I’m at a tag sale and there is a long, narrow Victorian daybed with a simple curved shape in a cherry wood stain with a blue ticking mattress. It’s clearly old but in good condition. The price is reasonable. I circle it and circle it again. A young couple is also beginning to circle it. It’s elegant, we say and we love it.
But I can’t think what to do with it, just now.
I’ve long admired the daybed. Its name suggests its double life and its charm: it gives us permission to take to bed in broad daylight because we disguise it as a sofa. As pieces of furniture go, they fall somewhere between a sofa and a chaise (some English country sofas look suspiciously like daybeds to me, and I suspect that a good deal of midday napping takes place on them as well).
Then, not long after the tag sale and the Victorian daybed that I passed up, daybeds are all I’m thinking about (day dreaming you could say) and I’m noticing them everywhere, used in many different ways (floating in rooms, tucked in corners, in pairs like twin beds, in living rooms like sofas, in kitchens and keeping rooms, on porches and sun rooms, swathed in mosquito nets).
And then, suddenly, it’s the perfect solution to a decorating problem: daughter’s bedroom now vacated and ready to be refreshed and rethought. It’s a small quirky room with nice light and pretty windows and built-in bookshelves. A guest room? A reading room? Both. A daybed of course.
So I’m on the hunt now. In my case, to create more room in a small space, it will be placed against a wall (as much as I love the whimsy of the floating daybed, I’m honestly not sure how practical and comfortable that would actually be to sit on or lie on, and it would only make sense in a large or very sparse room). Either way, it allows a room to be used in more than one way. It suggests imagination. And that’s the spirit and the beauty of the daybed, I think.