One day I was messing around on Gumtree, ogling cats my husband won’t let me have, and came across an advert with the picture you see here. I fell in love on the spot and sent it on to Etienne, who also fell in love. So, off I went to have a look at it, all the way to Hout Bay. I met a lovely American couple that retired early (by SA standards) from the US Navy and decided to make Cape Town home. They have just renovated their house and had no space for this beauty. The bed is called a Thomasville Ernest Hemingway Kilimanjaro King Size bed. Yes, it’s a long-ass name for a bed!
You know when you see something you love so much you can’t stop touching it? (and I don’t just mean my husband) That is how I felt about this bed.
I measured and measured and was told it is a King Size bed, and at home Etienne and I measured and measured and checked our bank accounts and declared the bed is destined to be ours. As if we were going to let anyone else have it anyway.
I paid the lovely lady, arranged for someone to collect our precious bed and waited for days and days for the rain to clear up. I also shopped around for mattress prices and ended up buying a King mattress from Tafelberg after I haggled and haggled about the price, all on-line without having to darken the doorstep of a single furniture store.
We also bought King bedding, everything from fitted sheets, mattress protectors, duvet inners and a duvet cover. By this time I was starting to flinch a little.
On the day our bed and mattress arrived I was at work and Etienne was home with the kids as it was school holidays. He set about dismantling our old bed and assembling our new bed in preparation for the mattress to arrive.
Which it did, with great fanfare. Only, as it turns out, we bought an American Super King Size bed and the mattress was 20cm too narrow and 25cm too short. And yes, I can see you trying to measure how much 20cm is with your hands, more than you thought isn’t it?
To give you an idea: a King size mattress in SA is 183cm wide and 188cm long, a Super King 183cm wide and 2m long. The mattress we had to get had to be 2m x 2m to comfortably fit into our bed.
So, I did what any self-respecting consumer would do: I called Tafelberg with my hat in my hand and asked if they could supply me with a 2m x 2m mattress pretty please. I then had to drink several glasses of wine to recover from the shock of the difference in price as the mattress has to be made specially.
But, in for a penny, in for a whole lot of pounds and off we went.
As a side note: at this point we had a bed, but no mattress except for our old Queen and no-where to put the old mattress except for in the lounge, which we promptly did, to the absolute delight of our children.
The next thing I had to worry about was the bedding and I promptly started searching for fitted sheets and a mattress cover. Nothing. No-one pre-makes and sells fitted sheets/mattress covers in this size in SA that I can find. I ended up having some sheets made by Ginger Cat Linen in Johannesburg (thank you twitter!) and they were great. They even sent their lady to personally drop off the sheets with me when I was in Gauteng.
By this stage, more than a week later, we were still sleeping in the lounge as Tafelberg hadn’t managed to get our mattress yet, but thankfully it arrived while I was away, which meant that I could sleep on a brand new mattress and our beautiful bed when I arrived home from 4 lovely days in Gauteng. (more about that some other time)
So, if you happened to see my questions on twitter and Facebook about beds and mattresses and bedding, that’s what it was all about.
Lesson learnt: you can never measure something too many times!
Also: no, I can’t show you a pic of what the bed looks like in our bedroom because I can’t get far away enough to take a photo of it. We are about to start our next set of renovations and part of the plan is to (hopefully!!) make our bedroom bigger, in which case I may be able to show you a proper pic in about 2 months’ time. Ironically, the extra money we ended up spending on the bed may actually hamper our ability to make our bedroom bigger.
Lastly: I wasn’t very happy with the service we received from Tafelberg this time around. In a nutshell: if you end up looking for a bed or mattress, do not under ANY circumstances speak to Robert at the Bellville branch, but Nico is very helpful and will actually take the time to let you know what is potting. Robert operates under the illusion that providing basic customer service and doing someone a favour is one and the same thing. And no, I haven’t written them a letter of complaint, I don’t have the energy after finally writing this post.