
Faux' Finishing

When it comes to achieving a true rustic looking antique finish, the most important thing you can remember is “experiment”…….. There are so many variables when trying to mimic an old look, that your best bet is to give yourself a lot of time…… don’t rush it. The more samples and experiments you do, the [...]

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January 16th, 2013
Craftsman

Sometimes referred to as the Arts and Crafts movement or the American Craftsman style, this period in design history became popular toward the end of the 1800′s and  continued until the 1930′s. It is probably one of the more “revived”  schools of design and to this day experiences a larger share of popularity, than all [...]

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December 30th, 2012
Picture 5

If you bought your antique iron bed earlier than 1977, you can count on on it having been painted with lead based paint.  Back in the 1800 s, when these beauties were being made,  lead based paint was being used on all furniture and pretty much all iron beds of that period.  Lead was added to paint to help the speed [...]

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December 30th, 2012
Picture 3

Pittsburgh was the focus of steel production in this country back in the 1800′s. So if you owned a enterprise that depended on steel and iron ore, like antique iron beds, for the production of what you created, it behooved you to locate that enterprise as close to the supply of those needed materials as possible. [...]

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December 16th, 2012
Picture 3

Antique iron beds have grown to be one of the most preferred furniture items being used today with “Green” interior designers. As we all know, there are no better sustainable eco-friendly items than antique furniture. Their “atomic footprint” has previously been determined and subtracted from the environment. It’s affect, whatever it may have been, has [...]

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December 14th, 2012
Well Dressed

If you were to come across any vintage photo’s of bedroom interiors, you would probably be amazed at how spartan they are. The factor that would probably catch your attention before anything else is the lack of pillows that were used and the method in which they were exhibited. Most of the time there was a solitary pair of pillows [...]

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December 10th, 2012
Picture 3

Leisure and comfort are two of the more integral things to remember when deciding on a Cottage decor. Other schools of design base their foundation on formality and pretense. Quaint and cozy can be your catch phrase for Cottage Style. Another tenant to remember is “practical”, yet comfortable. When it comes to color schemes, stay [...]

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December 8th, 2012
American Antiques

“The Hills are Drying Up”, has become the catch phrase for every antique picker that is still in the business. When I started as a wholesale “picker”, over 40 years ago back in Washington DC., the “hills” were packed with merchandise. The “hills” are the backwoods, that are away from cities and densely populated metropolitan areas. [...]

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December 8th, 2012
Queen Mat on Dbl Frame

As you probably know, the largest size antique iron beds being manufactured back in the 1800′s was a double/full. And you probably know that these antique iron beds can be converted to support a modern queen size mattress. But did you know that it can be accomplished in two ways: The most difficult way is done by [...]

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December 8th, 2012
Feminine Iron Beds

When you think about metal beds, what’s the very first thing that comes to mind? Well if your a women, it’s most likely something like “stylish” , “attractive”, “romantic”, …………if you’re a man, it’s probably “girlie”, “feminine”. It’s a preconceived notion the majority of people have of those stunning old antique iron beds that graced the bedrooms [...]

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December 8th, 2012
Romantic Victorian Iron Bed

Todays interior designers have a eager sense of what elements go into successfully acheiving a Victorian decor. Clearly the furniture and items in a room go a considerable way in acheiving the look and feel you’re striving for. One of the more well-liked and sought after original antiques to acheive a Victorian look, are the [...]

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December 8th, 2012
French Iron Bed

To realize why antique  beds are so perfect for certain design styles, you first need a run down on what it is that decides the general overall look and feel of that style. With regards to Country French, it can best be defined as classic European elegance with homespun comforts. We’re all acquainted with the beautiful Toile [...]

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November 29th, 2012
Refined Elegance

Some people look at old  beds as just a run down piece of furniture that doesn’t know when to say die. Others look upon that same bed with a much different eye…….. an eye of “refined elegance”. When that vision of “refined elegance” is given to any item ………… especially antiques or vintage furniture, it [...]

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November 26th, 2012
antique iron bed spring unit

Here is a photo of  one of the more popular spring units being used back in the 1800′s on metal beds. As you can easily see…… there really was no element to the “spring” term. This type was used strictly to hold a feather mattress off the ground. It gave more the feel of a [...]

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November 26th, 2012
Ext.Hm#1

When you think about metal beds, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Well if your a women, it’s probably something like “elegant” , “attractive”, “romantic”, …………if you’re a man, it’s probably “girlie”, “feminine”. The thing that obviously helps determine a persons initial opinion of one of these old metal beds, is it’s “finish” [...]

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November 20th, 2012
Picture 3

Queen Victoria’s reign in England, was from 1837 until her death in 1901. During her reign the most popular style of design would bare her name because of it’s inherent opulence. Victorian interior design draws it’s style from a number of other design styles, popular before and during Queen Victoria’s crown. Styles like East-lake and [...]

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November 17th, 2012
Princess Canopy Iron Bed Conversion

Throughout modern history, stories have been told of the beautiful canopy beds that Princesses have had. They were widely spread by animation companies like the Disney Co., who have practically developed a new “Princess” every few years and then done an animated motion pictures about her. Those movies have had a profound influence on our [...]

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November 14th, 2012
Jolie In Bed

Throughout the 1800′s the popularity of metal beds would continue to grow until the WWI, when all of the metal produced in this country was needed for the war effort……..bringing to a close the beauty of hand crafted antique iron beds. But during their “hay-day”, foundries and metal bed manufacturers were continually trying to come [...]

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November 14th, 2012
Mathau

One of the major draws that metal beds have had throughout history, has been their adaptability into any specific color scheme or decor. Why is that…. and what sets them distinctly apart from other antiques , that are not so flexible in its usage? The first thing is that back in the 1800′s wood furniture [...]

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November 13th, 2012
Old Mattress

I’m often asked about what type of mattresses were used on  beds back in the 1800′s. After a discussion of feather mattresses……their advantages and disadvantages, the topic invariably turns to what man used before conventional mattresses were used on bed frames. It is thought that during the Crusades, Europeans adopted the Arabic method of sleeping on cushions thrown on the [...]

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November 7th, 2012
Old Springs

For 40 years I have been dealing in antique iron beds. In that period of time, I have never bought or sold an old original spring unit. Is it because they are so rare and difficult to come by? Hardly…..When I started in the business those people wanting to sell me beds, throughout the backwoods [...]

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November 6th, 2012
Deco Iron Bed #6

Although the Art Deco school of design first appeared in France during the 1920s and flourished internationally during the 30s and 40s, metal beds  of the early and mid 1800′s, were already displaying Art Deco styling way before they would become popular. It’s difficult to imagine what the designers of beds were thinking to design [...]

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November 6th, 2012
HT #9

Nearly all of the custom antique faux’ finishes that we do here at Cathouse Beds, came about as a result of customers, decorators and clients that happen to have something they wanted their antique iron beds “finish”, to blend with. The most common items are material swatches from items like dust ruffles, blankets, pillows or [...]

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November 5th, 2012
Redesigned Iron Bed

I’ve always been a bit of a “purist” when it comes to antique iron beds and “reproductions”. There have been a few companies that go above and beyond in their efforts to maintain the exact duplication of the original iron beds they’re copying. This can be difficult for numerous reasons, the least of which are [...]

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October 29th, 2012
Wooden Slats

When iron beds were at their Zenith in the mid 1800′s, many manufacturers were constructing a very rudimentary metal spring unit to hold the feather mattresses of the day. These metal spring units would later be refined and become  known as a “box spring”. Today’s box springs are tightly wrapped iron coils that resemble a metal [...]

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October 23rd, 2012
Without Dust Ruffle

Dust Ruffle or No Dust Ruffle……That is the question. If you’re looking for authenticity and historic value, then you have to opt out of the dust ruffle. Back in the 1800′s, one of the main reasons people were attracted to iron beds was the elimination of rodents in their beds because the iron side poles [...]

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October 21st, 2012
Picture 3

Over the years, the way people dress and appoint their iron beds has changed considerably. One of those major alterations has been the use of pillows. Back in the 1800′s a bed was strictly used to sleep in. There were no TVs to watch and people rarely ever read in bed. With that said…..pillows were [...]

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October 14th, 2012
Bed#4850

I bought my first antique iron bed, or I should say acquired it, back in 1969. It was given to me by a farmer in the backwoods of Central Pennsylvania. I’ve been asked how I got into this business and recounted the story about how I came across it so many times, I posted the [...]

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October 10th, 2012
Iron Beds Casting #4

The major thing that give metal beds their distinction from any other type of bed, are the cast iron castings that are the decorative pieces that are poured around all the “joints” of rods and tubing in the design of the bed. They are the “fingerprint’ of the foundry that has designed them , made [...]

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October 9th, 2012
Antique Iron Bed #8

Great  beds come in all shapes and sizes. Here are but a few of the many antique beds we’ve come across. There were thousands of differet styles being made and to this day yet unseen styles and designs still are surfacing.Please note the uniqueness of all of these individual designs. Some are pure Victorian and [...]

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October 9th, 2012
iron bed/ simple elegance

It’s unfortunate that a number of people have the opinion that metal beds can only go into a Victorian or elaborately fanciful setting. That school of thought couldn’t be  farther from the truth. Any antique iron bed can be adapted to the setting by it’s surroundings and the way the owner chooses to dress it. [...]

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October 7th, 2012
Iron Bed Periods

Throughout history how we dress, where we live and the homes we live in, flect the attitude of that period. So it should come as no surprise that iron beds were also a direct reflection of the times they were designed and built in. The rigid conservatism of Victorian England fostered beds that spoke volumes [...]

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October 6th, 2012
Cathedrail Arch Iron Bed

Religion is not something you’d normally associate with iron beds. But……..throughout time there is very little that religion hasn’t had some influence in in some way or another. Whether in architecture, furniture design or clothing, we have always chosen to display our beliefs in a visual manner……be it subtle or demonstrative. The two topics most [...]

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October 3rd, 2012
Picture 1

Over the years I’ve sold iron beds to people that have had every imaginable style home, apartment, estate, farmhouse, beach house,adobe, penthouse , etc. that you can imagine. But I’ve never sold  a bed to anyone with a more unique home than a couple in upstate Maine who happen to live in a “lighthouse”. From [...]

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September 29th, 2012
The Butler Bedroom

Not something traditionally seen in this country…….but the Butler’s bedroom was a common setting amongst the upper class throughout England. Because the butler held a rather important role in the families day to day living, it was important his private sanctuary be befitting his station in life. Often great pains were taken to make his [...]

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September 29th, 2012
Flat Top or

Antique iron beds came in every possible design and after having been in the business for forty years I continue, to this day, seeing designs I’ve never come across before. But there is one consistency when it comes to styles and designs that you can count on. Iron beds will always fall into one of two [...]

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September 28th, 2012
Picture 1

What, you ask is “gendered iron beds”…….. Quite simply it means taking any antique iron bed and establishing it’s gender by the “finish” you apply. It’s actually quite simple. You can take a beautifully scrolled Victorian or Art Nouveau bed that has soft flowing feminine curves and design……. and make it look masculine. Maybe not [...]

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September 22nd, 2012
Out of The Fields

“The Hills are Drying Up”, has become the catch phrase for every antique picker that is still in the business. When I started as a wholesale “picker”, over 40 years ago back in Washington DC., the “hills” were load with merchandise. The “hills” are the backwoods, that are away from cities and densely populated metropolitan areas. [...]

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September 21st, 2012
Queen - White on White

As you probably know,  the largest size bed being made back in the 1800′s was a double/full. And you probably know that these old iron beds can be converted to accommodate a modern queen size mattress. But did you know that it can be done in two ways: The most difficult is done by cutting [...]

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September 19th, 2012
Twin Plain

Quite often I have people come to me that are looking for that “special” bed for their master bedroom. If you know anything about antique iron beds, you’ll know that they came in more shape’s and designs than you could count. I’ve been in this business for around 40 years and continue to see beds [...]

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September 17th, 2012
Hospital Bed

Over the years plain Austere iron beds have often been referred to as “hospital beds”. The reasoning for that is quite simple…….. many of them were. Straight “soft shoulder” beds with straight interiors were a perfect bed frame for the continual use that a hospital bed receives. So it was surprising when I came across [...]

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September 16th, 2012
Institutional Beds

Iron beds have been used throughout history in institutional settings for one main reason…….durability. No other material, wood, plastic, fiberglass etc. etc., can match up to the durability  and strength of metal beds. Often referred to as “hospital beds”, some form of metal bed has always been used in these institutions. They are also easily [...]

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September 15th, 2012
Log Home Bed

When we think of log cabins and the appropriate decor for them we usually think more Austere and spartan. Although that is probably what most people that built these rugged homes used in them. As time went on and the west was opened up with the railroad, fancier furnishings became more common place. Iron beds [...]

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September 15th, 2012
Grandmas Bedroom

Can you remember trips to your grandparents house when you were younger? Is there anything that sticks out in your mind? For me it was my grandma’s bedrooms and the antique iron beds she had in each of them. They stuck in my mind for a couple of reasons The first was an accident I [...]

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September 13th, 2012
Picture 1

When considering a Southwestern Adobe Style for your bedroom, there are a few important things you’re going to want to address before selecting a bed. From many vintage photo’s that I’ve seen over the years, iron beds were used quite a bit in these early desert homes. The desert landscape and the bright colors of [...]

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September 12th, 2012
Pendelton Mills Ad

So you’re asking yourself if antique iron beds are even appropriate for a boys room. Most of the time you see beautifully designed interior shots of girls rooms , master bed rooms and even guest rooms, that have great looking scrolled or curved iron beds. So I can understand you might be having a little [...]

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September 10th, 2012
Jamie Gertz

Having just written a blog regarding potential iron beds for the guest room, I thought it prudent to touch on similar things that should be considered when selecting a bed frame for your Master Bedroom. Obviously the first thing is size……… Most people that are looking for their Master bedroom are looking for either Queen [...]

