a peek inside the fishbowl

12 Apr, 2018

Things I am loving: our new bed!

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Oh! Things!

This post is about how we went for a walk and bought a bed (!) but I thought it needed a bit of backstory first.

When I first moved in with Mark (keeping in mind this was 20+ years ago) he had a terrible terrible bed. It was a double, with a mattress that sunk in the middle so no matter how you started out sleeping you somehow both ended up in a hollow in the centre. A new bed was our first purchase as a couple, although now that I think about it, it may have been the second. I recall that Mark’s sofa was about as comfortable as a park bench, so that had to go as well.

Anyway, buying a bed was a big deal. We ended up at Van Leeuwen’s in the Byward Market. This was my dream bed: a queen-sized wrought iron four-poster like something out of Bedknobs and Broomsticks. We had the option of customizing the colour of the frame so we chose dark green, which was a popular colour at the time. In hindsight, I wish we’d chosen black or white, but, whatever.

Friends, we’ve had that bed ever since. It travelled with us to Westboro when we moved from that one bedroom apartment in Hintonburg, and when we renovated it moved with us into our rental apartment and then back again.

We’ve been looking for a new bed for a while now but never really committed to the idea. I think this is partly due to the fact that it took us several years (!) to buy a new couch for the family room.

Not too long ago I found myself in a neighbourhood furniture shop called Suede and I spotted a bed frame that I actually liked. It was solidly built with a cushioned headboard and no footboard. And it was on clearance because it was a floor model. SCORE.

I texted Mark a few photos and for some reason, we dropped the idea until a couple of weeks ago when the two of us decided to walk to a bank appointment and window shop in Westboro Village along the way. As an added bonus, it was further reduced in price.

Long story short, we bought the bed! Here it is:

New bed !

I wasn’t sure if our nightstands would be a good match at first, but I think we’ll keep them for now. As I look at this photo I realize that our bedroom isn’t a glamorous lair that’s worthy of a home decor magazine – and maybe not much to brag about – but it’s comfortable and I like it.

In the interest of keeping it real, here are a few things you may be interested in knowing as you look at that photo:

  • The wooden chest at the bed is full of teddy bears and stuffed animals but it’s a handy place to toss my gym clothes and/or PJs. (Usually both.)
  • The bed is NOT perfectly centred under the windows. Would this bug you? We can’t centre it because of a heating grate on Mark’s side of the bed that interferes with the nightstand there. This was poor reno planning on our part, as was the placement of some light switches for the side lamps. (Don’t ask.)
  • Speaking of which, I would like a new reading lamp because I hate the one of my side of the bed.
  • Mark has one of those “light up” alarms on his side. The idea is that the light goes off before the alarm sound so make your awakening a little less jarring. Mark is not a morning person and has had mixed success with this. (At least the alarm sound is gentle.)
  • That busted laundry basket is full of mismatched socks and I really wish the sock pairing and mending fairies would just come over already and take it off my hands.
  • I’m thinking of adding a big area rug in this room that would go under the bed and stretch out the sides.

Also worth noting, Mark hates piles of pillows but I kind of love them and would like to have an abundance of pillows but I don’t think he’d tolerate this idea. There are already two on each side, plus one decorative one in the middle, which is MORE THAN ENOUGH by his standards, I’m sure. That big one on top of the laundry basket actually needs a pillow cover. It’s down-filled and can be pokey at times! I use it when I need an extra big pillow for reading.

4 Responses to "Things I am loving: our new bed!"

1 | Claudette

April 12th, 2018 at 10:19 am


I want a light-up alarm. Where did he get it? I have a buzzing clock under my pillow which we don’t love, and those wake-up-slowly sunshine alarms look much more pleasant to wake up to. Any tips?

2 | andrea tomkins

April 12th, 2018 at 10:48 am


We actually won it in a blog giveaway a few years ago. It’s made by Phillips. I really like it! It has a few different alarm sounds too, all are gentle… chirping birds, quiet sounds etc. I’ve always wondered why alarm clock buzzers need to be so irritating. That’s no way to wake up in the morning!

3 | Marianne

April 15th, 2018 at 4:37 am


The bed not being centred would definitely bother me. I’d solve it by opting for nightstands on legs, or installing floating shelves. But Id probably live with the off set bed for a few years first because it would take me that l9ng to make a decision.

4 | andrea tomkins

April 16th, 2018 at 3:55 pm


I try not to look! ;) New nightstands would help the problem, for sure. They’re just not in the cards right now. Unfortunately, everything I really like is $$$!

comment form:


Have a great summer at Saunders Farm!

Mrs Tiggywinkle's - the best toy store in Ottawa

Click me!


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Hamilton Car Wraps: First off enjoyed the twitter post, and yes very true about the steak knife. Enjoyed the article about walking as it is my new years resolution to he
  • Ajax Prestige Limo: Will there be a similar offering in the future? This sounds like a good idea.
  • Claudette: I love your little list every weekend! As I've mentioned, I too have started doing something similar, and some of my followers are commenting how much
  • Misty: I also have trouble with the things I need to do, but don't want to do (including a new pair of glasses) I did finally check off submitting a warranty
  • Claudette: That is wonderful to hear! I'm the same with wheat and sugar, so if I plan a spaghetti dinner i know that all day that day I will not have any wheat p
  • a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive The January reset continues - a peek inside the fishbowl: […] other day I posted about some promises I made to myself and we are ten days into the month so I wanted to share a small update. To summariz
  • Jinjer: Ohhhhhh!!!! The little jars/tins are so cute and I love the box! All those tea flavors sound tasty. I definitely want this and my Mom DID just ask me

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark. We have two daughters: Emma (19) and Sarah (17). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


E-book alert!

Shopping Embargo e-book promo

My right hand is actually a camera

Connect with me at these places too!

Piper is on Instagram

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter