Here’s How a Designer Faked the Look of a Canopy Bed in a Bedroom for Less

published Jun 23, 2023
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Bedroom with peach textured walls, warm lighting, white bedding, curtains around bed, large sliding glass door/window, art

When decorating your bedroom, you can choose from many types of beds at different sizes and price points. If you’re interested in a canopy bed for the drama, it’s possible to find one on the cheap. The trickier thing, though, if you live in a small space? The typical dimensions of a canopy bed might not work for you — especially if you have low ceilings or a large overhead fixture. But one Florida renter came up with an ingenious way to fake the look of a canopy bed in any space — all without having to buy a bulky new bed frame. Trust me: You’re going to want to see this one, because it’s brilliant and budget-friendly.

Phoebe O’Neill lives in a 1500-square-foot two-bedroom apartment in Miami. On the hunt for a place to rent in 2022, O’Neill narrowed it down to two apartments to choose from: one that was renovated and one that wasn’t. She chose the unrenovated unit because its ocean view couldn’t be beat, and as an interior decorator, O’Neill felt like the space had lots of potential to play with. “It felt like a blank canvas for me to really put my creativity to work,” she says. 

O’Neill shares her home, design work, and a little bit of her lifestyle on her TikTok account, @phoebes_buffet_. Recently, she had a few of her personal spaces go viral but says that’s never her goal when decorating. “It’s definitely tempting to make design decisions in an attempt to go viral and there is merit in that, but as an aspiring interior designer I really want to create spaces that are unique but still timeless,” she says in her house tour

In fact, one of the most unique but timeless rooms in O’Neill’s home just might be her bedroom. There, she created a DIY canopy for her bed that adds a ton of charm and character to her room without taking up too much visual space. 

While traditional canopy beds rely on their post construction for placing the actual fabric canopy, O’Neill’s execution is similar in function but completely small space-friendly. Instead of relying on big posts, she installed curtain tracks on the ceiling. That’s exactly where her canopy fabric — custom linen curtains from The Linen Valley on Etsy — is hung from, and when they’re fully drawn, you’d never think there wasn’t a bed frame under there.

Yes, installing curtain tracks can require a pro, and you still have to buy the curtains, too. But if you shop around, you can create the look of a canopy bed for far less than many actual canopy beds cost, which is great for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a small fortune on furniture.

What makes this canopy bed design even more unique is that O’Neill installed her plug-in wall sconces on top of the curtains instead of behind them for a high-end touch. “I have always been really interested in ambient lighting, even when I was young,” she says. “So anyone who knows me, knows I maybe care a little too much about lighting.” She also made this project look more finished by covering up the curtain tracks with a large, bulkhead-like trim piece at the very top of the curtains, which you can see above. 

Sometimes the higher you hang your curtains, the better they can look. O’Neill took this concept to a whole new height, pun intended, by hanging hers from the ceiling, which allowed her to fake the look of a canopy bed without investing in a bulky canopy bed frame. Her resulting setup is cozy and moody and gives her the option to pull the curtains open to let light pour into the space in the morning. Or, in the evening, she can shut all the light out for a good night’s sleep. “It was cool to watch the sketch and idea be brought to life!” she says.