We spend a third of our lives in bed, so shouldn’t we pay more attention to our bedroom furnishings? Here are some top ideas for sleeping in style
Just because the main use for a bedroom is sleeping, doesn’t mean that it has to be stark, dark and utilitarian. Many of us like to make the bedroom the most luxurious room in the house, a place where we can revel in bohemian luxury, and indulge in sensual pleasures. Bedroom furniture can be practical, but life is more enjoyable if it’s fun too.
One current trend is to incorporate all sorts of electronic entertainment into your bedroom furniture. For comfortable viewing of a TV, never place it on small furniture or in a corner of the room. Instead, put it on a tall dresser at the foot of the bed, or mount it to the wall or ceiling with specialised hanging brackets.
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Remember that if you are viewing from the comfort of your bed, your viewing angle isn’t the same as it would be in the living room, so you shouldn’t assume that the TV should be mounted at the same height. If you use a tilting or full-motion wall mount, minor adjustments to viewing angle can be made easily.
If you don’t like the look of a TV on the wall, conceal it with artwork, or make it part of a design using fabrics, mirrors, timber or shelving. Though modern TVs are almost invariably very thin, you can reduce their footprint even more by having them recessed into the wall – this is a specialised job since it involves accommodating a lot of connecting cabling.
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If you are not convinced by the arguments for having a TV in the bedroom – there’s good evidence that watching TV late at night disturbs sleep patterns – perhaps a little soothing music would suit you better. A step up from the bedside clock/radio is the in-ceiling speaker system, using small inset devices perhaps 2.5 or 5 inches in diameter, controlled by a mobile phone app or a handheld remote.
You can listen to FM or DAB radio, and with more sophisticated systems, tie in to your main sound system elsewhere in the house. This sort of kit can work well with intelligent systems such as Amazon’s Alexa.
Work and rest
If space in your home is at a premium, or you find yourself having to work from home but don’t have a separate home office, careful choice of furniture can convert a spare bedroom into a useful workspace.
A favourite for kids is the high sleeper bed/desk, where the top of the unit is a bunk, while a desk is built in below. Cube and drawer storage units are often built in, and in some cases the design can even incorporate a chairbed, so you have a second sleeping option for guests. Now there are also sturdier versions of these ‘loft beds’ designed for adults, either in traditional wooden construction incorporating a dresser, or in modern open-frame industrial tubular designs.
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For seriously compact solutions, a studybed from www.studybed.co.uk can convert in seconds from a bed to a desk – the whole bed unit folds into the wall, raising a desk unit where devices such as laptops and lamps can be left semi-permanently wired in. Designs like this are popular in student accommodation, but in many cases they can be supplied with a choice of matching furniture accessories, so they can be made part of a complete bedroom look.
One radical design from Greek design company Studio NL sees you sleeping under the desk, with panels folding out to reveal the mattress and create a headboard. Known as 1.6 Sq.m. of Life, it’s meant to be more of a comment on modern work/life balance than a serious design, but surely someone will put it into production.
For the ultimate in bedroom opulence, the sort you would expect in a mansion rather than the average three-bed semi, you could go for the world’s most expensive bed, the Three Sixty from www.savoirbeds.com. This hand-crafted rotating bed with leather and maple frame and yak-fibre cover costs from £250,000.
But you needn’t spend this much to sleep in luxury – you might feel just as opulently cocooned in the Zero from Italian designer Letto. This novel circular bed combines volume and structurally defined forms into a harmonious visual effect that according to the designers “stands to amplify its relentless totality in the most aesthetically successful manner.”
The Zero design combines two pure shapes, the circle and the square, but is made more practical by using a standard size and shape mattress instead of a special circular one.
Letto Zero is available in a base version with or without storage box, and in three sizes – small, medium and large, that can be also combined with two types of upholstered headboard.
The structure is also available fully upholstered in leather or eco-leather in many different colours., and customers can provide their own leather, subject to suitability test.
There’s also an option of a methacrylate support and LED light for under the bed.
Prices are from £2,989 for a bed frame for a mattress of width 160cm x depth 200 cm, with the standard fabric finish (price of mattress excluded). UK distributor is www.livingspaceuk.com.
Equally visually stunning is the Exo floating bed from www.levitasdesign.com.
Inspired by the illusions of stage magicians, the cantilevered bed floats above the floor – you need 50mm behind a plasterboard wall to float it. Alternatively it can be erected in the middle of a room using special trusses.
The Exo bed is available in a variety of sizes and has corrugated slats for increased ventilation and temperature control of the mattress. Its all-aluminium frame has highly polished corners and you can supply your own artwork and images to be printed onto the frame.
Taking a completely and more natural different design approach, the Rustic Oak Four Poster Tree Bed, costing around £1,760, uses the organic twists and turns of the wood as part of the beauty of the design.
These four-posters from www.freerangedesigns.co.uk use traditional carpentry techniques to cut the mortice and tenon joints that lock the beds firmly together. They are supplied in sections for easy delivery and self-assembly in your home, with the headboard and tailboard as two units that slot together into the side lengths. If you fancy a snooze in the garden, you can also specify them for outdoor use as a day bed! ■
This feature – Spicing Things Up in the Bedroom – was originally published in Property & Home with Martin Roberts, Winter 2020 issue – read more here.
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