Brilliant bespoke headboards and mattresses

Chic designs for sleeping in style

Max Rollitt Chamberlayne bed with Claremont fabric; bespoke beds from £13,250
Max Rollitt Chamberlayne bed with Claremont fabric; bespoke beds from £13,250

Four posters with panache Max Rollitt is a man of many parts. A trained furniture designer and maker, he works as an antiques dealer with his own showroom and is also a highly respected interior designer. His sought-after bespoke bed service costs from £13,250, with a four-month lead time, depending on a client’s requests. “A bed was once the most important piece of furniture in a household,” he says. “The four poster has invariably been decadent but not always beautiful and I hope my designs will bring elegance, joy and comfort to the bedroom.” He proves this can still be so by giving his designs contemporary proportions and upping the comfort quotient, dressing the beds in glamorous upholstery and drapery from his favourite fabric houses (Claremont, De Le Cuona, Bennison Fabrics and George Spencer Designs). Each bed is handcrafted in Britain using fine black walnut and custom made for width, length and height. Upholstery is made to order to a client’s requirements. Max Rollitt, Yavington Barn, Lovington Lane, Avington, Hampshire SO21 1DA (01962-791 124; maxrollitt.com). NICOLE SWENGLEY

Aiveen Daly silk headboard for Martin Kemp Design, from £15,000
Aiveen Daly silk headboard for Martin Kemp Design, from £15,000

Status headboards Headboards have become the modern equivalent of the four-poster bed,” says Martin Kemp, founder of Martin Kemp Design, whose specialisms include interiors of super-prime properties. “As well as being the focal point in the bedroom, they reflect a level of status. Our clients always want something that is unique.” To achieve this, the studio works with material specialists such as Fameed Khalique and Aiveen Daly. For example, it commissioned Daly’s innovative upholstery studio to create a headboard (from £15,000) of interwoven silk sashes, each interlocking with the next to create a pattern that is both simple and intricate. Martin Kemp Design, Greencoat House, Francis Street, London SW1 (020-7183 3885; martinkempdesign.com). CHARLOTTE ABRAHAMS

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Mattresses crafted to last a lifetime Epoc Beds, which custom-makes mattresses and divans, is a bit of a hidden secret. Clients generally hear about the company through word-of-mouth recommendations and buy direct from its Ipswich factory or via an interior designer. The company uses traditional techniques such as hand-tufting and hand-stitching; fillings are completely natural – horsehair, white cashmere hair, cashmere wool, silk, mohair; and Epoc makes its own pocket springs, with tensions and gauges fine-tuned to individual requirements. Prices range between a few hundred and a few thousand pounds, and Epoc can cater for special sizes and irregular shapes such as for yachts, or mattresses with cutout corners to drop into four-poster frames. Clients with multiple homes often order identical beds for each property. Orders take four to six weeks and the company will remove old beds when delivering and installing new ones. epocbeds.co.ukNICOLE SWENGLEY

Savoir Beds’ Harlech bed with Claude Monet’s Water-Lilies, Setting Sun from the National Gallery, printed by Andrew Martin, £28,885
Savoir Beds’ Harlech bed with Claude Monet’s Water-Lilies, Setting Sun from the National Gallery, printed by Andrew Martin, £28,885

Beds with a fine-art sensibility Art is an unusual pairing with a centrepiece bed, but the two make ideal bedfellows in a collaboration that sees British bed maker Savoir Beds join forces with home decor specialist Andrew Martin and London’s The National Gallery to offer a bespoke service that enables clients to upholster the work of the world’s greatest artists onto the headboard and base of a bed. Artworks owned by The National Gallery can be reproduced onto a selection of handmade beds – including the Felix Savoir No 4 (£16,165) and Harlech Savoir No 2 models (£28,885) – in velvet, linen or cotton. Designs are personalised with finishes from wood trims and textile piping to upholstered or brass legs. Reproductions can be cropped, patterns repeated and colours and brushstrokes accentuated and, if so desired, bled seamlessly into the base below to create one enormous artwork for the bedroom. The National Gallery checks that each design retains the essence of the original painting, so its integrity remains intact. Savoir Beds, 7 Wigmore Street, London W1 (020‑7493 4444; savoirbeds.co.uk). CHRISTINA OHLY EVANS

Foale & Sons creates intricately decorated bedheads, from £2,500, and beds, from £7,000
Foale & Sons creates intricately decorated bedheads, from £2,500, and beds, from £7,000

Lustrous gilded beds and headboards Decorative arts company Foale & Sons specialises in (among other iridescent things) gilded four-poster beds and bedheads. Each bed and bedhead is designed to the client’s specifications and is then built by a master craftsman. Once it is 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 18ct, 22ct or 24ct gold or palladium (a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal), covered with a handpainted pattern, designed in collaboration with the client, and finally – in the case of the bed posts, should you wish – inlaid with verre églomisé (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). Beds (starting at £7,000) take around two months to complete, headboards (from £2,500) around three weeks – but the finished pieces are both beautiful and unique and would bring daily joy for years to come. Foale & Sons, Studio 36, Cadogan House, 60 Hythe Road, London NW10 (07799-474 484; foaleandsons.com). CHARLOTTE ABRAHAMS

Headboards are one of the most popular commissions at De La Cuona
Headboards are one of the most popular commissions at De La Cuona

Bespoke headboards in luxurious textiles As an expert creator of luxurious textiles and soft furnishings, Bernie de Le Cuona is well versed in meeting specific demands. With highly personal commissions on the increase, the bespoke design service at de Le Cuona’s London showroom is inundated. A small range of bespoke furniture can be made and upholstered to order, but one of the most popular requests is for headboards. “One client spotted a metal-studded headboard in a movie and asked us to upholster a similar design in cashmere using their choice of colour [£714 plus fabric],” says de Le Cuona. “As well as hand-embroidering a crest or monogram, we can make bespoke cushions in our fabrics to complement a client’s choice of valance/headboard for their bedroom.” De Le Cuona, 2nd Floor, North Dome, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, London SW10 (020-7584 5677; delecuona.co.uk). NICOLE SWENGLEY

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Wooden bedheads carved by master craftsmen It’s a common assumption that specialist techniques such as woodcarving and gilding are only used in conservation and restoration work. Not so, says Christine Palmer, director and co-founder of London-based Carvers & Gilders. “We love creating new applications for the techniques and evolving the design process by working with clients on new ideas for specific spaces.” A particularly special commission was a pine bedhead, with water-gilded edges, carved in a naturalistic style that echoed the room’s handpainted wallpaper (around £9,000). Carvers & Gilders, Unit 44, Spaces Business Centre, Ingate Place, London SW8 (020-7498 5070; carversandgilders.com). NICOLE SWENGLEY

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