Rik Cribb crafts traditional bed swings with an artist’s touch


You never know where you’re going to find Rik Cribb. As a lifelong singer-songwriter, he has played with local and national bands, including The Cribb, Rik Cribb and The Problems, and SKWZBXX and The Blue Dogs. He might pop up in LA or in Charleston at Victor Social Club. Maybe you know him as a painter who has circulated in local galleries.

His company is based on his farm in Meggett, South Carolina, which he shares with his wife, Jen Drinkwater, four kids and two dogs, Carlito and Beans. His chickens—a few bossy silkies and a murderous rooster—are nearby. Cribb, a native of Sullivan’s Island, is well-known as an artist and musician in Charleston, but most people don’t know that he’s also the craftsman behind The Meggett Bed Company.

Bed swings are a staple of the Lowcountry lifestyle and a common sight on Southern porches. However, not all bed swings are created equal. You can buy an inexpensive version that will rot before your eyes in our heat and humidity, or you can invest in a quality version that you can pass down to your children. Cribb is a fan of the latter, so he began designing his own. “The first bed swing I sat in, I didn’t like it,” he says. “I took a nap in it and woke up and thought, ‘I can do better than this.’”

When Cribb says he believed he could improve on the bed swing, he meant in quality but also style. “You can buy a cheap bed swing on Facebook for $500, but it’s going to fall apart,” he says. “They’re also boring. Everyone has the same thing. I’m not making the classic Lowcountry porch swing; I’m making art.”

Cribb isn’t out to manufacture bed swings; he’s more interested in giving people other options that may fit with a more contemporary or eclectic aesthetic. The Meggett Bed Company has three basic models: The Town Hall, The Citadel and The 165. With its fusion of hardwoods and steel, The 165 is a quantum leap forward in traditional bed swing design. The standard model has a hardwood frame, holds a twin mattress and hangs from hemp rope, but the back has a welded steel starburst design, and the arms feature graceful steel arches inside.

The artist credits renewed creativity to his move to 6 acres in the countryside. On one side of his property is a recording studio, and on the other is his woodshop. “It’s so quiet out here. I get in the shop and start working, and that’s when the designs come to me,” he says. “I love being in Meggett and having space and freedom to make noise. People know I’m an artist, and I’m lucky to have clients who trust me and the process.”

A self-taught craftsman, Cribb has had a good deal of support along the way. He was raised by artists—his godmother is ceramicist Adele Deas Tobin and his best friend’s dad, Henry Cauthen, was an icon in historic preservation and the arts. His lifelong best friend, Capers Cauthen (founder of Landrum Tables), has encouraged Cribb’s experimentation with traditional design. “I don’t want to do what other people are doing, and I don’t want to compromise. I want people to see my work and say, ‘This is the Meggett Bed Company,’” Cribb says.

Cribb can make all sizes, from California king to queen and standard, but he likes to look at a space and see how it will work. “Bed swings take up a lot of space visually. People can also come to my shop and see what materials I have to work with. I have a little bit of everything,” he says.

Lead time for a custom bed swing is four to six weeks. The company offers free local delivery within 30 miles and can provide an estimate for installation.

“I’m a Renaissance guy. I’m a father of four; I paint, play music and build these beds. There’s a creative approach to everything I do. I have deep roots here, and I’m enjoying this process,” Cribb says. *

Robin Howard is a freelance writer in Charleston. See more of her work at

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