because I reject the notion that white furniture is specifically feminine

(Which is a really verbose way to say: Big Boy Bed, part 1)

Have you heard? We’re doing the Big Boy Bed Transition. Apparently one or two or 70 of you are familiar it (or it’s well-known sibling, Big Girl Bed Transition) and weighed in with your experiences last week. It was informative. It was comical. It was helpful. It gave us confidence.

And so we went for it.

It started with some epic furniture shopping trips. Remember all that advice about letting OBaby pick out his bed and his bedding? Well, THIS is what he really wanted to take home:


Uhm, yea. No.

He may not have had the most refined taste of the shopping party (the three of us), but he was a hoot and he had every single employee we interacted with wrapped around his little finger faster than you could say “special promotional offer”.


The retro circle bedding was also a No. Sorry buddy.

Here was our approach for picking out the bed:

1. We knew we wanted a twin and not a toddler bed (figured we’d skip a step and save money).

2. We plan on the boys sharing a room for many years, so we wanted to buy two matching twins while we were at it.

3. We wanted railings to hold OBaby in while he learns how to sleep in a big boy bed.

… all of which were solved easily by shopping for twin bunk beds. Twin size, two matching beds, and railings are included. Once we knew we were looking for bunk beds, we discussed it more. We made a list of purposes this bed needed to serve, and then one of features we wanted it to have. It looked something like this:

Needs to:

Both stack as bunks and break apart into separate beds

Be sturdy and quality enough to last 2 boys at least 10 years

Have railings on both sides of top bunk

Not cost 3 arms and 2 legs (we draw the line at 2 and 2)

Want it to:

Be wood, preferably either a dark finish or one that would match the crib (honey colored)

Have vertical slats on the railing to mimic a crib

Have a “substantial” look (OMW Please try to explain “visual weight” of a piece of furniture to DanO. I dare you.)

And then we shopped. And shopped. And shopped. Our first trip out we went to 4 furniture stores in one afternoon/evening (because we are masochists). It was actually a pretty good time to do so, it seemed, because several of the stores we went to were having new year promotions (although, aren’t they always having some sort of promotion?) and we found precisely two beds that fit all of our needs and one or two of our wants.

But dude. Bunk beds that will last you 10 years? They are not cheap. So we went home and thought it out, made plans of where else to check, and looked at the numbers. Gosh it would be nice if they were a bit less expensive. But we had been to the discount stores, and browsed IKEA. We just didn’t see anything we thought could handle what we anticipate our O Boys dishing out.

We hummed and hawed. And went out another evening to visit a local warehouse furniture store where we found an even MORE promising option for a wee bit cheaper than the other two we had liked. It was down to one, but we still wanted to sleep on it.

On the way home from shopping for big boy beds we decided to swing the family by Costco for pizza/dinner because that’s what all the really cool 25 year olds do with their Friday nights, yes? Yes.

As we walked through the pearly Costco gates (and flashed our membership card, of course) we caught glimpse of it. There, just over the horizon of 48728 inch TVs, Red Vine Tubs, and 8 packs of winter gloves was a beautiful, sturdy, slat-railed, and substantial bunk bed set. And it was $100 cheaper than the option we had just seen at the other store.

::angelic chorus::

But it was not wood stained. It was white. And the model title *might* have been a girl’s name. Also, there was only a girl’s bedroom picture on the box, no alternative boy bedding pictures. So we wondered – is it a girly bed set? I mean, it’s definitely sturdy and quality enough to for our boys, but was it masculine enough for them? Is that even a question worth asking or is it completely, utterly superficial and vain?

I snapped a picture and then naturally, I asked my twitter friends for their input on the gender neutral factor while our family split some pizza (have you SEEN the size of Costco’s “slices”?).

After we wiped the pizza grease from our hands, we tallied up the twitter responses (What? You don’t let strangers friends from the interwebs help you make decisions on large purchases? O.) and it was a close, but “No, it’s not too girly” came in slightly ahead which gave us the boost we needed to go for it. It’s a quality piece of furniture for a great price with all of our needs and all but 1 of our wants. And I knew that boyish bedding on that sucker would leave no question about the gender of the bed occupant. It was a win.

We went back to the furniture section to put the boxes on a flat bed cart… but the boxes – BOTH of the beds that had been there before we ate dinner in the “food court” – were g.o.n.e. gone. All that debating, all that tweeting, all for nothing.

But wait, the employee said! They DID have one more bed! It was up in the stacks and they had to get a big machine thingy to get it down!

