Monday, April 15, 2013

The Lit à la Polonaise....Elaborate And Romantic Beds

The elaborate beds of the upper classes tended to be more expensive than any other furniture in the house partly because from the 16th century through the 19th it was fashionable for hosts to receive visitors while still in bed. 

By the mid-18th century a new bed style was introduced , the Lit a la Polonaise, named after Louis XV’s Polish queen. Pronounced (“Puh low NEZ”), literally means “Polish bed” It was very fashionable during the reign of Louis XVI. Developed in the 18th century, it was roofed by a dome held in place by curved iron bars hidden by curtain rods The canopy is of smaller dimensions than the surface of the bed.The upholstery was usually elaborately detailed and often silk There was a huge range of sophisticated fabrics from which to choose in the 18th century. The silk industry was thriving, with scallop, lace and fragile floral patterns and patterns incorporating turtle-doves appearing. Silk was the most used fabric in grand interiors. The Lit à la Polonaise was often meant to stand in a deep niche in the bedroom of the main apartment of a palace or mansion. In other installations, the bed are often placed with one side lengthwise flush against a wall. 

The Lit a la Polonaise is the ultimate bed for romance, beauty and 18th century elegance. Nothing can make your bedroom look more feminine than the Lit a la Polonaise.

via Pinterest

Why not make a good night's sleep more luxurious! The romantic Lit à la Polonaise is certainly the way to accomplish it.

The Lit à la Polonaise has light, arching metal brackets within the framework that holds a small canopy, called a corona or baldequin above just the center of the bed.

Only the nobility were permitted a full canopy. Other aristocats had to settle for a partial canopy.

The Lit à la Polonaise bed immensely popular from the Renaissance until the French Revolution. European civilization was at its peak and France, the crossroads of Western culture, boasted many of the most sumptuous beds.

A Lit à la Polonaise will many times be designed with two upholstered ends.

The Lit à la Polonaise was very fashionable during the reign of Louis XV.

The Lit à la Polonaise was introduced to France by Maria Leszczy, the Polish Queen Consort of Louis XV.

A grand bed like this one was meant to stand in a deep niche in the bedroom of the main apartment of a palace or mansion. In the 1700s, visitors were frequently received in the bedroom, while the host or hostess was still in bed or at his or her dressing table.

This Lit à la Polonaise is gorgeous....that's all I can say!!

A beautiful French style bedroom complete with French furnishings, French mantle, Trumeau Mirror, and of course the Lit à la Polonaise.

A "pomme," or a bunch of feathers, could sometimes ornament the center and each corner of the Lit à la Polonaise canopy.

If ever you need the princess treatment, the Lit à la Polonaise corona allows you to drape your bed like royalty!

A twin sized Lit à la Polonaise.
This bedroom with it's Lit à la Polonaise is saturated in a soft floral pattern.

The draperies on your Lit à la Polonaise need not go all the way to the floor. Shorter ones like this are lovely too.

Tassels and other types of passementeries were used to embellish the bed dressings.

There are many different styles of coronets and canopy frames but the general silhouette of the Lit à la Polonaise is very distinguishable.

This lovely Lit à la Polonaise features scalloping which was a popular bed dressing design element.

A Louis XVI cream painted Lit à la Polonaise.

The Lit à la Polonaise was very fashionable during the reign of Louis XVI. Marie Antoinette used the bed which contributed to it's popularity. This one was at the Petit Trianon.

Louis XV had over four hundred beds, mostly with ornate trim and many of them were the Lit à la Polonaise. He liked to stay in bed and was often in his audience chamber where he delivered his orders in a resting position. The framework is usually covered with curtaining, which makes the bed look impressively dressed with curtains fixed in a gathered state around the arching frame.

Love the mix of pattern in this room. The Lit à la Polonaise has been painted cream and works beautifully with the painted tea table.

Conde Nast

Canopy tops can be very elaborate.......

or quite simple. It all depends on your personal style.

Gorgeous Lit à la Polonaise dressed in French country fabrics of toile and checks. Perfection!!

This is such a pretty bedroom. They have made a Lit à la Polonaise from a four poster and a coronet. The fabric is then  draped onto the posters in French style.

It is possible to make your own bed even if you don't have the metal frame. Here is another example of using a four poster and French style draping.


A more modern version of the bed.

The Lit à la Polonaise is a favorite of all members of the family!!

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This blog post was published by
Lisa Farmer

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