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Upholstered Beds – Combining Our Hardwoods and Fabrics

In this blog we’ll take a look at our collection of upholstered beds with a solid wood frame and an upholstered headboard panel. We’ll take a look at the colour combinations that works really well and the issues to consider when choosing a fabric for the various bed designs.

First of all let’s take a look at the bed designs available from the lowest to the tallest…

The Iona Bed
A stylish, contemporary bed with a simple buttoned and padded headboard for extra comfort. The Iona bed has a very low bed base with a good height headboard – perfect to show off a lovely fabric. The buttoned headboard is simple and stylish – just one row of three buttons (depending on the bed width) – so it can take the majority our fabric options: Tailor, Amatheon and Parquet, even Monance which has a large floral print – but be aware the buttons will distort the pattern a little. We can use customers own fabric too, but the fabric must be treated/certified to meet UK fire retardancy regulations. We also recommend that you send a sample to us prior to ordering so we can show it to one of our upholsterers in order to get approval for use and confirm the fabric quantity required.

– height to top of bed slats: 18.5cm
– under-bed clearance: 9cm
– height to top of headboard: 79cm

The Arran Bed
The Arran Bed has a taller base with a taller headboard panel, designed with two rows of buttons. The Arran is modern and elegant and suits the majority our fabric options Tailor, Amatheon and Parquet (avoid Monance which has a large floral print – not the ideal choice for an elaborately buttoned headboard). Again we can use customers own material (COM) but we recommend a plain fabric and if possible a pure wool. Pure wool fabrics are naturally fire retardant and so don’t need to be treated to meet UK regulations – as treated fabric can be a little stiffer than untreated fabric, using pure wool gives a great result.

– height to top of bed slats: 31cm
– under-bed clearance: 19cm
– height to top of headboard: 102cm

The Shetland Bed
The Shetland bed was our first upholstered bed design and it’s remained popular ever since. A stylish, contemporary bed with a simple padded headboard – no buttoning – for cosy comfort. The headboard panel is ‘framed’ in solid timber so it’s the perfect showcase for both plain and patterned fabrics. The frame is made of deep, but slender sections of solid timber for a refined, yet substantial, look.
We’ve used a wide range of fabrics on on the Shetland, including the classic Monance fabric which has a large floral pattern and the retro Amsterdamn fabric with a stylish cross-hatch pattern. Everything looks good on a Shetland bed!

height to top of bed slats: 37cm
under-bed clearance: 26cm
height to top of headboard: 110cm

The Skye Bed
The Skye bed is our tallest buttoned bed – a chunky frame and sky-high headboard panel makes this the perfect design to show off a beautiful headboard fabric. Lots of buttons (three rows!) differentiates the Skye from our other beds. Due to the many buttons we recommend a relatively plain, pure wool fabric – pure wool is naturally fire retardant so it doesn’t need an FR backing (which can make fabrics stiff and a little more difficult to work with). A pure wool will fold and button beautifully. The Parquet or Melton fabrics from Moons (of Yorkshire) would be our recommendation.

– height to top of bed slats: 38.5cm
– under-bed clearance: 27cm
– height to top of headboard: 129cm

The Highland Bed
Similar to the Shetland bed – the headboard panel on the Highland four poster bed is plain – we can quote for a buttoned headboard panel on the Highland, but we feel that – as there is so much detail to appreciate with the Highland bed frame – a plain headboard is perfect.

– height to top of bed slats: 42cm
– under-bed clearance: 28cm
– height to top of headboard posts: 196cm

About Our Timber and Fabric Options:
We have a range of hardwood timbers available to choose from, lets take a look at the collection, from palest to darkest, and see which fabrics we’ve found to really suit each shade.

Maple is a very pale wood with a smooth, but vibrant, grain and a contemporary appearance. A pale blonde timber with a slightly pinkish cast when new, it grows deeper in colour as it ages to reach a pale golden hue.

When selecting a fabric to  suit maple wood first decide if you are looking for a contrast or a shade to tone with the timber. As maple is cooler than ash or beech it is a good choice to use with cooler tones of ecru, taupe or dark mushroom. Fashionable blush pink also looks good with maple and picks out the slightly pink-gold colour of the maple grain. Take a look at: Amatheon Ecru or Parquet Pewter.
Maple is also a great contrast colour against a blue or teal fabric (it really suits a coastal look bedroom). Take a look at: Amatheon Marine.

