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Refined Elegance With Antique Iron Beds


 Some people look at old iron beds as just a decrepit piece of furniture that doesn’t know when to say die. Others look upon that same bed with a more unique eye…….. an eye of “refined elegance”. When that vision of “refined elegance” is offered to any item ………… especially antiques or vintage furniture, it can be improved, simply by the other articles that appoint it in a room.

If the room is “Spartan” and austere in nature…….little regard or homage is being paid to the item. Yet in that same room, if the surroundings are clean and beautiful……. that  old  antique iron bed, will all of a sudden take on a renewed importance  and value in the eye of the beholder.

I’ve viewed the same bed in two unique settings. One setting being austere in nature with a couple of appointments, and those that were there were not enticing. In that type of setting the bed seemed much more utilitarian in nature….just a item to hold the mattress…….dare I say a “necessary evil”.

 However, in another room that has been adorned with care and love for its space, a bed can all of a sudden take on the importance of an item of sizable significance…….a reclaimed , highly thought of collectible who’s surroundings were particularly designed around it.

Identical bed ……… Two entirely diverse settings.

“Refined Elegance” is a expression interior designers like to use in relation to making the changes to a room, to enhance, with respect to a piece of furniture, in this case an antique iron bed, to enhance it’s visual value and relevance.

  I have viewed the same identical antique iron bed in it’s first setting in a little home outside of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The room was bare except for the bed and a particularly plain wooden dresser. The curtains were plain sheer white, unfinished hardwood flooring and aged wallpaper that was starting to peel. A single light bulb hung from the ceiling. The mattress on the bed was covered with a simple white cotton bedspread and it had no dust ruffle and only two pillows that had been laid flat at the headboard…..not even propped up. To say it was depressing would be to have given it the benefit of the doubt……. it was simply sad that anyone would ever have to sleep in such an obviously uncared for bedroom. Now …….. go from that room to the one professionally done by a designer to “emphasize” the use of that same bed………..

The designer has now used that same bed we’re discussing, in a much more beautiful setting with specific appointments  to increase it’s beauty. It is dressed appropriately with fresh stunning linens, multiple pillows and is positioned to be the major item of furniture and importance in the room. Elegant lighting, polished and waxed wood flooring, sophisticated overstuffed chairs and shuttered window treatments all add to it’s “Refined Elegance”. 

This technique of “highlighting” a possibly otherwise unimpressive piece of furniture , is atalent not all interior designers possess. But those that do, can take the “simplest” of old obscure items, and turn them into the focal point of a room. 



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