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September 9th, 2012
Guest Room Bed

You love antique iron beds and are considering using one in your guest room. Are there any things to consider when making a selection? Absolutely……… You first have to ask yourself if you’re going for the “look” or for something “substantial”. The difference will be in the price and design. You can find iron beds [...]

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September 8th, 2012
Picture 4

What could old steam locomotives and antique iron beds possibly have in common? Well the first thing that comes to mind is they’re both made of cast iron. But how is it that their success was so intertwined ? The same foundry and smelting process that made iron beds possible, also brought us the iron [...]

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September 8th, 2012
Crib#3

Antique iron cribs are the least safe thing you cold ever buy. If your intentions are to actually use them for your new born. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has instituted new safety standard for cribs. Here are a few of the reasons why. No crib can be made or sold with traditional drop side [...]

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September 7th, 2012
Picture 4

There are two “schools ofthought” when it comes to using a dust ruffle on antique iron beds. The first is that the true traditional iron beds of that period didn’t have dust ruffles. The reasoning behind that theory was that a dust ruffle would have negated one of the main reasons for the elevated stature [...]

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September 7th, 2012
Linens

So you’ve finally found the bed of your dreams……… that’s just the beginning. Now you have to dress it. Easy you say………Well yes, to a degree it is. But consider this…….The way you dress and appoint your bed will determine how well it blends with the rest of your bedroom furniture. You don’t want your [...]

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September 6th, 2012
Campaign Bed

1800′s Antique Iron Military Quartermaster Beds, also known as “campaign beds“, opposed to many beliefs that these were just simple twin size iron beds, were used by military officers in the field. They were popular because of their ability to be disassembled and carted to a new location without much effort. Yet the enlisted “grunts”, [...]

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September 5th, 2012
Broken Side Rail

Although I’ve posted more than one reference to the use of unnecessary force in assembling iron beds………it continues to be one of the major requests I get from people over my website on what to do “after” the damage has been done. Take a moment to read this so that “damage” doesn’t happen to your [...]

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September 5th, 2012
iron bed rails

What do you do if your antique iron bed doesn’t have a pair of side rails ….. or the set that came with it doesn’t fit? Usually I’d tell an inquiry with such a dilemma that their goose is cooked. But in fact, you do have a couple of options open to you. Ebay has [...]

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September 3rd, 2012
D.True #1

Many of the initial conversations I have with my customers involve their “likes” and  ”dislikes”, regarding the style of iron beds. I usually ask if the like the straighter line more Austere styles or are they more looking for something with more curves and fluid designs. That question usually prompts one of two responses…….almost universally. [...]

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August 27th, 2012
Bed#5880

So what is it that really elevates the value of an antique iron bed? Above all else……… it’s “rarity”. The fewer times I’ve seen a bed means it was probably not a practical design to continue to produce. That’s even the case with manufacturers of reproductions today. Their main concern is the bottom line and [...]

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August 27th, 2012
755 $585.

I’m often asked why  some style iron beds are more plentiful than others? Sounds like a simple enough question, and should have a rather uncomplicated answer………. not the case. There are a couple of things that can effect how prolific one particular style bed is. One of those things is the size of the foundry [...]

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August 26th, 2012
Picture 1

Few iron beds, I’ve had in the past 40 years,  have ever gotten the response that this one did after being used in a photo shoot with Halle Berry in People Magazine. We had always referred to that bed as the “Peacock” bed because of the similar shape and style of a peacocks feathers and [...]

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August 19th, 2012
Multiple Layers

How is it that original old antique iron beds often have as many as a dozen or more layers of paint on them? In the early 1800′s iron beds came from the manufacturer with a good strong coating of lead base paint. As the bed went through normal use, after a few years, it would [...]

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August 15th, 2012
Picture 1

The beginning of a large iron and steel industry in the Chicago region during the nineteenth century was a function of entrepreneurial effort and a geographical advantage. Mills could obtain raw materials from the vast iron ore deposits in the Lake Superior region relatively cheaply and easily. Because most of the iron ore used by [...]

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August 14th, 2012
Picture 1

What are the pro’s and cons of using an interior designer ?The profession of Interior Design is relatively new, constantly evolving, and often confusing to the public. The best way to know if you should be using a interior designer for any of your decorating needs is first to ask yourself what will they be [...]

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July 30th, 2012
Picture 1

Over the years we have continued to sell more and more antique iron beds to our neighbors to the north, Canada. You’d think those sales would have increased because of word of mouth, or the ones we shipped having been seen by friends or family members. Although we’ve been very fortunate to have always turned [...]

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July 15th, 2012
Shepherds Bed

Few antique iron beds you’ll ever come across will have such a unique corner casting and design. This bed has always been referred to as the “Shepherds Staff”, for obvious reasons. We came across this bed in the Chicago area where  foundries were nearly as plentiful as those in the Pittsburgh Pa area, back in [...]

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July 13th, 2012
Matching Twin Canopies

Up until recently most interior designers have used “reproduction” iron beds for all their bedroom design needs. Why? Rather simple answer….it was easier and “reproductions” offered todays larger sizes, that weren’t available back in the 1800′s. It was quite easy to go “on-line” and look up any number of companies that produced reproductions and order [...]

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July 12th, 2012
Jamie Gertz

It was the traditional bed for that period. Yes there were wooden headboards. But the majority of the population slept on iron beds. What made them so popular were a number of contributing factor’s. The first few were practical ones…….they elevated the person sleeping in the away from the drafts that were close to the [...]

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July 12th, 2012
Fancy Enough

The biggest problem over the years has been replenishing my inventory at the rate that they’ve been selling. One of the reasons there are an abundance of reproduction companies making “pretend” iron beds……..and I stress “pretend”, is that there really aren’t enough around anymore to satisfy the demand. That’s always the reason you’ll encounter “reproductions” [...]

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July 10th, 2012
Ext.Hm#1

Few projects I’ve been involved in, with regards to iron beds, have been as fulfilling as this bed that we did for a very deserving couple on the TV show Extreme Home Makeover. It was just one of many beds we’ve done over the years for the popular TV series.Art Nouveau, Victorian Our original connection [...]

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July 8th, 2012
Picture 13

Outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…….Chicago has probably more historic background as it relates to iron beds in Chicago back in the 1800′s than any city west of the Mississippi. There were numerous steel mills and steel producing factories in Chicago back in the 1800′s. So getting the materials that small independently owned foundries needed to build [...]

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July 8th, 2012
Picture 9

What is it that makes Miami one of the largest iron bed markets in the United States. Well first of all “good taste”……… secondly the amount of people from the Manhattan area, or largest market, that decide to retire and move to sunny Florida. There comes a point as we grow older that we ask [...]

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July 8th, 2012
Picture 1

Mid way through the 1800′s the California Gold Rush helped put San Francisco on the map. News of streets paved in gold quickly spread back east and everyone looking for a piece of the American dream started migrating west. Starting in 1848 the Gold Rush led to a large boom in population, including considerable immigration. Between [...]

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July 5th, 2012
Picture 5

You want to be as romantic as possible for Valentines Day for your wife, girlfriend, husband, boyfriend or significant other, you want to let them know  just how unique they really are to you. There’s a pretty good likelihood, with the economy the way it is, a five carat diamond from Tiffany’s or a new [...]

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July 4th, 2012
Picture 2

In the mid 1800′s there were four different railroads converging from all directions, establishing Atlanta’s growth. That early growth snowballed into the economic force Atlanta has become today. Large corporations have moved their home offices there and Atlanta experiences the foreign trade routes an connections few other cities in this country have. The Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta [...]

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July 3rd, 2012
Picture 2

Over the past 40 years of being in the business of antique iron beds,  the Dallas / Fort Worth area has generated more consistent growth in their interest for antiques such as iron beds, than any other city in the nation. Why????? When something continues to grow, such as the sales of antiques in a [...]

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July 2nd, 2012
Cleaning Old Finish

Quite often we’re asked to create a Shabby Chic distressed “finish” on our iron beds. But what many people don’t realize is that the “finish” they’re trying to create is hidden underneath the years of yellowing white paint and rust. So what’s the best way to find that fresh Shabby Chic finish on your antique [...]

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July 1st, 2012
Picture 6

The first thing to remember is that your bed isn’t a mirror that needs to be bubble wrapped with Styrofoam peanut’s. It’s thick wall steel tubing and heavy cast iron castings. But……with that being said, there is a degree of fragility to it that needs to be taken into account. Unless you’re shipping your bed with [...]

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July 1st, 2012
Picture 5

Have you ever gotten a chance to see Mardi Gras’?……… you’ll know there is a very distinctive design to the homes and hotels throughout New Orleans. Some more conservative interior designers might describe it as “Gaudy Victorian”………. It has a definite French influence because of it’s historic past and the French that settled in Louisiana after [...]

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July 1st, 2012
Picture 4

When it comes to architectural indigenous themes of design, this country has but one…….the log cabin. They were usually smaller single story buildings made of logs located conveniently at the sight the cabin was built on. This was the chosen an best permanent structure westward bound settlers had. Because the west had yet to be settled [...]

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July 1st, 2012
Picture 3

What could be the best and most foolproof way of investing your money? More and more people are combining their love and appreciation for antique’s and remodeling the past with their practical side for investing. Few things have the security of real estate…….. certainly not the stock market or mutual funds……as we’ve all learned the [...]

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July 1st, 2012
French Country

If you’re looking for one of the more relaxed interior design style, look no further than Country French.  Formality is out the door when it comes to Country French. Whereas French Provincial is completely reverse, with it’s foundation firmly recognized by it’s formality. The beauty of Country French is it’s nearly whimsical treatment of other [...]

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June 30th, 2012
Picture 3

What is it that should decide if an antique should or shouldn’t be refinished? One answer…….. You ! It really should come down to your own particular taste and the setting the piece is going into. Other identifying factors should involve, first and foremost the structural integrity of your piece and if it might need to [...]

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June 19th, 2012
Cottage

To recognize best how to decorate with Cottage style it helps to comprehend the focus should always be toward designing for comfort and relaxation. Pretense and formality are sometimes the mainstay of other design styles. But Cottage style couldn’t be farther away from them. The name cottage originated in medieval times for the modest one story [...]

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June 19th, 2012
Cape Cod  Bedroom

Originating from the quaint beach cottages that were designed in the mid 1800′s along the easternmost portion of the state of Massachusetts, known as Cape Cod, Cape Cod style and design has become one of the most well-known in design history. Even though the area it originated from is one of the biggest barrier islands in the world, shielding much [...]

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June 18th, 2012
Picture 1

Although not always, thinner rod or gauge tubing usually lighter in weight and not as secure and rigid as those beds with larger tubing of 1″ or greater in diameter. When referring to thinner gauge iron beds, it has to do more with the top of the head and footboard of the bed……the rod or [...]

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June 17th, 2012
google11

Its a very rare exception that you’ll hear of a successful web based business that doesn’t have great organic indexing or PPC placement. That’s why the plethora of SEO ( search engine optimization) companies that make their living from helping web based businesses  are so popular. But if you are a web based business that [...]

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June 15th, 2012
Pop

It’s almost Fathers Day, and you’ve yet to decide what to get one of the most important and possibly influencial people in your life. As is the situation with any gift giving occasion, what we give shows how much we care about the person we’re offering the gift to. No……it doesn’t have to be pricey. [...]

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June 14th, 2012
Texas_20Logo

For nearly forty years the “Big Apple” has been my largest market. I’ve always felt it had a lot to do with the smaller size bedrooms that many of the apartments in New York have. But in fact, many of my beds either went in to rather sizable units with large bedrooms, or homes that [...]

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June 7th, 2012
Canopy Conversions

I am constantly getting requests from people looking for matching twin size iron beds. As you may know from reading some of my other blog’s, twins were not made in the same quantities as double sizes were. The reasons were varied…….but that’s another whole story. Suffice to say, over the past 40 to 50 years [...]

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June 6th, 2012
tumblr_lbd12y7oyx1qbb5axo1_500

What is the best way to pack and ship your antique iron bed. The first thing to remember is that your bed isn’t a mirror that needs to be bubble wrapped with  Styrofoam peanut’s. It’s thick wall steel tubing and heavy cast iron castings. But……with that being said, there is a degree of fragility to [...]

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May 31st, 2012
Picture 7

The iron bed in this photo was covered with layer upon layer of old lead base paint before it was sandblasted and readied for restoration and paint. It’s often difficult, if not impossible to really see what detailing is under all the 150 to 200 years of paint, until they are sandblasted off. The beauty [...]

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May 30th, 2012
Picture 8

There are few castings , seen on antique iron beds, which have a definitive meaning as that of the “Cornucopia”. It is rich in meaning dating back to medieval times.  The dictionary describes a “cornucopia” as a goats horn that is overflowing with abundance. That abundance is symbolized  with fresh flowers, fruits and corn. Another [...]

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May 23rd, 2012
staright canopy conversion

When it comes to converting our antique iron beds to canopy, there is often a fair amount of confusion on which type of canopy will look best with which type of bed frame. It’s a commonly held opinion that a head and foot board with a straight line top. should automatically have a straight canopy [...]

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May 17th, 2012
318170_457054204309089_100000135411481_1943144_783927033_n

Many people just aren’t aware of the proper way antique iron beds should be dressed. If the truth be told………there really is no proper way. Much of how a person dresses their bed depends on two things…….. The gender they’d like it to portray  and the setting they want it to blend with. As you [...]

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May 8th, 2012
iron bed picture

Over the years I’ve sold well over a hundred iron beds that different manufacturers have ended up reproducing. Sometimes that reproducing occurred here in this country. But most often it took place in China, Taiwan or Spain. All centers of low price labor. But few beds have ever experienced the popularity as the one in [...]

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May 2nd, 2012
iron bed - headboard height

So you’ve found a beautiful old antique iron bed, gotten home and set it up in your bedroom only to find that once you get your big thick “pillow top” mattress and large square European Pillow Shams…….your headboard is pretty much hidden. What are your options? The first possibility is to have the headboard raised [...]

