Converting Antique Double Bed to Queen???

sjharris53December 12, 2009

I have a lovely antique double bed in my guest room, but think it would be much more guest friendly as a queen. Is it possible to convert it to a queen without compromising the bed? I have even considered just using the headboard,and attaching it to a queen sized frame, but I really want to keep the bed intact. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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There are converter rails:

Just search fro double to queen convert and lots of sites pop up.

Which to use depends on how your bed rails attach. The mattress sticks out a bit,but it's not ugly.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 8:25PM
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Wonderful Eastlake bed by the way!!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 8:48PM
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If this has wooden side rails and the full fits pretty snugly, there is no way to get a mattress that is 5" longer. The 6" difference in width is easier to compensate for but the length would require altering the side rails.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 9:06PM
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Hi, I'm not usually in this forum, but could I please ask a related question? I have a nice old brass bed that we had converted to a queen (I took the steel side rails to a steel fabricator "The Steel General" and he did a great job extending them). So now the bed is long enough and the box springs and mattress hang over a couple of inches on each side. The extra width is not all that noticeable.

But what I can't figure out is how to make a dust ruffle work. Because the mattress/box springs are wider than the bed frame, the corner slits in the dust ruffle match the corners of the mattress, but do not meet the frame in the right places. Am I explaining that ok? I tried to sew my own ruffle where the sides of the ruffle wrap around the corner of the mattress a little and the slits match the bed frame. To call my end product awkward is being kind. How have others dealt with this? Thanks in advance!!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 8:16AM
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sjharris, I have searched thru my bookmarks and can't find it yet. There are skilled craftsman out there who can actually make the headboard and foot board bigger too, you'd never know it was altered. This is not my bookmark, but it's a post by a woodworker that does it. (Scroll down to Wood Doctor's post of 12/20/07 for details.) You might be able to google "antique bed conversion headboard" and get results, hopefully someone in your area. I have wanted to get DH to try this, just haven't found the right bed yet!

arlosmom, have you considered buying a King dust ruffle and tweaking it? Perhaps you could cut in half lengthwise, from head to foot direction. (I know there would be a seam, but would the bed frame hide it?) Then you might be able to get the corners to land more appropriately where you want them to? (You could practice on a clearance one from TJ Maxx or Marshalls, Tues Morning, etc.)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 2:34PM
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The Eastlake bed is great. But if you convert it to a queen, you'll have bed on either side of the head board. I can't imagine that you'd cut that headboard. Do you have a ton of house guests who can't sleep in a double?

And rather than hi-jack this thread to ask about dust ruffles, why not just start a new thread on Decorating?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 4:20PM
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I have a friend who just lays the queen mattress and springs on top of the rails. A double bed is 54 inches, a queen is 60...that's 3 inches more on either side. But the bed sits very high when you do that and hides a lot of the headboard.
Are all queen beds longer than a double?
Linda c

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 4:49PM
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Yeah, standard Queen is 60 x 80.
Standard double (full) is 54 x 75.
Sizes are here.

Don't really see the big deal of arlosmom's question here, sjharris could well run into a similar situation.

I'm going to retract my earlier post about converting wood headboards. Well, not retract, just clarify. Fighting a migraine all day, makes my thinking fuzzy. :/ I've seen it done in photos, and done well, even on very nice quality antiques. But on a really nice antique piece, personally I'm not encouraging it. And that's one really pretty bed!
I should just refrain from posting when my head is pounding.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 8:14PM
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Moonshadow, the woodworking article on converting beds was interesting; just today a friend showed me her antique double bed that has been both extended and widened using the technique described in that linked article. If you didn't know it, I don't think you would ever realize the bed had been altered.

Ideefixe, our son who is 6' tall knocked the cap of the footboard off the last time he slept in the bed, cracking the top of the foot board. My nephew and his wife slept in the bed when they came to visit, and were too nice to tell me, but told my sister that it was quite cozy for the two of them in the bed. But we really don't have overnight guests that often, and I am having second thoughts about altering the bed. It belonged to my great great aunt, so it's not just an antique I picked up. Lindac, I didn't realize it was an Eastlake, so thanks for that information!

