Bedrooms and bathrooms are the rooms in which vve are supposed to relax our bodies, restore our energies, and take comfort. In short, they need not be just for sleeping, for storing clothes, dressing, bathing, washing and shaving. So there is no reason especially given the general shortage ofspace – why bedrooms should not be on 24 – hour duty, used for working in as vvell as sleeping – and for watching television, listening to music, and even for eating; a small table for leisurely breakfasts and comfortable little suppers could be a great luxury.
Bathrooms too – given the square footage – can be multi-functional. Some people deliberately turn a large bedroom into a comfortable bathroom/study/dressing/exercise room, keeping a smaller room for actual sleeping. But even a very small room could probably be made considerably more luxurious and comforting than it is at present. The first priority in any bedroom or bathroom, whatever its use, should be comfort. In the case of bedrooms, this is not just a comfortable bedroom and bathroom furniture, although they are essential since we spend one-third of our lives in bed but also really good lighting. And that means good to makeup by, good to read in bed and work by, good for general dressing and easy on the eye. You will want comfort underfoot too. If ever there was a place for carpet or at least generous rugs, the bedroom is that place. Heating too should be well regulated so that the temperature can be as good for sitting in as it is for sleeping.
Quiet is an essential. lf you live in a busy area or over a much-used street, you will certainly need to consider fabric-covered vvalls as well as carpet and multi-layered window treatments, ifnot double glazing, all of which will help to deaden outdoor sounds. Bathrooms too, need good lighting and heating and warm, non- slip floors. Some kind of ventilation, e.g. an extractor fan, may be necessary to combat condensation.
Handgrips on baths might seem a small detail but it is an important one if you have children, elderly people or invalids to consider. Whether you do it all at once or aim for a series of staged improvements will depend on your budget and your circumstances. Ifyou are planning bedrooms and bathrooms from scratch you are lucky, because with a very limited budget you can decide your priorities and plan sensibly to achieve them as and when you have the cash.
If you are hoping to improve existing rooms but cannot do it all at once you will find that even the slightest change can uplift the spirits cushions on a bed, a new bedcover, tie-backs on curtains, pictures, bathroom cabinets, an added plant. The aim of this book is to define the functions of both rooms and show you how to make the best use of your available space, how to achieve an appropriate style, how to plan children’s rooms so that you do not have to keep on spending as the child grows up, how to plan storage, lighting and heating, and how to choose the best furniture and equipment or improve what you’ve got. Most importantly, it aims to show you how to fit your rooms to the way you live; how to make them really work for you. After all, bedrooms and bathrooms are, or should be, the foundations of your personal comfort. They deserve to be well-planned.