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May 1st, 2012
iron bed - dog

Over the years, I’ve had more customers request certain alterations to their iron beds than you can imagine. Most of the time it was to have their beds lowered so a small dog could get into the bed. As you’re probably aware, the rail system on  antique iron beds is about 13″ off the ground. [...]

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April 29th, 2012
mirrored iron beds

Back in the early to mid 1800′s the British made a lot of iron beds that incorporated the use of round “mirror medallions”. Originally thought to have no more than a decorative purpose behind them, it was learned that merry old England was fraught with superstition and the belief in the occult. It is a [...]

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April 27th, 2012
iron bed /sandcast molds

So what is “casting with sand”? Especially when it relates to antique iron beds. It’s a process whereby a mold is taken of an object , by building a box around the solid object  and then packing a dense  mud sand mixture into the box that forms around the solid object. On beds this has [...]

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April 23rd, 2012
iron bed / flowers

Back in the late 1700′s and early 1800′s, Europe was going full bore in their production of iron beds. We picked up the calling in the early 1800′s and far eclipsed any of the beds Europe was making. There were a few distinctions that set our beds apart from those beds being made throughout Europe [...]

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April 21st, 2012
iron bed - sandblasting

I’ve lost track of the countless times a prospective customer has said to me, after I’ve showed them the custom antique faux’ finishes we specialize in, ” oh…. I’d only want an iron bed in it’s original condition”. First of all it automatically lets me know what little this person really knows about the restoration [...]

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April 20th, 2012
iron beds -China-Flag

“Dumping” refers to the practice of a nation or group flooding a market with less than fair-value products in an unfair effort to dominate that market. This is what happened to the iron bed market in this country about 7 years ago. Prior to this time there were a number of good quality manufacturers in [...]

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April 20th, 2012
iron beds/Dick Clark

Very few people have had as much of a hand at exposing generation upon generation to the world or Rock & Roll Music. Dick Clark enabled a young generation to see the music they loved, no just listen to it on the radio. His American Bandstand launched the careers of individuals and groups alike that [...]

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April 20th, 2012
iron bed /Log Cabin

I usually don’t go too far afield from iron beds in the majority of my blogging. And if you take into consideration that there actually is an bed in this “log cabin” on wheels, then I guess I’m still on track. I just couldn’t pass up sharing this particular photo a client emailed me last [...]

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April 19th, 2012
Iron Bed Sizes

When it comes to iron beds that were being made back in the 1800′s, there were 5 specific size categories. Yet even within those five categories  beds could vary in width quite a bit, especially in the Twin Size category. The five different categories of beds were: Crib Size : These usually were very close [...]

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April 9th, 2012
iron bed / Rusty Iron Distressed Crackle

For people looking for a really old distressed finish for their iron bed, let me suggest our Rusty Iron Distressed Crackle Finish. Although this is one of the more labor intensive antique faux’ finishes that we do on the beds we sell, it offers one of the more distressed looks we offer. I should let [...]

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April 9th, 2012
iron bed / daybed w/ back

This country was not known for their iron daybeds. Daybeds were something the Europeans did more of. In this country we did more regular twin size  beds. So when someone wants an iron daybed with and American made  bed, we take a twin size and cut the head down to the height of he footboard. [...]

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April 9th, 2012
iron bed / pin rails

I’d say close to 85% of all the iron beds that were being made in the 1800′s used side rails that had a conical shape on the end much like that of an ice cream cone. They would drop down in to the reverse image that had been cast around the  beds side tubing. Although [...]

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April 9th, 2012
iron bed / Bunkie Board Example

As you’re all probably aware, iron beds elevate the mattress and box spring off the ground an average of 8″ higher than a conventional modern bed frame. There were a number of reasons people back in the 1800′s choose to elevate their mattresses so high. They were certainly not for aesthetics ……… but instead were [...]

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April 8th, 2012
iron bed tubing size JPEG

There are a number of different size iron bed tubing sizes. The two beds in this photo are the most prominent. They are the most traditional 1″ diameter thick wall tubing, the blue one, and the 2″ diameter thick wall tubing. The 1″ tubing was used on probably as much as 80% of all the [...]

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April 7th, 2012
iron bed - Queen Con.

99% of the queen conversions we do on our iron beds here at Cathouse are simple length conversions. As you may have read in a previous blog, the width difference between the antique double size  bed, which was the largest size they made back in the 1800′s, and today’s modern queen, is only a couple [...]

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April 6th, 2012
Sierra Exif JPEG

This is one of the rarest twin size iron beds I’ve ever come across. It has large “Rams” head castings on the four corners. It’s easily the heaviest twin size bed I’ve ever encountered. That is due to the size and number of castings. Usually twin size  beds are much more delicate and feminine. This [...]

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April 6th, 2012
iron bed - finishes

Here is a photo of a slight adjustment we did to an iron bed finish we did for a client. We have made a habit of emailing our clients what we refer to as “final approval” photo’s, before we ship their bed. Because all of our antique “finishes” are hand applied to our  beds, there [...]

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April 5th, 2012
iron bed - Wedding Ring King

Problematic Conversions……No Problem!!!!!Why? Because the largest size iron bed being made back in the 1800′s was a double/full size. Back then there were no queen or king sizes. So to accommodate those individuals with either a queen or king size mattress, it’s necessary to have us convert it. The conversion process our beds go through [...]

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April 2nd, 2012
Iron BedBlack Smyth

Actually a variation of Black. Regular Black can be a very dull lifeless color for anything, especially an iron bed or large piece of furniture.  Yet with a few simple “tweak’s”, an otherwise lifeless color can come to life and have a rich organic look to it. Here are the steps that go into our [...]

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March 31st, 2012
iron bed - crackle finish

One of the more popular custom antique faux’ finishes we do on our iron beds is the “Distressed Crackle” finish. It came about as a result of the response I continually got from my customers that would see old beds I’d get in, that had 150 to 200 years of paint that had crackle and [...]

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March 31st, 2012
Iron Bed Corner Castings

Nearly 50% or more of all iron beds made back in the 1800′s had corner castings or “finials”. These are the decorative castings on the top of the corner of the head and foot board. They are as diverse in their style as the beds they go on. So what can be determined from corner [...]

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March 30th, 2012
iron bed

One of the more enjoyable things about being in the antique iron bed business over the past 40 years, is having been able to see countless beds be “re-born”, in the refinishing process, after a “storied” past of close to 200 years. It really is like the rebirth of an old piece of furniture that [...]

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March 29th, 2012
iron bed

What comes to mind when you hear the word iron bed. It can be as varied as those from the same Rorschach ink blot. Some people, mostly men, believe iron beds are pure femininity…….there’s nothing masculine about them. Other people feel they embody the Victorian romantic era and still others feel they were purely beds [...]

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March 26th, 2012
iron bed - portrait panel

I’ve done numerous blogs in the past about “art display panel beds”. Many of them  were actually made by a foundry/manufacturer in Chicago called the “Art Bed Co.”  These particular beds had flat metal panels that served as canvases for different floral bouquet’s, pastoral scenes,  or even abstract Victorian designs. But there were a select few [...]

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March 25th, 2012
iron bed - cleaned & sealed

Most all of the  beds I sell, our customers have me put on an authentic antique finish. Because all our beds are original old antique iron beds…..not reproductions, our customers want to make sure the finish reflects their age and authenticity  . That’s why we have so many old antique faux’ finishes in our repertoire. [...]

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March 25th, 2012
iron bed - conversion

As most of you know…the largest size iron bed being made back in the 1800′s, was a double size. So when someone wants a larger size, and still wants to use an antique iron bed, it becomes necessary to convert that original double size in one of a couple  different ways. When converting your bed [...]

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March 24th, 2012
iron bed - duplicates

Having been in the iron bed business for close to 40 years, I’ve seen most beds more than once. I have albums upon albums of different bed styles I’ve come across over that period. But it always amazes me when I get a bed in that I’ve had in the past that looks so uniquely [...]

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March 22nd, 2012
iron bed - simple elegant

Most people think of antique iron beds in one of two ways…….either ultra fancy and scrolled or plain and Austere. Although many of them do fall within those style parameters , there are many that have a subtle yet elegant understated look……..as is the case with the bed in this photo. True……there are many simple [...]

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March 20th, 2012
iron bed - pagoda

In the past forty years, I’ve never encountered a more prolific iron bed than that of the “Pagoda” . It’s name comes from the corner casting that resembles a oriental Pagoda. Coupled with Victorian scrolls, it’s a bed I’ve seen copied by at least half a dozen different foundries. Back in the 1800′s small independent [...]

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March 18th, 2012
iron bed- brass

Close to 40 years ago I started buying and selling antique brass beds. It was purely a part time hobby that turned in to a career I’ve been doing the better part of my life. Although I now specialize in iron beds from the same period of time in the 1800′s. I started in brass [...]

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March 17th, 2012
iron bed - campaign #1

One of the most utilitarian iron beds ever made was the “campaign bed”. “Campaign’s”  derivation comes from a series of military operations intended to achieve a particular objective, confined to a particular area, or involving a specified type of fighting, an organized course of action to achieve a particular goal. These “campaigns” as they were [...]

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March 13th, 2012
Iron Bed #14

Yellow is sunshine. It is a warm color that, like red, has conflicting symbolism. On the one hand it denotes happiness and joy. but on the other hand yellow is the color of cowardice and deceit. Yellow is one of the more popular colors being used on iron beds back in the 1800′s. Because of the high visibility [...]

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March 8th, 2012
iron bed -four poster

This was not a new idea – the Romans used beds, which they could fold and carry easily – but for some unknown reason the fashion never caught on until the 1851 Great Exhibition. A’ French’ double iron bed from Birmingham was selling at the rate of 400 per week in 1849,  and shot up [...]

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March 4th, 2012
Iron Bed - Transition

In history, there was a definite “transition period” where the design of iron beds changed radically from the ornate, detailed castings, and scrolled Victorian lines…….. to a much more “stream-lined” less decorative. Three of the more distinct “innovations” to help usher in the Industrial Revolution, and that were closely linked to it, were Textiles and [...]

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March 1st, 2012
iron bed floralsJPG

The use of the symbolic meaning of flowers on iron beds and particularly in their detailed castings to represent emotions was developed to a high degree during Victorian times. Due to the strict protocol of the times, emotions, wishes and thoughts were not openly expressed between men and women. Instead, subtle things like bed designs [...]

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February 27th, 2012
iron beds & Oscar

Over the years I have been very fortunate, largely because of where we are locate, to have come in contact with quite a few people in the entertainment industry. In that period of time we have sold iron beds to more celebrities than I can remember. The fun thing about watching the Oscars is seeing [...]

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February 26th, 2012
iron beds

Over the years I have found more of my beds appear on Yahoo than I could have possibly believed . It amazes me where the photo’s come from or how they get indexed. But every time I do a random “search” for iron beds or antique iron beds, I find photo’s of beds I’ve done [...]

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February 24th, 2012
Iron bed -King Conv Steps

Where do we start when it comes to converting an antique iron bed from it’s original double size to a   bed with today’s modern king size dimensions? Well we first start with an iron bed that has good king conversion potential. What does that mean? A  bed should have the design symmetry that when [...]

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February 10th, 2012
iron bed#104

For the longest time the most requested style of iron beds I received was for Scrolled Victorian. That was for close to 30 years. For the past three to five years the most requested styles have been Austere/ Craftsman style. So why all of  a sudden have peoples taste in antique iron beds styles changed? [...]

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February 8th, 2012
iron bed - Twin Heart

Most people are aware that Pineapples carry the connotation of “welcome” and “friendship”. Over the years I’ve had numerous antique iron beds that had Pineapple castings on them in some shape or form. Some more subtle than others and then some much more obvious and pronounced. Their symbolism started in the Hawaiian Islands and is [...]

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February 6th, 2012
new-york-skyline

Why Manhattan? What would make this city the consistently largest antique iron bed market in the nation. Is the sophisticated tastes of its people? Or is there a much more practical reason behind the “iron bed” capital of the world. For close to 40 years I’ve been selling New York designers beds in record numbers [...]

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February 6th, 2012
iron beds - Heart #8

Although Valentines Day comes but once a year. The recurring theme seems to have been something iron beds presented throughout the 1800′s. “Heart” shaped designs were extremely popular. Over the years I’ve lost track of the variety and number of beds that I’ve had. Some were extremely elaborate and fancy and others were quite sedate [...]

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February 2nd, 2012
iron bed A

I’ve been in the antique iron bed business for close to 40 years. I’ve never lost the excitement I get at finding unique ones that I’ve never seen before . The longer I’m in the business I realize how many incredible designs must have been made for someone like me, who has seen and sold [...]

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January 30th, 2012
iron bed /King Sketch Bed #26

So is there a right way and a wrong way to convert your antique iron bed to a king size? Yes and no………. Some iron beds lend themselves to a very common sense enlargement to a modern king size. Others have numerous possibilities, some far better than others. Here are two perfect examples. A Fort [...]

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January 26th, 2012
iron bed

Since the Pilgrims stepped off the Mayflower, man had to come up with a way to elevate himself off the ground when he slept. The easiest way to do that in a world that had yet to be settled or cleared was with wood. Wooden bed frames were also what was being used in Europe [...]

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January 23rd, 2012
Iron bed-Craftsman King Conversion

We convert nearly a third of all the iron beds I sell to the modern king size from the original old double size. Craftsman style beds have become more and more popular and are now exceeding the requests we get for the fancier scrolled Victorian styles. One of the nicer elements about converting a straighter [...]

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January 21st, 2012
Pink Deco Iron Bed

After identifying what style bed your child wants, you’re now going to have to  come to a decision  on the size. This will be determined by a couple of factors. The most important one being the apparent size of their room…..can your child’s room handle any size bed you’d like them to have or because [...]

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January 20th, 2012
history

Genuine antique iron bed frames possess something which no recently produced piece of furniture can offer…. character and a past. From the days when Lincoln was in office and Billy the Kid roamed the wild west, to when two brothers called Wilbur and Orville took to the skies at Kitty Hawk, and when Chief executive [...]

