The re­turn of the four-poster

This key in­gre­di­ent in clas­sic dec­o­rat­ing is be­ing rein­vented for a new gen­er­a­tion

Country Life Every Week - - Interior Design The Inside Track - Giles Kime

THE fact that a new four-poster has been named af­ter the spir­i­tual home of the hipster sug­gests that some­thing is afoot; had it been chris­tened Kens­ing­ton or Hol­land Park, you’d have thought that it was the type of four-poster you had al­ways known, but the Hox­ton is a dis­tinctly Mod­ernist in­car­na­tion, as sleek and pared back as a hipster’s fixie and avail­able in a choice of oh-so-chic nickel or brushed brass. The Bed Of Ware this most cer­tainly isn’t.

‘It’s as sleek and pared back as a hipster’s fixie’

Four-posters were a me­dieval sta­tus sym­bol, but they also have their roots firmly em­bed­ded in prac­ti­cal­ity, of­fer­ing a cosy mix of pri­vacy and ther­mal ef­fi­ciency. How­ever, in the 1990s, the chill hand of Min­i­mal­ism pretty much ban­ished them from all but the grand­est coun­try houses and ho­tels. Now, with the grad­ual re­turn to a fuller, more eclec­tic look—and a re­newed ap­pre­ci­a­tion of an­tiques and fab­rics—the four-poster is back.

Even to­day, in cen­trally heated houses, four-posters are prized for their cos­set­ing qual­i­ties. ‘When bed cur­tains are fully drawn, you find your­self in a fab­ric-lined nest like a tent, but with none of the dis­com­fort,’ says Lulu Ly­tle, co-founder of Soane Bri­tain and spe­cial­ist in fur­ni­ture that’s in­spired by the past (www. soane.co.uk; 020–7730 6400).

Re­cently, they have be­come a tool for de­sign­ers keen to trans­form a room. ‘I love a four-poster for its abil­ity to add drama,’ says Annabel As­tor, the founder of OKA, whose range in­cludes the Za­min­dar Four Poster (£4,070).

‘The four-poster com­bines both glam­our and cosi­ness,’ says Paolo Moschino, who, with his part­ner, Philip Vergeylen, owns Ni­cholas Haslam Ltd (020–7730 0445; www. nicholashaslam.com), the bur­geon­ing in­te­ri­ors em­pire with two shops in The Hox­ton (above) and the Za­min­dar (be­low) are won­de­ful ex­am­ples of mod­ern four-poster beds

Bel­gravia and one at the De­sign Cen­tre, Chelsea Har­bour. ‘The in­ter­pre­ta­tions are end­less, from rustic Tu­dor to retro 1970s, as well as Ori­en­tal-in­spired ver­sions.’ The en­dur­ing ap­peal of the four-poster is its flex­i­bil­ity.

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