Furniture | The Bespokesperson

Beds and bedheads bedecked with decoration

Bespoke craftsmanship enters the bedroom

Beds and bedheads bedecked with decoration

October 01 2011
Charlotte Abrahams

Bedrooms are in the spotlight, metallics are hot and bespoke is back – all of which must make a custom-made metallic bed the most on-trend product of the moment. If this is the kind of thing that matters to you, then I suggest you contact Foale & Sons, a decorative arts company that specialises in (among other iridescent things) gilded four-poster beds and bed heads.

Each bed and bed head is designed to the client’s specifications and is then built by a master craftsman. Once made, Emma Foale and her youngest son, Jamie, begin decorating. This is an intricate and highly skilled process in which the pieces are gilded with either 18ct, 22ct or 24ct gold or palladium (a rare and lustrous silvery white metal), covered with a hand-painted pattern, designed in collaboration with the client and finally – in the case of the bed posts, should you wish – inlaid with Verre Eglomisé (a traditional French process in which the back side of a piece of glass is gilded in silver or gold leaf to create a very pretty mirrored effect).

All that manual labour is rather time consuming (beds take around two months to complete, head boards around three weeks) so clients do need to be patient. It is also expensive – beds start at £7,000, bed heads at £2,500 – but the finished pieces are both beautiful and unique and would bring you daily joy for years to come.