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Monday, July 2, 2012


A Canopy bed is a bed covered by a cloth canopy, suspended from a “canopy frame” supported by four posts, one at each corner of the bed. Hence the name 'four poster' or 'four post bed'. 
Originally the canopy was used for protection against insects and cold; today it is mostly decorative and can add an extra element of style, romance and luxury to any bedroom. For this reason, some hotels use canopy beds in their exclusive suites.

  • Posts: A typical canopy bed has four tall posts, one at each of the four corners. These posts may be plain or ornately carved.
  • Canopy frame: A canopy frame made of cross members joining the posts is used for supporting a fabric canopy cover, swags, curtains, etc. This frame is usually rectangular, reflecting the outline of the bed, though variations such as a circular frame above the middle of the bed are not uncommon. 
  • Curtains: The canopy drape is often referred to as the ‘curtains’. The curtains may be draped as a single piece or in layers of sheer fabric which create more of an opaque look and provide depth to the curtains. 

  • Fabrics:  May be a piece of net, lace, tuille or silk. Sheer fabrics like tuille and lace can be paired with solid fabrics like shiny satins or luxurious silks. Light coloured fabrics like pastels and white are preferrable.
  • Curtain ties: Decorative ties used for holding the canopy bed curtains back can be plain ribbon or curtain ties that are pre-made and available in various colours and finishes.
  • Bedding: Various kinds of fabric such as hand stitched bedsheets, lace bed spreads with ribbon accents add to the appeal of a canopy bed. 
  • Light: Overhead light can not be used with a canopy bed. For soft lighting, a side table lamp may be used with a canopy.

There are two basic styles of canopy beds:
  • Traditional canopy bed: This type aims to reflect a Victorian aesthetic. A traditional canopy bed usually has metal rod frames or intricately carved wooden frames with lush romantic designs. The traditional canopy bed typically uses heavy, embroidered, pleated draping,  
  • Contemporary canopy bed: This type is more delicate and subtle in design. The modern canopy bed also uses wood, metal or  a combination of the two but often features sharp, geometric designs. The preferred fabric has the characteristics of lightness, softness, and sheerness such as silk, net or polyester. 
Depending on the types of canopies, there are two types: 
  • Complete canopy: The canopy made of fabric is either a flat roof or an arched one that covers the entire bed and is supported by the posts on the four corners of the bed. When posts are not possible, the canopy is suspended from the ceiling with the help of hooks or canopy rings. Or, four vertical curtain rods are hung from the ceiling above the bed and curtains are draped across the rods. In another option, curtain rods are suspended from the ceiling reflecting the bed’s perimeter and curtains are hung on the rods to enclose the bed, making the ceiling the bed’s canopy. 
  • Half/Crown canopy bed: This type has a smaller crown canopy that just covers the top of the bed over the sleepers’ heads. A shelf is attached to the wall, covered with fabric that drapes down from the shelf to the sides to semi-enclose the bed’s header. Or curtains are draped through one or more rings that are fixed on the wall above the headboard.
  • Intimacy and privacy: Some believe that a closed canopy's secluded feeling adds more intimacy and privacy to lovers.  
  • Protection: Canopies reduce the harshness of light in the room and offer a sense of protection to children and make them feel safe. 
  • Good ambiance: A canopy bed could make for a great private space for an artist or thinker as it can provide the right ambiance for an artist's imagination to play. 
  • Luxury: Canopy beds bring luxury and plushness into any bedroom. 
  • Removable: Most canopies are removable so that you can change the look of your bedroom. 
  • Colours: Wide spaces and white walls are the perfect background for a canopy bed. The colours of the bed and its drapery can be selected according to personal preferences. Thus you could have a white sheer draped on dark wooden/metal frames or printed, tie dyed fabric in bright and striking colours hanging from a white framed canopy bed.
  • Size: The most common canopy bed sizes are queen and king, but you can get twin or even single sizes. However these smaller versions are less popular because the proportions do not appear right.
  • Do-it-yourself: You can easily add a canopy to an existing bed by making a canopy frame using curtain rods on each side of the bed and draping light fabric or transparent plastic or heavy upholstered fabric. Or you can install a cornice board at the head of the bed and then create a crown canopy with multiple layers of fabric, above the head of the bed. 
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