Inside many a cosmopolitan woman with rigorously great taste, a darker design ethic lurks. Call it closet romanticism. It’s the polar opposite of the way I really live, but I sometimes salivate over pie safes draped in white lace, sets of floral china, and a lifestyle that includes actually wearing Nannys cameo pin to afternoon tea. A part of me yearns for this stuff even as it feels shameful, a saccharine tic of taste that is best hidden. Thank god Victoria magazine is now defunct.
Presiding over it all, immune to the vagaries of fashion, is that enduring symbol of romance and secret pre-teen desire: the Romantic Bed. Usually involving a filmy canopy, mosquito netting, or some over-the-top fabric draping, the effect of the bed is undeniably charming, and as sweetly seductive as a maiden covering her mouth while she charmingly giggles. This bed pops up everywhere in popular culture, from Out of Africa to Pride and Prejudice to the dreaded Martha’s boudoir.
The Romantic Bed appeals to the feminine heart. It isn’t going anywhere. If you’ve tired of your antiseptic Calvin Klein bed linens and their relentlessly spare aesthetic, maybe it’s time you indulged in a walk on the white side.
Yes, if you ever wanted a Princess Bed as a little girl, guess what? now you’ve got a checkbook!
- 6 yards scrim fabric or netting (very sheer and gauzy, white, around $36)
- fishing line (monofilament)
- ceiling hook
Find the center of your bed (between two pillows) and mark the ceiling above with a pencil. Drive the ceiling hook about 7-8 inches out from the wall. Fold scrim fabric in half, so that you have two trailing lengths of 3 yards each. In the center, tie a big, loose knot with the fabric. With the fishing line, tie your suspension mechanism: a knot at the base of your loose knot. Leave an extra 7-8 inches of fishing line and tie the fishing line to the ceiling hook, leaving a “drop” of about 6 inches or so. Now the fabric will blouse out beautifully. Push the trailing ends of the fabric down between your mattress and wall. Secure fabric sides with a single clear pushpin (don’t extend the fabric past the edge of the bed).
Added bonus: Perfect for those in-between-boyfriend times, revel in your lacy froth and convention be damned.