Built-in beds are back and more beautiful than ever

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If recent events have made you want to slip into the proverbial womb, whether in the form of swaddled cashmere pajamas or a weighted blanket, consider a more primitive pampering fashion that’s all the rage again. : the integrated bed. “There’s something good about having solidity on at least three walls around you,” says designer Thomas Jayne, founder of Jayne Design Studio. “I think they are often installed because the idea of ​​a bunk room is quite fun and romantic.”

Their legendary lineage is part of what appeals to Sean Scherer, an artist and designer who calls the box bed one of his signatures. “They have existed since medieval times for the warmth and conservation of space; the Dutch call them a bed, “he says.” Now you see them everywhere. I’m still amazed. Surprised, but not surprised, as they provide instant nostalgic comfort that begs to be napped. Scherer designed one for a client with an interior. “Acid green” another is covered with mirrors to bounce light, suppressing claustrophobia.

In a California home, Martha Mulholland’s built-in cabinet is covered with three vibrant sheets.

Laure Joliet

He likes that they adapt to any architectural style: “It could be very mid-century as well as very 1850s.” But it should never look like a Sheetrock box, one of the reasons Scherer prefers. line each of its bed boxes with Placoplâtre. Done right, each must stand like a carpenter’s piece of furniture in order to achieve the ultimate goal of making you feel “like you just want to jump in”.

“The Dutch call them a bed. “

Designer Maria Speake from Retrouvius also counts built-in beds as one of her business cards, one that never goes out of style. Case in point: For a client’s nine-year-old son, she set up a whimsical bed lined with peeled blue reclaimed tongue-and-groove planks, with red and white striped curtains and a half-arched stained glass window that emits a incandescent glow. Proof that the look has hold? The son is now 17 and “he’s still in it”.

built-in beds elle decor
In London, Retrouvius made a box bed from old pine boards once used for drying cheese.

Kim lightbody

Like a hammock, these respites are a flawless dream land for one, and one, says Speake: “They feel really comfortable and generous, but it’s a little tight for two. You have to really love the person. Lighting tucked away in the box is essential. Speake also found that “what makes a really delicious square bed is a window to the natural air. This is the main thing because you are super comfortable inside but with the fresh air coming in and blowing over you, there is nothing better.

Of course, you can get a feel for the rampart feel without creating a fully enclosed cubicle. Designer Peti Lau recently framed a store-bought Pottery Barn bed with built-in anchor-gray wardrobes and shelving, and lined the walls with a wallpaper she designed, inspired by a Malian Bògòlanfini mud fabric, to create a hotel atmosphere. She says it’s a particularly powerful tactic in guest bedrooms: “I’ve always liked built-in beds because it’s a great way to save space and also create a moment.

“It’s a great way to save space and also kind of create a moment.”

Then there’s the Murphy Bed, reborn by Oclo co-founder Ravi Patel, billed as the world’s first all-inclusive luxury version, with built-in desk, lighting, and USB charging stations. “I grew up with a built-in bed in India, where they didn’t replace furniture for decades,” Patel says. “My parents still have my childhood bed.” When he couldn’t find a trundle bed to suit his life as an electrical engineering student at New York University, he and his colleagues created one that, unlike a truly built-in bed, can be pulled out. in two hours to its next destination, leaving the ground untouched. “The only things you will see in your room are the four screw holes you would put in the wall. “

built-in beds elle decor
Cribs painted in Shrinking Violet by PPG Paints in the children’s room of a South Carolina home designed by Suzanne Kasler.

Francesco Lagnese / OTTO

Dreamers should note that a built-in bed has certain drawbacks. “It’s not flexible,” Jayne says. “You build a bed and you engage. Think back to when you were a kid, how many times did you rearrange your bedroom? It’s a fairly significant capital investment. Another downside: you might never want to get out of it, says Speak of Retrouvius. She nostalgically notes that built-in beds are little worlds for sleeping, reading and dreaming: “There is something incredibly sweet about closing the curtains, not just on the outside world, but on the rest of the house.


Dress him up

Once the custom bed is installed, it’s time to cover it. Here, three designers suggest the best sheets to use.

  • “I’m going for a quilted classic Matouk blanket or bedspread. I just like the layering, and
    sometimes you want to be heavy.—Péti Lau
  • “For me, HR, Catering equipment is obvious. Most brands only have one or two good fabrics, RH has more like 20 or 30. “—Ravi Patel
  • “My favorite is E. Braun & Co., who has the finest selection of embroidery
    and colors. Aleta in London also has a wonderful selection, and for something a little more graphic, Indian this is where I tend to look. —William Cullum, Jayne Design Studio

    October 2021 she decorates

    This story originally appeared in the October 2021 issue of ELLE DECOR. SUBSCRIBE

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