Friday, December 9, 2011

About Bed Canopies

About Bed Canopies

Bed canopies can be traced back to medieval times, but that doesn't make them a thing of the past. While their function has changed over centuries, they are still a staple in many homes. Bed canopies are available in enough styles and materials to fit just about any taste or type of décor. The same idea used for bed canopies can also be used for other furniture, such as couches, armchairs and even a dining room table. Does this Spark an idea?


Bed canopies evolved from both the homes of the rich and the homes of the poor. The poorer folks using bed canopies were those in medieval times. Canopies were installed to protect those who slept beneath poorly constructed roofs. Chunks of wood, tile, crud from overhead critters, and other dirt and debris would often fall into a freshly made bed unless it had a covering draped over it. European lords and ladies, too, had canopies, although their castles were of sturdier materials that would not allow debris to fall on their beds or heads. The function of the nobility's canopies was to give privacy and warmth to the beds of royalty, who often had attendants sleeping in the same room. The tradition of the canopy was kept by those who wanted to emulate the sleeping chambers of royalty.


Most bed canopies in use today are mainly for aesthetics. They add another dimension of décor to the bedroom and a smashing touch surrounding the bed. Others, like those made of netting and used in tropical climates, are to keep out mosquitoes and other pests while folks are sleeping. Heavy, opaque canopies can also serve to keep out the glaring morning light or afford some privacy to those in bed.


Bed canopies come in a wide range of styles. Circular canopies are attached by a ring that hangs above the bed. Four-poster canopies are attached in a rectangular shape that follows the same shape of the bed. Other canopies have no set shape per se, but are draped from the ceiling or wall to the top of a raised bed frame or hoisted on rods above the bed. Canopies can hang down completely to the floor, drape low enough to meet the mattress or come nowhere near the bed but add a festive touch above it.


Many materials are used to create bed canopies. Mesh, netting and tulle are very popular because they add a dreamy touch without being overbearing. Those going for the princess look would opt for these lighter fabrics. Heavier velvet, thick cotton and brocade canopies add a royal touch. Specialized canopies, such as those fashioned as a sporty tent or resembling the top of an arena, are other choices especially well-suited for a kid's room.


While many bed canopies are made by draping some type of fabric on a frame above the bed, that is not the only way to create a bed canopy. A four-poster bed made from heavy wood can feature a canopy that is basically a rooftop over the bed. The ceiling of this piece can be made of wood slats, mirrors or even be used to display large artwork. The same idea can be put into play with a frame created from wrought iron, wicker or even decorative glass, as long as the materials are thick enough to avoid breakage by an accidental kick in the middle of the night.

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