The basic design of a four poster bed was initially driven by the need to provide a shelter from draughts, which were common in older dwellings, as well as increase its users’ privacy. Nowadays, these matters are already addressed with private and well-insulated rooms, but the four poster bed, with its protective canopy and curtains, still retains a strong appeal.
Unlike their 19th century predecessors, modern four poster beds tend to be more minimal. Even Luca Scacchetti’s ‘Camera D’Albergo’ for Morelato, or Bolzan Letti’s ‘Ceylon’ four poster bed, though both heavily inspired by tradition, are pared-down, almost minimal designs, whose main mode of expression is derived from their expert wood craftsmanship.
David Trubridges’s ‘Four Poster Bed’ is a more robust design, yet its four bedposts culminate in a slender suggestion of a cross vault. Kenneth Cobonpue also takes inspiration from architecture: in his ‘Ima’ four poster bed, the woven canopy resembles an oriental temple, and in ‘Hagia’, a woven cross vault soars above the sleeping area.
Vico Magistretti’s ‘Crimea bed’ for Flou is a slender, iron construction referring to the classic proportions of 19th century four poster beds. ‘Ridiculum Himmelbett’, designed by Felix Schwake for Rechteck, reduces the four poster bed to a series of thick lines, describing its rectangular outline. Antonio Citterio’s ‘Alcova’ for Maxalto is also strictly geometric, but with thinner bedposts and constructional elements, meaning that the mattress becomes an additional and integral part of the composition.
Michael Kloker‘s laminated wood ‘Private Cloud’ four poster bed, manufactured by Andreas Janson, is mounted on large elliptical rockers in order to provide a calming, relaxing experience. A more futuristic option is Günther Thöny’s ‘Nido’, a large, egg-shaped shell, which combines a massage mechanism with light and sound systems in order to ensure a relaxing and satisfying rest.