Even a stopped clock is right twice a day

Our story so far: The finishing phase in our church conversion project was where the rubber hit the road. We encountered so many challenges, our wry son-in-law joked he was going to start a competing blog called “Everything Wrong With the Church” and reveal all our mistakes.

# # #

The finishing detail that made me thunk my forehead with my palm came not with an element of the church, but with a piece of furniture. It was a project that spread itself over a couple of weeks and required attention from both me and Tyler.

headboard
Beat up maybe, but this abandoned headboard and footboard had potential.

The beat-up headboard and footboard we found on the side of the road in early spring? We would need a guest bed sooner rather than later, so I spent a weekend painting it. The project put me in the way of any number of contractors who required space or basement access, but it needed to be done. I ran out of paint before I finished so I used some leftover paint in a close match to finish the back (no one would ever know—unless they read the blog about Everything Wrong With the Church). When it was dry, St. Johnny and I hauled it upstairs taking care not to ding the drywall.

Via a friend, we sourced a barely-used mattress set that came with a bed frame. We counted ourselves lucky because our benefactor of the headboard and footboard did not bestow us with the frame. Tyler and I hauled it to the church, and as we were about to shove the box spring up the back stairs, we realized it wasn’t going to fit (this was a throughway designed for Sunday schoolers, not queen-sized box springs). OK, so we enlisted a few contractors to help shove it over the balcony railing the next morning.

As we set to assembling the bed frame, we realized it was designed for a headboard only. There was no way to attach the footboard. OK, so Tyler jerry-rigged a solution, spray painted it out in the yard and hauled it upstairs. Because it was jerry-rigged, it required an inordinate amount of grunting and number of screws to assemble. OK, Tyler grunted and succeeded. He and St. Johnny lugged the box spring into place …

And Tyler called me upstairs.

“Your bed doesn’t fit,” he said in summons.

“Okayyyy,” I said slowly. “Whaddya mean ‘my bed doesn’t fit’?” I had measured the headboard and knew it would be a tight fit for nightstands, but I also figured I could find a creative solution (what’s Pinterest for anyway?). I joined him at his side, looking at the bed.

“It’s not a queen headboard,” Tyler said. “It’s a king.”

headboard too big
Um, yeah. That’s not a queen size headboard and footboard. Nice paint job though.

We had plucked it from the street. Unloaded it into our rental unit. I had moved it to the church to paint, and touched every square inch of it. St. Johnny and I had moved it upstairs. I had measured it to determine what kind of nightstands would fit. Tyler built a frame on it to fit a queen mattress. And not until the mattress was in place did we realize the headboard was king sized.

Do you suppose we were a little distracted?

The queen mattress with the king headboard looked ridiculous. It was all wrong.

“Well, I guess we’ll be moving this down to the basement when we finish a bedroom down there,” I shrugged. There was no modifying it. “One of our guest beds in the basement will be a king, I guess.”

When we looked back upon all these finishing mistakes, they were small things. The oven fit perfectly. The kitchen sink worked like a dream. The chandeliers in the bedroom were beautiful. The shower drained like it should and felt like a luxury to use. So many things fell into place, even without a documented plan.

So the headboard was the wrong size. It made for a good story. Who’s to say it wasn’t meant to be?

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Tomorrow: Move-in day. See the master bedroom here.

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