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"... the white and green metallic structure standing in the middle of Cappellini’s exhibition at the Milan Furniture Fair 2000 was a bed or - to be precise - the Lit Clos sleeping cabin.
... With a bed hoisted up on steel supports and reached by climbing a ladder, the Lit Clos evokes childhood memories of sleeping in a treehouse or on top of a bunk bed. It is also a very modern, practical way of creating a private sleeping area for the growing number of people who live, work – and often sleep - in the same open-plan spaces."
designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, two Breton-born brothers

Box beds in Brittany

Breton lits-clos, cabinet beds

Dark wooden bed, doors open, white bedding Brittany is famous for its lit-clos (enclosed bed) tradition. Its box beds often have beautiful, intricate carving on the doors, and are sometimes one above the other in a double-decker, two-storey arrangement. The two pictured both come from Finistère, the north-western tip of France. The right-hand one has a linen chest serving as a step up.

As with similar built-in or free-standing furniture in other places, these offer privacy in busy shared living space, as well as protection from draughts.

Detailed carving on doors of lit clos More pictures of Breton beds:

More carving, more chest-steps
Grander version, sleeping side by side
Beds on top of one another
Breton box beds - sentiment and humour
Private sleeping space within the communal living area

See also:

Box, cabinet, and press beds in other parts of Europe and the USA

On one side of the ample fire-place was the invariable box bedstead. This is " de rigueur" in a Breton cottage. On the side of the fire-place farthest from the door there invariably stands a huge dark oaken piece of furniture, which would have the exact appearance of a clothes-press, were it not that in the side next the fire there is a square aperture, which discloses a pile of mattresses reaching nearly to the top of the machine. This is the bed of the master and mistress. Very frequently a similar box on the opposite side, but exhibiting a less monstrous pile of bedding, is the resting-place of the maid, or of any other member of the family. The aperture, which is left as the sole means of access to the interior of this retreat, is furnished with sliding doors, generally—as well, indeed, as the whole of the front of the bed— handsomely carved. So that the occupant may, if he so please, entirely shut himself in.
...This is termed a " lit clos," for which I should think " a close bed " must be a very appropriate translation. ... In front of this bedstead is seen, almost as invariably as itself, a large oaken chest, the same length as the bed, about twenty inches high, and as much broad. This is always the seat of honour, and serves also as a step to assist mine hostess in mounting to her exalted couch.
Thomas and Frances Trollope, A Summer in Brittany, 1840

12 August  2007

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