Decoratively speaking, bedrooms for most people should be restful, welcoming and unashamedly personal. Whether you see yourself surrounded by flowers and frills or pine drawers and bamboo floor matting on polished floors, stick out for your personal design choices, no matter what the latest fashion guru might tell you differently.
You can achieve both style and practicality without having to employ design professionals, simply by examining how each room will function and the pros and cons of various furniture and material choices, such as flooring, lighting, heating, and storage.
You should enjoy waking up in uncluttered surroundings. As well as relaxation and comfort, organisation is key when creating the perfect environment for sleeping soundly. Put the space underneath your bed to work. A bed with drawers hides away a lot of handy storage for bulky bedding and clothing. To gain even more space, make the walls do some of the work too. Shelves above the bed add functional storage to an area that otherwise has no function at all.
A tidily designed bedroom can be modern or traditional, plush or minimalist, subdued or colourful, but it’s always likely to be much more than just a place to sleep. Functionality has moved into the bedroom, and today’s sleeping places are nothing if not versatile, with some serving as private gyms with a workout machine or exercise bike, others working part-time as offices or media rooms and some going completely over the top with a surplus of comfort and indulgent luxury.
If you want a bit of soft comfort in your modern, hardline, minimalist bedroom, try a new mattress or couple of extra-large cushions. The mattress won’t be seen but adds to the overall comfort of the room and the cushions look good on the bed during the day (and you can use them as a soft headboard when you want to relax without sleeping).
Researching bedroom styles and ideas
If you’re really not sure what kind of style to aim for, you can do a fair amount of effortless detective work by leafing through magazines and books full of photographs at your local library, if you still have one.
Stop and take in the illustrations that catch your eye to analyse its ingredients. Quite often, it’s one carefully worked out detail that provides the key – like a crisply tailored bedspread in a particularly ordered atmosphere you happen to like. Other times, it’s the paradoxical absence of certain things.
A rural theme bedroom, for instance, with varnished floorboards, gingham bed drapes and white-painted wooden shutters at the window, owes its simple freshness to the deliberate absence of curtains and rugs on the floor. This sort of thing works equally well in urban surroundings, just as a streamlined sophisticated set-up could work beautifully in a country house – simply because of the pleasant surprise element provided in each case.
The same goes for rooms taking inspiration from exotic influences – where else would the stuff that dreams are made of be as much at home as in the bedroom?