Are four poster beds going out of style? For many years, you could only find poster beds in your grandmother’s attic or movies set in Medieval times. The heavy wood, ornate carvings, and billowy canopy just didn’t fit in modern or minimalist design trends—unless you were Christian Grey, and decorating a play room.
However, four poster beds have made a comeback, thanks to fresh reinterpretations of its classic shape. You can still see its familiar four posts, and a curtain that can keep out sunlight and protect privacy, but the modern poster bed looks nothing like an antique.
Look at these creative examples of how four poster beds are being used in today’s trendiest homes. It’s living proof that it is still very much in fashion—and can be used in any kind of theme or color scheme.
Minimalist metal frames
The sleek metal posts at home-designing actually frame the bed’s geometric headboard. It’s the perfect focal point for a minimalist room. Observe how all the elements have very sleek, elegant lines—the lamps on the wall, and a simple black chair—that complement rather than compete with the poster bed’s shape.
The simple four poster bed, which also comes from home-designing, is positioned against a built-in cubby hole, which stores books and other knick-knacks. (By the way, if you’re looking for an affordable way to customize your bedroom wall, steal that idea of a colorful tile background. While quality tiles aren’t cheap, they cost far less than a painting.)
The poster bed design itself is worth mentioning. Unlike traditional poster beds, the frames are not joined to the actual bed. This has a convenient purpose: you can push the headboard flat against the wall, and it also creates a sense of space.
The white four poster bed is a charming addition to this very feminine bedroom. The frame’s notched design softens the lines and suits the aery, delicate vibe of the room.
Take note of how the interior designer keeps the room from looking too much like a Victorian dollhouse by adding organic decorations, like the wooden lampshade and bucket seat. That’s one way of making sure that your poster bed doesn’t look dated—break a design stereotype with one or two unexpected design elements!
East meets West
This is a brilliant example of the fusion of culture and eras. It retains the canopy or curtain of the traditional poster bed but foregoes heavy carvings for a sleek and minimalist shape. Instead of a mattress, it also uses a Japanese-style futon.
This is a great way to use a four-poster bed in a modern apartment or condo unit, which has limited space. A low-lying mattress, combined with the height of the poster bed, can help make a ceiling look higher—which, in turn, makes a room look bigger.
And if you use your bedroom as a work area in the daytime, you can draw the curtains to completely hide the bed from view. That’s very useful for taking Zoom calls in your “office” — or hiding the fact that you’re too lazy to make the bed.
Aside from thinner and simpler lines, minimalist poster beds trade the usual heavy brocade or scalloped canopy for simple, free-flowing fabric. Large swathes of soft cloth can add subtle drama to a room, and create beautiful curves that can echo other elements in the room.
For example, in this modern Oriental bedroom, the fabric adds to the organic, graceful feel of the hanging lamps and bonsai.
Old and New
The four poster bed has a stainless steel frame, which balances the 1950s-style sofa fabric and vintage-style hand-embroidered beddings.
This is an excellent example of how you can still use traditional elements in a fresh, modern, and very stylish way. A wooden bed would have made this room look like your grandmother’s guest bedroom, but thanks to the industrial material of the bed frame, the effect is very contemporary and cool.
Frames and fairy lights
This bedroom has a soft, dream-like quality, from the soft drapery of the four-poster bed and the soft fabrics used for both the beddings and the area rug. The designer also made good use of the bed posts, hanging fairy lights and tassels for a whimsical touch.
Function and Form
Many poster beds, coming from livinginashoebox, have a bookcase built into its base for convenient bedtime reading, but this model is practically a home entertainment center. The ample shelves can hold several books, knick-knacks, and speakers. It extends to a work table, and the “ladder” lets you hang bags for additional pocket storage.
This is the idea bed for a one-room unit, and proves that it’s not true that “I don’t have room for a poster bed.” A multi-functional bed like this can actually give you more room, by replacing other furniture.
Wood and White
This is one of the most popular modern design themes: wooden furniture, with a mostly white or cream color scheme. Not only does it look fresh and clean, but it’s also easy to do with a small decorating budget. (Hello, Ikea.)
Take this basic wooden four-poster bed, which you can find in almost any bargain furniture store. Dress it up in classic white bed linens and a white lamp, and the rooms look as classy as a five-star hotel.
Wood and Steel
Contrast can make a room more interesting. The stainless steel for poster bed actually work very well with the wooden furniture and ethnic prints of the pillow and rug.
A heavy wooden frame would have been a cliché—and made the room look smaller, too. But the sleek and subtle metal finish allows the wall décor to be the room’s focal point and works really well with the modern lines of the sofa and lamp.
Unique frame shapes
Furniture designers add a new twist to the traditional four-poster bed shape. The metal rods are shaped to look like tree branches, which perfectly complement the earthy colors and materials used in the other parts of the room.
Two toned bed frames
As you have guessed from looking at these images, modern four poster beds now use a variety of materials ranging from metals like iron and industrial steel to woods with different finishes.
But it doesn’t stop there. Two-toned bed frames—like this dark gun-metal and copper beauty—add visual interest, and give a simple answer to the question, “What color should I get?” If you can’t decide on just one color, then get a poster bed that already has both.
Stripped of the canopy, the curved bed frame of this four poster bed actually looks like very sculptural — and acts as an instant focal point for a small room that doesn’t have a lot of space for other furniture or decor. You could also dress it up with fairy lights, and turn even a small attic room into a dream bedroom for a teen.
The carving in the posts and the bed frame are similar to the dressing cabinet and the vanity. It automatically creates a harmonious design and makes a very clear design statement.
If you don’t want to have a bare frame, you can go to the other end of the spectrum: a full set of drapes, made from an eye-catching heavy fabric.
The key to pulling off this look is to keep all the other elements in the room very muted and stick to a very consistent color scheme. In this example, you can see how the walls and the carpeting pick up from the colors of the drapery.
So it doesn’t compete with the drapery, the beddings are kept white and simple–except for an accent pillow in the same color scheme as the rest of the room.
Bright and Bold
The bright yellow four poster bed adds a colorful punch to this eclectic room. Don’t be afraid to work with bold colors and patterns, or break “design rules” to get the look you want.
Just repeat a few elements to unify the design. In this case, the yellow poster bed is the center point: it has the same color as the rug’s peacock feather pattern, and the strong lines of the frame are similar to the exposed beams on the walls and ceiling.
The beautiful, hand-carved accents on this four-poster bed are perfect for the colorful prints used for its pillows and upholstery. We love the poster bed’s exceptional craftsmanship! The details on the headboard, the knobs, and even the legs—and the natural hues and grain of the wood adds an interesting dimension. This bed will only look even more beautiful as it ages.