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January 19th, 2012
iron bed #2

As you may already know, the largest size iron beds being made back in the early 1800′s was a double size . So when someone wants a king size , we convert whatever original double size bed they select from our inventory into a king size. That’s done by cutting the bed apart in integral [...]

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January 19th, 2012
iron bed #4

What separates  mediocre iron beds from a top level ones………….”castings”. Castings are the foundries way of showing their designers true artistic talents. Over the years I’ve come across beds that had some of the more detailed and unique castings you could imagine. In the photo’s I’ve attached to this Blog, you’ll see but a few [...]

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January 15th, 2012
iron bed remodeling

When most people think of remodeling they rarely think of redecorating also. But one sort goes hand in hand with the other. You’re usually removing old surrounds and replacing them with newer ones. You’d think that should follow suite for the same furniture items that have been around for almost the same period of time. [...]

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January 15th, 2012
Iron Beds

We people don’t always associate American style with iron beds. One of the main reasons is that when people initially think of them they think of England and the Victorian Era. It’s because our history in this country was still at it’s infancy when England’s had already been going strong for some 1500 years. But, [...]

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January 14th, 2012
iron bed -Deco KIng Conversion

Art deco or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and jewelry, as well as the visual arts such as [...]

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January 12th, 2012
iron bed / florals and castings

There are a number of ways that a person could consider art to be involved in antique iron beds. But there are two ways that stand out probably more than others. One would be the iron beds from the mid to late 1800′s that were referred to as “art panel” beds. These beds specifically had [...]

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January 11th, 2012
iron bed / Canopy

There are very few things that you can do to an iron bed that will make it look more impressive than a canopy conversion. Even the simplest  bed can take on a whole new personality with a tall canopy and billowy flouncy curtains. Is a canopy conversion a difficult thing ? Yes and no. If [...]

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January 9th, 2012
iron bed / Crib

I often asked myself why I sold more of our iron beds to people in Manhattan, than any other city in the country. Was it because it’s one of the biggest cities and obviously the size of the population……no because it that were the case, my home of Los Angeles would be my largest market. [...]

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January 8th, 2012
iron bed - daughters bedroom

When designing your child’s room, your first focus should be on their bed. It’s called a “bedroom” for a very good reason. Everything after the bed selection and placement is secondary and should be worked around this key element. Figuring out~Identifying~Determining} what style bed is something you could possibly want to include  your son or [...]

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January 8th, 2012
iron bed -swap meet

So you’ve noticed your friends collecting things at swap meets and on-line sights and can’t quite fully grasp what the big deal is. Your thought is why would anyone want to collect the things that they do. Well it’s just like buying a pair of shoes…….if we all like the same taste, there wouldn’t be [...]

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January 7th, 2012
iron bed - Lace

What better way to dress iron beds than with the same thing that was popular when it was originally made close to 200 years ago……..Victorian Lace. Perhaps the most popular period for beds, came at the same time of  Victorian Lace use  throughout the mid to late 19th century, during the Victorian Era. This period [...]

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January 6th, 2012
Iron Bed-Green House

I’m always amazed where I see and how I see people using iron beds. In this photo a good friend sent me, you’ll see a green house that for some strange reason the owner decided to fence in with old beds. Not really sure why………but then if a person doesn’t have a real appreciation for [...]

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January 4th, 2012
iron bed - appraisals

One of my favorite emails to open every day are the many photo’s people from all over the country send me of their iron beds. Some are simply looking for whatever they can learn about the origin of their  beds and others are looking for more of an appraisal. Appraising a bed can be very [...]

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January 2nd, 2012
iron beds/aluminum

You may not be aware of the fact that there are no manufacturers making iron beds today out of iron. All reproductions being made today are using aluminum to pour their castings. Why you ask…… The answer is three fold. First: Aluminum is the third most abundant element (after oxygen and silicon), and the most [...]

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January 2nd, 2012
iron bed-new-years

Every year I set down around this time to take stock in the iron bed market and what’s to be expected in the upcoming year. As is always the case, I make mention of the depleted supply of beds that seem to be showing up. It stands to reason…..there were a finite number that were [...]

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January 1st, 2012
iron bed /Sleepover

It’s more a right of passage for a parent than even your child……the infamous “Sleepover”. Sounds easy enough. How could one or two friends be that hard to accommodate? Well I have a 16 year old and a 21 year old. When they were much younger, lets say 5, 6 or 7 , sleepovers were [...]

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January 1st, 2012
ironbed6

Get ready for it……. because it’s coming. I have two grown daughters and I can recall, like it was yesterday, when they came to me and said “Daddy…. I want a “Big Girl Bed”. I knew precisely what they wanted. But being a parent, is asking the questions that you already know the answers to. [...]

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December 31st, 2011
iron bed - dreams

Dreams are our subconscious trying to communicate with us. I can remember as a child, there were certain places that I was more prone to dream in than others. One of those places was and antique iron bed at my grandmothers house in Central Pennsylvania. No matter when I went to visit, I always stayed [...]

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December 31st, 2011
iron beds - gifts

So you’ve got yourself into a bit of a pickle. It’s the day before Christmas or the day of your best friends birthday and time just hasn’t been on your side in finding that particular someone a gift. No problem ……. take a deep breath, relax and know that the day after whatever event it [...]

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December 31st, 2011
iron beds - Globalization1

If you’ve ever sold, produced, or represented a product or service built in this country you’ve at one time or another been confronted with competitors from foreign markets. It’s a cold reality that can’t be ignored. Is competition from foreign markets ever good? Well on a whole competition is extremely good……that’s when the playing field [...]

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December 29th, 2011
mirrored medallions

Have you ever seen an antique iron bed that had small round mirrored medallions on it? There aren’t an abundance of them laying around. But they were made and had strong popularity throughout England and Europe back in the Victorian Era. The are a few things that distinguish British beds from American made iron beds. [...]

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December 28th, 2011
Iron Bed-Silver Wash Steps

Over the years one of our popular  custom finishes has been our Black Silver Wash. But recently we’ve had a number of requests for a lighter look, incorporating a  Silver finish. Iron beds are beautifully adaptable into any setting with the proper finish. Some surroundings won’t accommodate a darker Black Silver Wash. Rooms that can’t [...]

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December 27th, 2011
iron bed-twin size

Twin size iron beds have been around since the late 19th century when they were hand made by craftsmen and artisans who would hand pour the iron and then polish detailed castings. Then finishes were hand applied to these twin size beds. Until World War I, they were manufactured by hand in American foundries on [...]

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December 27th, 2011
iron bed - Four Poster Conversion Example

One of the more popular conversions we’re asked to make on our iron beds is a “four poster” conversion. Some confuse this with a “canopy conversion” which has much tall posts that connect at the top with four horizontal poles. Four poster beds have always been very popular and the majority of the ones made [...]

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December 26th, 2011
iron bed/ Christmas Casting

It never ceases to amaze me the variety of castings there were on iron beds back in the 1800′s. But during this holiday season I thought it most appropriate to share one that isn’t readily seen. It came in on a beautiful antique iron bed I’d bought back in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania. It’s [...]

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December 25th, 2011
iron bed/Bunk Bed

You rarely ever come across  antique iron beds that were used as a bunk beds in the 1800′s. Iron beds were at their zenith back in the 1800′s. The military found them to be the most practical form of bed  for large groups of service people. They were easily assembled and disassembled. The iron bunk [...]

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December 23rd, 2011
iron bed/Christmas

Having been in the bed business for over forty years. It never ceases to amaze me the buying trends we go in and out of each year. Traditionally, iron beds are not big sellers at the holidays. My sales would usually start kicking in the first couple of weeks in January. People get through the [...]

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December 19th, 2011
iron beds /Victorian

Victorian iron beds were a place of rest and relaxation. For the Victorian Era, they were a place of romance and style. The Victorians were well known for their romantic gestures, including love letters, poems and embellished cards. A shadowbox can highlight a lace paper background and the rich embellishments of a card such as [...]

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December 18th, 2011
iron bed /Gender

The popular opinion about an iron beds adaptability and gender usually is thought to be determined by the beautiful curves or feminine design. Although that can certainly catch the eye and help you feel a bed will look better in a feminine room as oppose to a bachelors pad. It’s certainly not the only thing [...]

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December 17th, 2011
W+New+York+Interior+design+by+BBG-BBGM+07

Well if it is , it will probably surprise you to know that New York City, in particular , has been the largest and most popular market for my iron beds for over 30 years. I’ve been selling beds for over 40 years. But only got into shipping them within the past 30 years. Over [...]

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December 16th, 2011
sleeping_porch

How many of you are old enough to remember Grandmas sleeping porch and the old antique iron beds she had on them? Well if you get into certain areas of the east, you’ll still see iron beds that haven’t moved an inch off those porches in the past 150 years. Sleeping porches provided a couple [...]

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December 16th, 2011
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December 16th, 2011
iron bed /white on white

As I’ve mentioned in the past, a large group of people have always had a preconceived idea that iron beds are, were and should be,  white.  Well that couldn’t be farther from the truth. When they were being produced back in the 1800′s, the small independent foundries that were producing them had a wider array [...]

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December 15th, 2011
(Sunset) - Wallpapers4Desktop.com 003

Ever had someone you always loved talking to. Someone that was always so positive that you’d call them on bad days just to hear their was……that was Jake. I had the good fortune to have met Jake through a woman I’d fallen in love with when I first came to California back in 1975. They’d [...]

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December 14th, 2011
Iron Bed for Holiday #2

It’s always nice when we come across a previously unseen photo of an  bed we provided for a movie. Thank you to my customer for forwarding this photo of the  bed we did for the movie “The Holiday” with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black. I actually had a close up of [...]

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December 13th, 2011
iron bed king conversion

It takes far more than a knuckle dragging welder to convert an antique iron bed to accommodate a modern king size mattress. The easier  conversions are straight line Austere iron beds that don’t require any subtle bends to be welded into the width,and only have straight tubing. But the beds that require finesse in the [...]

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December 11th, 2011
iron bed Matching Twins

Extremely rare today and a luxury back in the 1800′s, matching twin iron beds are few and far between. Why would matching twin  beds be so rare today. Simple……there were far fewer of them made than any other  beds being made. So why were there far fewer being made? Again…simple……few people had the luxury of [...]

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December 11th, 2011
iron daybed

The utilitarian function of iron beds is at it’s best with daybeds that were being made back in the 1800′s. Although quite rare in fact, iron daybed’s provided the owner, back in the 1800′s, with the same practical uses they provide us with today. One of the main reasons for iron daybed popularity is the [...]

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December 11th, 2011
iron bed-Railroad Car Canopy Bed

Are canopy iron beds better in one particular setting  than another.  Not hardly. As is seen in these two photo’s one canopy bed is covered with curtains, while the other  bed is just bare poles and canopy rods. As you can easily see…..both look great. Can you guess where the  bed is with the curtains? [...]

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December 11th, 2011
iron bed hint

Sometimes, as is the case in this photo, all that is needed is the hint of an iron bed to achieve the desired effect. Most people think a  bed needs to be big and bold to have any effect……… couldn’t be farther from the truth. Although we actually raise the headboard on over 50 % [...]

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December 10th, 2011
iron bed

Many people feel as though it’s necessary to select antique iron beds that are all scrolled and fancy. Well if that’s were your taste falls and the setting delegates such a design…… that’s fine. But the collectability of an iron beds isn’t  totally determined by curves, scrolls and “fancy”. As can be seen from this [...]

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December 5th, 2011
iron bed casting

When I got the bed I had really inspected it until a few days later I was moving some of the iron beds from that particular shipment and I happened to notice it. The casting is of a mythical character I was able to pull up on the web called “Old Man Winter” the drawing [...]

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November 29th, 2011
iron bed - garland

This happens to be a bed we converted to a king size for a client a number of years ago. I’d received photo’s of it after it was set in their home and just saw this picture of it “on-line”. When you think about things to decorate during the holidays, few things are more suited [...]

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November 26th, 2011
iron bed-cemetery

Shoshone Indian cemetery, Wind River Reservation, Fort Washakie, Wyoming. Most remarkable among the graves in this high plains cemetery are those made of old iron bed frames. Many believe that Sacajawea is buried here, though another grave claimed to be hers exists at Fort Manuel in South Dakota. Throughout history, iron beds have used in [...]

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November 26th, 2011
Iron Bed-Master Bedroom #1

You know ……..  the one that instantly turns a new place into my home when it is set up. For me it’s always been my iron bed. As soon as I set it up, I start feeling like I’m in “my place. My iron bed has always given me that secure feeling that’s suppose to [...]

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November 24th, 2011
iron bed-fall_leaves_003

When I lived back east I’d make a point of trying to coordinate one of my buying trips up North with the week the leaves were changing colors. There was a window of about a week when the leaves would change to beautiful  burnt orange and yellow coloring…….. then they would drop for the winter. [...]

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November 22nd, 2011
iron bed-finishes

The absolute most important thing after finally finding a great old iron bed you’re happy with, is to select a custom antique faux’ finish that is really going to bring your  bed to life. One of the more attractive elements to owning an antique  bed is their flexibility in being able to be painted and [...]

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November 21st, 2011
iron bed foundry

“Where do you get your iron beds ?” ……… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked that question and how many ridiculous answers I’ve come up with over the past 40 years. My favorite is…….. “there’s a small town close to Three Mile Island that is a toxic waste dump. Over the [...]

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November 18th, 2011
iron bed /Mattress Sizes

Many people aren’t aware that iron beds that were being made back in the 1800′s were never larger than today’s double/full size. There were no queen or king sizes. But  people were much smaller then and the luxury of space wasn’t a strong necessity. Although 90% of the bed market was made up with full [...]

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November 17th, 2011
iron bed casters

Most antique iron bed casters, are worthless. Why you ask? Because they were made back in the 1800′s with no ball bearings. Iron beds are traditionally very solid and heavy, due to the poured cast iron castings and thick wall tubing that most all beds were being made with. The casters that were being made [...]

