The Canopy Bed
A few posts ago, I featured a photo of the most gorgeous canopy bed by Tony Duquette in a grand Venetian palazzo, and since then I’ve been obsessed with idea of the canopy bed. Did you know they originated in the middle ages out of necessity for the nobility of the time? Medieval castles were cold drafty places, and firewood to heat them was a considerable expense, so at night the noble’s bedrooms were the only rooms heated. The fabric enclosed wood frame canopy we still use today was invented to keep the nobles cocooned in warmth during the night.
While no longer just for the nobility, a canopy bed is still fit for a king or queen, but now with the help of a talented designer and a skilled craftperson, anyone can indulge in this luxury, even here in the great state of Texas. This vintage green bed by one of the masters of design isn’t here in Texas, but it could be because the amazing fabric is still in production!
Below is a version of a canopy bed referred to a full tester, as the top component of the canopy is most commonly referred to as a tester. It’s also sometimes referred to as a ‘baldechin’, from the Italian word ‘baldacchino’, or ‘cloth of honor’. In a tester, the full-length cloth hangings don’t continue all the way around the bed, just at the sides, or even a small portion of the sides. Considerably more practical for today’s homes with central heating!
A fun and practical spin on a classic canopy is to turn the bed sideways, so it functions as both a bed and a daybed/lounge. A fantastic trick to make a studio apartment feel grand, or a teen’s bedroom to be extra special.
Nothing dresses up twin beds in a guest room more than a pelmet-style canopy (pelmet = cornice box extending out shallowly from the wall).
Finally, one of the most chic and feminine-style canopy beds is a crown pelmet or crown cornice, is which the side fabric hanging panels swag over the bed from a miniature “crown”. So romantic.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post on the canopy bed, and if you want to know the true depths of my canopy bed obsession, feel free to visit my canopy bed Pinterest board!