A Brief History of the Canopy Bed

by interior designer

in Bedroom

Canopy beds date back from the Medieval period. Their original use was to protect the sleeper from the substances of the typical Medieval ceiling. These included plaster and thatch debris, dirt, insects, droppings and even parts of the ceiling itself. Whilst many think of canopy beds nowadays as a royal furniture item, they did in fact originate in the homes of the ordinary man.

Decades later, royalty would develop the canopy bed into a more aesthetically beautiful piece of bedroom furniture. Ceremonial and luxurious designs were developed and much of what we see today in the canopy bed range comes from these enhancements.

During the 16th century many noble families incorporated curtains to the beds to increase privacy and also warmth. Often, their servants would sleep in the same room so the need for a private space became increasingly popular.

A century later, more intricate designs were produced including wonderfully carved headboards and beams. During the Victorian era, metal frames were introduced which evolved the canopy bed further from the previous wooden designs. Today, you can find these types of bed in a variety of materials. There are even more choices when it comes to the types and designs of fabric you can use for the ceiling of the canopy bed and for the surrounding curtains.

You can find some examples of wooden canopy bed and bedroom sets here. These are available to purchase and can really enhance a bedroom’s interior design.

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