When we became a family of five, we had to do some readjusting of rooms in our home. We moved Celia and Micah into a shared boy and girl kid’s room and I hit the jackpot when I found two vintage Jenny Lind beds for this space. I’ve always loved timeless spindle beds and in our shared kid’s room, they add some fun and playfulness, while still allowing the room to maintain a classic coastal style. If you’re unfamiliar with Jenny Lind beds, you’re probably wondering who Jenny Lind is and why there are beds named after her. I’m here to answer! I’m also going to share how to find Jenny Lind beds for your home, how spindle beds are used in design, how to style Jenny Lind twin beds, and frequently asked questions about these beds.
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What is a Jenny Lind Bed?
The classic spindle beds, known as Jenny Lind beds, have been a long-standing staple piece in timeless design. Many are familiar with this spindled furniture, but unfamiliar with why they are called Jenny Lind beds. The intricate, beautiful craftsmanship of spindle beds has been around for hundreds of years. They are often referred to as “spool beds” due to the design’s resemblance to sewing spools. In the 16th century, woodworkers used a lathe with a foot pedal to create the spindle designs, which as you can imagine, was quite a tedious process. In the 1800s, steam power replaced the foot pedal, making spindle beds much easier to “mass” produce.
Around this time, in 1851, the immensely popular Swedish singer, Jenny Lind or “the Swedish Nightingale”, made her American debut with a tour. To hype up her tour, there was a huge marketing craze for all things Jenny Lind – hats and gloves, tobacco, and of course, furniture. It was said that Jenny Lind preferred sleeping on spindle beds during her U.S. tour. It’s unclear whether this is completely true or if it was just a marketing tactic to sell furniture, but the name stuck. Jenny Lind beds became so popular that even Abe Lincoln had one! I love the rich history behind the delicate designs of the ever-popular spool beds.
Matching Twin Beds in Kid’s Room
When I came across two Jenny Lind twin beds for our shared boy and girl kid’s room I was so excited! The two beds have different spindles and aren’t exactly the same, but they compliment each other and look great together. Each spool bed cost under $50 on Facebook Marketplace and our local thrift store, so I obviously couldn’t pass that up! After playing around with different ideas, I decided to hand paint the beds using Rustoleum chalk paint in Linen White. They look wonderful with our favorite lightweight quilt, a classic rug, some coastal pillows, and a white ceiling fan to tie the room together.
Jenny Lind Beds in Home Design
One thing I love about Jenny Lind beds is that they look great with various home design styles. The unique and beautiful details of the spindle designs add sophistication to any space. Whether your aesthetic is coastal, chic, traditional, or filled with vintage decor, a spindle bed is a wonderful item to accent your home and add character. Jenny Lind twin beds and spindle cribs are often seen in kid’s rooms, as the spools add a fun, playful touch for children. If you’re looking for beds in a shared kid’s room, keep in mind you don’t have to have two identical Jenny Lind beds for them to look wonderful together. These beds also work for adults, adding a nostalgic, classic touch to a master or guest bedroom.
How to Find Spindle Beds
Luckily, there are many different ways to shop for antiques nowadays. You can search for Jenny Lind Beds on Facebook Marketplace, at local antique stores, and on eBay. When searching, be sure to test out different search terms including “spindle bed”, “spool bed”, and “bobbin bed” in addition to “Jenny Lind bed”. These beds are often referred to as different names because of their spindle or spool shapes on the headboard and footboard. Testing out all of the different possible names will allow you to broaden your search.
Restoring Spindle Beds
Once you find an antique spindle bed, there are a few different options to turn it into the bed of your dreams. Like most wood furniture, you can paint, strip, or bleach a spindle bed. We chose to paint the kids’ Jenny Lind twin beds white. One of my favorite paints, fusion mineral paint, has beautiful colors to choose from and would also work well for spindle beds. Instead of painting, you could also strip a wooden bed to reveal it’s natural wood color or stain it a different shade. Another option would be to bleach a spindle bed to bring a light, natural color into your space.
Where to Buy a Jenny Lind Bed
If you’d rather purchase a new Jenny Lind style bed instead of restoring an antique, there are many beautiful ones currently on the market. Serena & Lily’s Webster Bed is a gorgeous spindle bed for adults. Crate & Barrel has many Jenny Lind kid’s beds including twin beds, a crib, and even a Jenny Lind daybed. You can also find some great spindle beds at Walmart and spindle cribs at Target for very reasonable prices.
Linden Bed | Walmart
Additional FAQ about Jenny Lind Beds
- How can you tell if a bed is a real Jenny Lind bed? Early models of spindle beds were characterized as having straight lengths of spool “turnings”, as this was the easiest to make. Around 1830, these beds had headboards and footboards that were about the same height. In the 1850s, woodworkers began making spool furniture with round corners. However, a truly, authentic Jenny Lind bed design would have square solid corners on the headboard.
- Are Jenny Lind beds valuable? Depending on the origin date of the furniture and the condition it’s in, a Jenny Lind bed could be valuable. A true antique Jenny Lind bed can be worth thousands of dollars.
- What size mattress fits an antique bed? Antique beds require a ¾ mattress, which is approximately 48 inches wide by 78 inches long. This is between a twin and full in size. There are custom mattress manufacturers who have ¾ mattresses available to purchase. We actually bought RV mattresses for our spindle beds and they fit perfectly.
- What are Jenny Lind beds typically made of? Jenny Lind beds are typically made of quality wood such as oak or mahogany.
- How can I style a spindle bed? One of the great things about spindle beds is that they can easily pair with most home design styles including coastal, chic, and classic decor. Simply style the bed with a great pair of sheets and some cute decorative pillows, as you would any other bed.
Do you get all of the nostalgic, happy feels at the sight of Jenny Lind beds like I do? Have you styled one of these beds in your own home? Or maybe you’re on the search for the perfect Jenny Lind twin bed for your child? If you have questions along the way, whether it’s about finding a spindle bed or how to restore one, I’m always happy to help! Simply leave a comment below or shoot me an email!