Much of interior design is modernizing – streamlining shapes and simplifying design to reflect the more casual contemporary lifestyle. But if there’s one space where opulence reigns – and rightly so – it’s the bedroom. A good bedroom set should have comfort and style in spades, and nothing does that quite like an antique design. Antique beds in particular make a bold, elegant statement piece that can help recreate a little old world style and luxury.
Anything But Basic
Shop Beds: Bed frames run the gamut from almost invisible in their simplicity to hugely ornate and decorative. They all serve the same purpose: to elevate a mattress to a comfortable level and give it a sturdy, supportive base. But antique bed frames go a step and beyond and then some, including not only a headboard and baseboard, but also often elegant features like deep, sleigh style sideboards, elaborately carved platforms, or decorative posts that enhance the luxury style of the bed.
Emphasis On Woodwork
What primarily distinguishes antique beds from any other sort of decorative bed frame is the degree of ornamentation in the design. There are plenty of beautiful headboards out there, from simple conventional wood designs on the contemporary end to faux snake leather and Swarovski crystals on the highly modern end. But antique beds are easily distinguished by their elaborate, intricate floral carvings and highly detailed designs. Some particularly elaborate antique designs even have button tufted upholstered accents and gilt detailing, for a truly opulent look and feel.
Highlighting Natural Wood
In addition to the carved detailing, antique beds are often made to showcase exotic, expensive woods. Mahogany and cherry are both traditional choices, and create a rich, lustrous appearance. Admittedly, contemporary versions are more often made to look like they’re made of expensive wood than they are actually made of expensive wood, (since mahogany is harder to come by for most of us than it would have been for upper class Victorian designers!), but often include beautiful wood veneers that ultimately give the same sophisticated look.
That said, for all the emphasis placed on wood and woodwork in antique design, you do have options beyond a simple choice of wood tone in what your antique bed frame will look like. PolRey in particular offers a wide selection of bench-made, hand-finished antique replica furniture that’s available not only in the traditional oak, mahogany, and walnut finishes, but also pearl, ivory, and gold enamels with delicate hand painted detailing. This makes for a softer, more feminine antique bed that’s a better match for bright, well-lit spaces and lighter decors.
Using Antique Beds To Enhance A Modern Decor
While platform and sleigh style antique beds aren’t entirely all that different from more contemporary designs (though obviously with a whole lot more detailing), four post antique beds very clearly have their roots in an older time. Originally popularized in the medieval Europe, four post beds once supported either a wooden or cloth platform (or canopy) and could be enclosed with curtains on all open sides. Now canopy and four poster beds are merely decorative, as they aren’t particularly needed for warmth or privacy. Still, a four post bed can be used quite effectively to accentuate the height of a tall room and lend a regal air to an old world design.
Complete Antique Bedroom Sets
It probably comes as no surprise that many of these ornate, ornamental antique beds come as part of larger bedroom sets. After all, carved detailing is difficult to match under the best of circumstances, and a luxury antique bed would look a little out of place with an otherwise modern decor. To that end, most antique beds come paired at least with a night stand, dresser, and mirror, and sometimes an antique armoire or second dresser, making it simple to get a complete antique bedroom design. What do you think of antique beds and bedroom sets?