In­te­rior de­sign

Country Life Every Week - - Contents -

The four-poster bed is be­ing rein­vented for the 21st cen­tury, says Amelia Thorpe

The four-poster might be bur­dened by its as­so­ci­a­tions with slap­stick pe­riod dra­mas (Carry On Henry, Black­ad­der et al), but it’s be­ing rein­vented to cre­ate a look that’s more rel­e­vant to the 21st cen­tury than the 16th. In their me­dieval in­car­na­tion, the cur­tains around four-posters were in­tended to act as in­su­la­tion, but even with the ad­vent of cen­tral heat­ing, they’re prized for their cos­set­ing qual­i­ties.

‘In a large bed­room with a high ceil­ing, a four-poster bed with silk drapes cre­ates a “room within a room”, of­fer­ing a sense of co­coon­ing com­fort,’ says the in­te­rior de­signer hen­ri­ette von Stock­hausen of VSP In­te­ri­ors, who de­signed this scheme for a Grade I-listed coun­try house in Buck­ing­hamshire. The se­cret, she be­lieves, is to mod­ernise the look by choos­ing plain fab­rics: ‘here, the ivory-silk outer cur­tains sug­gest con­tem­po­rary sim­plic­ity and the dark-grey in­ner ones en­hance the en­velop­ing ef­fect.’

how­ever, the drama isn’t just about scale—for those who love the look and feel of lux­u­ri­ous fab­rics, four-posters are an in­vi­ta­tion to in­dulge them­selves. ‘elab­o­rate drapes were the high­point of the whole en­sem­ble,’ says Peter Rus­sell of Stu­art In­te­ri­ors, the spe­cial­ist in pe­riod fur­ni­ture, doors, stair­cases and pan­elling. ‘Some­times, they could cost 10 times more than the bed it­self.’

Like any­thing swathed in fab­ric, a four-poster will also ab­sorb ex­ter­nal sound, cre­at­ing a hushed at­mos­phere that’s ideal for any bed­room sanc­tu­ary.

VSP In­te­ri­ors (020–8995 6684; www.vspin­te­ri­ors.com) Stu­art In­te­ri­ors (01935 826659; www.stu­ar­t­in­te­ri­ors.com)

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