KEEPING YOUR BELONGINGS ORGANISED IS THE KEY TO CREATING A PEACEFUL, RELAXING BEDROOM, WHETHER YOU OPT FOR FREESTANDING OR BUILT-IN STORAGE SOLUTIONS
While it can’t quite match the efficient use of space that built-in storage provides, freestanding furniture has its own allures, especially for the design-conscious. You can be less concerned about the style you choose dating as it’s easy to change, meaning you can push forward with a look that offers a little more excitement. ‘Freestanding furniture will always have more character than fitted furniture as it’s not designed to blend in,’ says Tamara Frye, interior designer at Raft Furniture. ‘You can coordinate or mismatch freestanding furniture to add variation,’ she adds.
When you’ve got the space to experiment with colour and materials more freely, thinking about storage becomes a lot more fun, but it does come with the challenge of finding pieces that not only work as stand-alone designs, but come together to create a cohesive scheme. ‘Freestanding pieces will offer character, individuality and the freedom to change your layout or look’, says Jenny Hurren, director at Out There Interiors. ‘Just think that you don’t have to choose everything all at once and your sleeping space will be able to evolve as your needs and preferences change.’ It comes down to piecing together the room like a puzzle, looking at each element – especially hanging space and drawers – to ensure your storage needs are met.
Complement hanging storage with drawers for folded items. A freestanding piece such as the Wycombe Oak Chest from Modish Living, offers generous drawers of different sizes, making it versatile for your storage needs.
While this type of door is more common in built-in furniture, you can find freestanding elements with sliding doors, such as this Hudson Wardrobe from Raft, which saves space without compromising on style.
By opting for fitted cabinetry, whether bespoke or off-the-shelf, you can really maximise the amount of storage your bedroom can offer. It’s the ultimate solution for problem rooms with awkward shapes and angles, says Ashleigh Hanwell, lead designer at Kindred. ‘Fitted furniture can be adapted to work around factors in a room that modular furniture couldn’t, such as fitting around pipes, fitting into alcoves or just awkward spaces,’ she says. This means you can utilise every last inch of room available.
Of course, there are still important factors to consider when it comes to fitting them into your floorplan. ‘Bear in mind that you need plenty of space to be able to open a hinged door wardrobe,’ says Tina Mahoney, director of Go Modern. ‘The obvious advantage of sliding door wardrobes is that they don’t open outwards into the room, but this style of wardrobe won’t generally fit around or into the corner of a room,’ she explains. While the general rule of thumb is to pick a style and colour that is timeless and will work with your evolving bedroom scheme, this doesn’t mean that you can’t make use of clever ideas to invigorate your storage space. Building storage around a doorway is a great way to pack in extra space, but it can look a little dated. Concealing a door with the cabinetry, leading to an ensuite, for example, is a smart way to streamline the space and add a fun element that will never fail to impress
Under the Veil
In this compact apartment space, interior designer Maurizio Pellizzoni used a sheer curtain instead of doors to help with furniture placement, add another texture and keep the room light and airy. The owner’s clothes, neatly housed in Poliform wardrobe fittings, are largely obscured, as is the mirrored ensuite door.
Within this wall of sleek, modern cabinetry is a hidden door to an ensuite beyond. Not only does this simplify the look of the space, it gives an extra storage area above the door. Pictured is the Cinquanta Portone fitted wardrobe from Go Modern.
For many, the walk-in wardrobe is the ultimate goal – the question is just where to find the space. ‘Walk-in wardrobes work best in spare bedrooms, or where there’s an adjoining room directly off the main bedroom, or if it’s an L-shaped room,’ advises Tina Mahoney, director of Go Modern. ‘If you don’t have any of these, larger bedrooms can also be fitted with stud walls to create a walk-in area.’ You could also carve up your bedroom space to include a walk in with a screen, choosing a style with a glass that obscures or distorts the inside of the wardrobe from view, while still borrowing light from beyond.
Fitted walk-in furniture can be created with or without doors, depending on your preference, but if the space can’t be seen from the bedroom, open storage provides a useful ‘at-a-glance’ overview of your belongings. With walk-in storage, you have a great opportunity to get creative with your storage choices, specifying a mix of hanging rails, shelves, drawers, pigeon holes and dividers. Customise your choices to your own preferences, says Andy Briggs, resident interior designer and head creative for Spaceslide, however he does have a rule of thumb for good open storage flow. ‘Double height hanger bars for shirts at eye level, with trousers below, or if you have long dresses, then opt for single height hanger bars,’ he suggests. High level shelves are useful for items that are used infrequently and maybe even floor-to-ceiling shoe racks for those who cannot resist another pair of trainers or heels.
When choosing a bed for your room, it’s important to consider your space and how you will make the most of it. There’re a lot of different options that work in different situations – the main two being an ottoman style bed where the mattress raises to reveal a large amount of under bed storage, or a divan style base with drawers, which pull out for more storage.
- Ottoman beds can be extremely heavy to open. However technology is improving, which is making it easier to lift the mattress and reach the under bed storage. An example of this is Button & Sprung’s ‘gas-pistons’ which create a simple mechanism for lifting the bed. While you will still need to use a bit of muscle it’s doable for most adults. Ottomans offer a huge storage area, perfect for chunky winter quilts, and other items you may not use as often.
- Divan bases are a wonderful choice if you want some extra storage that’s quick to hand and perfect for smaller items such as shoes, or foldable clothing. They’re easy to pull out and tuck away again, but don’t allow for the same size storage as an ottoman as the space is divided up into up to four compartments rather than one. A common problem with divan bases and drawers is that the drawer nearest to the headboard hits the side table. If you want to opt for a side table, we’d recommend choosing a continental drawer system, which features a shortened drawer nearest the headboard that will slide right past your side table for ease of use.
What are your favourite ways to maximise the storage space in your bedroom? Let us know in the comments below.