Four poster beds and canopy beds have been in fashion for hundreds of years. Styles change with the times, and today we have everything from traditional four poster beds to square, modern platforms with canopies. Details can be rustic or refined, hand carved or sleek. How do you determine what your Four Poster Bed style is?
English Country Four Poster Bed:
Hundreds of years ago before central heat, beds had heavy curtains to keep folks warm in cold, drafty interiors. Chilly England was one of the places Four Poster Beds became popular, and the style traveled worldwide with the British Empire. In hot climates, a bed canopy of linen or netting tied to the posts would protect the sleeper from mosquitos. Even though we don't need those protections today, the traditional four poster design has persisted. Nowadays, we love seeing Four Poster Beds without mosquito netting, so we can enjoy the hand carved details. Four Poster Beds in the most traditional styles have a high headboard and carved and turned posts. They're usually a rich, dark wood tone:
Some styles have upholstered headboards:
Traditional Four Poster Beds look perfectly dressed with cozy layers of bedding - lots of pillows, a thick decorative comforter, and a coordinating bedskirt.
Some Four Poster Beds show the British Colonial tropical influence with a thinner, lighter design. Lightweight linen bedding, fewer pillows and no bedskirt suits them well
Traditional Canopy Beds:
Traditional Four Poster Beds were designed with high posts and a frame to support a fabric canopy. Canopy Beds also have side bars where curtains can be attached. Ornate silk and velvet bed curtains were hung on the bed canopies in the finest homes. Beautiful bed hangings dress up any traditional bedroom in formal style. Even without draperies, tall bed canopies add drama to the bedroom. Style your Traditional Canopy Bed with or without bed hangings:
Modern Canopy Beds:
A Modern Canopy Bed is based on the old post-and-canopy design. However, they've been restyled for a sleek, modern interior. Posts may be taller, thicker and very plain. The canopy supports may also be thicker, resulting in a cube-like design. A lot of people who love a modern style bed don't hang any curtains at all, preferring a Minimalist look. But in Resort interiors, many Modern Canopy Beds are still hung with linen or canvas curtains for the ultimate tropical retreat.
Rustic Farmhouse Poster Beds:
Farmhouse Style is influenced by early American life, where a lot of furniture pieces had simple designs that were easy to build. A Farmhouse Four Poster Bed might have a plank style headboard, and simple posts with minimal turnings or carvings. A Farmhouse Poster Bed can be almost any shade of wood from dark to light. Sometimes Farmhouse style beds were painted in cottage colors. Any curtains hung on the canopy were simple muslin panels, or even quilts to keep out the chill. Printed cotton and linen fabrics set a casual tone in keeping with the style of the bed. A Farmhouse Four Poster Bed looks very inviting when layered with a warm feather duvet, quilts, and overstuffed pillows. A bedskirt is optional with this design:
Which Four Poster Bed Is Best For You?
If you like a layered, lived-in look in your home but want to keep things casual, a rustic Farmhouse Four Poster Bed might be perfect for your master bedroom. Dress it in a Shabby Chic look with soft white bedding and a few cabbage roses. In winter, bring in layers of quilts and a wool plaid blanket for extra coziness.
If you're a traditional type who likes finer furniture, you'll probably enjoy the deep wood tones and carvings of an English Country Four Poster Bed. You'll want to dress it up with a beautiful duvet and pillow shams. Mix different fabrics according to the seasons. Deep, rich colors and traditional patterns such as paisley and ticking stripes look wonderful. Or, go with a lighter British Colonial look - just a simple coverlet and some tropical print pillows.
Anyone who loves over-the-top décor is definitely going to want a Traditional Canopy Four Poster Bed, so they can have curtains and a bed valance, bedskirt and all the trimmings. Canopy Beds are popular in historic homes where people like rooms to resemble the past.
If that's too much for you, you might be happiest with a minimalist Modern Canopy Bed. Plain bedding and a simple linen drape over the top and sides of the bed accentuate the square shape. Or, keep that sleek frame uncluttered and enjoy the simple square shape that creates a room-within-a-room.
Whatever your style, a distinctive Four Poster Bed is designed to last a lifetime, and works with many different types of interiors with just a change of bedding.