A BED IS MORE THAN A MATTRESS

The bedroom warrants treatment as a special space, an oasis to retreat to at the end of the day. It should be welcoming, comfortable, luxurious, and beautiful. You can indulge in your fantasies and ignore the rules of interior design because it is your private space.


The centerpiece of the bedroom is a well-dressed bed, the most important component of which is its composition. At some point in our lives, we all fall in love with romantic four posters, canopies, oodles of drapery, or ornate ornamentation. And although I just stated that there are no rules, there are just a few common sense…let us call them parameters… that make your bedroom a truly exquisite example of superb decoration.

There are multitudes of bed styles, materials, and components. Head and footboard units can be of equal height, the footboard can be lower than the headboard, or the footboard is incorporated into platform the mattress is set in. Materials include wood, iron, brass, wicker, seagrass, formica, acrylic, etc. Styles include four posters, sleigh beds, trundles with storage, canopies, day beds, contemporary, traditional, and on… And then there are pillows and linens. This topic was covered in
Q. How Many Pillows Belong On A Bed? (blogged 4-17-12)



You might not want a complete head and footboard set. A fully structured bed may not work in your space for reasons of space limitation, taste, or just there being a sense of too much furniture. Beds look best when they’re proportional to the room and to the other furniture in it. However, you really need a headboard.


A client recently showed me her bedroom. Not what you would call a small room, a king size bed was placed under the windows in the middle of the long wall across from the door. Ceiling to floor drapes were hung behind the bed, covering the window. This arrangement creates a visual illusion that minimizes the size of the room. Instead, we repurposed beautiful family heirloom fabric to create drapery that softly runs the entire length of the room, another visual illusion that enlarges a space. To complete a soft, luxurious feel is adding a headboard, new linens, and a lamp on both sides of the bed. Leaning up against a curtain or hard wall is very uncomfortable and looks unfinished.

I love upholstered headboards especially with tufting if it fits in with your d├ęcor. They’re available in a plethora of shapes, and if you can’t find one you love, one can be custom designed. Some are available with nail heads that give it a more contemporary and masculine feel. Others have piping in the same or contrasting color. They’re very comfortable to lean up against.

One of my favorite romantic beds – the canopy - is suitable for almost any size room. I prefer the lighter feel of iron rods tapering inward and upward toward the ceiling then swagged with tulle or other light fabric, tied with cord, and trimmed with tassels. Wood canopy beds are bulkier and require a fairly large room in order to fit comfortable. Canopy beds are cozy rooms within a room

Another way of creating a dramatic headboard is to attach fabric to the ceiling so that it drapes down and around the bed. This style is called a baldachin.

If you don’t absolutely need a king-sized bed, please get a queen. King beds can easily overwhelm a bedroom, and its scale limits suitable treatment options. A smaller bed gives you many more options to create a cozy reading corner, add a small writing desk, a chaise, or vanity table.

If your bedroom is small, select a headboard with the smallest depth you can find, meaning that the distance the bed extends out from the wall is as small as possible. Avoid heavy carving and large posts. Nix the footboard. It shouldn’t be any higher than mattress height.




In the end, be as elaborate or as minimal as you’d like. After all, your bedroom should serve as many personal indulgences as possible.
























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