Many of you may remember your “princess” room when you were five years old, complete with pink walls, a pink tea set and maybe a pink canopy bed. While most of us as kids had fun looking up at those plastic glow-in-the-dark stars that hung from the rails on the canopy, there is actually some mature history to this regal-looking bed.
Typically, a canopy bed features a post at each corner extending four feet or more above the mattress and the canopy itself, usually ornate or decorative fabric, is draped between the posts. The bed originally came into existence for more functional means than decorative purposes. It is believed the beds were used for 16th century commoners seeking an additional layer of shelter beyond that of a leaky thatch roof. For those more fortunate, like lords and noblemen in medieval Europe, canopies were used on beds for both warmth and privacy since their attendants often slept in the same room. The beds themselves were usually plain and understated but as time went on, carved headboards and more ornate woodwork followed.
Today canopy beds usually fit into two simple categories: traditional and contemporary.
• Traditional: Most beds have a Victorian look to them with either metal rod frames or ornate carved wood frames and posts. The draping is usually ruffled or pleated with heavy cloth.
• Contemporary: These beds display a clean and simple design. Usually they are built with wood, metal or both and have little to no detail on the posts and headboard.
Do you have a canopy bed? What do you love about it? If not, what kind would you choose?