The word, meaning canopy, also known as "ciel de lit" or "dais", calls up visions of the Marie Antoinette, Royal extravagance, “froufrou” and miles of priceless fabric in intricate draping effects and pleats with pompoms and fringe... the possibilities were lavishly and excessively endless. There are also infinitely more understated styles of canopies, quite manageable and adapted to our 21st Century, usually less pompous lifestyles.
There are canopies I will call "à l'italienne", (the word baldaquin comes from the Italian "baldacchino": sheet), a bit rustic, a tad falsely this-comes-oh-so-easily, and all beautifully calculated nonchalance and elegance.
and there are the architect's designs, all straight lines, perfect curves, no-nonsense materials, machine engeneering and a minimum of color
the Chinese canopy bed is a room within a room, and it clearly suggests: no trespassing, this space is a PRIVATE domain.
in the 60's, the culture was all about rejecting what was, and this make-believe painted canopy speaks of thrift, ingenuity, and doing away with non essential possessions but also of nostalgia for the way it was...?
the tropical canopies:
mosquito netting and cheese cloth
all about cool breezes, veiled modesty with a small amount of theatrical posturing, and of course, in some cases protection from the creepy-crawlies...
the REALLY tropical
pure luxury under a double canopy: a stunning puzzle of bamboo plus gently swaying palm trees on a lazy island afternoon
the naked structures
the super minimal
the Early American East Coast Bed and Breakfast
the meticulously tailored, flawlessly coordinated
Park Avenue "top 100 designers" bedroom
the young Parisian Princess
the little American Princess
and her Majesty The Queen
images : maison de marie claire, xjavierx, IDimagination, armyarch, godutchbaby, ronasetti, endingpoet, mike dec, all via flckr