I’ve been scheming a bedroom update for awhile, a concept to expand upon the shiplap wall and add a more defined headboard accent. (UPDATE: You can jump to the finished, stained result here!)
The addition of the shiplap paneling and curtains late last summer were phase 1 in overhauling this room. More like phases 1, 2, and 3… the change made for an incredible design transition. Pulling the bed into the center of the room and positioning it beneath the window helped to balance out the space and really open it up and make it feel bigger than it is. I’m happy about it every day. But even with the addition of the CB2 side tables and Pixies/Mr. Black posters as shown in this picture from last September, the bed still feels a little bit like it’s floating there.
It’s a small bedroom, that’s for certain, only about 15’x15′. It’s so small that the only wall in the entire room that has enough open space to accomodate a real queen-sized headboard is on the wall opposite the current window/curtain headboard; it’s a blank wall that has no windows and is inconveniently home to the only outlet in the entire room. To have my bed against that wall forces it to face due east, and forces me to wake up earlier than the birds with the morning sun. I happen to know this because that’s how the furniture was setup for the first week I lived in the house; all in all, too bright with a poor TV setup, a bad situation. And that’s why my bed has been wedged into a corner, or positioned beneath the window facing away from the morning light in more recent years.
Enter my muse for bedroom headboard expansion. This geometric Morocco Headboard from West Elm spurred great inspiration:
Even though I’ve been eyeing this headboard (and it’s even on sale right now, ahh!) it wouldn’t work in the current bedroom. With the bed positioned beneath the window, a traditional headboard with any height to it is out of the question (and side note, I do like that headboard-over-window layered look in front of big, big windows, but that’s not the architectural situation over here).
The solution that I decided to toy with involved making a two-piece headboard which could be assembled and installed to resemble a hexagonal honeycomb pattern that flows behind both side tables, maybe hopefully performing some eye trickery and making any unaware person think that it flowed fluidly behind the width of the bed and beneath the window. Not exactly the same design as what you see in the Morocco Headboard, but I think it has potential. To draw you a super rough picture that proves I’m no artist and can’t even draw a RIBBA frame to be level, this is what I’m thinking:
I began by gathering materials. Because I already had the tools to make this happen at home (miter saw, sand paper, wood glue), all I needed to get started were eight 1×2-8′ pine boards (like furring strips, but a better quality. And at $2.98 each, they weren’t breaking the bank).
In planning for design and assembly, I performed a little mathematical equation to determine what angles would need to be cut to form a honeycomb hexagonal pattern. Follow this: If a hexagon consists of 6-angles, and the inside of an enclosed circle equals 360-degrees, then 360-degrees divided by 6 equals 60-degrees. Because each angle would be shared by two pieces of pine wood coming together, I considered the 60-degree angle as being composed of two 30-degree angles, so that’s what I tested out. If you want a visual of that, here you go:
To achieve a series of 30-degree cuts on 64 ft. of the 1×2 lumber I had brought home, I set up shop in the basement at the miter saw. Locked at 30-degrees, I relied on a heavily anchored piece of scrap wood to serve as a cutting guide. By resting the wood being chopped to length against that guide, it was easier to guarantee pieces of equal length. *Note, this anchor may shift a little with the natural humming of the saw, which makes maintaining accuracy for larger projects like this a real bleeping pain in the you know what. A shifting guide rule this is not a wood craftsman’s friend, but I got by OK… fortunately, I didn’t end up needing every last piece I cut, as the last few were different lengths.
I started cutting each 8′ board by chopping the end into a 30-degree angle, cutting off as little as possible. This entire operation was a minimum-waste effort to get as many cuts as possible out of each board.
With the first angle cut completed, I flipped the board over and rested the pointy tip along the cutting guide and sliced again; by doing this, I didn’t have to change the angle of the saw to miter in the other direction. With a 3″ piece cut, I then flipped it and repositioned so that the pointy angle was once again at the guide. And again. And again, until I chopped through 64′ of lumber.
There was heavy reliance on that cutting guide to keep each piece equal lengths. As I chopped along, it became easier, and within a half-hour, I had a big pile of hexagon components. This is just a good handful of them, nowhere near the full selection.
I did a rough assembly on the basement floor as I went to make sure things were coming together easily.
Because the pine pieces were being cut with the miter saw, it was hard to avoid having some rough edges. After all of the pieces were cut, I used a multi-tool with a sanding attachment to lightly smooth down any rough and splintered edges.
Another hour into the project, I was ready to start assembling the hexagons; while originally I considered using the nail gun and securing the pieces together, I started with simple wood glue to see how well it would hold. Good experiment, because I had forgotten how incredibly binding wood glue could be. Each hexagon was very strong within a single hour of having been glued and left to sit in the warm sunroom sun.
I continued gluing until all of the hexagons were independently assembled, and then began gluing them to one another creating a true honeycomb-esque pattern sized to fit behind each CB2 table in the bedroom.
Left to cure in the sunroom, I was left with two very pretty panels, each held strongly by the wood glue and ready for staining and installation, which if all goes as planned, will happen sometime this week.
Best of all, if I decide not to use them behind the headboard, they’d each serve well as freestanding wall decor. Very multi-purposeful.
To see how they look installed, check out PART TWO.
Thanks to everyone who entered to win my latest giveaway for Black & Decker tools; the random winner has been notified. Was it you? Check your inboxes!