The Lit à la Polonaise.....Elaborate And Romantic Beds

The elaborate beds of the upper classes tended to be more expensive than any other furniture in the house, partly because from the 16th century through the 19th, it was fashionable for hosts to receive visitors while still in bed. 

By the mid-18th century a new bed style was introduced , the lit a la polonaise, named after Louis XV’s Polish queen. Pronounced (“Puh low NEZ”), literally means “Polish bed” It was very fashionable during the reign of Louis XVI. Developed in the 18th century, it was roofed by a dome held in place by curved iron bars hidden by curtain rods The canopy is of smaller dimensions than the surface of the bed.The upholstery was usually elaborately detailed and often silk There was a huge range of sophisticated fabrics from which to choose in the 18th century. The silk industry was thriving, with scallop, lace and fragile floral patterns and patterns incorporating turtle-doves appearing. Silk was the most used fabric in grand interiors. These beds were often meant to stand in a deep niche in the bedroom of the main apartment of a palace or mansion. In other installations, the bed are often placed with one side lengthwise flush against a wall. 

The Lit a la Polonaise is the ultimate bed for romance, beauty and 18th century elegance. Nothing can make your bedroom  look more feminine than the Lit a la Polonaise. 

Four-poster tester bed : Attributed to Georges Jacob (1739-1814) (furniture maker)
Only the nobility were permitted a full canopy. Other aristocats had to settle for a partial canopy called a half-tester.

The bed is therefore increasingly important from the Renaissance until the French Revolution. European civilization was at its peak, France, the crossroads of Western culture, boasted many of the most sumptuous beds.

 It was very fashionable during the reign of Louis XVI.

There are many different styles of coronets, iron canopy frames, etc. However, the Lit à la Polonaise is very distinguishable

A grand bed like this one was meant to stand in a deep niche in the bedroom of the main apartment of a palace or mansion. In the 1700s, visitors were frequently received in the bedroom, while the host or hostess was still in bed or at his or her dressing table.

This bed is gorgeous....that's all I can say!!

A beautiful French style bedroom complete with French furnishings, French mantle, Trumeau Mirror, and of course the bed.

A "pomme," or a bunch of feathers, could sometimes ornament the center and each corner of the canopy.
Scalloping was a popular bed dressing design element.

A Louis XVI cream painted  Lit à la Polonaise

All the kings offered extravagant beds.Louis XIV had over four hundred beds, most ornate bedside and very ornate trim. He liked to stay in bed and was often in his audience chamber, where he delivered his orders in a resting position.

Love the mix of pattern in this room. The bed has been painted and works beautifully with the painted tea table.

Canopy tops can be very elaborate.......

or quite simple. It all depends on your personal style.

Gorgeous bed dressed in French country fabrics of toile and checks. Perfection!!

This is such a pretty bedroom. They have made a Lit à la Polonaise from a four poster and a coronet. The fabric is then  draped onto the posters in French style.
I prefer attaching the coronet to the ceiling, but here is another alternative.

It is possible to make your own bed even if you don't have the metal frame. Here is another example of using a four poster and French style draping.


A modern version of the bed.

The Lit à la Polonaise is a favorite of all members of the family!!

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This blog post was published by
Lisa Farmer

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