If sleeping helps people live better, a well-designed bed helps to create happier spaces. The realm of skilled artisan upholsters par excellence, beds have undergone few transformations – at least as far as our Western tradition goes. More than anything else, updated in size to accommodate the growing population, during the twentieth century the materials of the frame – mainly in wood and iron profiles – and production techniques have remained, more or less, unchanged.
But the Nathalie bed by Vico Magistretti for Flou triggered a new revolution. It was the first industrial product – padded and with removable covers – where frame and fabric became a single thing and would, subsequently, include storage space under the mattress. This “textile bed” launched experimentation in padding and cushioned headboards, which can also tilt and are present in many later models by other brands.
Another important innovation comes from the notion of placing a bed at the centre of a room, emphasising the compositional and functional design of the back of headboards, which may include shelves or storage units or even a sophisticated reclining system. Thus, beds can satisfy the needs of open spaces and lofts that require more versatile products, to be seen at 360°, as in the growing hotel contract sector, in which rooms are increasingly conceived as open, multipurpose spaces with storage units, closets, beds and sinks that seamlessly integrate with the space. The rigidity that has distinguished bedrooms up to now, with headboards resting against walls, night tables on each side and accompanying wardrobes is gradually disappearing.