::angelic chorus again::

We got the beds home where the boxes took up our entire living room that night. It was decided. Even though we hadn’t been planning to start the transition until the following weekend, we would have to put it together the next day. We just simply were not going to step over those mammoth boxes for a week, nor were we going to haul all 300+lbs (not exaggerating) of them elsewhere to store.

We dove in head first Saturday morning.

IMG_5185.jpg IMG_5195.jpg IMG_5196 copy.jpg

{What? Don’t look at me.}

IMG_5200 copy.jpg

{Ok, so this one you can look at me for.}


To be continued…

(Admittedly, I’ve been known to not finish continued posts, but this continuation is already written – don’t worry! I just want to keep you in suspense slash not have a 2000 word post so yer gunna have to wait.)

33 Responses to “because I reject the notion that white furniture is specifically feminine”

  1. kim

    I think it looks great — and sturdy ALWAYS wins. Plus, w/ boy quilts and boy stuff strewn all over the room, it will be all boy. And really — what boy complains about how his room looks? I’ve never heard a boy say, “Mooom, can we maybe get a coordinating comforter and pillows? With a nice valance and maybe a cozy rug? Oh, and some cute hooks for my baseball hats would totally complete the look.” As long as they can throw their toys around, they’re good!

  2. Kacia @ Coconut Robot

    Can I just say how much I wish I lived right down the road from you? So we could sit around in the cold with our pregnant bellies + then roll on the floor with laughter at stories like this?

    I mean, I did wake up next to you one morning…having never met you…. so we’re destined to be life-long friends. Duh! :O)

  3. Suzanne

    Ahahahahaha! Love the “manly” version of the box! I think I saw someone on Twitter suggest that with blue accents the beds would look very nautical, which would be adorable and definitely not princessy. I am waiting with baited breath to hear how the transition goes, because even though I’m technically ahead of you (what with already having baby #2 on the outside) I’m waiting to see how EVERYONE ELSE ON THE INTERNET handles the toddler bed before we ditch the crib.

    • Cole

      That was ME who thought it would be nautical! :) For the record, too, my crib is white and nobody ever accused it of being too girly once it’s within the context of the rest of my room… I plan to skip the toddler bed, too – we already have a twin bed and I’m going to get a rail – so Mommy’s very interested in how it goes for you guys!

  4. Our Love Captured

    I am officially in love with that bed. I want it!!! I don’t think white is to girly for a boy. I think it can be “dressed up” for either gender. But I love the top bunk a tone. It is perfect for a transition bed…good job guys!

  5. MaryAnn

    Hi Allison!
    I actually just purchased this bunk yesterday for my two little monkeys! I am in L.O.V.E. with it!
    I’m hoping you had the $100 off coupon for it. If not, maybe you could print it and bring it in with your receipt? anyway, here’s the link: http://costcoconnection-cdnsrc.texterity.com/connection/201101?pg=96#pg96
    And I can’t wait to see your pics with manly bedding! Ours is in the garage for another couple of weeks until we get the toddler bed out of the house, but ours is for our son and our daughter. When #3 comes, if its a boy, this bed will stay in the boys room and if its a girl, it will stay in the girls room. So it may have to be a boy/boy bed but for now its a boy/girl bed. :)

    • AllisonO

      MARYANN!!!! Please tell me you live in Minnesota so that I can drive over to your house right now and KISS YOU! We bought the beds on Friday the 7th and the rebate began on the 10th, but I called Costco this afternoon and they will do a price adjustment for us! YOU JUST SAVED ME $100!!! I WANT TO SING AND DANCE AND WAIT ON YOU HAND AND FOOT!

      THANK YOU!!!

      • MaryAnn

        unfortunately, I am not a Minnesotan. lol. But I am so happy that the rebate worked out for you!
        so now the bunks cost you $200 less than the other set you were considering :) Definitely worth it!

  6. MaryAnn

    it was actually an instant rebate, hubby just informed me when I told him I wasn’t the only one who was putting a boy in this white bed! He was the one I sent to costco yesterday! He probably didn’t appreciate me clipping the rebate for him. lol. :) But anyway, hoping you got it! If not, maybe they will do the adjustment for you!

  7. TheNextMartha

    I don’t find white furniture to be feminine about this furniture. To me the lines and trim work on it lend itself to be more feminine. But my kids also have baby dolls dressed in pink dresses. They have beds, that’s what matters right?

  8. Michelle

    Personally i love white furniture. Our little boys room has white furniture – white crib, change table and dressor. It’s great because with some key color choices it can be boy or girl. We have green and brown currently but if we have a girl later we can add some pink to the room. White just looks crisp and clean in my opinion.

