Canopy bed ideas – 10 whimsical designs for a covered slumber, from classic to super contemporary
Create a safe haven with these canopy bed ideas for a cocooned night's sleep
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For a dramatic bedroom, there's no contender like a canopy bed. These designs gives a feeling of a warm embrace as if lulling you to rest. While only fabric or frames surround the structure, you still feel, as if cut off from the rest of the world.
If you're deciding on bedroom furniture ideas, canopy beds can inject a lot of magic into the space.
'Canopy beds offer an element of refined romance to a bedroom space,' says Nidhi Kapur, founder and CEO of Maiden Home. 'The statuesque profile of a four-poster bed creates a natural statement, and choosing a mixed material piece can add a modern yet organic feel.'
With changing styles and needs, there are a huge range of designs available, from traditional to modern, ornate to absolutely minimal.
10 canopy bed ideas that show the diverse range of designs to pick and choose from
Ever wondered how the concept of a canopy bed arose? From the simple need for warmth and privacy in shared rooms. Back in early modern Europe, when private bedrooms were a unicorn concept for the common man (afforded only to the kings and the rich merchants), a canopy bed was designed with a simple curtain hung around the bed to shield the user from cold drafts and for a sense of division between living space and sleeping space.
Of course, over decades, the idea of a canopy bed took flight within the interior design world, as a beautiful and functional concept. Today, many different styles of canopy beds are available so it's possible to choose one that'll match your modern bedroom.
While a canopy bed was always considered a piece that is completely closed off with fabric, today's designs look at unique, creative styles. From half to full coverage fabrics, four-poster curtains, bed back drapes to even canopy-style frames, there's a lot to choose from.
1. Add a colorful canopy behind the bed for a unique look
The rich colors and fabrics make this bed a place where you can easily feel safe and comforted in, once tucked inside. The semi-closed look ensures that the visuals of the cozy bedroom aren't disrupted. The canopy works additionally as a soft headboard and makes the wall seem like a feature one.
The best thing about these beds? They add a dose of drama.
'The deckchair-canvas headboard fabric was leftover fabric from our wedding,' says interior designer Lonika Chande (opens in new tab). 'The canopy itself is made from a block print from India and a yellow washed linen from The Cloth Shop (opens in new tab) – also used for the blinds. The canopy top is trimmed in Samuel & Sons Orsay Silk Tassel Fringe (opens in new tab). The central cushion is from Penny Worrall (opens in new tab)and the pair of green cushions are by Vanderhurd (opens in new tab). The bedspread is a vintage Kantha quilt.'
2. Tie fabrics around the four poster bed
This type of partial canopy works with almost any style of room and bed. Since the fabrics are tied together when not in use, you still get the open feel, while retaining the drama.
The beauty of this style is that the canopy can be opened up to cover the entire bed, making the bed seem like a smaller, compact piece, and more intimate space as you sleep. This is a great option for shared bedrooms or ones that are riddled with a lot of other things going on in them.
'The key to using a canopy bed is making the rest of the room feel less fussy,' says interior designer Mary Patton (opens in new tab). 'I started with simple bedding and modern nightstands as a foundation.'
3. Hang curtains on four sides for an enveloping feel
This master bedroom has a more streamlined look, thanks to the long, pleated curtains that surround the bed. Plus, this space proves that fabrics don't need to mean frills. This canopy style also highlights the bed, making it stand out as the central feature in the room.
The neutral colors ensure that the bed doesn't overpower the visuals of the room. People seeking clean lines and modern decor should choose a canopy bed such as this one.
4. Go for fully covered canopy bed
If we asked you to visualize a canopy bed, this is perhaps the design you would ideally think of. A traditional, enclosed canopy bed that was popular in the olden times, of course, is now available in a more modern version. The thick curtains can be pulled entirely around the bed to shut out the rest of the world, ensuring a good night's sleep.
While this is a slightly more traditional scheme created by interior design firm Darryl Carter Inc., a rustic linen helps to ground the scheme in a more contemporary way. The valence on top gives the bed a designer framing. Plus, the slightly heightened bed gives the feeling that the bed is a little removed from the rest of the room. The bed in itself is a separate entity, with its cozy environs. This type of design could make for a great private space for an artist or thinker who wants peace in the bedroom.
5. Opt for a state of the art bed with a cocooning canopy
This whimsical option offers a more modern, creative take on a canopy bed, and the circular shape truly brings out the feeling of an embrace. The cane frame and the light, sheer fabrics falling gracefully from the top make you feel you're inside a cabana on the beach. If you want to daydream but don't want to be shut in then this approach would make for a luxury bedroom.
