Next month, an exhibition curated by Max Rollitt will explore the decorative possibilities of the four- poster. In this preview, he uses the designs to breathe new life into the interiors at Grange Park, William Wilkins’ Greek Revival masterpiece in Hampshire. Photography by Tom Mannion; styling by Olivia Gregory.
In its heyday, the four-poster wasn’t just a status symbol – it was also a practical piece of kit that acted as insulation on chilly nights.
In the days of double glazing and central heating, the thermal properties of four-posters are no longer necessary, but there’s no doubt that they lend more drama to a scheme than any other item of furniture.
Inspiration for Max Rollitt’s collection includes a mahogany four-poster from Stoneythorpe Hall in Warwickshire, a military-campaign bed designed by Thomas Butler as well as designs inspired by the Indian and Shaker originals.
The four-poster is also a vehicle for colour, pattern and texture and a foundation for a plethora of looks, from tailored simplicity to decorative excess, as demonstrated here by hangings created with fabrics from Claremont, de Le Cuona, Bennison and George Spencer Designs.
Bala bed, £12,500, Max Rollitt
Drapes in Echo, in Mist, £140 per m; bed sheets and pillows in Artist Canvas, £160 per m, in Lake and Origami in Petal, £135 per m; cushions in Kasbah in Saffron, £214 per m, and Artist Canvas in Bloom, £135 per m; bed throw in Antique Paisley in Burgundy, £235 per m, all from de Le Cuona (www.delecuona.com)
New Gloucester bed, £10,850, Max Rollitt
Curtain in Phoenix, mid blue on Oyster, £192 per m; headboard and pillows in Morocco in indigo blue on Oyster, £192 per m; bolster cushion in Honfleur in Green Blue on Oyster, £192 per m; bedspread in Kazak stripe in yellow blue charcoal, £192 per m, all from Bennison Fabrics (www.bennisonfabrics.com); bedlinen, from the Secret Linen Store (www.secretlinenstore.com)
Chamberlayne bed, £16,800, Max Rollitt
Bed curtains in Claremont SFJ gold silk, lined with Faille Hamilton Havane; swag tie drops in Claremont Amelia crackle; rouge tassles made to order; headboard in Claremont Serge Antique Valance, trimmed with Galon Guipure chenille; bedspread in Claremont Amelia crackle, trimmed in Claremont Galon Regence (special turquoise), price on application, all from Claremont (www.claremontfurnishing.com)
Campaign Bed, £12,000, Max Rollitt
Bed curtains in Hamptons linen in Harvest Yellow, £136 per m, trimmed with Spencer velvet, Cranberry £144 per m; headboard in Imogen, Red Desert £134 per m; bedspread and Bolster cushion in Amadea, Pumpernickel trimmed with Spencer Velvet, Cranberry Amadea £136 per m; screen wallpapered in Quercus in Windswept, Moss £58 per m, all George Spencer (www.georgespencer.com).
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