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November 17th, 2011
iron bed-Thanksgiving

There are few memories as strong as those spent at Thanksgiving time with my parents. I had moved to the west coast back in 75′, from back in Ocean City Maryland. After finishing school at GW in Washington DC and starting my iron bed business in Georgetown , I decided to move to California and [...]

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November 14th, 2011
iron bed logo

For over thirty years people have been asking me how it is that I had come by the name, Cathouse Antique Iron Beds for my business. Although you wouldn’t think it would take much of an imagination, the true origin is actually pretty funny. While living in Georgetown, Washington D.C., and attending George Washington University, [...]

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November 11th, 2011
iron bed / hitches

It’s hard to believe that the big strong iron beds you see gracing the cover of magazines, continually being used as a focal point in movies and plays…….has an Achilles Heel. Well it’s true. In this photo you’re looking at the cast iron drop-in eyelet “hitch”. What you ask is the functionality of these piece [...]

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November 11th, 2011
iron bed / tropical

One of the first things that comes to mind when you picture a iron bed in the tropics is mosquito netting and an antique canopy bed. Probably because the were light and airy and with a canopy framework, great for draping curtains or netting over. Because of the abundance of flying insects, throughout the tropics, [...]

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November 10th, 2011
iron beds/island

Few images conjure up a romantic setting like that of a canopy iron bed. Even when the iron bed is not an authentic antique iron bed, the setting, canopy top, and way it’s dressed will determine the effect the owner is trying to achieve. Over the years I’ve converted countless iron beds to canopy and [...]

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November 9th, 2011
iron beds/Smokin' Joe

Most all of my blogs have to do in some way shape or form with iron beds. That’s the purpose of company blog……to enlighten people on what your company deals in. In this case iron beds. But I’m departing from that traditional format to pay respect to someone who I grew up watching in he [...]

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November 7th, 2011
iron bed / make-do

Having dealt in antique iron beds for close to 40 years, it always drives me nuts when I see a nicely staged room that has a old bed that is missing pieces. You’d be surprised how many decorators don’t give an incomplete iron bed a second thought. To me it’s as bad as a dresser [...]

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November 7th, 2011
iron bed storage

Although I’ve written blogs on this topic in the past, I always like revisiting it for the benefit of new parents or young people getting their first place. Storage is almost always an issue. Apartments are usually smaller that what you were use to growing up and there’s never enough space for all your clothes, [...]

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November 7th, 2011
iron bed/123

In this particular photo’s the designer/owner has chosen a “Shabby Chic” distressed chip paint setting and included a very Austere bed. Not necessarily the style  bed I would have chosen for this particular setting. Occasionally, if done properly, a room that has been decorated with a very feminine flair, can handle a more straight Austere [...]

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November 4th, 2011
iron bed/twin w/ brass

When refinishing an antique iron bed, there are few things that can “make” or “break” the look of the finished job more than how you treat the brass. Nearly 50% of all the beds that were being produced back in the 1800′s, had some accent of brass on them. This brass was not without a [...]

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October 27th, 2011
ironwork-0453

So what did small independently owned foundries of the 1800′s do when iron bed sales weren’t bringing in the revenue need to keep the doors open for business? Obviously other aligned items that they could make that required similar skills to that of making beautiful beds. One item that had many of the same design [...]

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October 25th, 2011
iron bed-logcabin6

Few specific request have I had more than that for my beds for log cabin settings. Although most log cabins “didn’t” have iron beds in them. The plainer Austere style antique iron beds look beautiful in them. Most people go for the plainer style beds over the scrolled Victorian styles. But the thing that can [...]

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October 24th, 2011
iron bed #614

Here is a fine example of  “soft shoulder” antique iron bed that we converted to a “Crown Canopy”. This one is headed for Australia, to a really nice couple outside of Sydney. Most people believe that only straight line beds are good candidates for canopy conversion. This photo will hopefully dispel that notion. It takes [...]

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October 19th, 2011
iron bed "Hotties"

It never ceases to amaze me where our Cathouse beds will turn up and in what publication or setting they were used in. The antique iron beds in both of these photo’s was an extremely feminine bed. So it really doesn’t surprise me the context of the photo shoot it was used in. What does [...]

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October 18th, 2011
iron bed-tropics

Iron beds have always been a favorite with people in the tropics for a couple of very practical reason. These beds are light and airy, not cumbersome like wooden or upholstered headboards. The tropics are warm and humid and these beds allow the breezes to pass through them. These beds also elevate the mattress from [...]

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October 18th, 2011
iron bed

One of the great things about decorating in a Country Cottage Style is that you can mix and match furnishings, so it’s great for those who are decorating on a budget.  Wood pieces are usually painted in a lighter color and are also distressed, whether due to age or by design. If you scour the [...]

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October 18th, 2011
iron beds JPEG

Although most of my blogs tend to be about antique iron beds and different things that relate to iron beds. This blog has to do more with our children and the memories we’re helping them build around the holidays….. specifically Halloween. So if you tuned in to read something about my beds, check the next [...]

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October 16th, 2011
iron bed

When converting an original old antique iron bed to a modern size, one of the most important things to remember is to maintain the symmetry of that original design. Now this isn’t always easy and occasionally the bed you select is going to look different after the conversion. Be sure and ask for a “proportional [...]

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October 15th, 2011
iron bed

Many of the antique iron beds we’ve converted to king size have been quite simple. They were iron beds that were considered Austere…..Taylored……Craftsman. But when it gets into the Victorian style bed, conversions to king size can take on a whole new level of difficulty. Converting an old bed with nothing but straight lines really [...]

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October 14th, 2011
iron bed/bear

I’ve always been a sucker for a old  “tin type” comedic photos of  animals in  iron beds. It seems to have been a more common theme than you would normally think. Not sure what the use of antique iron beds was intended to convey. But it does work. Our old beds have always been a [...]

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October 14th, 2011
iron bed /deco

Thanks to our customer who sent us this photo of the beautiful Art Deco  bed she got from us. She’s done a beautiful job of dressing it appropriately for the room and Deco theme setting. Take note of the great looking Deco ceiling fixture. She had sent us a photo of the ceiling fixture and [...]

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October 13th, 2011
iron beds/Custom Finish

In the attached photo you’ll see a “Before & After” picture of a casting on an iron bed we refinished for a client that we matched the finish to one of her Restoration Hardware drawer pulls. You can see the drawer pull setting on top of the casting. We love working around our clients specific [...]

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October 12th, 2011
iron beds-gehry_disney

Frank Gehry is one of our countries most preeminent modern architects. Many years ago he purchased a beautiful scrolled Victorian style bed from me. When I realized who he was, I asked him how it was  a person who was on the cutting edge of modern architecture would be buying fancy antique iron beds from [...]

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October 12th, 2011
Halloween

For some strange reason we have had the good fortune to have sold more iron beds in the month of October than any other month in the year…..even December. There’s a good possibility that people that are buying these beds for Christmas presents start the process early to allow themselves plenty of time to have [...]

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October 10th, 2011
iron bed /Anna Faris

It always fun when I go to the movies and see a bed of ours I wasn’t even aware was purchased for the movie. Because of where we’re located, in the Los Angeles area, we sell most of the antique iron beds that end up in feature films, TV shows and commercials. But much of [...]

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October 7th, 2011
iron bed/French Curve

It’s a curvature that the side pole of some antique iron beds make  out beyond the normal dimension of a double size bed. Most true double size iron beds are approx. 53″ wide, give or take a 1/2″ either way. The “French Curve” can make the outer dimension of a standard double, as wide as [...]

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October 7th, 2011
Iron bed_furnace

Man has always chosen to personalize where he lived to feel more emotionally and physically comfortable. From the very first caves we inhabited as human beings we chose to beautify them with cave paintings that depicted the lives that were led in those days. From these really humble origins the art of interior design has [...]

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September 30th, 2011
iron beds / Mattresses

If you’re going to be using a standard double/full size mattress on your double/full size antique iron bed, you’re not going to come across any difficulties at all. Antique double sizes and modern day double sizes are exactly the same. One thing you should know…..old iron beds have side rails that were made particularly for [...]

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September 29th, 2011
iron beds/ pillows

When selecting antique iron beds, it’s a good idea to consider the height of the headboard and the interior design on the headboard.  Lets say you have big beautiful  European square shams. Are they going to hide all the design on the headboard? If so you might want to consider having the headboard on your [...]

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September 27th, 2011
iron beds /houseboats

Quite a few years ago I had a person that was vacationing from San Francsico come into my store in Santa Monica, looking for antique iron beds. She mentioned wanting something that had a design of waves, or something with a fluid design. At the time I had close to 500 or more iron beds. [...]

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September 25th, 2011
iron bed / Casper

Having been in the antique iron beds business for 40 years, I’ve been fortunate to have supplied quite a few studios and set designers with iron beds over the years. So even though I know the film or TV show , where the majority of my beds end up……. it’s always nice when a customer [...]

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September 23rd, 2011
iron bed / cobain

Yesterday I had occasion to see some of the news feeds on Yahoo. One of them was about the daughter of Kurt Cobain, singer/song writer and front man for the band Nirvana , which was considered the “flagship band of Generation X” and the father of “grunge rock”, and Courtney Love his wife. Back in [...]

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September 21st, 2011
iron bed /Grey-iron-casting-foundry-a18964280

Iron and Aluminum are two very distinct types of metal, quite different from each other, that display a number of varying properties. One of the first differences that you’ll notice between the cast iron beds from the 1800′s and the modern reproductions that are made of aluminum would be the significant discrepancy when it comes [...]

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September 18th, 2011
iron bed /Ben Franklin

Cast iron stove came into being in the 1700s. The material of cast iron is iron mixed with carbon and silica and cast in molds. Much the same as castings on an antique iron bed. It conducts heat very efficiently, and is strong and sturdy, withstanding years of wear. Once again much the same in [...]

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September 16th, 2011
iron bed/94

It’s always great when a customer that I’ve sold  antique iron beds to thinks enough  to send you a photo of it  after it’s been set up and dressed. It lets me know they’re happy with the finished product and it also gives me an opportunity to see the different settings our beds end up in. [...]

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September 16th, 2011
iron beds / art nouveau

It’s crafted of cast iron with fitted wood panels, with flowing lines artfully arranged in a naturalistic fan motif. The wooden panels are adorned with Celtic-inspired creatures and mother-of-pearl accents. It’s almost impossible when you look at it to even think it is an antique iron bed.  It looks more like wood or some composite [...]

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September 15th, 2011
iron beds / Craftsman #2

As is the case with many iron beds that came out of the 1800′s, their styles did not always seem appropriate for that period of time. Even though they were being produced in the Victorian Era 1837 to 1901, many of the styles coming out of that period could easily be categorized as styles from [...]

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September 14th, 2011
iron bed /Raised Footboard

Quite often a customer comes to me requesting just headboards. That use to be a bit of a dilemma because  I only buy compete iron beds…..headboards, footboards and side rails. But then some people just don’t have the pace in small bedrooms for a complete iron bed. When that is the case, we can offer [...]

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September 13th, 2011
iron beds / Tiffany

In a time when peoples savings aren’t what they use to be and it becomes more and more difficult to know what you should put your money in…….there is one place it will always continue to go up…….ANTIQUES. Supply and demand have always been the corner stone of investing. Consider this analogy…….Beachfront Property. Here in [...]

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September 11th, 2011
iron beds / canopy

The dichotomy of today’s beautiful antique canopy beds lay in there utilitarian origin. Medieval building left much to be desired. Ill-kept thatch roofs did little to avert dead bugs and rodent droppings from falling on to a peasant’s bed. As is always the case….”necessity is the mother of invention”, it was found that the construction of [...]

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September 11th, 2011
iron beds /insidestore2

One of the first things you should consider if you’re thinking about purchasing an antique iron bed is where you plan on using it. Is this going to be a bed for your master bedroom that gets a lot of daily use. Or is it for a guest bedroom that gets limited use. Maybe a child’s room. [...]

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September 9th, 2011
iron beds /titanic-3

Few events in history have attracted more attention than the sinking of the Titanic. The RMS Titanic was a passenger liner that struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, and sank on 15 April 1912, resulting in the deaths of 1,517 people. Making it one of the deadliest [...]

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September 9th, 2011
iron beds /Donald Duck

I’m always searching for vintage photo’s and advertising of iron beds. I must say this is one of the more obscure ones mentioning of an iron bed, I’ve come across. Although I remember seeing bed frames in a number of different animated features of Disney’s. It’s ironic that many many years after this comic book [...]

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September 8th, 2011
iron beds /Sanitaire #2

Over the years I’ve seen a number of old catalogs and advertising material on antique iron beds. The thing that seems to stand out the most in all of their literature and sales pitch is the cleanliness angle. Iron beds preached the benefits of being clean and “Vermin-Proof”. Although there’s really no reason to believe [...]

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September 7th, 2011
iron beds / country-living

Because of the size of second bedrooms in today’s homes, more and more interior designers are using multiple iron beds in the same room. The ideal thing is to find two that are alike. The second best thing is to find two beds that are similar and look good together. When similar “finishes” are applied, [...]

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September 6th, 2011
iron bed /Hearn #3

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen made when people try and refinish their own antique iron bed is to do an old antique faux’ finish and then have the brass polished up bright and new looking. If you want a new fresh paint job with no distressing or possibly a powdercoated finish…..then polishing the [...]

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September 6th, 2011
iron beds /Picture 1

Here are two rather diverse “iron bed” advertisements. The first is of a little girl playing with her miniature doll bed. It’s not sure if this was simply a re-touched photo or actually an ” bed” ad. I’ve seen similar ads in the past that had definite script attached discussing the  bed in the photo. [...]

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September 6th, 2011
iron bed / 2"

This photo is of a stack of iron beds from the early 1900′s. The obvious difference between these and the metal beds from the 1800′s is the degree of ornamentation and the total lack of decorative iron castings where the metal pieces are joined. More and more metal beds started hitting the market that had [...]

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September 4th, 2011
iron beds /9e8e71e47955e579647bb4887ca911b8_1M

In 1943 Berea College, in Kentucky, participates in the WWII effort by organizing a scrap metal drive. Here students stand on iron bed frames and make a victory sign with the bed rails. These beds seem to have always been viewed as a “green” item to be used for the greater good in times of [...]