When it comes to colors, remember that the hues of your canopy say a lot about the mood you want to set. Even if you're tucked inside of this enclosed space, you aren't physically shut-in. Choose hues that lift you and set a happy mood, both within the bed and in the bedroom at large. Consider soft pastels, in pink or blue, and suspend a light just above so the colored shadows emanating from the canopy create a moody, sleepy interior.
6. Go for a unique shape that hints at a canopy style
Although draping fabric over the canopy softens the look of the bed, if the structure has svelte, gently sloping lines, they will look especially striking when left bare. A modern and minimalist bedroom calls for an unadorned canopy, just like this one.
'The wall color in the bedroom was inspired from the meeting room in Emily in Paris,' says Noorein Kapoor, founder of NKD Studio (opens in new tab). 'That shade of blue is Terra Luna from Asian Paints, which we finally found as the perfect match for our mood board. The bed was our most special project as we custom-made it at our workshop with our in-house team. The bed was made of an SS rod with a black powder coating. The upholstered headboard was embedded within a metal framework.'
7. Suspend a fabric with beads for a creative canopy bed look
Even a kids' bedroom can benefit from canopy beds; in fact, this style of bed is ideal for the little ones. A canopy over a crib ensures soft, filtered light enters inside the sleeping space, creating a safe feeling for your infant. Hang the canopy high above the baby rather than tucking it around the crib as more traditional canopies would.
If the child is slightly older, a canopy bed can be used to create a whimsical wonderland. Along with the fabric, you can hang beads or ropes to create a sense of adventure.
Otherwise, in a couple's bedroom, you can use the canopy frame to hang plush fabrics and rich textures that add layers to the room's design.
'Pairing a rich charcoal finish with a sophisticated mohair gives high drama and mood,' says Nidhi Kapur of Maiden Home (opens in new tab). 'No matter the material mix, however, a canopy elevates the room with hotel-like luxury, bringing the eye upward as it takes in the sophisticated shape.'
8. Cover the top with a tie-up fabric for flexibility
Interestingly, a canopy doesn't mean the fabric has to be around the entire bed. Even a hanging fabric just above can create the feeling of an enclosed bed. If you have a spare bedroom and want to give it a cozy feeling, you could try this method, of a flexible piece of cloth that can be tied at the top, and removed at will.
This will be especially effective if you have an unsightly ceiling or if the overhead light is too bright. You can further make the bed more snug with added cushions and a soft, fluffy duvet.
9. Loosely hang a flexible fabric for a hint of a canopy design(opens in new tab)
A four-poster bed can be converted into a canopy anytime. The pleasingly solid frame can be artfully draped with a choice of fabric bringing the feel of a cozy nook, almost like a beachside tent in your bedroom. In this pretty bedroom, the stylish bed is complemented by a large, eye-catching chandelier. The vibe is of laid-back luxury, plus the wood bed and tall ceiling help create an Art Deco vibe.
For a truly plush feel, choose satin or velvet canopy fabrics, as these when gently suspended from the bed in a restrained manner, will take the glam factor of the room many notches.
If you want more cohesion in your room, choose drapes that are of the same material or hues like that of the canopy. This will ensure that the decor is seamless and together. Plus, it will also help establish the materiality of the room.
10. A four poster bed too could stand in for a canopy bed
Whether it's a Scandinavian bedroom or a simple, modern bedroom, a wood canopy bed, without any frills, frippery, and fabrics, can ground the space with zen lines and soft edges. The posts in this view-tastic bedroom mimic the vertical lines in the window, bringing the whole look together.
Is a canopy bed a good idea?
A canopy bed serves several purposes in the bedroom and for the dweller. Due to its shape, a canopy bed provides endless comfort and a feeling of being enveloped. It aids in better sleep as the person feels they're cut off from the rest of the world. The canopy also creates a subtle distinction between the bed area and the rest of the room, encouraging the sleeper to feel distanced and removed from the chaos outside.
Design-wise, a canopy helps the bed become the stand-out feature in a room; which is especially helpful if you have a beautiful, ornate bed that should attract all the attention. In a small modern bedroom, a canopy bed will distract attention away from the tiny square footage of the room and make the bed the star of the space.
In terms of designs, canopy beds are available in multiple styles. Whether it's full coverage, fabric design, or a curving frame, the bed has the ability to make the room look traditional or extremely modern. 'A custom iron canopy bed helps to create structure yet romanticism,' says interior designer Sherry Shirah (opens in new tab). 'Mixing materials of metal, wood, velvet, and linen can help achieve layered detail with the color palette.'
How do you decorate a bed canopy?
A bed canopy can be decorated with plush fabrics such as velvet, silk, or satin. Other than that, consider adding string lights around the frames or even use plants instead of the traditional fabric curtains.
Also, you could add beads, ropes, cane lanterns, or macrame hangings to decorate the canopy bed.
Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.
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