Quintessentially French in every single way is the Sleigh bed. Characterised by their curved or scrolled headboards and footboards, these timeless classics model the silhouette of a sleigh, which is how they founded their name!
Originally created around 200 years ago, it is a style that was popular in 1800s France and within The US due to the rise in neoclassic furniture, inspired by a Greek Revival. The sleigh shape was derived from the “Empire Style”, which was heavily influenced by both the arts and eighteenth-century architecture, creating elaborate and stylish furniture. The curves of the bed mimic an ancient scroll, paying homage to ancient Greek columns. It is said that Napoléon had a slight obsession with this style of bed, and requested all of his beds were made in this style – if it was good enough for Napoléon, then it’s certainly good enough for us!
Whilst we sell a plethora of gorgeous French Beds, the finest examples of French Sleigh Beds are our Lottie High Footboard Natural Linen Upholstered Chesterfield Bed or our Million Dreams bed. Our New Beginnings bed in pale pink petal velvet or our French Romance bed in grey or oatmeal linen also perfectly represent the traditional sleigh bed. We’ve put together a guide on how to style these statement pieces to help you make your style mark, whilst maintaining the elegance of the shape itself.
Lottie Linen Upholstered Bed
This timeless bed features sweeping button upholstery around and over the top curve of the headboard and footboard, giving the bed that classic sleigh shape. We find sleigh beds look their best in a plain or textured fabric, which allows for the scrolls to do the visual talking. The Lottie bed has hand-placed metal studwork following the scrolls, accentuating the shape even further.
Simple yet elegant accessories are a must when styling a bed this stunning. Plain white bed linen provides a crisp, luxurious feel whilst not removing any attention from the detailed buttoning and graceful swirls. Try our Romance Ruffle Cotton Bed Linen Set or Lily Lace White 500 Bed Linen Set to add a feminine twist without deferring the attention from the frame itself.
For a modern take, pair this beautiful bed with gold bedside tables such as the Hexagon Hive Gold Side Table or Milton Manor Side Table and dress them with minimal accessories – a simple white vase with pampas grass placed within it is the perfect addition.
A Million Dreams Linen Upholstered Bed
A modern take on the traditional sleigh bed is our A Million Dreams Linen Upholstered Bed. The design features the classic scrolled headboard; however, this bed has been designed without a footboard, making it perfect for smaller bedrooms. The ivory linen upholstery offers a plethora of styling opportunities, and the lack of footboard allows for you to style it with delicate prints and a variety of colours without it becoming too busy.
A romantic styling take on this dreamy bed would be to pair it with creams and rose pinks, using bed linen sets that offer a story in their design, such as our popular Country Toile Pink Bed Linen. Drape over the matching Country Toile Pink Bedspread or opt for a lighter option, such as our Peachskin Quilted Bedspread in Petal Pink. Accompany this with a scattering of Olivia White Ruffled Linen Cushions, as well as Oli Ruffle Pink Linen Cushions to provide a contrast in sizes.
Alternatively, mix bold colours and vibrant prints to make this bed pop. Select a blanket or bedspread in a colour that makes your heart sing, such as our luscious Teal Blue Cotton Velvet Quilted Throw, and then pop a variety of cushions in various matching colours and sizes beneath the headboard to add excitement and depth.
New Beginnings Pink Velvet Upholstered Bed
In a similar fashion to the A Million Dreams Linen Upholstered Bed, The New Beginnings Pink Velvet Upholstered bed has a delicate scrolled headboard but is designed without a footboard to make it the perfect statement addition to any bedroom, irrespective of size. Luxurious, feminine petal pink velvet is draped across the body of the bed, with a dual row of gold brass studwork accentuating the traditional sleigh style scrolls.
The delicate petal pink colouring of this bed makes it the perfect, feminine addition to any bedroom. With turned white wooden feet, the bed looks beautiful paired with accompanying soft, white bed linen and embroidered bedspreads, such as the Colette Bouquet White Cotton Quilted Bedspread. Pair the bed with a cosy rug such as the Calmness Pink Fringed Rug and accompany with light bedroom furniture, such as the Carerra Side Table to create an effortless, feminine chic.
Pair this pretty in pink bed with the matching New Beginnings Pink Velvet Ottoman for additional storage and decorate the ottoman with pale cushions to tie the entire room together. Place a gold framed mirror above and et voila – a whimsical, feminine bedroom you’ll never want to leave, all centred around a timeless design.
French Romance Linen Upholstered Bed
Designed in both a grey and oatmeal linen, the French Romance Upholstered bed is our very own French take on a sleigh bed. The headboard and footboard have been carefully curved in a more traditional French way, accentuating the shape of the bed, and making it a talking piece within the bedroom. Both beds are carved from a hardwood oak with a very subtle stain distemper, allowing you to create a rustic space that oozes soft French elegance. Both the grey and oatmeal linen are carefully designed to be colours that coordinate perfectly with other items of French furniture, allowing you to adapt the bed to your style as it changes over the years.
Create a classic French bedroom by pairing these beautiful beds with the matching bedside tables for a unified, traditional look. Make the bed cosy by dressing in darker shades of bed linen or stick to a lighter shade and adorn with quilted bedspreads and decorative cushions that match the your linen choice. To create a cosy feel, use patterns such as gingham or add visual intrigue with texture. We adore the combination of our and Chamonix Oatmeal Faux Fur Cushion to create a wintery sanctuary. Opting for wall lights will create a warmer feel to the room, or take this one step further and snuggle up with your favourite book by candlelight, tying together both relaxing scents and a calm space to have you ready for a relaxing night of rest.
With endless styling opportunities, a sleigh bed can be the piece de resistance within your boudoir. We understand that with such a variety of styling choices, it can initially seem daunting knowing which is the right style for you. This is why we are always here to provide styling advice (free of charge) and have been since 2006. Get in touch today and let us help you create your dream bedroom.