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Beds Buying Guide
Decorating with Metal Beds
Say "metal bed" and contemporary and modern styles immediately spring to mind, mostly because as a construction material of these styles, metal is a common choice. But metal beds have been around for a few centuries. In Olde English, "wrought iron" means worked or fashioned metal and refers to iron that has been hammered or bent into shape. Today, attractive and fashionable metal beds are made from a variety of ores and alloys and are available in a wide range of colors and styles, from traditional to contemporary. Since metal beds come in many different styles, they are an ideal way to decorate a master bedroom, a guest room or a child's room.
Why Buy a Metal Bed?
The bed is generally the focal point of the bedroom. The type of metal bed you choose will set the tone of your décor. For a contemporary feel, select a bed with linear lines and geometric detailing, in polished, high gloss finishes. To create a more tradional style, choose a metal bed with flowing lines, scrolled accents and decorative finials.
Many types of metal beds can be less expensive than their wood counterparts, making them a thrifty way to decorate a second bedroom, kid's room or even the master bedroom.
Because of the nature of the material they are made from, metal beds are strong and durable.
Metal beds, particularly in a more traditional style, have a vintage appeal, evoking simpler times, a less hurried way of life or childhood memories. For a "lived in" or heirloom look, choose a metal bed with an antiqued or patina finish.
Metal beds are easy to dress up or dress down, depending on the bedding selected, making them adaptable to virtually any style of décor.
With a moisture-resistant or powder coated finish, most metal beds are easy to clean and over time, need little maintenance.
Since the headboard and footboard of metal beds tend to possess a more open design, they are an excellent choice When decorating a smaller sized room, because they won't make the room feel so "solid" or closed in.
Before You Begin
- Decide which room you are buying the metal bed for. Where the bed is going will determine the size and type of bed you will purchase.
- Nothing beats a word-of-mouth recommendation. Ask family and friends that own a metal bed if they would recommend a particular style or brand name.
- Measure the room. Knowing how much available space there is will reduce the chances of you purchasing a bed too large or too small.
- If you are decorating the room from scratch, make a list of the other furniture pieces you want to include.
- If you are buying a metal bed for a room that has already been decorated, make sure that it has a similar style and color scheme to furnishings already in the room. You want it to blend in, not stick out.
- Decide how much you want to spend. Knowing how much you have to spend beforehand will make the final decision easier by narrowing your search to a specific price range.
- When buying a metal bed for a child's room, get their feedback. A child or teen who has had some input in their choice of bed will be more inclined to like it.
- Especially when decorating a child's or teen's bedroom, consider purchasing a metal bed set: bedroom sets tend to be more economical, since you are not buying each piece separately.
What is a Metal Bed Made Of?
This might sound like a silly question, but actually, it is a good question to ask. Since beds are constructed of different types of metals, in any number of combinations and strengths, the quality of metal used can vary from one manufacturer to another. Some types of metal beds will be a higher quality than others. You will need to comparison shop to ensure you are buying the best you can afford. However, regardless of quality, metal beds tend to be strong and long-lasting.
Metal beds are made from a variety of metals, including alloys, which are at least two different types of ores or elements that have been combined together. Typical ores and alloys used to make metal beds are iron, steel, nickel commonly with a satin finish and aluminum.
After the metal has been fashioned into a bed, the surface is sealed with a finish. Finishes for most metal beds are typically applied by a method called powder coating that electrostatically sprays extremely fine ground particles of pigment or resin onto the metal bed. Once applied, it is then place in an oven; this gives the metal a highly durable and smooth finish. Metal beds are available in many different types of finishes, including matte, which has a textured surface with very little shine and antiqued.
Types of Metal Beds
Panel metal beds are available in a wide range of colors and styles, including traditional, transitional and contemproary. They typically consist of a headboard, a footboard and a frame or rails. Metal panel beds come in all shapes and sizes. Twin metal panel beds are especially popular for decorating children's rooms, because they are long-lasting and easy to clean. Typically a metal panel bed includes metalwork patterns and themes like leaves or trailing vines, finials, twisted rope detail and classic scrolls.
