Four poster beds have always been a sign of wealth – and are still associated with it today – although romance springs first to mind.
They have been around since Tudor times, when often you ate slept and lived in one room. And if you had a separate bedchamber, servants might also sleep there (in case you needed them in the night).
The ability to close curtains around a bed gave the sleeper privacy, as well as protection from drafts, insects and pests (of which there were many!)
A four poster bed creates a room-within-a-room. This idea was brought back by Frank Lloyd Wright who created furniture and spaces to do exactly that – 500 years later.
A canopy bed (see below) developed later – but provided similar warmth and privacy in cold dank castles before central heating.
Today, a canopy is a wonderful way of highlighting a tall ceiling, and adding drama to the bed.
Even a small (non-functional) canopy, hung from a rosette, can add to the romance of going to sleep. Below, even the fabrics are simpler: no gold satin here, rather a cotton country floral print.
This works beautifully with the old oak beams and whitewashed walls.
Lining a canopy or curtains with an intense colour brings this colour scheme to life. It takes some guts to use the same pattern on both walls and fabric – but I like it hear as the colour scheme is so restrained. There is only the one shade of blue and the oatmeal.
I love the heraldic theme on the fabric below. It looks very masculine and severe – but kind of sexy too.
Layering patterns and textures – the rug beneath the bed, the tapestries on the wall, the curtaining round the bed – all add up to a sumptuous room.
You need lots of internal architecture to make this work (beams, mullioned windows) or it would overwhelm.
A more modern look in red and black fuels lots of ideas. You could take the padded panel from behind the bed and create a headboard like that very easily – and it would look dramatic and smart.
Time to book a weekend away in a castle I think….