I first visited Johnny Murphy’s metal workshop a few years ago and I was very impressed. There are so many highly skilled tradesmen throughout Ireland but it’s not often you come across something as unique, and specialised, as this.
Johnny’s father started the business creating parts for nautical engineers and over the years the pair became involved in salvage restoration and subsequently began renovating Victorian beds. Through their contacts in salvage and with their expertise in brass and iron renovation, the sideline in antique bed supply grew and grew.
What makes this service special is Johnny’s appreciation for these beautiful beds. It easy to see just a pile of scrap metal when you view the original salvaged pieces, but through a series of specialised processes, these beds are truly transformed.
The beds are only restored once selected by the buyer. The finish and finials (if missing) can be chosen, and colour options are extensive. Powder coating is used to ensure longevity and any missing pieces are expertly matched. The beds can even be lengthened and widened to accommodate standard mattresses, a common problem when buying antique beds.
I aspire to own one of these beds. They cost only slightly higher than the average high street solid wood bed, which to me is surprising considering the level of skill, not to mention heritage, that goes into every one. Let the saving begin!
All photos by Alexia McInerney, unless otherwise stated. Images not to be republished without permission.