Since the four poster bed first appeared in the Middle Ages, it continues to be a popular style choice today. But back then, they were usually made of wood, but today, metal poster beds make a dramatic statement because they draw the eye into the center of the room. They are characterized by four posts at each corner and can be of equal or varying height and can be tall or short. A poster bed that is constructed of both metal and wood creates visual interest in a room.
The canopy bed is a four poster bed with a covering. Canopies usually consist of a metal frame that has been covered with some sort of material, typically fabric, but can include a metalwork ceiling-like design. Metal canopy add a touch of elegance and a senese of old world charm to a bedroom, largely due to the dramatic appearance of the posts combined with decorative metal flourishes.
Metal platform beds are simple in form, emphasized by sleek lines and a low profile. Since a platform bed sits lower to the ground than other types of beds, it can be a great way to make a small bedroom feel larger or less cramped. Once considered a solely modern design, today they are now available in a variety of styles ranging from country to traditional. Platform beds typically have no headboards or footboards, but like other types of beds, can be purchased with both a headboard and footboard or just the headboard.
Eye-catching, yet at the same time softly romantic, metal sleigh beds have elegant, curving lines and a distinctive, romantic feel. Because the style is so eye-catching, there are some things to consider. The bed is the natural focal point of the room, but the height of a metal sleigh headboard and footboard determines the dramatic impact the bed will have within the room's context.
Some Popular Styles for Metal Beds
Inspired by fashions, trends and social customs of past eras, traditional style metal beds are characterized by cabriole legs, arrow feet filigree ovals and detailed scroll work. Ranging from the elaborate fussiness of Victorian times to the less complicated ideals reflected in Colonial furnishings, a metal bed can have an ornately formal feel or a relaxed appearance, depending on the time period used as the source of inspiration.
Contemporary style commonly uses of geometric line and shape to create visual interest, instead of depending on ornate decorative detailing like many traditioanl styles. It emerged from the second half of the twentieth century in answer to changing technology and how it was reflected in architectural designs. Geometric forms are often softened by rounded corners. A contemporary metal bed has a stylized beauty derived from clean lines, window pane detailing or grid accents.
A country style metal bed can reflect traditional decorative elements, but have a more relaxed feel. Country metal beds can have a rustic charm, the sophisticated appeal of French Country or the casual and comfortable appearance of cottage country. A country metal bed can also include country-themed finials and antiqued or aged finishes in white or pastel colors.
Country furniture combines more formal traditional stylings with rustic charm, and are recognized for being comfortable, cozy and welcoming. They contain a distinctive period flavor like Colonial, French Country or Mission. Country style furnishings are almost always constructed of wood, ranging from light to medium finishes. Some of the more common types of finishes are grainy, painted or distressed. Country furniture can include whimsical details like hand-painted stenciling, hand-carved insets and soft, graceful curves.
Other Things to Consider
- Many manufacturers include the bed frame in the price of the metal bed (headboard and footboard). But some don't. When purchasing a metal bed, if you are not sure, check exactly what the price includes.
- When buying a metal set, sometimes manufacturers give you the choice of purchasing both the headboard and footboard or just opting for the headboard.
- If you do need to buy bed frame separately, keep in mind that it should be strong enough to support the size of mattress you a purchasing it for. For example, if you intend to buy a king size metal bed, the frame should be sturdy enough to support such a large mattress. Choosing a less expensive option can create headaches for you further down the line, in the form of warping and instability.
- Metal beds are available in all of the standard bed sizes. However, some manufacturers will only offer some models in only queen and king sizes. Typically, children's beds are commonly available only in twin and sometimes twin and full.
- Metal beds are simple to care for and tend to have more durable kinds of finishes than other types of beds. But go easy on wax or abrasive cleaners as they can damage most types of metal finishes. Solvents such as nail polish remover and paint thinner can also ruin the finish of your metal bed.