How the Brits influence our bedrooms

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A tour of historical British bedrooms sure does tell a tale or two. As society has shifted its attitudes and adjusted its stereotypes so too has it seen dramatic changes in the bedroom. The typical Victorian bedroom in an upper class home consisted of large wrought iron bed, filled with pillows and blankets surrounded by four posts draped in rich fabrics.

victorian bed copyDo you think they chose dusty colours to hide the dirt? Imagine trying to hand wash all that linen!

This excerpt by Dr Lucy Worsley from the BBC History of the home website describes the pomp and fuss that went into creating an acceptable bed in these homes:

"Over time bed linen, sheets, blankets and eiderdowns all developed, reaching a peak of sophistication in the nineteenth century. One Victorian household manual recommends that you sleep in an elaborate set-up consisting of iron bedstead, a thick brown sheet to cover its metal springs, then a horsehair mattress, feather mattress, under blanket, under sheet, bottom sheet, top sheet, three or four blankets, eiderdown, and pillow-covers. It also recommends that you turn the mattresses every morning, and change the pillowcases twice a day (replacing the plain, daytime pillowcases with frilled ones at night)".

It seems that it was not only the corset that kept many women busy... making beds was a massive chore. However, the end of the second World War saw the end of an era where households had hordes of domestic servants and so, as women's clothing simplified, so too did their bed making. The duvet (which originated in Scandinavia) gained great popularity and allowed men and women to make their own beds in a jiffy.



The Brits influence didn't end there. The Brits continue to influence our bedroom decor centuries later. For one, the British flag has become a hot bedroom accessory and is popping up as wall paper, bedding and even carpeting.

brit carpet copy british-flag-headboard-model british-flag-wall-mural

Whilst the union jack may not have entered your home (as yet) you may find that this post-war slogan has.

keep calm copy

Yup, that's right. The British government released this motivational poster in 1939 to improve morale during World War 2. Since 2002, this poster has been found on mugs, t-shirts, coasters, posters and stickers.

It seems the Brits and their history will continue inspiring our bedroom design for some time to come.





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