These Ideas Give Garden Beds a Whole New Meaning

Not all of us have room for a four-post bed or a place for that daybed hand-me-down. So if you have beds and no use for them, what do you? Take them outside. Turn that unused furniture piece into a garden or patio delight. Let me show you how.

Truly a Garden Bed

So you have an old, four post cast iron bed that won’t fit in your bedroom and you can’t pawn it off on your 15-year-old daughter. What now? Drag it outside. Yes, paint it white for the best contrast against the green grass, plant it in the ground and create a garden bed of epic proportions. Want a visual? Check out the photo of “Between Naps on the Porch” on Houzz for the perfect example of a true garden bed.

Instant Arbor

If you’ve shopped arbor or gazebo structures, you know how pricey they can be. You can create an instant arbor with a four-post bed. Through the years, I’ve seen some unbelievably ornate carvings in old wood beds in thrift stores – but, the structures were old, worn, and past their prime. If I saw one today, I wouldn’t pass it up. I’d snatch up that piece, prop up the frame with cut fence posts cemented into the ground, and set a small patio table and chairs inside for the perfect backyard getaway.

Patio Bedroom

If you’re the adventurous type, turn a large, under-utilized covered patio into an outdoor bedroom. Bring your post bed outdoors, sew an upholstered cover for the mattress and fill it with toss pillows. You’ll have a romantic place to get away and enjoy a warm summer breeze. Or, if you don’t have a large patio, try using a space on the front porch.

Sleeping Porch

When you have an old day bed and a covered porch, you have the perfect piece for a sleeping nook. Use outdoor fabrics to cover the mattress, add a bunch of throw pillows and an airy mosquito net to keep the bugs away while you nap. Flank the daybed with a pair of swing arm lamps and it’s also a cozy place to curl up and read a good book at night.

Sun Cushion Bed

Don’t have an unwanted bed to recycle – but, still yearning for an outdoor place to gaze at the stars? Not a problem. Build an easy wood platform and top it with a thick outdoor cushion covered in weather-resilient fabric that wears like iron from a manufacturer like Sunbrella.

Set your creation against an outdoor wall and add large abstract artwork behind it for maximum impact. No need to spend a fortune on artwork – create your own by building a large wood canvas with a 2″ x 4″ wood frame and plywood. Paint a base color and use a spatter or drip paint technique for your own modern masterpiece. Finish the piece with outdoor polyurethane to keep it safe from the elements.

Flank your sleeping cushion with pairs of pillows and potted ficus trees and you’ll have a little bit of outdoor heaven in your own backyard.

Visit Houzz to see the ideabook entitled, “Not Your Momma’s Garden Bed” for great outdoor sleeping ideas and get your creative juices going. You’ll be stargazing and snoozing with nature before you know it.

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