A Bed Fit for Royalty – How to Design a Canopy Bed

How To

In this 'Sleeping Around' blog post we've put together some examples from around our hotels of how we design canopy beds as well as some guidelines to consider when designing your own bedrooms. We hope these tips and tricks inspired you to design your own canopy...

Louis XIV was well known for his elaborate morning ritual, Winston Churchill was fond of an afternoon nap and Marie Antoinette’s favourite room in Versailles was her bedroom. We all know the importance of sleep and what better way to elevate a good night’s kip than in a room that’s fit for a King or Queen!

We’ve put together some examples from around our hotels of how we design canopy beds as well as some guidelines to consider when designing your own bedrooms.

Historically canopies were a symbol of opulence with ornate textiles and lofty heights in the form of four-poster beds as seen here in room 110 at Covent Garden Hotel.

We also like to use coronas which have the same effect and as the name suggests, these are suspended like a crown at the head of the bed with draperies extending down to the corners. Here is a corona we made for room 417 at Covent Garden Hotel.

The canopy mirrored the size of the bed with drapes on all sides to give privacy as well as extra warmth during times before central heating. Nowadays, their role has evolved to add a sense of grandeur, romanticism and indulgence.

In room 201 at Charlotte Street Hotel, we’ve gone for a more contemporary look by using a half tester canopy. These tend to be less dominant, making them a great choice for smaller bedrooms. They’re also easier to DIY and change should you want to switch things up.

The Technical Bits

Consider the ceiling height of your bedroom as well as the width of the bed and your headboard. You want the fabric to drape beautifully and show off the design you’ve chosen. The greater the ceiling height, the more you can do with the design and size of the corona.

For a standard room with a king size bed we recommend a corona with a width of around 60cm. Depth is also important to consider since the corona needs to be mounted to the wall and ceiling. Drapes tend to get heavy once double-sided, so remember to ensure you have enough structural support before you begin the installation. The style you choose will impact your fabric quantities, so do bear that in mind if you’re working on a less than royal budget.

We hope these tips and tricks inspired you to design your own canopy. Share your projects with us at @kitkempdesignthread and tag #designthreads.

The Build 

If you’re inspired by the canopy in room 417 at Covent Garden Hotel, keep in mind that it is simply a corona with curtains which can be installed using grommets or hooks. It can be upholstered or made from woodwork. To upholster the base by yourself, all you need is the fabric, some cotton wadding, a staple gun and some upholstery back tack strip for neat edges. Don’t forget to finish off the base of the corona because that will be visible when you’re tucked-up in bed.

The Fun Part

Get creative, be bold and have fun with your design. Canopies have the ability to capture imagination, become a whimsical design feature and act as the main focal point in any bedroom. You can combine different textiles, trims, shapes and sizes. You could also use a scalloped edge, beads, tassels and pleats.

In The Terrace Suite at Ham Yard Hotel, we have created a half tester using floral designs and a smart red stripe fabric. This classic flower and stripe combination adds a nostalgic touch. For more inspiration, head to our ‘Dream Worthy Beds’ post.