Bedroom Your Get-Away
For many people these days, the bedroom has become much
more than a place to sleep. It has become a private
retreat to unwind, get away from it all or catch up on
To accommodate these activities, people are making this
last bastion of personal space more inviting and
comfortable. Whether it's a stately place to meditate or a
hub of built-ins to keep house files and equipment, the
possibilities are endless.
To make a bedroom into a personal place, it must first be
determined what is to be achieved. Is it to be a place to
work, to exercise, to lounge around or for a combination
of activities? Almost anything can be integrated into a
decor or concealed so they pop up only when needed.
While there is a trend to incorporate a work-space in
bedrooms -with built-in desks, swivel chairs, computer
power and phone jacks -many people still prefer to indulge
in features that help them relax after a long day: gas
fireplaces, wet bars, lounge areas and comfort items such
as whirlpool baths and indoor water fountains.
To avoid distractions while practicing yoga, meditation or
other relaxation techniques, some people will eliminate
mirrors entirely from their bedroom decor. Others will use
different textures, fabrics, wall, floor and window
coverings, as well as painted finishes, to create a
particular style or atmosphere.
Small or large room
To make a small room look bigger, pale colours and
light-scaled furniture and accessories should be used.
See-through pieces such as armchairs with open arms or
cane seats and backs will give an illusion of greater
space. To make a large bedroom more cozy and intimate, a
variety of textures and dominant patterns for rugs,
draperies and upholstery should be used. A sprawling
furniture arrangement, large paintings and area rugs will
also pull a room together.
Colour works wonders
No other design element has the quick impact or dramatic
effect of colour. It can make the atmosphere in a bedroom
lively or restful, can make the high ceiling look lower or
a small window look bigger. Colours also look different in
combination with other colours and in different types of
lighting. A deep blue may look bright and intense in
well-lit areas but cold and gloomy in a bedroom with soft
light. Colours also affect emotions and perceptions. In a
bedroom, reds -which are known to send up the heart-rate
-should be avoided. Light oranges and peaches, which are
associated with comfort and security, are a better choice.
Arranging the room
To make the best use of space and to effect the most
pleasing arrangement, the largest furniture pieces, such
as the bed, armoire or large cabinet, should be placed on
the longest wall. A jumbled look will be avoided by
keeping all the taller furniture at about the same height.
The tops of chests, cabinets and bookcases should maintain
about the same line around the room.
In a large bedroom, furniture should be distributed in
groupings such as a sitting area, work area and sleep
area. The scale of furniture, however, should be related
in each grouping. For instance, a tall wing chair should
not be placed next to a low loveseat, nor should bedside
tables be higher than the mattress.
Traffic lanes should be kept open. Remember, it is better
to have too little in a room than to have too much; too
much creates a cluttered appearance. Concealing desks,
bookshelves and computers behind armoire doors can make a
bedroom that doubles as work space into a more inviting
and relaxing room.