The Transformation of the Sleigh Bed

by J. Allen - Date: 2007-04-07 - Word Count: 324 Share This!

If the term ‘sleigh bed' evokes visions of a winter wonderland and causes sugar plums to dance in your head, you're probably not alone. Traditional sleigh beds can look like they're more sleigh than bed, with their scrolled foot and headboards and enclosed bodies. Many modern incarnations of this classic look, however, have toned-down the Christmas spirit so much so, that they would look completely out of place being pulled by Santa's reindeer.

The sleigh bed sprang from the Empire period of the early 1800s. Versions of this ornate bed style were produced in both America and France at pretty much the same time. The Empire period drew its inspiration from the decadence of early Rome and Greece, so it's no surprise the first sleigh beds were lavishly designed and exquisitely detailed.

Contemporary sleigh beds have very little in common with their predecessors other than the name. Gone are the bulky, heavy features and completely scrolled foot and headboards. These are replaced with a sleeker, more streamlined aesthetic and sometimes only slightly slanted or gently curved foot and headboards. Many of the contemporary sleigh beds have a platform design, making them lower profile and eschewing the box spring altogether. If the early sleigh bed is a classic Rolls Royce, the modern day version is more like a Porsche or Corvette-built for speed.

If you're a fan of the classically styled sleigh bed, you are not alone. They are still available as well as middle-of-the-road transitionally styled ones, to go along with today's modern version. In fact, no matter what décor style you're going for or what wood type and finish you prefer, there's a sleigh bed out there for you. Like many decorating mainstays, the sleigh bed has undergone some changes over the course of its existence to remain a popular fixture in homes all over the world.

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Related Tags: furniture, bedroom furniture, contemporary bedroom furniture, sleigh beds, sleigh bed

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