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

four poster bed

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 (020–8995 6684; www.vspinteriors.com), 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 (01935 826659; www.stuartinteriors.com), 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.

four poster bedKeraton carved bed, from £1,995 for a king-size

Lombok (www.lombok.co.uk; 020–7736 5171)


four poster bedGoldsborough king-size bed in Ebony, £5,490

TurnPost (01937 572570; www.turnpost.co.uk)


four poster bedTuvalu king-size bed and mattress, £2,590

OKA (0844 815 7380; www.oka.com)


four poster bedHoxton bed, from £6,725 for a king-size

And So To Bed (www.andsotobed.co.uk; 0808 144 4343)


four poster bedSassy Boo Majestic bed, from £1,299 for a king-size

The French Bedroom Company (01444 415430; www.frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk)


four poster bedMayfair super-king-size bed, £4,796

Simon Horn (020–7731 3555; www.simonhorn.com)

Cookie Control

Cookie control

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

I'm fine with this

We use cookies to give you the best online experience.

Please let us know if you agree to all of these cookies.

Some of the cookies we use are essential for the site to work.

We also use some non-essential cookies to collect information for making reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form.

To control third party cookies, you can also adjust your browser settings.

I'm fine with this
(One cookie will be set to store your preference)
(Ticking this sets a cookie to hide this popup if you then hit close. This will not store any personal information)
Information and Settings Cookie policy