The Sleigh Bed ~ It Simply Oozes Style.
The History of the Sleigh Bed
Mahogany Sleigh Beds or indeed painted white and shabby chic sleigh beds are one of those designs which seems to fit perfectly with almost any look you are trying to create, from the classical and traditional period to the more modern and contemporary periods. In fact the sleigh bed can found in many designer bedrooms and is certainly one of the interior designers favourites. You just have to open any of a number of home style magazines and no doubt you will see the sleigh bed featured.
Here at AKD Furniture we supply many of those mahogany sleigh bed you see featured in those glossy publications. All our sleigh beds are made from solid mahogany and can be adapted to your design and size requirements.
This distinctive bed with its wonderful arched and scrolled headboard and footboard dates back to the early 19th century and was much admired by Napoleon. The sleigh bed thus became part of what is termed the Empire Period of furniture. However it is also reported that the design has been seen in Roman remains however in the Empire Period the bed was first popularised. Perhaps this is also why this bed as well as being a truly great design has that touch of class and opulence about it. Later the bed became popular in the United States and traditionally it was hand crafted in wood but now is made of several different materials including metal.
This Sleigh Bed – The King Of Style
The sleigh has managed to be both a sign of luxury and at the same time is a simple design and has mass market appeal. This is the hallmark of a great design. It fits as well in modern built house as it does in the most grand manor house, especially a mahogany sleigh bed which adds that further touch of class.
Just by looking at the sleigh bed it is easy to understand where its name is derived from. The curved back headboard and footboard are reminiscent of a sled or sleigh. The headboard is normally slightly taller that the footboard but this is not necessary the case. For example the Lit Bateau sleigh style has the headboard and footboard the same height giving this bed a more enclosed feel.
Finishes For A Classic Bed
Although the sleigh bed can come in a number of materials such as metal and leather it is perhaps best made in a solid wood. Taste is obviously in the eye of the beholder but who would not admire this bed made from solid mahogany stained golden brown and hand waxed to a satin finish. That is not to say other colours are not equally as appealing. Very popular is white pained sleigh beds especially if they are slightly distressed to be shabby chic. A bedroom filled with a sleigh bedroom set finished in the shabby chic style is bright, warm and welcoming.
Sleigh Bed Modifications
Now a days many different variations of the design are available. These variations are quite often to the footboard height. At AKD Furniture we supply a number of sleigh beds with varying heights to the footboard including no footboard at all. It’s a personnel taste of course, but without a footboard most would agree that the sleigh bed is less attractive. So why remove the footboard? One reason is that many hotels and bed and breakfast with smaller sized rooms love the shape bed because it adds class to their establishment found that standard footboard made the room appear somewhat cramped. Removing the footboard gives the room a more open feel and has two other benefits. It is much easier for guests to put their suitcase onto the bed without having to lift it over the footboard and guests can also sit on the end of the bed. Hence hotels of all shapes and sizes can now feature the sleigh bed to help make an attractive and inviting room.
A compromise to removing the footboard is to reduce the height so that it is about a mattresses depth from the slats. In this way the stylish shape of the footboard can be retained but at the same time lighten the sleigh bed. This is especially useful in small bedrooms which are all to common in newly built properties where developers are desperate to maximise every square foot of space.
Lit Bateau sleigh beds where the headboard and footboard are the same height and the looking from the side the shape resembles a boat as well as a sled or sleigh. The Lit Bateau also has a more curved appearance due to the headboard and footboard curving down to meet the side rails whereas the more standard sleigh bed is squared off.
Day bed which still has the distinctive curved and scrolled ends but one side is filled in so the piece takes on the appearance of a very elegant bench.
Divan sleigh bed which is simply a standard sleigh bed without the mattress slats and made to measure so that a divan bed can fitted inside. The side rails are extended down to near the floor to hide the divan sides leaving the beauty of wood, which at AKD Furniture is solid mahogany with perhaps some carving of the customers choice exposed to the eye.
Barley twist sleigh bed. This exceptionally stunning bed has the typical shape of a sleigh but is further enhanced with panelled headboard on footboard. The elegantly carved ‘barley twist’ poles which lie across both the headboard and footboard give this model its name.
Versatile and Adaptable
A sleigh bed that turns into cot and then a seat. There are other variations for example slightly slanting the headboard back so it is not so upright, cot shaped sleigh beds, ornately carved, and those with drawers added below the mattress to name but a few. Whatever the adaptation of the bed they will all retain that stylish curved headboard shape which is so timeless and distinctive.