Ash is a light colour with a warm, cream cast and usually shows a strong figure in the grain. Ash is a pale, wheat colour with a deep golden grain, some darker areas of grain can also occur. Over time the tone will increase in warmth. As with any wood, there are variations in grain and tone: part of the beauty of a natural product.

If you love to see bold, vibrant grain within your timber – ash is the choice for you. This pale, warm blonde timber works with a wide range of colours and fabrics. As there is a lot of detail within the grain we tend to recommend plain or subtly patterned fabrics to pair with ash. For a bold contrast choose charcoal or mid grey – try Amatheon Ebony or Armour.
For a softer look a subtle grey-green shade works well with the pale, gold of ash. We particularly like Parquet Lichen or Amsterdam in Petrol.

Beech is a light, golden coloured timber with a slightly pinkish cast and a tight, speckled grain. Beech has the most subtle grain of the timbers we use – it has a generally consistent honey colour with warm hue. For these reasons beech can take both patterned and plain fabrics equally well. The subtle red-ish cast would lead me to avoid yellow or pink colours – however most other shades will be fine.

We particularly like rust and burnt orange shades, like the Parquet Orange or Amatheon Marmalade or Copper. These muted shades are warm and restful, but if you prefer a more neutral beech will work with any grey or brown. Again cool colours will also work with beech – we’ve just received a beech Arran bed with a headboard in Amatheon Marine (a rich, deep blue) and it looks beautiful!

Oak has a generally consistent colour with a tight, pronounced grain. Oak has subtle variations in tone and colour cast, when new it has a mid tone, pale gold colour with paler flecks and deeper coloured grain. These variations are responsible for the ‘life’ of our solid timber beds in comparison to the uniform, flatter colour of veneered furniture. Differences in the tight, pronounced grain pattern reflect the differences between the original trees. Small knots or burrs may be present even in the most carefully selected timber – these are part of the natural beauty of wood.
Over time oak can deepen in colour, resulting in a deeper golden tone.

Our most popular timber this rich, warm timber works well with a wide range of fabric colours and patterns – you really can’t go wrong! Above you can see the patterned, retro Amerstdam fabric in blue and grey works just as well as the plain, classic Tailor fabric in Tailor Wolf. We’ve made oak beds with headboard panels upholstered in almost every shade – from Amatheon ecru to ebony! As oak as a warmth to the tone the only shades I would avoid are cool pinks and purples.

Cherry has a smooth grain and a reddish/brown colour which deepens quite quickly. Small areas of lighter colour sometimes occur – this is part of the natural beauty of this timber and of using a solid timber (unlike flat and repetitive veneers).

Cherry has a soft pinky tone, when we used our ‘clear lacquer’ cherry would quickly develop into a deeper reddish hue with our new ‘natural’ lacquer finish the deepening of the natural warmth of cherry takes longer to develop while the creamy and subtly sage tones are retained for longer.
We love to contrast cherry with cool tones from pale blue and silver grey to midnight blue. However if you are looking for a more restful look, using similar tones try cream, beige and pale saffron – Amatheon Ecru, Linen and Earth are good options.

Walnut has a dramatic grain in tones of rich chocolate with areas of paler sapwood. The deep, cool chocolate colour can soften over time, getting slightly paler and warmer in tone. If you are looking to colour match with current furniture just request a timber sample from us.

Walnut has a variety of tones and a rich, warm hue that is beautifully balanced by plain classic shades – from pale grey to charcoal or cream to chocolate brown – depending on your preference. Like with ask the vibrant grain means that a plain upholstery will never look dull, the danger of too bold a pattern is that it would just distract from this most beautiful of timbers.
Above you can see that we’ve used  Amatheon ebony and wolf with the highland and the Skye in walnut – with stunning results. The paler Tailor Wolf or Parquet Silver is another good choice- the shimmery silver tones a love;y contrast with the depth of the walnut.

Supplying Your Own Fabric – What to Consider

Fabric must be treated/certified to meet UK fire retardancy regulations, we will need this certification in order to be able to use a customer supplied material.

We can quickly let you know the quantity of material required if you want to supply a plain fabric. If your fabric is patterned or has a nap i.e. it has a specific direction that it should be used (nap refers to fabric with a vertical “pile” or any texture that is raised from the fabric surface – think of velvet and corduroy and faux fur) we will need to consult our upholsterer to confirm the metreage required and if seems will be necessary.

We recommend that you send a sample to us prior to ordering so we can show it to one of our upholsterers in order to get approval for use and confirm the fabric quantity required.

If you have any questions or would like any further advice before ordering your upholstered bed – please just get in touch, our experienced sales staff will be happy to help.