Canopy Bed Trend
When my grandchildren come to visit, one of their favorite activities is building a fort. Not only does it involve an ample supply of blankets and pillows, they usually manage to rearrange the whole room. I don’t mind their playing because I am aware that it keeps them busy as well as using their imaginations.
As adults, we have abandoned building forts, but perhaps we are drawn to canopy beds because they remind us of our childhood. I remember well the day my parents bought me a beautiful white single colonial-style canopy bed with white antique finish. I was also delighted with the frilly canopy and matching embroidered bed cover. Along with the pink shag carpet, I truly loved my bedroom.
I have warm childhood memories of all-night slumber parties and Saturday morning cartoons. I was totally unaware of the history of the canopy bed. It turns out that in medieval times practical individuals appreciated the canopy bed for its functionality.
Common folks who usually had thatched roofs would attach posts to their beds and hang a sheet between them to keep insects and other items from falling on them while they were sleeping. Some folks that lived in colder climates would hang blankets on the sides to give an extra layer of insulation from the frigid nights. Those that lived in tropical climates would drape netting over the posts to keep the mosquitoes from biting.
When we lived in Samoa, we actually made our own canopy bed by rigging some poles onto the ends of our bed and draping a sheet overhead. We lived in a house that had a vaulted ceiling and because of the very warm climate, there were a few geckos that would sneak inside. They loved to climb up on the open trusses where they would catch their prey and do their duty. We didn’t like the idea of it falling on us. We had a large black gecko that we named Leonard. He kept our house insect free until one day he ate some rat poison I had put out and he died. Poor Leonard.
So how is it that people today still like to have canopy beds, even though most people have adequate roofing, heating and air conditioning systems? Well, eventually the wealthier people could see that canopy beds were not only functional they were stylish as well. They would add huge posts to their beds and add heavy draping material of all kinds. They found that the canopy bed gave them some privacy from their servants and others who might share their homes.
Eventually canopy beds came to be a status symbol for aristocrats and royalty. Mansions and palaces were expected to have large comfy canopy beds for the occupants as well as guests. They would pile pillows, quilts, afghans, and comforters on top. Owners would even add a step to help the occupants get into bed since they were built so high (reminiscent of The Princess and the Pea).
Now you can still purchase canopy beds in numerous styles. There are Colonial, Victorian, Romantic, wrought iron, Mediterranean, Tuscany and many more. They also come in contemporary style with more geometric clean lines. Even though your purpose for wanting a canopy bed may be different from those we have discussed, they still seem to bring magic to your bedroom.
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