Did you know that Egyptian pharaohs were the first to use headboards with their beds? As far as historians can tell, this use was more for show than for any practical use. The headboards of pharaohs were intricately carved and made with gold, silver, and ebony.
Ancient Greeks also used headboards. Their use was practical because the headboard shielded them from cold walls and drafts. Wall insulation was nothing like today, if it existed at all. Headboards were built with wood which reduced the transfer of cold better than concrete or brick. The headboards also had thick end pillars, which served to add space away from cold walls, and the air would sink to the floor instead of onto the bed. Since it was common practice to socialize and dine in bedrooms during this period in history, the headboard also served as a perfect backrest. Not everyone had a headboard, only the rich. The more elaborate the design, the higher perceived you were in social status.
By the Middle Ages, the purpose of the headboard became more decorative. Most were elaborately carved or featured architectural panels. Some were even upholstered, which is the first evidence of this style. At this point in history, the bed was the most expensive piece of furniture in most homes.
By the 1800s, the bedroom was more private and intimate. Although this meant the bedroom no longer needed to be so ornate, the headboard continued to be a key piece of furniture. Durable iron headboards were fashionable until World War I. When the war started, countries used all of their iron to produce weaponry. Most headboards at this time were wood or upholstered.
Today, headboards are primarily decorative, although they can also serve a practical purpose by including storage space. Sometimes they also help stabilize the bed. Ultimately, however, the look and style of the headboard set the tone for the décor in the bedroom.
Footboards are not as popular today as they were in the past. A footboard is at the other end of the bed from the headboard and, in some cases, can provide additional structural stabilization. Its original purpose was to keep blankets and sheets from rubbing against your legs or feet. Instead of tucking in the linens, they were draped over the footboard. Today, they are primarily decorative, and if you find a style that you like but prefer to leave off the footboard, many footboards can easily be removed.
There are options available when it comes to selecting a headboard for your home in the Bay area. It can be challenging to sort through the many styles to find one that fits your needs and then locate it in a store. It can even be overwhelming if you are trying to furnish an entire condo or casa. To help our clients, we ask questions that make selecting and acquiring the right one faster, on budget and without stress. Check out next week’s article, where we share these key questions!
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We offer many solutions including turn-key furniture packages, shopping tours to Guadalajara/Tonala, rental furniture packages, and professional relocation services. Visit us at our Nuevo Vallarta/ Bucerias store: Av. Héroes de Nacozari 126, Zona Dorada (Open Mon through Fridays, 10 to 2).
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