Friday, May 19, 2017

The Return of the Canopy Bed

There were many highlights of last month's High Point Furniture Market, but one in particular made quite an impression on me: the gratifying appearance of canopied beds at a number of furniture showrooms. After playing second fiddle to upholstered headboards for years, it seems that the canopy bed is once again captivating furniture designers.

For Kindel's Dorothy Draper Collection, Carleton Varney debuted the Tuxedo Park Poster Bed, which was inspired by Draper's own bed at her Carlyle Hotel apartment.  Dressed in Fazenda Lily and Ballroom Satin fabrics, both from the Dorothy Draper fabric collection, the bed held court alongside the Pinwheel Chest in green painted lacquer and the Double Camellia Bench.  Like so many pieces in this collection, the Tuxedo Park bed is available in twenty-five painted lacquers and a number of wood finishes.  I think Draper would be very pleased.

Tuxedo Park Poster Bed photos courtesy of Kindel

A few examples of the bed that inspired Kindel's version.

Image courtesy of Bunny Williams Home

Like Varney, Bunny Williams also introduced a new canopied bed, this one notable for its aesthetically-pleasing Greek Key design.  Made of hammered metal, the Ellsworth Bed, part of the Bunny Williams Home collection, has a hand-applied, wrought iron finish.  For those with a more restrained sense of style, this is a canopy bed that seems sure to suit.

Image courtesy of Highland House's Facebook page

And finally, there is the Courtney Upholstered Bed, part of the Bungalow Classic collection for Highland House.  To be accurate, the bed debuted at High Point last fall, but at this Market, the bed remains a real show-stopper, not least of all because of its fabric canopy and upholstered bed posts.  Designed by the design and retail super-couple, Courtney and Randy Tilinski, their version of the canopy bed is unabashedly pretty.  It's awfully dreamy, too.

Speaking of dreamy, I'm including a few take-a-step-back-in-time photos of glorious canopy beds, including those slept in by Evangeline Bruce (the chintz-festooned version seen directly below) and Baron Philippe de Rothschild (the French-inflected bed with the ruffled pillows.)  These older versions, combined with the new introductions featured above, confirm that the canopy bed will never go out of style.  


  1. Agreed! I recently bought my own canopy bed although I only have curtains hung in the back and not a 'roof'. They create such cozy rooms within rooms.

    1. Stefan, I like the idea of lavishing only the head of the bed with fabric. It's a good option for those who don't want to deal with copious amounts of fabric yardage, plus there is no chance of one feeling claustrophobic.

  2. I've always wanted a canopy bed. In fact, I bought a bed over 30 years ago that has an optional canopy. But, alas, I never had the bed hanging made for it. Why not? Well, the cost of just the fabric alone is tremendous - yards and yards and yards of even inexpensive fabric is a big purchase. Then there is finding someone to make that starburst "ceiling" of the canopy. And then there is the cost if one can find that gifted person.

    Finally, I also realized that if one is prone to any allergies at all, a canopy bed is just one big allergy attack waiting to happen unless one has help that carefully vacuums all those creases and folds on a weekly basis. Hard enough to find help that will just vacuum ones floors and do a bit of light dusting!

    So, for this old lady, having that gorgeous, classic canopy bed with glorious bed hangings will have to be one thing never checked off on my bucket list, fabulous as they are.

    1. The cost of lavish amounts of yardage is also an issue when considering elaborate draperies. I must admit that even though I love the idea of a fabulous canopy bed, I hesitate to have one in my own bedroom because dust is a constant nuisance. Living in a high-rise with floor to ceiling sliding-glass doors comes with the inevitable dust issue.

  3. I seem to be partial to the old versions - they are so gorgeous.

    1. I especially like Philippe de Rothschild's bed. Hope you're well, Joni!

  4. These gigantic new master bedrooms they build these days cannot be a comfortable place to sleep except in a canopy bed.

  5. Anonymous3:22 PM

    I know it's only a model room, but the Varney bedroom could produce some interesting dreams.

  6. Jennifer,
    Great post on ye olde bed post! So impressed that you made it to market- and you know Carleton was on HSN selling sheets and that very blanket on the bed you show was selling there! It seems to me that the true cognoscenti always have these tester (pronounced teester) beds and Albert had one in his cottage here in Naples in a guest room.
    I have one by OLY that is going to be installed in my own chamber soon!
    All the best,