Dress Your Bed for a Night In
Generations ago, the canopy bed, with its four posts and a frame over top, served a practical purpose. Before central heating and private bedrooms, it helped contain heat and provided at least a modicum of privacy. And, in the days of thatched ceilings, a canopy kept critters off the bed.
But the reason the style has lasted through generations, even though it’s no longer a necessity, has more to do with luxury, romance and coziness than with practicality.
Bed curtains can ramp up the style of your bedroom, add texture and warmth and even solve pesky design challenges. If your bed has posters and a frame, there are dozens of ways to dress it with fabric, from hanging curtains on the frame to draping material across the top. But what about if there’s no frame? Whether you have an elaborate carved wood four-poster, a modern iron-framed bed or no posts at all, you can achieve the same look and feel with fabric and drapery hardware.
Dressing the Four-Poster Bed
Even without a frame, you can use fabric to dress up your four-poster bed and create a partial canopy. Install a valance at ceiling height behind the bed and then hang drapery inside the valence behind the bed. The front posts fit into the valence and the valence hides the curtain hardware.
If you’d like the drapery to extend along the sides of the bed, near the head, use a track or a traverse curtain rod mounted on the ceiling. Keep in mind that for both styles, the fabric shows on both sides; in fact, you may want to use two different, complementary fabrics.
If your style is more romantic and feminine, you can create a lit a la Polonaise by hanging a hoop or curved curtain rod from the ceiling and then draping a gauzy, billowy fabric from the “crown,” over the four posts and down to the floor.
No Posts, No Problem!
Do you really like the idea of drapery surrounding the bed but it’s just a conventional bed lacking posts or a canopy? There are lots of way to use curtain hardware and fabric to create your favorite dreamscape.
Ceiling mounted curtain rods will do the trick! Mount four, one along each side of the bed and then hang whatever type of curtain suits your style.
Another way to add drama to your bed is with a partial canopy made with a curtain rod on the wall high above the bed and a ceiling mounted rod above the bed. Hang fabric from the top to the wall, creating a transom style canopy and then continue the fabric down behind the bed. You can make it as billowy or as tailored as you like, depending on the type of fabric you use.
You can use two cafe curtain rods mounted on the ceiling along each side of the head of the bed and drape fabric over them, flowing to the floor on each side.
Design Challenge: Windows
Perhaps the only place in the room you can situate the bed is in front of a window. Not only can that feel uncomfortably public or drafty, it can make the room look chopped up and fussy. But there are solutions. If the window is directly behind the bed, consider hanging a ceiling-mounted curtain the width of the bed. This creates a dramatic backdrop and can even give the illusion of a headboard if your bed is lacking one.
If there are multiple windows on the bed wall, hang curtains along the entire wall, using either decorative curtain hardware or a track. By creating one continuous surface, you’ll give the room a harmonious and restful feel. Choose hardware that complements your decor, from colonial to industrial chic. Use decorative curtain rods to make a design statement or use track or a traverse curtain rod and curtains with a header if all you want to see is fabric.
Every Nook & Cranny
If you have a sloping ceiling, a bed tucked into a nook or an awkward corner, make it a feature instead of a bug. For a bed tucked against a wall, hang drapery along the length of the bed and pull it closed to create a private little nest. You can get really creative and hang a valance across the top to add emphasis to the treatment. By both decorating the bed and separating it from the rest of the room, you might even be adding extra guest space in an office or den.
Don’t forget the kids’ room or summerhouse bunkroom. If you’re old enough to remember the sleeping berths in trains, you’ll instantly recognize the look. Using ceiling-mounted curtain rods, hang short, full drapery along the length and the foot of each bed. If you use heavy or lined curtains, each sleeper has the choice of closing the drapes for privacy and to control light.
There are so many ways to transform your bed from ho-hum to WOW, to define your style and to create a space you’ll love every night (and every rainy binge-watching day or “work” from home afternoon).
The right curtain hardware, the right fabric and let your imagination fly. The sky…or rather, the ceiling…is the limit!
Continental Window Fashions Pro Tips:
- You can achieve the look of a full canopy bed by using decorative ceiling mount brackets along with elbow connectors to make the curtain rod appear as one continuous ‘canopy’ over the bed. The elbow connectors will allow you to connect the rods at the corners and give the illusion it is a seamless, single "canopy" rod. Add beautiful, billowy panels gathered in the corners and voila! A gorgeous canopy treatment to dress your bed.
- When using traverse rods for dressing bunk bed nooks or bedding alcoves, whether decorative or non-decorative, opt for the hand-drawn | baton option. This will allow you complete control of how much or how little you want to open your panels for privacy and light control.
- Using wall to wall window dressing is an ideal solution when a bed must be placed in front of an off-set window. The wall to wall treatment will give a "headboard" effect while concealing the unsightly windows and allowing you to center the bed properly. A cord drawn traverse rod is a good option for this type of application as it is inconspicuous and will almost disappear as well as provides an easily accessed cord mechanism to control the operation of the drapery as needed.
- Safety is key when mounting rods to the ceiling to create bed dressings, alcoves and canopies. Using the proper anchors and screws for your type of ceiling (wood, drywall, cement) will ensure the rods stay in place. Always try to secure to a cross beam or stud whenever possible.
What do you think? Do you like the ideas? Any suggestions? What don't you like? Leave us a comment and let's discuss!