Antique beds are charming characters. Not only are they beautifully crafted pieces of furniture, but they also possess a certain magic.
They hold the secrets of generations of sleepless nights, of births and deaths, and of lifetimes in between. Despite all their appeal, however, antique beds may be impractical to use. Many beds made in the nineteenth century are far too small by today's standards, and it can be nearly impossible to find a modern mattress to fit one of these custom-built relics.
Fortunately, a company called Leonards New England in Seekonk, Massachusetts, has found a way to adapt antique beds to modern lifestyles. Today, Martha visits with Jeffrey Jenkins, owner of Leonards, to learn about this process.
Each bed produced by Leonards is custom built and handcrafted. Customers visit the workshop to choose from a vast selection of antique bedposts and headboards, which are then resized to fit a new mattress. All of the wood is hand-scraped, not sanded, and then the entire bed is painstakingly stained and finished to match the original color.
By the time the bed is finished, it is not exactly old and not exactly new. It is a beautiful blending of the best elements of both. Jeffrey explains that while this process of blending old and new decreases the value of the bed as an antique, it does create an elegant, functional piece of furniture that retains its vintage charm.
Jeffrey B. Jenkins, Leonards New England, Seekonk, MA, 508-336-8585