Is there any way to make this bed look more modern or contempary?
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Tall order, but not impossible!
We'd try painting the whole bed frame (incluing the metalwork on the headboard and footboard) white and then dessing the bed simply, in a neutral palette, to move it towards a more modern, minimal look. Think of a loft or gallery space: with all the architectural details painted the same shade as the walls, the room quiets down and becomes a canvas for other things. Treated similarly the detail work on your bed won't disappear, but it will lose visual importance.
Any other takes on this out there?