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Performing Art
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010 8 years ago

Pirate-ship bed makes waves at showcase

by: Heidi Kurpiela Contributing Writer

If a pirate ship were to drop anchor in Sarasota Bay, you wouldn’t catch Jeanette Simpson scrambling to hop on board. Just because Simpson designed a children’s pirate-ship bed for the Sarasota Orchestra Association’s 2010 Designer Showcase that doesn’t mean she’s into eye patches, skulls and crossbones.

She just knows what kids like in their bedrooms.

“Places to hide, places to play, secret compartments, a world away from the rest of the world,” says Simpson, 51, founder of KidSpace Interiors, a residential-and-commercial design company based in Lakewood Ranch. “A lot of designers create adult versions of a child’s room. This is a child’s version of a child’s room.”

This is the first time Simpson has participated in the Sarasota Youth Orchestra fundraiser. The interior designer’s pirate-ship bed has upped the adorable quotient in this year’s showcase, an otherwise adult-friendly spread in a posh 10,000-square-foot home in Bradenton built for 23-year-old golfer Paula Creamer.
“You walk in this room and you get the whole story,” says showcase Co-Chairwoman Sally Brown. “People are just absolutely taken with it.”

Simpson’s bed, crafted from Australian pine, is clearly the focal point of the room. With a twin-sized mattress nestled inside a 10-foot-long ship, the bed also comes with an 8-foot-high mast, treasure-map sail, crow’s nest and wheel.

Designed three years ago, it took more than a year to manufacture the piece. Up until two weeks ago, Simpson had never actually seen it in person.

For the showcase, she surrounded her trademark bed with nautical décor, including a “sandy” play area, complete with a palm tree crafted out of fabric and a net adorned with fish.

She filled her bookcases with pirate titles on loan from fellow Little Bookworms and hung artwork from the Katharine Butler Gallery, in Towles Court.

Her room is the only children’s suite in the house and one of the only kid’s rooms ever featured in a SOA Designer Showcase.

“I’ve had a lot of grown men in here who say the bed makes them want to be a kid again,” says Simpson, who has six children, five stepchildren and 13 grandchildren.

Priced around $2,000, the bed is currently sold by Olivia and Wills Fine Children’s Furniture, in Southern California, and PoshTots catalogue.

“Getting in PoshTots was huge,” says Simpson, pointing out that the retailer also sells a $47,000 Cinderella-inspired coach bed. “I feel like I hit the big time.”

If You Go
The Sarasota Orchestra’s Designer Showcase runs until March 7, at 5510 Inspiration Terrace in Legends Bay, West Bradenton. The showcase is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 685-0425.

Contact Heidi Kurpiela at [email protected].

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