  9. Alissa

    I LOVE IT!! I can totally see the boys’ names on the foot of their bed in vinyl lettering! Best of luck with the transition, I’m sure it’ll go great! Can’t wait for the rest of the post!

  10. Kellyn

    I love it! I saw those at Costco last night, and thought of my little girl…she would love those. Too bad she is the solo girl right now and we have ceiling fans lol

  11. Grace @ Arms Wide Open

    you are hilarious!!!

    I am loving this bed. Costco always comes through, doesn’t it? Personally I think you will be really glad that you made the transition before Gummybear. The more stable Obaby can feel when he arrives, the better! Yay!

  12. april c.

    i can totally see this being a fabulous boys bed!! and your little men will definitely make it more…. ahem, manlier! the photoshopped manliness {{manliness?}} was definitely a plus in this post.

  13. Nicole

    I think they will work perfectly! And they don’t look girly at all. Great choice! And I think the fact you’re having your little guy invovled in the process will help him transition…he’s got to be excited!

  14. Emily Hanley

    White – it goes with everything! I thought for sure you were going to say “And DanO is going to paint it _____ color…” The only thought that would run through my mind is what toddlers would do to white wood, as if it were a blank coloring page. But I suppose of crayons and markers and paint arent near the beds they could stay white for years to come! FABULOUS find, Allison! Isn’t Costco just superb? My hubby and I were searching for a bedroom set 3 years ago and didn’t see anything we liked. Then, we just happened to go to Costco and lo and behold, right smack in the front of the store was a traveling furniture showcase and THE perfect bed was right there! {Yes, it was worthy of angelic music too….} I have a hard time saying, “We got our bed at….erm… Costco?” but Costcoiains (is that a word?) know that it’s a great deal for something solid and well made. :) Congrats with the Big Boy Bed transition!

  15. Danielle

    IF….it keeps bugging you and you decide it’s still on the girly side, you could always paint them. They would look really nice in navy or red, kind of nautical. However, I’m pretty confident that after you put on the bedding and add more boyish accessories, you’ll be totally fine with them.

  16. Steph

    LOL on the “Manly Things”. You are too funny. I think you’re right….as long as you have boyish bedding it’ll look great. Don’t you love a great deal!?

  17. shelley

    Totally not a gender specific design, in my humble opinion. I love it. And I love thinking outside the box; it always leads to a better designed space. Have fun with the process! We transitioned our first son at 3, just before our second son was born. He was so excited about his new space that the whole thing went off without a hiccup.

  18. molly

    I am completely on board with white furniture for boys. IN FACT, it will definitely be the color of furniture I use for our boys’ room when we move. So I’m glad you went ahead with it and cannot wait to see the finished result. Please do share as I may completely copy everything about the room. Just giving you notice now.

    Also? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Costco is like heaven where everything is giant.

    I super duper *heart* the big C.

  19. domestic extraordinaire

    we love our stackable bunk beds. Sadly & thankfully my mother bought them as a gift for the girls when we moved to Ohio and I didn’t get to pick them out. They are nice & functional and have worked for 10 years. They have been together, separate and now they are together again in The Chicken’s room and Giggles has another bed that my mother gave her. (My mom really loves getting the grand kids beds I guess)

  20. Heidi

    Oh I love the set, it is very nice! And if we ever have a boy in the future I will do white furniture for him as well. I just like the clean, fresh look of white furniture. And white and blue together is adorable. Uh, I mean, manly. :)
    I never even thought about looking at Costco for furniture. I’m sure ours doesn’t have that section. I’ve never seen it at least.

  21. Brent

    Guy chiming in,

    I don’t think there is anything particularly feminine about the bed. Actually I think it has a very nice look. It stands out nicely against the darker wall. It might get lost, for better or worse, if you were to put it into a room that had light colored walls.

    Off topic: Why would a furniture manufacture feature the radiation warning symbol (in the picture “Manly Things”) on the wall next to the bed?

    • AllisonO

      Not sure! Maybe because PhotoShop has a very limited selection of auto shapes? But you’d have to ask them. ;)

  22. John

    I just happened to be googling whether it is acceptable to have white furniture in a boy’s room because we’re pretty much trying to do exactly the same thing (move our boy toddler into a new bedroom while we prepare the nursery for the arrival for yet-to-be-determined-gender baby 2). And we like the thought of white furniture with dark walls.

    Anyhow, your post was a scream; from one blogger to another, I give you mad props. You’re quite a talented writer. I don’t quite understand why all the ins were in caps, but maybe I have to read more of your blog to figure it out.

  23. Dorian

    Hey! If you happen to have any idea of this bed still existing in the for sale world… I would LOVE to know!


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