Select the bed first!
Bedroom furniture is more important than you might think.
We spend about one third of our lives sleeping, so a bed is one of the most important pieces of furniture we ever buy.
It is therefore vital to make the right choice. A comfortable and well constructed bed will not only enable you to get a good night's sleep, but will also help to avoid potential back problems.
Always start with the bed when planning your bedroom layout.
From both a practical and visual point of view it is the most important item. Unless your bedroom is very large, the bed will be the focal point around which other items of bedroom furniture will fit in.
Generally the more expensive a mattress and divan, the better it should be. The divan, or bed base, should be sturdy and well built, and the mattress should be both firm and 'give' easily. This sounds like a contradiction, but you don't want a mattress which sags and doesn't support you correctly.
When buying your bedroom furniture, be careful not to buy a bed which is too large for the room. A large bed may need a large bed head, and could easily overpower the room.
Another point to remember is to make sure the doorways are big enough for you to physically get the bed up stairs, along corridors and into the bedroom. This shouldn't be a problem, because nearly all beds are supplied in sections. But it's worth checking.
You can also get different styles of bed - French Empire, Classic (bed base, mattress and upholstered bed head), Brass, Wrought Iron, and so on. Think about the style of room you want before parting with any money.
This type of mattress is normally bought together with a divan. The interior of the mattress is made of hundreds of springs, which are covered with cotton, foam or other soft insulating materials. The divan is usually sprung as well, although some use a foam layer. These mattresses and divans are generally considered to give the best comfort and support. Although they are also more expensive than other types, they are well worth the investment.
These are made from latex or a similar sort of foam, and are normally between four and six inches thick. They are lighter than fully sprung mattresses, and are also used with box sprung divans.
These are for smaller beds which can't take sprung or foam mattresses. They are thinner than other types, and are often found in spare bedrooms or for use when an 'extra' guest arrives!
You can also buy other sorts of beds, which either save space or can be used for other purposes.
As it's name suggests, this is simply a sofa which can open out to become a spare bed. Some are quite simple, where the seat pulls out and together with the back cushions forms the mattress. Others have a clever mechanism which pulls up and then forwards to form the mattress. Make sure the mattress section is thick enough to give comfortable support.
This is a simple form of a pull-out bed, and an excellent option when money or space are in short supply. It consists of a simple frame which is easily adjusted to form the bed base, with foam pillows.
This type of bed is very useful for apartments or small rooms. It folds up against a wall and is hidden by a panel. The least expensive are relatively simple in design, while more advanced ones have complex spring mechanisms, or can also be electrically operated.
Other Bedroom Furniture
Other bedroom furniture is dictated by your needs. Ladies will need somewhere for makeup, so a dressing table with mirror will be needed. This can be a separate piece of bedroom furniture, or incorporated into built in wardrobe units. Chests of drawers are always useful, or alternatively, try an armoire.
You'll need loads of storage space, so decide if you're going for free standing units or built in ones. If your bedroom is quite small then built in units can make good use of the available space. But be careful you don't make the room too 'boxy', or turn it into a corridor by a careless arrangement of your bedroom furniture.
One method of using space is to have a fitment built on the wall around the bed head. This can incorporate a unit on either side of the bed for placing lamps, books, drinks, etc and shelves higher up reaching right across. With this sort of arrangement you can also have hidden lighting installed.
And don't forget chairs! Even one or two small, attractively upholstered chairs can make a bedroom look so much more inviting and comfortable.