Planning Your Bedroom
Good bedroom planning helps make the most of what is often a smallish space; clever storage simplifies your daily routine. And an eye for decorative possibilities helps to create a stylish, welcoming room.
For some people, the bedroom is just a place to sleep. Others like a retreat where they can relax, read, listen to music or watch TV. In some homes, the bedroom may be the only area for quiet activities such as sewing, studying or writing letters.
The first step in planning a bedroom is to choose the most suitable room. Most houses are designed with the bedrooms near the bathroom and away from the living area, but if theexisting layout does not work for you, there is usually an alternative. If you like to sleep late, for example, avoid a room which overlooks the street or gets the full glare of the morning sun. If you just want somewhere to lay your head for eight hours, opting for the largest bedroom would be a waste of space. It might be more sensible to give children the biggest bedroom, equipping it with toy storage and desk space, thus easing the pressure on the rest of the house. Fitted or furnished The layout of your bedroom depends essentially on how you tackle the problem of storage. Fitted or built-in cupboards decrease usable floor area but can be tailored exactly to your requirements. Traditional storage furniture, such as a chest of drawers, wardrobe, blanket box and dressing table, can create awkward dead spaces, but are often attractive in their own right.
MAKING A PLAN
Start by drawing a diagram of the room on graph paper, marking on all existing features, such as windows, doors, alcoves, radiators and cupboards. Include the position of all services, such as telephone or TV aerial points, electric sockets and switches. Then, working to the same scale, draw the shapes of the furniture you own or
intend to buy on a separate piece of paper, cut them out and arrange the pieces on the room plan to find the best arrangement.
Bedrooms are not subject to heavy traffic but access is still an important consideration. Beds should have enough clearance to allow for circulation and changing sheets. If space is tight. fit castors to the bed to make it easier tomove. Make sure there is enough room for cupboard or wardrobe doors to open fully, that drawers pull out without obstruction and that there is a clear route between the bed and the door.
Note any aspects that could be changed to increase space or practicality. You might want to rehang a door to improve access, move a radiator or add a new electric socket or switch.
Work out the lighting you need on your room plan. General overhead lighting is flexible if controlled by a dimmer switch, preferably operated by the door and the bed. In addition to general lighting, you probably need some task lights. Direct lighting from a table lamp or spotlight is essential for a study or hobby area. Fit a light inside a deep wardrobe with a small switch in the door jamb (rather like a fridge door).
Mirror lighting A dressing table mirror illuminated by a pair of tall candlestick lamps or a row of Hollywood-style bulbs to either side, as shown on the right, casts an even, shadowless light across the face which is ideal for putting on make-up.
For a full-length mirror, an overhead bulb casting enough light to illuminate you from head to toe without shadow is ideal, especially if you are dressing for artificial light; daylight-balanced fluorescent strips either side of the mirror give a closer reflection of true daylight. Bedside lighting A bedside lamp should be adjustable so that it casts a direct beam onto your book without shining into your eyes. In a double bedroom, it is best to have two bedside lamps, so that one person can read in well-directed light if the other wants to sleep.