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September 4th, 2011
iron beds / Antique Iron Doll Beds

As you may have seen in a previous blog…….there were little iron beds being made for salesman to carry with them when they went from town to town taking orders for full size beds. These were called “salesman’s samplers”. Those miniature  beds were distinctly different from the one in this photo. The miniature one in [...]

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September 3rd, 2011
iron beds/ height, Picture 1

What’s one of the major differences between original old antique iron beds and modern bed frames………height? Back in the 1800′s, iron beds were design to elevate the mattress off the ground to get away from cold drafts and also to eliminate rodents and termites that permeated wooden bed frames. As the Industrial Revolution brought to [...]

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September 3rd, 2011
iron beds /EPSON DSC picture

The headboard is the only part of the bed that has canopy extensions on it. Instead of the canopy going completely down from the head to the foot board, it curves across the width of the bed about two feet from the headboard.. The nice thing about the “half tester” is that it still has [...]

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September 2nd, 2011
iron beds /2466566500_797ffb7f60

What was the last piece of new furniture that you bought? How long have you had it? Can you sell it for what you paid for it……stop laughing. Of course you can’t. But do you know if you’d have bought an antique iron bed…….you could. And do you know that any antique   bed you [...]

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September 2nd, 2011
iron beds / Bob Dylan

“Lay Lady Lay…..Lay Across My Big Brass Bed”. Does this song ring a familiar note? Listen to the words. Back in the very early 70′s I had just started selling brass beds. I use to play it in my store in Georgetown , Washington DC. Iron beds had yet to come into their own and brass [...]

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September 2nd, 2011
iron beds / Bedknobs

In 1971 I was going to GW in Washington DC, when the Disney movie Bednobs and Broomsticks came out. I had just start dealing in brass beds and iron beds. I can distinctly remember the day the movie was released. I started getting calls from people looking for brass beds. I wasn’t aware of it, [...]

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September 2nd, 2011
iron beds /pix146

By far, my best repeat customers for my antique iron beds have always been my B&B patrons. It is customary for a B&B owner to start out with  bed…….see how they like it and the response they get from their guests, and then consider getting more. What I always tell the owners of B&B’s is [...]

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September 2nd, 2011
iron beds /368px-POL_Warszawa_COA_1.svg

In the forty some years I’ve been buying and selling antique iron beds, I’ve never come across a bed like this with “mermaids” and a “crown” . There is also a beautifully detailed Victorian woman’s face and the “crown” sets above her head. In researching where this  bed came from and it’s background, I learned [...]

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September 2nd, 2011
iron beds /horse_drawn_wagon

Today we call Fed Exp., United Parcel or any one of a dozen freight carriers and they’ll come to your home pick up whatever you want to ship and have it at it’s desired destination the following day…………not so back in the 1800′s when iron beds were being built. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, [...]

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September 1st, 2011
iron beds /Picture 2

We here at Cathouse Antique Iron Beds have been refining the art of refinishing and adapting old original double size iron bed frame’s to accommodate today’s modern Queen and King size mattress’s for close to 40 years. Converting an old antique double size iron bed, to a modern king size requires we strive to maintain [...]

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September 1st, 2011
iron beds / Taylor

Few iron beds that have been photographed in the movies have ever received the attention as the one used in the movie “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” with Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. It was an incredibly scrolled Victorian piece that really highlighted the mood and personalities of the actors and story. What many [...]

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September 1st, 2011
iron beds /Wedding Ring Bed

Many years ago I had a group of you girls buy a bed from me for a sorority sister who was getting married. The idea for such a gift had come from one of their grandmothers who had quilted a beautiful “double wedding ring” quilt for the bride. She had recounted, to her granddaughter how, [...]

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September 1st, 2011
iron beds /RL#21 Casting #1

One of the most unique and collectible casting , used on antique iron beds, was the “hollow wreath” casting. Generally speaking, if a bed has one of these type castings……. there’s a pretty good chance it’s a good bed. When foundries poured castings to complete the process of building  iron beds, it’s done by hand [...]

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August 31st, 2011
iron beds /Picture 1

A few years ago I got a email from a gentleman back in Central Pennsylvanos. He was looking for an Austere iron bed. He was quite specific on the style and design he wanted. He sent me sketches of the bed, that he’d drawn after actually having a dream about it. We discussed finishes etc. and as [...]

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August 31st, 2011
iron beds /whoopi-goldberg

In the early 90′s I had the distinct pleasure of meeting  and selling a number of iron beds to Whoopi Goldberg. At the time she had just started dating a high profile actor who I’d also sold a number of iron beds to over the years. I’d first sold him an iron bed for his [...]

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August 30th, 2011
iron beds /Princess Canopy

What little girl hasn’t looked at her parents one day and said I want a “Princess” bed. Well being a parent I knew exactly what she meant. She meant a iron canopy bed. A remark like this usually came after seeing a Disney movie with a princess and her castle bedroom. Little girls have always [...]

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August 30th, 2011
iron beds /Side Rails

If you’re searching for an antique iron bed and you’ve found one you like…….be sure it has a set of siderails. Now…… be sure and check to see that they fit…..perfectly. DO NOT take the dealers word for it. Have him set the iron bed up with the rails and make sure it doesn’t wobble [...]

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August 30th, 2011
iron beds /Bed Decal

For the longest time it was widely thought that most of the iron beds being produced back in the 1800′s, were coming out of the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area. That thought was because the vast majority of steel production was also in Pittsburgh. But more and more is coming to light that many of the iron [...]

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August 30th, 2011
iron beds /Black Smyth - Before & After

Here is a photo of a iron bed casting, before it was sandblasted, and the same iron bed casting after it has been sandblasted and refinished with our Black Smyth finish. Iron beds get the name from the cast iron castings that hold the design element of the iron bed together. When you hear about [...]

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August 30th, 2011
iron beds /Tulip

The tulip iron bed is probably one of the more prolific iron bed designs to have been copied and duplicated back in the 1800′s. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. That couldn’t be more true with this iron bed style. I’ve have at least 6 versions of this tulip iron bed. The [...]

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August 30th, 2011
iron beds /#5

Many people come to me with 3/4 size iron beds and want to know where they can have custom size mattresses made for them. First of all…… any mattress company will either make you a regular 3/4 size mattress or already have one that is readily available to buy. 3/4 size beds are not uncommon [...]

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August 30th, 2011
iron beds /Close-Up of Pull

For those of you familiar with the store Restoration Hardware, I think we can all agree they do some great looking older vintage finishes. Not really your distressed setting by the barn for the past 200 years finishes, like we do on our iron beds. But some clean old looking finishes that are very rich [...]

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August 30th, 2011
iron beds /Patina

We have had many customers with Craftsman style homes come to us for iron beds. Ever since we became aware of the Craftsman Period and what furnishings and finishes were appropriate, we’ve been trying to come up with earth tone finishes to make our iron beds blend better with their surroundings. Particularly the redwood earth [...]

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August 29th, 2011
iron beds /Picture 1

One of the major things that help our customers focus in on the iron beds they like is familiarizing themselves with the different styles that were available 150  to 200 years ago. In that period of time numerous different Style Classifications came and went and beds seemed to have adapted nicely with all of them. [...]

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August 28th, 2011
2620_jpg

But back in the 1800′s how did stores or people that wanted to buy an iron bed, see what was available. There were catalogs with pencil drawings of the different  beds a company offered. But the best way was to see a sample of an actual bed. But that wasn’t practical. Dry good salesman would [...]

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August 28th, 2011
Picture 1

Lincoln was in office and Billy the Kid roamed the wild west. There were two brothers named Wilbur and Orville who took to the skies at Kitty Hawk, and when President Woodrow Wilson announced our entry into the 1st World war, iron beds offered people the handmade craftsmanship and quality they had come to expect [...]

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August 28th, 2011
Craftsman

The American Craftsman Style, or the American Arts and Crafts Movement, is an American domestic architectural, interior design, landscape design, applied arts, and decorative arts style and lifestyle philosophy that began in the last years of the 19th century. As a comprehensive design and art movement it remained popular into the 1930s. However, in decorative [...]

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August 27th, 2011
Picture 1

I had an old picker, who taught me the iron bed business, told me you could always tell the scarcity of an original antique by the amount of “reproductions” you see in the market place. There was a time when there was such an abundance of antique iron beds, that you saw no reproductions on [...]

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August 27th, 2011
425px-Queen_Victoria_by_Bassano

The Victorian Era is a name for the period from 1837 to 1901, the length of the rule of Britain’s Queen Victoria. American Victorianism was an offshoot of this period and lifestyle that occurred in the United States, chiefly in heavily populated regions such as New England and the Deep South. The name was derived [...]

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August 27th, 2011
Sierra Exif JPEG

Although iron beds were made throughout the 1800′s, way before the Deco period of 1920 thru the 1930′s, there were  beds being manufactured in the early to mid 1800′s that had a definite Art Deco look to them. I have to believe whoever designed these “before their time”  beds , was definitely marching to a [...]

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August 27th, 2011
Picture 1

Although over the years I’ve been buying and selling iron beds to the entertainment community, none have a fonder memory than the scrolled black twin size iron bed I did for the movie “Casper”. It was a memorable one because it was the first time my first daughter, then 6 yrs old, realized what I [...]

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August 26th, 2011
bedroom57-de

In a city where people drive $100,000. cars and live in studio apartments , I’ve grown accustom to people asking what the most expensive or fanciest iron bed I have is. I’ve had people walk in my store and say they want the fanciest  bed I have, only to find out when we delivered it, [...]

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August 26th, 2011
Kate Winslet The Holiday

For close to 40 years we at Cathouse Iron Beds have been supplying the various movie studios, TV shows and production houses with the iron beds they’ve been using. This particular bed was one we did for the movie “The Holliday” with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black. It was a romantic [...]

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August 26th, 2011
Canopy King001

Nearly 50% of all the iron beds we sell , we end up raising the headboard. Why? Because with todays pillow top mattresses and large Euro Shams, that most people have, if the headboard wasn’t raised……it would be hidden behind all those pillows etc. The majority of all the interior designers I deal with have [...]

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August 26th, 2011
iron beds /mag_art_ralphlauren_sprg87_

One of the more popular things interior designers like to do when selecting a finish for their clients iron bed, is to match the materials that are going to be on the bed. Most of the antique iron beds I’ve done for the Ralph Lauren Co. over the years have been around specific material swatches [...]

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August 26th, 2011
Sierra Exif JPEG

This finish came about as a result of a customer seeing an bed in our store that happened to have this exact look……..except it was on a very thin gauge  bed that had been left outside for many years. The bed had seen better days and the white paint that had  been it’s original finish, [...]

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August 25th, 2011
iron beds /Sierra Exif JPEG

The Bono Sand finish is one of the more popular finishes we offer on our iron beds. It’s a lighter finish that goes beautifully with “off white” walls or adobe sand finishes. Most of the  beds I sold to designers and people in the Santa Fe area have all been refinished in this southwestern style [...]

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August 25th, 2011
iron beds /JoeMontana

Over the years I’ve sold iron beds to a countless number of professional athletes. Los Angeles Laker’s, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, etc etc. Professional golfers, boxers and professional hockey players. But I must say, one of my favorite customers that got a number  beds from me was Jennifer & Joe Montana. Jennifer first [...]

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August 25th, 2011
iron beds /Bedroom-Cottage-Anderegg-de

Cottages have always been a great venue for our antique iron beds. Because cottages are usually smaller with bedrooms equally as small, iron beds have been a  popular way to bring attention to the bed without making an already small room look more diminutive. Many of the decorators I’ve dealt with, that specialize in country [...]

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August 25th, 2011
iron beds /Bowed Footboard

Why would an  bed designer, design a  bed with a bowed or curved footboard? Many people feel it’s just something to set one  manufacturer apart for another. Something to make straight line beds a little different from the rest. But there actually is a practical reason for  “bowed footboard” iron beds. Both of the reasons [...]

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August 24th, 2011
iron beds /Sierra Exif JPEG

Occasionally I’ll get a person who loves antique iron beds, but doesn’t want an antique   finish. There are many people that want a new modern clean look, almost industrial in nature. As I’ve mentioned many times, the beauty of a metal bed is in the castings the foundry designed back in the 1800′s and [...]

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August 24th, 2011
iron beds /Black Smyth Iron

The photo you’re looking at is our most popular  finish…….our Black Smyth. Why is it called that and how did it come about? Read on…….. One day I was in the store cataloging and arranging a new shipment or iron beds that I had just gotten in. It actually had some of the prettiest beds [...]

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August 24th, 2011
iron beds /Two Tone Crackle Finish

Iron beds were not just painted white back in the 1800′s.  That is what most peoples concept of a bed is……..white. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Most  beds had a variation of colors or accented castings. Many beds of the day were painted with two colors. Generally the  perimeter was painted in a [...]

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August 24th, 2011
iron beds /angel_before_1

From the days when Lincoln was in office and Billy the Kid roamed the wild west to when two brothers named Wilbur and Orville took to the skies at Kitty Hawk, and when President Woodrow Wilson announced our entry into the 1st World war,iron beds offered people the handmade craftsmanship and quality they had come [...]

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August 24th, 2011
iron beds /Copper Pot#1

Over the years I’ve had customer want me to do finishes on the iron beds they’ve gotten from me, around everything under the sun. I’ve had child’s parents send me comic books with colors circled that their child wanted their bed painted like. I’ve had the Ralph Lauren Co. send me material swatches, paint chips, [...]

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August 24th, 2011
iron beds /Ext.Hm#1

One of the more enjoyable things I’ve had the privilege to be a part of in my business, was being able to do a bed for a needy family on Extreme Home Makeover TV series. All of the items used on the show are donated. Donating antique iron beds for silent auctions or causes isn’t [...]

