Bed Head: Allure of the Canopy Bed

via David Michael Miller Assoc.

via David Michael Miller Assoc.

With all of the princess-themed merchandise, it’s no wonder that the canopy bed is on most little girls’ wish lists – the perfect princess bed. In reality, the “princess” reference is actually quite accurate.

Making their appearance in European medieval times, canopy beds were a creation for purely functional reasons – warmth and privacy for the aristocracy.

In castles and manor houses, the lord and his family slept in the same room as the servants.  Space sharing offered security and heating numerous spaces was impractical. The canopy bed offered visual separation from the servants, who slept on wooden pallets or benches.  Curtains originally hung from the ceiling, but evolved in adding a frame to the bed to support a canopy, or tester, which also helped in keeping the bed area warm.

Today, canopy beds are associated with luxury with a wistful air of romance. The height of the frame adds a vertical element room. Creating this  quasi-enclosed space psychologically provides a sense of comfort and security – a room within a room.

Not all of canopy beds are covered in cloying ruffles or copious swaths of netting. In fact, allure persists whether there’s any fabric accoutrement, or just the bare frame itself.

Check out some favorites, from traditional to contemporary; feminine to masculine, and in between:

via Eco First Art

via Eco First Art

via Sara Russell Interiors

via Sara Russell Interiors

via Joseph Walsh Studio

via Joseph Walsh Studio

via Ilaria Miani

via Ilaria Miani

Venetian style canopy bed via Veranda's House of Windsor

Venetian style canopy bed via Veranda’s House of Windsor

Pagoda Bed via Eclectic Interiors

Pagoda Bed via Eclectic Interiors

via Tracy Murdock Interiors

via Tracy Murdock Interiors

via Fabrizia Frezza Arch & Ints

via Fabrizia Frezza Arch & Ints

via Alessandra Branca

via Alessandra Branca

Outdoor canopy bed by Ego Paris

Outdoor canopy bed by Ego Paris

via the Picket Fence by Jan Barboglio

via the Picket Fence by Jan Barboglio

Comments

  1. Wow! I especially love the outdoor one by the pool!
    I had a canopy when I was younger……navy blue w/ yellow flowers 🙂

  2. Love the varied and individual styles showing the canopy bed concept! Very Well Done! I have just discovered your blog and look forward to seeing more! Keep up the inspiration!
    I have an interior design company in Toronto and I’m always looking for something “different” to inspire me.
    Check out my blog too : andreacarini@ wordpress.com and read “A Designer’s Tale”, stories & pictures of my work in Design & Reno told as Fairytales! Andrea Carini

  3. Hi Karen, I LOVE this article – I am personally obsessed with canopy beds! I am a new follower of your blog and I look forward to seeing future posts. I recently co-founded Porte-cochere, a new sales channel and network exclusively for full service interior design firms and their suppliers working in the high end market. We are just beginning our venture into the world of blogging (http://portecochereblog.wordpress.com) so I look forward to staying in touch! Kindest regards, Anna

    • Karen Egly-Thompson says:

      Anna, thank you for the inspiring note! I provided a link to porte-cochere on design salad – it looks like a great blog idea. I look forward to keeping in touch and wish you the best.

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