How to choose canopy beds

Five years ago I would have only associated Canopy Beds with historical movies.  The realms of Queen Elizabeth 1st or Anne Boleyn seemed more appropriate then than a modern day bedroom but how things have changed.  The canopy bed is now quite a common piece of bedroom furniture which I am very pleased to see.  For those of you who love a romantic bedroom space, canopy beds are the ultimate must-have piece.  I have some beautiful ones to show you here:

The trend for Canopy Beds

Canopy beds and Colonial Style

Canopy beds are an integral part of the Hamptons style.  The Hamptons look has its origins in the Plantation styles of the Caribbean.  Practicality comes into play here as all the beds had to be covered with netting to keep out the pesky mosquitos.  Hence the proliferation of these beautiful beds in our modern day Hamptons homes.

Generally canopy beds for me will always evoke this Colonial look as the whole point of the style was to be able to hang netting from them or to offer privacy to prevent servants from seeing the beds of kings and queens.

I have covered this in more detail in my post on British Colonial Style.

Related: British Colonial Style

The Trend of Canopy Beds
Image: Desire to Inspire

This canopy bed is beautifully simple, left unadorned, it offers a contemporary look but with a nod to the exotic past of the Colonial styles.  The leather suitcase and artefacts add to the look and ensure that the canopy bed doesn't look out of place.

The Trend for Canopy Beds

A simply adorned canopy bed with rattan accessories gives an unmistakeable Plantation style bedroom.

Canopy Beds in a Coastal Style

The Trend for Canopy Beds

The classic Coastal Style also lends itself well to the trends for canopy beds.  A crossover here with the Hamptons look, the light and breezy feel of the colour scheme and the overall style suits the flowing sheers from the bed.  Incorporating some soft sheers into the bed gives you more of a traditional look and softens the scheme to make it a very feminine one.

The Trend for Canopy Beds
Image: The House of Turquoise

Canopy beds that are white washed suit the Coastal look perfectly and when partnered with soft duck egg blue gives you a dreamy romantic style bedroom.

Related: Let me show you how to use Duck Egg Blue

A Traditional Style

A classic timber canopy bed is often referred to as a four poster bed.  Often in a darker timber, this style of canopy bed gives you a very traditional look.  It is in fact timeless and I believe still is a beautiful and current decorating style.

The Trend for Canopy Beds
Image: J K Kling Associates

A similar look but with a metal frame and decorated with soft fabrics also gives a timeless, classic look.

The trend for canopy beds
Image: Wiseman & Gale

The right bedhead to suit

Remember too that as part of the look you need to consider the style of bedhead as this can make the canopy frame more or less traditional.  A buttoned upholstered bedhead will look more traditional than a simple plain upholstered one.  Introducing timber or rattan also gives you a different look and one that fits more into the Hamptons and Plantation look.

Related: How to choose an upholstered bedhead

How to choose Canopy beds
Image: Gaulthier Stacy

Not all canopy beds will have a full frame and these work well for a slightly less over-whelming statement and for rooms with lower or cathedral style ceilings where the bedroom wall height is low.

How to choose canopy beds
Image: Lonny Magazine

Some key tips to remember when choosing canopy beds

  1. Consider the height of your ceiling as the top of the bed should fall short of the ceiling by at least 20cm or it will look out of proportion with the space
  2. A finer structure for the canopy bed will give you a more elegant look
  3. White painted canopy beds work well for a Hamptons style
  4. Timber canopy beds in a plain finish suit the Plantation look where you want a little Caribbean vibe
  5. More ornate timber canopy beds suit a traditional classic, English country style room
  6. White washed or driftwood timber frames suit a Coastal style or you can use flowing white sheers to evoke this look
  7. An elegant metal frame suits a more contemporary look but other styles can be introduced by using the right accessories
  8. An upholstered bedhead will give you a more traditional look
  9. For continuity, partner your chosen canopy bed with the right furniture to ensure that it doesn't look out of place.  It doesn't have to match, but for example, if you have chosen a Hamptons style frame, keep this theme going.

How to choose a Canopy bed

There is no doubt that a canopy bed will make a statement in your bedroom.  Do you like this look?  If so you can see lots more inspiration on my Pinterest Bedroom page.  Let me know below if you have a canopy bed and how you have incorporated it into your space.

I also have other posts on decorating bedrooms which you might be interested in:

Related: Country Home Ideas, Guest Bedrooms

Related: 5 tips to create a calm bedroom environment



One thought on “How to choose canopy beds

  1. Ellie Davis says:

    I loved that you mentioned a finer structure for the canopy bed will give you a more elegant look. My husband is thinking about buying a bed canopy, and we are looking for advice. I will let him know about your recommendations to help him choose the best canopy for our bedroom.

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