I have an eleven-year-old dog named Cid with a back problem. He has a hard time jumping up on our bed – so I decided it was time to do something… Get a platform bed! I have always wanted a George Nelson Case Study Bed with hairpin legs (v-legs). Needless to say, the original piece is out of reach, but Modernica sells reproductions for around $1,500 (queen size). I think $1,500 is not a lot of money for a nice bed – the question is… Do I want to pay $1,500 for a bed? Not really – so I started to explore my options. I searched online to see if there were any other styles – yes, but nothing within my budget. Then I started to think all these platform beds were so simple that I could build one myself. I have never tackled building furniture, so let this be the first one!
I researched many sources and decided to make a platform bed with slats. My original idea was to make a platform bed using a plan in Todd Oldham’s book called Handmade Modern. I could make the platform part according to the plan using four plywood pieces and attach some hairpin legs instead of the pipe legs in the book. Then, I read somewhere that putting a mattress on a solid surface prevents it from breathing, thus resulting in mold growth underneath the mattress. Yuk! I cannot let my dog (and us) sleep on the moldy mattress!
For the body, I would use some 2x6s and 2x4s (for the support frame), oak boards (for the top frame), and 1x4s (for slats). The headboard would be cut from a 4×8 furniture grade oak plywood sheet. I could then use the rest to build two nightstands. For legs, I would use four 8” stainless steel hairpin legs and four wooden legs. Four wooden legs would be attached inner part of the bed where you could not see.
I bought all the materials local except the hairpin legs. I made my reluctant husband help me build a Case Study style platform bed one weekend… He was fine with the old bed – but I convinced him that Cid could hurt his back worse trying to jump on the bed that was too high for him. After all, Cid was his precious angel, too.
First we put the support frame together – four pieces of 2x6s were attached together with wood glue and steel braces. Inside of the frame, we attached some 2x4s for additional support. Then we attached all the legs and flipped the frame over to attach the top frame. Since this would be the only visible part of the platform, we chose red oak boards. We then attached 11 slats that hold our mattress.
The headboard was cut from a 4×8 oak plywood sheet. The widest oak board available was 12 inches which was too narrow to attach to the support frame. Modenica Case Study Bed uses three L shaped braces to attach the headboard to the platform body. Instead of using the L shaped braces, I cut the plywood 22″ x 64″ with two notches on each side and attached it directly to the support frame. Then, we attached the two steel braces (behind the headboard) for additional support. We stained the top frame and headboard with “honey” colored stain.
We spent about $350 for the materials. We are pretty happy and proud with how it turned out. The bed feels pretty sturdy and the height is just right. The only regret is that when we are standing up, we cannot see the hairpin legs very well – but Cid no longer has problem getting up on the bed and that’s all that matters!