Trendwatch: Bed Testers

Trendwatch: Bed Testers

Looking through the Instagram feeds of some of our favourite interior designers, it seems this traditional bedroom treatment has made a comeback. What better way to achieve the look than with what’s known in the industry as a bed tester? Here we share how to style and where to find them…


This Is Why It’s Popular…

Although many of us might like the idea of a four-poster bed, the proportions of a room often can’t accommodate one. If you want to make a statement in a bedroom, consider a bed tester instead. It’s making a more regular appearance in interiors – often as a mini or half tester – as a neat but high impact design device.
Interior designers in the US have been excited about this growing trend for some time. Partnered with bobbin beds (see Palmer Weiss’s image) and a bamboo bed side table, it takes on an airier feel. Alternatively, use heavier fabrics to create a sharp, smart statement as a focal point in the room.

There Are Two Types… 

In simple terms, a bed tester is a pelmet box with a curtain hung below it. Sometimes this can emulate an exisiting curtain treatment (see Eleanor Olver’s design) or create a new feature entirely.
Sarah Peake of Studio Peake recently created a design with a gently wavy edge and contrasting fabric. We asked Sarah to tell us about how she did it. “Any good curtain maker who has a good installation team should be able to make up something like this. They have to set the headboard forward on a batten and then dress the fabric behind the headboard on site – this often requires a bit of tweaking until it looks perfect. The interior and exterior fabric is best to be a similar weight so that it hangs well. Bed testers should be quite tall to elongate the shape and send the eye up – in this case it was to the underside of the cornice. I also wanted it to sit on top of the braid which bordered the edges of the walls. Sometimes, if you have very high ceilings it would look odd to have the bed tester to the cornice. In that case, line up the top of it with other things in the room like the joinery or the top of an architrave, for example.” 
Another way to achieve the look is to use a corona or crown, fixed to the wall above the bed which allows metres of fabric to drape elegantly from it. The final effect is determined by the fabric you choose. Voiles will give a light, ethereal look – just like Octavia Dickinson’s airy bedroom.

Studio Peake

Bed testers should be quite tall to elongate the shape and send the eye up – in this case it was to the underside of the cornice.
Sarah Peake at Studio Peake

Here's How To Finish Them…

As Sarah says, to keep this look high end, use a good curtain maker. The pelmet and curtains can be made in a huge array of designs, and both the pelmet and the curtains can be elevated with complementary trims, contrasting borders or decorative braids. Samuel and Sons is a treasure trove when it comes to fabric finishes. 
It’s possible to use the curtain to create the finish as well. In Salvesen Graham’s design, the floral fabric is pleated and ruffled to give the prettiest finishing touch. 

Where To Go To Buy One… 

There are plenty of crowns/coronas available online from antiques dealers, but here’s our edit of some newer options too…

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