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August 23rd, 2011
iron beds /Matching Twin Canopies

Every little “princess” wants a canopy bed. Some of the best advertising I ever had were the matching set of iron beds in this photo that we had given to my daughter. On sleep overs, her friends were always anxious to ask their parents if they could also get a fancy bed for their room. [...]

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August 23rd, 2011
iron beds /Tubing Difference

So why is it important to be concerned with the tubing size of your  bed? Don’t all iron beds have the same size tubing? Absolutely not. The stability and rigidity of a bed is determined by the size of tubing the manufacturer used back in the 1800′s when they were the most popular beds being [...]

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August 23rd, 2011
iron beds /800px-Collossal_hand_and_torch._Bartholdi's_statue_of_"Liberty.",_from_Robert_N._Dennis_collection_of_stereoscopic_views

So what could iron beds and the Statue of Liberty have in common? Well …..take a look at the casting that I had on the corners of one I had. I’ve actually had numerous metal beds with variations of this casting. Recognize it???? It’s a “torch” . The Statue of Liberty  is a colossal neoclassical [...]

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August 23rd, 2011
iron beds /Serpentine Legs

Few  castings that I’ve seen over the years have been as distinctive and detailed as the one in this photo. As far as iron beds go, this one was not really spectacular. But I’d say it was easily in the top third of the best ones I’ve had . The thing that set this bed [...]

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August 23rd, 2011
iron beds /Sleigh Bed

A iron sleigh bed is a style of   bed with curved or scrolled foot and headboards thus resembling a sled or sleigh. Often made with a top bar of brass and quite heavy, the sleigh bed is a result of the French and American Empire period of the early 19th century. The Empire style [...]

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August 22nd, 2011
iron beds /Simple is Better#1

Take a look at this  bed. Is it a bed you’d stop and look at if it was disassembled in an antique store? Probably not. But after seeing how attractive a simple one , like this can be…….once assembled and dressed properly, it may give rise to a whole new set of design possibilities. The setting [...]

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August 22nd, 2011
Lion Head

Many people think iron beds are simply that……. iron tubing that is sometimes scrolled or curved to give a pleasant design to it. What most people don’t know is how intricate the “castings’ on an iron bed can be. True most iron beds don’t have the detailed castings in this photo. But all iron beds [...]

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August 22nd, 2011
iron beds /1

As I’ve mentioned in the past……most of my patrons I have for my iron beds are women.  That was also the case back in the 1800′s. Society was much more chauvinistic back then and beds and the selection of them for the house was not something most men involved themselves in. So selection was left [...]

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August 22nd, 2011
iron beds /Daybed Conversion

Here’s a sweet little twin size iron bed, I’d originally sold the parents of a young girl over 10 years ago. Just recently it was returned to me and I was asked to convert it to a daybed for the, now grown up, little girl that had grown up in it. She now is using [...]

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August 22nd, 2011
iron beds /2" Canopy Conv

The thought around canopy iron beds is that they are feminine and only for little girls rooms. This couldn’t be farther from reality. Here is an bed I did for a physical trainer, who was about as masculine as they come. He specifically wanted a 2″ diameter  bed that we could convert to king and [...]

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August 22nd, 2011
iron beds /Deco Panel Bed

Although the “art panel” iron beds that were being made back in the early 1800′s, certainly not the Deco period of the 1920′s and 30′s, definitely had a Deco feel to them. Take a look at this photo of a bed that was made in 1820. You would think with these more modern lines like [...]

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August 22nd, 2011
iron bed A

Here is an Art Panel bed that was found in the Pittsburgh PA area. Iron beds didn’t usually filter too far west of the Mississippi back in the 1800′s. Shipping a heavy metal bed back then was much more of an ordeal than it is today, before trains and truck’s were able to bring them [...]

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August 22nd, 2011
iron beds /insidestore2

Most of the traffic I get for my iron beds comes to me from customers doing a Google Search . There are hundreds of different search terms that can obviously help find an iron bed. Some of those search terms are antique iron beds, antique iron bed,rustic iron bed, discount iron bed, metal beds, iron [...]

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August 22nd, 2011
iron beds /Iron Bike Bed

One of the funnier vintage photo’s Ive come across over the years  is this “play bill” or advertisement. It has to do with a comedian who converted an iron bed into a two wheel bike. From his dress, “bowler hat” and the particular straight line metal bed he used, I’d say this photo was from [...]

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August 22nd, 2011
iron beds /Plain

When considering a bed for a child’s room…….keep this in mind. The bed you select doesn’t have to be the fanciest you can find. It can be the simplest and still give you a great look. In this photo you can get a feel for how busy a child’s room can be and how out [...]

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August 22nd, 2011
iron beds /For FB

Most people that aren’t associated with the field of design and decorating have a preconceived notion that iron beds are suppose to be painted white. No matter what the color of the wall they’re going against. The problem with this school of thought is that if your wall is white and your  bed is also [...]

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August 21st, 2011
iron beds /Jan-01-1952mealtime-at-poorhouse-in-Perry-County.

No photo I’ve seen evokes quite as much sorrow and despair as this one with a man setting on a  bed at a “Poor House” in Perry County Missouri. If you look close, the  bed in the photo is missing the brass treatment on the footboard that can be seen on the headboard. The corner [...]

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August 21st, 2011
iron beds /Colony King

Not long ago I was asked to help stage a house, with one of our beautiful antique iron beds, in the prestigious Malibu Colony on Malibu beach. They asked if I could come up with a bed that had a bit of a “WOW” factor. A bed that would be representative of the waves and [...]

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August 21st, 2011
iron beds /Ghost Town Bodie State Park

Bodie is a ghost town in the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California, United States, about 75 miles (120 km) southeast of Lake Tahoe. As a bustling gold mining center, from 1859 to the begining of the 1900′s, Bodie had the amenities of larger towns, including two banks, [...]

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August 21st, 2011
iron beds /Cabin Bed

I have quite a few people come to me for iron beds for their log cabin homes. Most of them have a preconceived notion that only Austere and Straight Line  beds will work in the log home surroundings. Although the thought of a scrolled  bed in a log cabin seems a little far fetched. Through [...]

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August 21st, 2011
iron beds /Window Bed

This is a classic statement I get quite often from customers coming to me for iron beds. They desperately want a beautiful antique iron bed. But they want the headboard of that bed to be low enough to fit under the window that is on the only wall that can accommodate their bed. What most [...]

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August 21st, 2011
iron beds /Picture 123

Most people that are considering   iron beds for possible king conversion, feel as though their options will be limited to beds with straight lines……  beds that can simply have a few iron tubes welded in to increase the width. No so. In this photo of an iron bed we converted for a customer, you’ll [...]

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August 21st, 2011
iron beds /Lillie-with-Dolls-in-Victorian-Bedroom

Throughout the 1800′s, iron beds came in double size (53″ x 75″), twin size (39″ x 75″), 3/4 size (48″ x 75″). What many people don’t realize is that there were Youth Size  beds, between the twin and crib size. Youth size, were only about 31″ wide and sometimes as short n length as 54″. The [...]

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August 21st, 2011
iron beds /freport_89_0001

Few things, throughout history, have survived like that of iron beds. They seem to have an indestructible nature to them. Because they are made of one of the strongest and most durable materials known to man, it’s not that unusual to see  beds in “aftermath”  photo’s of natural disasters. I have actually had customers that [...]

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August 21st, 2011
iron beds /King Sketch

As you may already know, the largest size bed being made back in the early 1800′s was a double size. So when someone wants a king size, we convert whatever original double size  they select from our inventory into a king size. That’s done by cutting the bed apart in integral places and adding additional [...]

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August 21st, 2011
iron beds /223730_264262470254931_

Thank you to a customer who was kind enough to share this grand old tradition of sleeping  outside on a screened in porch . Iron beds on porches were not uncommon during the Victorian era. The homes were designed specifically with areas for  beds. Why……because of the hot humid nights during the summer months. There [...]

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August 21st, 2011
iron beds /Campaign Beds

French campaign iron beds were portable and used originally, by the French during their on going military campaigns. Up until these collapsible beds were invented, the officers had to sleep on the ground in bed rolls just as the enlisted men did. The soldiers never had the luxury of a bed that elevated them “off” [...]

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August 20th, 2011
iron beds /Reading Nook

Here is a prime example how a little design sense,  iron beds and ingenuity can turn an otherwise wasted space into a peaceful retreat. We all have our idea of how much space is needed to set up a particular size bed. Usually we want walking space around the perimeter of the bed so it [...]

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August 20th, 2011
iron beds /Folding Bed

In the past 40 years, I come across just about every imaginable shape  bed you can think of. I can remember the first time I saw French Campaign iron beds and how fascinated I was with the practicality of it’s use when the armies of Europe went on “conquering” campaigns. But the  bed that is [...]

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August 19th, 2011
iron beds / Wall Veil

Many of my customers are looking for that first “big girl” bed, for their daughters. Because most people are trying to be conservative in their selection of a bed and may have some concerns about the duration a child is going to want what they’re spending their hard earned money on, there are ways of [...]

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August 19th, 2011
iron beds /Cherub Casting

Yesterday I posted a blog that showed the casting on a bed of the “Lone Star” emblem of Texas, encased in a “horse shoe”. It was right our of the wild west and a definite Texas phenom. This casting came on a bed that we found close to Chicago Illinois. Chicago had it’s share of [...]

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August 19th, 2011
iron beds /Lone Star

It’s  commonly thought that back in the early to mid-1800′s most of the iron beds that were being made were coming out of the tri-state area of Ohio, Pennsylvania and W. Virginia. So you certainly wouldn’t expect a northern foundry to be producing a bed with a western flare to it. Then how did such [...]

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August 19th, 2011
iron beds /The light guest bedroom in this Connecticut home has a vintage feel thanks to the antique turn-of-the-century iron bed. The bedposts are topped with tiny pineapples, a symbol of hospitality.

The use of “Symbolism” in the castings of iron beds was a strong continuous theme throughout the 1800′s. Small independently owned foundries made beautiful molds of floral arrangements, animals, and mythical characters as symbols, their patrons wanted in the 1800′s. One of the most popular symbols back then, that most  beds employed in some way [...]

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August 18th, 2011
iron beds /upstairs-bedroom-bed-l

eaves |ēvz| plural noun the part of a roof that meets or overhangs the walls of a building. That’s what your dictionary will definite the slanted roof and where it meets the wall in that upstairs bedroom you so desperately want to decorate……but feel somewhat limited because of the low wall. Quite a few of [...]

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August 18th, 2011
iron beds /Lace

As some of you, and the list of those who do, gets smaller every day, remember….”Arsenic and Old Lace” was a great old comedy classic movie from 1944  staring Cary Grant. Well this blog doesn’t have a dam thing to do with that movie………. What it does have to do with is “old lace” and [...]

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May 15th, 2011
iron beds /Art Nouveau

The following photo is one of the purest examples of an Art Nouveau  bed that I’ve ever come across. The photo to the left of it is of a stair case in the Victor Horta Museum in Brussells. The strict definition of Art Nouveau is: A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, it [...]

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May 12th, 2011
iron beds /Dr Bubu

This is a “before & after” photo of a  bed I had converted to king and canopy for some very close friends of ours. As you can see in the photo the castings are very large and nicely detailed. This bed itself lent it self, from a style standpoint, to nicely being converted to a [...]

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May 10th, 2011
iron beds /Sierra Exif JPEG

The majority of the antique iron beds that were being made back in the early to mid 1800′s were Victorian style designs with beautiful open scrolls and smooth curved lines. So to come across a unique style bed that was made at the same time, but looked as though it was a bed that had [...]

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May 10th, 2011
iron beds /Sierra Exif JPEG

Many years ago I was setting in my store in Santa Monica, when a long stretch limousine pulled up out front and double parked in the slow lane. Some might think this an unusual occurrence, but being in a well to do section of Los Angeles, something like this was quite common place. But what [...]

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May 7th, 2011
iron beds /French Curve #4

A French Curve is the outer side pole of an antique iron bed that curves out beyond the normal double width of the bed. Most iron beds from the early to mid 1800′s measured approximately 53″ to 54″ wide. I’ve actually had some that had the “French Curve” sides that measured as much as 60″ [...]

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May 6th, 2011
iron beds /Sharon Stone

In 1995 I was approached by a publicist who had asked me to select an iron bed for a photo shot on the beach for her client, who had just been nominated for and Academy Award. She had wanted the bed to have a white chipped finish, because her client was going to be wearing [...]

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May 5th, 2011
iron beds /Picture 1

Back in late 1984 I had just opened a new store on Montana Ave in Santa Monica. At the time it was a sleepy little street with not much foot traffic. I had started advertising in local papers and a set directors directory that was distributed to all the studios , film companies and set [...]

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May 3rd, 2011
iron beds /B & A King #4

Many years ago I went against my better judgment and allowed a client to talk me into converting a very thin gauge antique iron bed into  a modern king size. Because additional tubing needs to be welded into the width of the interior design, the tubing going across the top of the bed should always [...]

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May 3rd, 2011
iron beds /Billy The Kid Bed

Close to thirty years ago I was just getting started in the iron bed business. At that time I was living Washington DC, going to school at George Washington Univ. and doing all my antique buying within a comfortable “one days” drive throughout Pennsylvania, W. Virginia, and Ohio and a little in Maryland and Virginia. [...]

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May 2nd, 2011
iron beds /Martha Stewart

I’m constantly and pleasantly surprised, when something like this happens……..because the antique iron bed she sent me was one we had sold to someone who then used it in the Country Living Magazine photo shoot. One of the funny things about this individual iron bed was the fact that the previous owner had refinished it [...]

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May 1st, 2011
iron beds /Incoming Victorian

This one has a rather colorful past, if we’re to believe the “picker” we got it from. He canvases the New Orleans area and said that it came out of the red light district over 175 years ago, and had been handed down through the family of the madam that supposedly owned and operated the [...]

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April 29th, 2011
iron beds /Barn Red

So why, you ask, would anyone in there right mind paint an antique iron bed “barn red”. Over the years of dealing in iron beds I’ve come across “hundreds” of them that had been painted a very distinctive “barn red”. But then I’ve also come across a number or iron beds that were painted white, [...]

