The return of the four-poster
This key ingredient in classic decorating is being reinvented for a new generation
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.