Q. What piece should I start with when designing my perfect bedroom?
A. Start with the bed as this will be the biggest piece of furniture in the room – or at least the one that occupies the most floor space. Your bed frame or divan set and headboard can also help set the bedroom furniture style for the whole room. Plus, once you’ve chosen your bed, you’ll have a good idea of how much room you have left for other pieces. On that note, it’s a good idea to create a scale plan to make sure you can fit everything in. Be sure to do this before you spend any money, in case you need to downsize from a super king to a king size bed, for example.
Q. I’m struggling with how to choose bedroom furniture. Is it essential that all my bedroom furniture matches?
A. There’s no rule that all your bedroom furniture – wardrobe, chests of drawers, bedside table and dressing table – has to be from the same range. You may prefer a more eclectic look, or you may have existing pieces that you want to incorporate into your new bedroom design scheme. Having said that, furniture that matches in terms of colour, finish and scale can help a smaller room feel larger. It might also be more economical to purchase a matching set of bedroom furniture.
Q. My bedroom seems to end up housing general clutter like piles of ironing and stacks of books. Help!
A. Many people spend time and money furnishing the perfect living room and dining room but ignore the bedrooms. The first thing you need to do is change your mindset – having a bedroom you enjoy is essential for feeling relaxed which can have a really positive impact on all aspects of your life. The second point is more practical. Be sure you invest in plenty of storage furniture. Perhaps a wardrobe with drawers could be the designated place for the ironing. And if you like having books in your bedroom, make room for a bookcase.
Q. I’m craving a relaxing zen-style bedroom – but my bedroom is really small. How can I create a feeling of space in a tiny room?
A. Create physical space by getting rid of furniture that you don’t need, and be sure to choose pieces that eliminate the need for more furniture. For example, a bedside table with drawers might mean you can manage with a smaller chest of drawers, and opt for a bed with underbed storage like a divan set with drawers or an ottoman storage bed. Keeping walls, floors and furniture a similar colour will help open up the room. Go easy on wall art and rugs as too many pieces will break up the space-enhancing effect of empty walls and floors and make your room feel smaller.
Q. We’re redecorating our master bedroom for the first time in 15 years. It’s very likely that we won’t redo it for another 15 years. How can we ensure that our new look won’t date?
A. It’s tempting to follow fashion when you have the opportunity to redesign a whole new room, but you’re wise to think long term. Unless your home has a specific design aesthetic that you want to continue in the bedroom, we suggest you opt for classic or traditional furniture like high-quality oak bedroom furniture. This type of furniture may not be at the cutting edge of interior design style, but it will never go out of fashion. If that doesn’t appeal, opt for bedroom furniture that’s minimal and neutral and use wall colour, rugs, art and accessories to introduce a design look. This approach allows for a budget-friendly update every five years or so.
Q. Should I choose a bed frame or a divan base?
A. From a comfort point of view there’s no difference. Both provide great support to any type of mattress. Divan bases tend to be more minimal in style – the upholstery is usually simple without too much embellishment although you can add a headboard if you want your bed to be more of a focal point. A divan base will be exactly the same size as its mattress and so takes up less room than a bed frame which may extend at the head and foot ends. You’ll find a wide range of design styles in bed frames including wooden, metal and upholstered bed frames.
Q. I prefer uncluttered spaces, but I still need clothes storage. What should I do?
A. Assuming that you need both hanging space and drawer space, we recommend choosing a piece of furniture that does both. Some sliding door wardrobes have built-in drawer units. Consider rotating your clothes seasonally and storing the clothes that you won’t be wearing for a while in the storage compartment of an ottoman bed.
Q. We’ve just bought our first home and money is tight. What’s the best way to furnish our new master bedroom?
A. Congratulations on your new home! Make your money go further and create a bedroom you both love by taking your time. Start with the bed and choose a mattress for comfort rather than price – chances are you’ll have it for close to ten years so think of it as a long-term investment in good sleep. If there’s a bedroom furniture style you love, then hunt out complete bedroom furniture sets as this can be more economical than buying piecemeal.