Of all the trends to emerge in the first weeks of 2021, one of the more unexpected ones is a revival of the four-poster bed. But, partly thanks to the Bridgerton effect, full-on furniture is in demand, and the bedroom is no exception.
The four-poster, the earliest examples of which date from the 15th century, has its origins in practical concerns: to keep out draughts, and provide privacy at a time when the wealthy often shared a bedroom with staff. For the royals, up until the late 18th century, it also offered a chance to display their power and taste, the state bed being a relatively public arena.
These days, a four-poster bed similarly signifies a certain status. In its classic guise, complete with pelmets and swags, it has never been out of fashion in a certain type of country house; but it is also gracing the bedrooms of smart townhouses, too, and in more modern iterations.
“I love a four-poster,” says Nicole Salvesen of interior-design firm Salvesen Graham, who often weaves a curtained bed into her modern-country-house schemes (and is currently working on a project including no less than four). “Not only do they have an enduring appeal in a traditional interior, they’re a good choice for bedrooms of today, and they’re certainly popular with our clients. Rather than overly fussy fabric treatments with swags galore, you can use plainer, simpler fabrics to make them look a little fresh and current.”