I do have the man coming out this week that altered my friend's antique bed. I'll see what he says and then decide. There is something to the old adage about not making things so comfortable for your house guests that they don't want to go home :)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2009 at 9:21PM
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Oh lordy that's a gorgeous bed. Eastlake is often quite plain in overall form (just a plain dresser, for example, until you get close enough to see the carvings) but this one is quite special.

Antique doubles are "cozy", I can vouch for that as we sleep in one every night (and not always that well!). And the length is an issue with a footboard; we're tall enough that I'm having to wonder whether this bed, which we bought only last year, is really right for us.

I can actually see some possibilities for amending yours without ruining it. To get the width, you could add new posts to the outsides of the head and footboards quite easily, because their edges are straight. You could hang the rails onto those. Length is harder. You'd maybe be best off to just put the rails in storage and have new longer ones made - or maybe you could hang the originals onto new, longer boards, and patch in something at one end to visually fill the gap. You could also put the new long rails UNDER the originals, allowing the originals to still sit in the right place with respect to the mattress, without being the primary support mechanism.

Sorry I didn't check the link from Moonshadow before writing this, so it might repeat or be negated by something written there.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 1:31PM
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So my bed has just left in the truck of a cabinet/woodworker who is going to fix the foot board and re-glue some loose joints; I have until the weekend to decide if I want him to alter it to fit a queen mattress. He is the same man who did my friend's bed, so I have seen his work and was quite impressed. I just have to decide if I want to preserve the integrity of the bed, or adjust it to fit 21st century life. This is the only guest bed in our house since our third bedroom is being used as an office/den.

Are there any other things I should consider before making my decision?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 6:18PM
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sjharris, from your picture, the wall that the bed is on is narrow. If you change to a queen-size, would there be room enough for the bed, let alone the bedside table?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 5:05PM
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kathleenca, very good point! The guest bedroom does not have an uninterrupted wall, and the location of the bed in the picture is where it really needs to go. I think the smartest choice is to keep it a double.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 5:49PM
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From moonshadows measurements above you might have room. You only need six inches and your night table does not take all the space on that side. The most that might happen is the nigtstand sits close to the wall and you might need just a little on the other side next to the door.

Now, let me see if I can verbalize what I see in my head as to widening the bed to a queen. I would duplicate the posts on each side but make them half as tall, flush with the front of the head/foot boards but extended a tad on the backside to accomodate supporting rails across the back. Clamp these rails to the existing bed instead of nailing/screwing to the bed itself. They have hardware that can be screwed to the new parts and turned up or down over the existing part to hold in place. This way the bed isn't compromised and the visible posts on each side match the bed. Is that clear as mud???

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 6:43PM
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If it were my bed....and a family piece, I would leave it unaltered, put it in an attic or something, save it for a grand child, not for a "man and woman" bed but for a kid and a sleep over.....and buy a queen mattress and box spring and get a head board for the guest bedroom.
I hate to see historical thing messed up to meet some modern standard.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 16, 2009 at 9:52PM
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That takes my idea a step better, Pris, I like it - I'm paying attention because I may consider doing my bed someday and it would kill me to drill into it - Like Linda, I hate to see something this nice screwed up (though I like messing with vintage furniture that is already wrecked!). Still, lengthening the side rails is a puzzle.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2009 at 2:06AM
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Well, actually, I would replace with them with modern metal queen size rails that would hook into the new portion of the head and foot boards. That's only if the existing rails are not built in as a permanent part of the existing bed. If they can be removed and stored and replaced later if you wanted, otherwise, that perplexes me also. I don't know what the existing construction is so, can't hazard a guess. You could also duplicate the original if they are wooden rails and you want them to show when the bed is made up. I don't know the construction so what you do would depend on how the original bed is constructed.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2009 at 10:01AM
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It's the weekend and time for me to call my woodworker and tell him my decision; I'm going to keep the bed as is. I can always change it later, but once it is altered, it's altered. Our house is a 50s ranch and the bedroom is small, 10 x 12, so the double bed really fits the space. It would be an awesome bed for a a grandchild that we are really hoping to be blessed with one day soon....As for now, it can just look good in the room and put up the occasional guest. Being a teacher, I could just explain sleeping in a double bed as a living history museum experience...

    Bookmark   December 18, 2009 at 5:29PM
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