More or Less: Gustavian beds gorgeous and roomy
- The San Francisco Chronicle, 08/02/2009

While on a visit to France, King Gustav fell for the neoclassical decor in fashion after archaeological digs yielded the wonders of Pompeii, Herculaneum and other long-lost Greek and Roman ruins.

But French neoclassicism was given a distinctively Scandinavian spin when Gustav returned to Sweden, bearing tidings of this latest trend. Steeped in a tradition of exquisitely spare woodwork, Swedish craftsmen traded the fussy embellishments favored by the French for clean lines and a far more understated elegance.

Gustavian-style furniture remains popular today: Take, for example, the four-poster Francoise Bed, which British furniture designer Tristram Mylius created exclusively for the Conran Shop. The headboard, with its stately, scrolled edges, towers imperially over the ash wood base. The bed, which starts at $4,843, can be sized to suit your home; upholstery options include linen, cotton twill and velvet in a host of colors, such as red currant, ebony and flax.

If the price tag makes you feel like a pauper, try the Gustavian Vintage Bed by VivaTerra, an online retailer of sustainable home furnishings and accessories of its own design. The bed, which starts at $1,995, is made of repurposed Douglas-fir from old buildings and hand planed. An eco-friendly, water-based stain and oil wax enhance and protect the raw wood - which can be as much as 100 years old - while leaving distinctive nicks and scars in view.

Take a lesson from these gorgeous Gustavian beds: Adding a piece of history to your home certainly doesn't hurt.

$1,995
Gustavian Vintage Bed from VivaTerra

$4,843
Francoise Bed from Tristram Mylius exclusively for the Conran Shop