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April 26th, 2011
iron beds /Tulip Macys

Over the years I’ve sold dozens and dozens of antique iron beds to companies for advertising campaigns and catalogs.

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April 24th, 2011
iron beds /Tubing Size

One of the many determining factors that go in to the collectibility and value of an antique iron bed is the size of the tubing that goes around the perimeter of a bed frame and specifically across the top. Probably as high as 90% of all iron beds are made with 1″ thick wall tubing [...]

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April 22nd, 2011
iron beds /Pot Bellie

So it would stand to reason that a foundry wouldn’t just make iron beds, back in the 1800′s. If the bed market got soft they had to have other things that they could produce with the foundries they had. If one month was slow with  beds…. maybe the easiest and fastest thing to produce were [...]

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April 21st, 2011
iron beds /Mellon

Andrew William Mellon (March 24, 1855 – August 26, 1937) was an American banker, industrialist, philanthropist, art collector and Secretary of the Treasury from March 4, 1921 until February 12, 1932. This bed was said to have been a wedding present for his wife Nora Mary McMullen, from Andrews mother Sarah Jane Negley Mellon, who [...]

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April 20th, 2011
iron beds /Picture 2

In the close to 40 years of being in the bed business I’ve only ever come across three other iron beds that had actual “faces” in the castings. This one is of a Victorian women with curly hair. Metal beds usually adorned themselves with scrolls and an occasional touch of brass. So to find something [...]

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April 16th, 2011
iron beds /Picture 4

This is a  double size antique iron bed, that we converted to a modern king size and also a canopy for the movie producer Gale Anne Hurd. Her credits include such movies as The Terminator, The Abyss, Armageddon , Aliens….etc. etc. The bed originally started out as a beautiful “four poster” that I’d never seen [...]

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April 16th, 2011
iron beds /Picture 3

Over thirty years ago I started buying and selling iron beds iin the Washington DC area where I lived and went to school.

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April 15th, 2011

When a very light gauge iron bed is converted to a canopy it becomes so much more impressive than when it was just a simple  bed with head and footboard in their natural configuration.If you go one step further and make the top canopy poles curved up to a central casting, a traditional bed all [...]

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April 14th, 2011
adobehouse01

If you follow history you probably are aware that iron beds were not as popular in the west in the 1800′s as they were east of the Mississippi. Transporting beds to the west back in the 1800′s was not easy. It was costly, time consuming and difficult to transport large heavy items. People moving west [...]

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April 12th, 2011

Take a look at this iron bed frame. It was made in the Pittsburgh Pa. back in the mid 1800′s. Yet it’s definite “Deco” design would not come into existence until it was introduced in Paris France in the 1920′s.

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April 8th, 2011
iron beds /Bosses Bed

Many years ago, after opening my store in Santa Monica Ca., I had the distinct pleasure of selling the first of many subsequent iron beds to the one and only “Boss”, Bruce Springsteen.  He and his wife Patti wondered into my store one afternoon and proceeded to select one of the best antique iron beds [...]

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April 7th, 2011
iron beds /Picture 21

Here is a photo of an antique iron bed we converted from it’s original antique double size, to todays modern king size.

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April 7th, 2011
iron beds /" Crown Canopy " #1

I’ve yet to encounter an iron bed that once converted to a canopy doesn’t look more impressive and regal. It’s a funny thing, but back in the 1800′s the people that were producing beds in this country didn’t make canopies. That was something only coming out of Europe. The British were big into canopies as [...]

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April 6th, 2011
iron beds /Twin Footboard Raise

Yea…..well people in hell want ice water to. Only kidding…..but that’s about how scarce a matching set of twin size iron beds are

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April 3rd, 2011
iron beds /Metropolitan Home Article #1

This photo is of a thin gauge iron bed I converted to a canopy and a modern king size.

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April 3rd, 2011
iron beds /Colony King Size

One day a rather small man walked into my store in Los Angeles and started asking me questions about iron beds.

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April 1st, 2011
iron beds /Canopy Conversion

I’ve yet to find an antique iron bed that didn’t look better after a canopy conversion. The photo of this one shows how even a bed that has soft sloping sides can still be converted. It isn’t necessary the bed has a flat top and corner castings. If you have the foundry facilities and an [...]

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March 31st, 2011
iron beds /Stick #1

It’s very easy to tell the popularity and collectability of an item by the number of reproduction of that item you see in the market place.

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March 27th, 2011

For all of you wine connoisseurs and vineyard owners…….here’s one of the more unique and collectible antique iron beds I”ve come across.

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March 25th, 2011

Few iron beds have the bells and whistles this one does. Made by the E. Simmons Co., that today makes a top line of mattresses. Iron beds of that time were in strong competition with the more expensive brass bed market.

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March 19th, 2011

A number of years ago I received a call from a “stylist” who said she was in need of a iron bed for an advertisement in a log cabin setting.

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March 18th, 2011

By far, the most popular antique faux’ finish we put on our iron beds is the Black Smyth.

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March 18th, 2011

Here is a “Before and After” king conversion photo of an iron bed we did for a client in Laguna Beach Ca. It was a bed we’d never seen before. So it must have been made in very limited numbers…..possibly only a few before the foundry decided not to make it any more ……or……it could [...]

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March 18th, 2011

The Two Tone Crackle finish is one that gives you an original finish for your iron bed that was being done by the manufacturer nearly 200 years ago.

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March 16th, 2011
iron beds /kveus046s

As you may have learned form some of my earlier blogs, Pittsburgh was the center of steel production in tis country back in the 1800′s.

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March 15th, 2011

Most people have an image of large manufacturing companies that employed dozens, even hundreds of men, that produced iron beds back in the 1800′s.

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March 12th, 2011

As you may have read in my 2nd Blog entitled Origins of Cathouse Antique Iron Beds, the first iron beds I ever had, came in to my possession from a couple of farmers up in Pennsylvania.

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March 11th, 2011

It was a strange thing that some designers of iron beds did back in the early 1800′s when selecting a certain theme for their iron beds.

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March 10th, 2011

So you have a king size mattress and you’ve always wanted an antique iron bed.

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March 9th, 2011

Here is an iron bed I converted to a “Crown Canopy” for a client who happens to be opening a new B&B right in the heart of the “French Quarter” in New Orleans.

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March 7th, 2011
iron beds /Picture 2

I had started selling the Ralph Lauren Co iron beds for their store displays and ad campaigns back in 1987.

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March 6th, 2011

For many years people that went out and bought antique iron beds, felt as though they should completely refinish them so they looked brand new.

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March 5th, 2011

I’m often asked……Since you’ve been dealing in antique iron beds for over thirty years, what kind of beds do your daughters have? Well here’s my 15 yr olds bed.

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March 5th, 2011

Why should you consider buying an antique iron bed, when there are so many alternative bed frames on the market?

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March 4th, 2011
iron beds /#6

One of the more popular iron bed styles throughout the 1800′s was the “Wedding Ring” design.

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March 3rd, 2011
iron beds /220px-Lead_Paint2

If your antique iron bed was purchased prior to 1977, you can pretty much count on it having lead based paint on it. Back in the 1800′s when these beauties were being made, lead based paint was pretty much used on all furniture and practically all iron beds of that period. Lead was also added [...]

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February 28th, 2011

So why were iron beds so high off the ground? The old beds and even their wooden counterparts were elevated higher than what we’re use to today because of cold drafts that were close to the ground

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February 26th, 2011

I can’t tell you how many times, over the years, I’ve received calls asking for a mismatched footboard or headboard. And how many times the person asking was wanting to use it for a gate.

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February 26th, 2011
iron beds /Sierra Exif JPEG

Competition is one of the things that helped this country develop over the years into the economic heavyweight we have become. When it came to iron beds vs. brass beds, the competition was fierce.

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February 23rd, 2011

I often wonder what type of person bent the tubing, poured the iron into the molds and laid their hands on what I’ve made a business out of the better part of my life

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February 23rd, 2011

In an age when decorating with “green” intentions has become so important to our environment and future generations, what better way to go green and recycle than to use original antiques that were made back in the 1800′s and have no impact on our environment because their production “footprint” is non-existent today. Iron beds are [...]

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February 21st, 2011

As I’ve mentioned in previous postings, the iron beds being made in England back in the 1800′s , were far inferior in their strength, quality and design, in comparison to those iron beds being made in this country at the same time.

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February 20th, 2011

Ok…….Well I think we all know where that questions leading. The answer is a resounding NO. The reason people tend to ask this question is because they’ve heard horror stories about brass beds making all kind of noise when the occupants are being intimate. Unfortunately iron beds get lumped into the same category with brass [...]

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February 18th, 2011
iron beds /Paul Newman

With the Oscars at had, I was reminiscing about a number of the old celebrities I’ve had the good fortune to have met and sold iron beds to over the years.

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February 18th, 2011
iron beds /Jolie In Bed

With the Oscars at had, I was reminiscing about a number of the old celebrities I’ve had the good fortune to have met and sold iron beds to over the years.

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February 17th, 2011
iron beds /Twin JPG

What sizes did antique beds come in ? Back in the 1800′s there were only three size beds being used…….Twin’s, which  could vary in width sometimes as much as 5″, then there were 3/4 size, that were right around 48″ in width and last but certainly not least was the double/full size at 53′ to [...]

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February 16th, 2011
iron beds /Hitches

“I lost the side rails to my iron bed……can I buy an extra pair from you”? I can’t begin to tell you how many time’s I’ve heard this.

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February 15th, 2011
iron beds /Picture 5

In the mid 70’s I was living in Georgetown, a section of Washington DC

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February 14th, 2011
Iron Bed

Ok……You’ve got this sweet little bedroom that’s just crying out for some form of bed.

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February 13th, 2011
iron beds /Back Camera

Now how could Valentines Day ever be associated with iron beds?

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February 13th, 2011
788 closeup Headboard

So what would make a heavy iron bed more appealing to an iron bed companies female clientele?

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February 12th, 2011

So why were these old beauties referred to as cast iron beds?

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February 11th, 2011
Adirondack Lodge

I’ve yet to find a bed that doesn’t look more impressive after a canopy conversion. For some odd reason we didn’t produce canopy  beds in this country back in the 1800′s. But at Cathousebeds.com we convert close to 25% of all the beds we sell. I want to thank our clients who were kind enough [...]

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February 9th, 2011
Brass Drum Bed

When I first got into the business of buying and selling antique iron beds, over 30 years ago, I use to bring container loads of iron beds over from England.

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February 6th, 2011

Bottom line………Buy US………..The iron beds that were being manufactured back in the early to mid 1800′s in this country were far superior to the iron beds being made at the same time in England and the rest of the world.

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February 6th, 2011

Very few iron beds we’ve done for magazine shoots have ever received the attention and coverage that this one did with Halle Berry.

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February 5th, 2011
Sierra Exif JPEG

So how is that iron beds took over the reins of popularity from the once popular brass bed?

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February 4th, 2011

I’ve been buying and selling iron beds for over 30 years. But when I started, iron beds weren’t chic or collectible.

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February 2nd, 2011
Annex-Price-Vincent-Bat-The_01

What does Vincent Price have to do with iron beds? You may be asking.

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January 31st, 2011

Hearts were a very popular motif in the design of iron beds.

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January 31st, 2011

Few iron beds have the unusual and puzzling design that this one does.

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January 28th, 2011

It stands to reason that generations upon generation were brought up in old iron beds and those same people raised their children in iron cribs

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January 25th, 2011

Wish I had a $ for every time a customer said ” the rails for my iron bed are upside down….”.

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January 25th, 2011
casters

Back in the 1800′s it was common practice for every iron bed that was made

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January 24th, 2011
Crown Canopy

For some reason, this country didn’t make iron canopy beds back in the 1800′s.

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January 23rd, 2011
Two Tone Crackle

Nothing can bring an old antique iron bed to life more than a custom finish.

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January 19th, 2011
Spanish Mediterranean Panel

One style of antique iron bed that seems the most adaptable to any setting or style , is the “Art Panel” iron bed.

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January 18th, 2011

Having been in the business of selling iron beds for over thirty years, and having been located here in the entertainment capital of the world…..Los Angeles, it’s only natural that at some point in time I’d come into contact with a familiar face, I’d seen in either the movies or on TV.

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January 16th, 2011
Butterfly#1

In the late 60′s and early 70′s a rock group burst on the scene with a song titled “In A Gadda Da Vida” which stayed on the charts for 140 weeks and in the Top Ten for 81. It became a rock and roll classic and would the beginning of a career that would eventually [...]

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January 15th, 2011
Cross Close-Up

Over the past thirty years I have actually come across three iron beds that have, what I consider to be, very Gothic overtones.

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January 14th, 2011

Why is it more and more decorators are suggesting iron beds to their clients.

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January 14th, 2011
Nouveau#1

As is well documented, the Art Nouveau period was peaking between 1890 and 1905…..well after the popularity of iron beds had been around and flourishing.

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January 13th, 2011
Best #3

In the very early 1800′s the population in this country had become very accustom to and happy with wooden bed frames. When iron beds were first introduced to the public, they were strictly utilitarian and little ornamentation and design were offered. It didn’t take long for the small independently owned foundries in the Tr-State area [...]

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January 13th, 2011
Draping( Heavy)

Draping was a very popular design element, when it came to fancier iron beds.

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January 13th, 2011

Everyone should be fortunate enough to, at one time in their life, be lucky enough to meet and become friends with someone like Boyd Barr.

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January 13th, 2011

Iron Beds back in the 1800′s walked a fine line of trying to please both male and female family members.

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January 11th, 2011
Picture 3

The flexibility of decorating with iron beds is nearly limitless.

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January 9th, 2011
Picture 6

Small independently owned iron bed foundries were some of the first early cottage industries in this country.

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January 9th, 2011

In the early 1850′s Americans were caught up in excitement of expansionism and railroads would aid them in this movement.

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Contact Cathouse Beds

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Cathouse Beds   30765 Pacific Coast Hwy. #167  Malibu, CA 90265
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