The Chinese drawing Room was ...a splendid, uninhabitable museum of Chippendale carving and porcelain and laquer and painted hangings; the "Queen' bed," too, was an exhibition piece, a vast velvet tent like the Baldachino at St. Peter's. Had Lord Marchmain planned this lying in state for himself, I wondered, before he left the sunshine of Italy? ... Had it come to him at that moment, an awakened memory of childhood, a dream in the nursury - "When I'm grown up, I'll sleep in the Queen's bed in the Chinese Drawing room"?(Brideshead Revisited, page 316)
When I was a kid I really, really wanted a canopy bed too. I think it fed from the same princess complex that made me desire Cinderella pajamas, cone-shaped hats with sweeping veils, and ballroom dances with my dad that consisted mostly of low dips, much to the chagrin of his spinal alignment.
I've been reading a lot about state beds such as this red one from Kent's Melville house, and am reconsidering their appeal. My apartment's ancient heat pump can't keep up with the winter cold, so right now sleeping surrounded by draperies sounds pretty darn good. On the other hand, I read today that heavy drapes invited germs and bed bugs. Iron bed frames became popular in the Victorian era as a more "hygienic" sleeping option.
Still, those canopies are great fun. One of my fellow students proposes that our post-graduation class picture be all 8 of us snuggling in the Great Bed of Ware, which supposedly could sleep fifteen people. With so much carving and expensive textiles, it's ridiculous even by 1590 standards.