Redesigning the bedroom


November 07, 1993|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,Contributing Writer Los Angeles Times Syndicate

When homes are first being furnished, it's usually the bedroom that receives top priority, at least as far as furniture is concerned. Typically, a bed and some basic storage pieces will be among the initial items purchased for a new home, but just as typically, the bedroom will then be overlooked as attention turns to other spaces.

Eventually, the realization dawns that the lighting is no good for reading in bed. Those posters from half-forgotten museum shows also begin to look a little silly. And what about that bare floor? Isn't it time to make the bedroom a more comfortable and beautiful place?

Where to start? With a plan, of course.

First, outline your wishes as well as your needs. Now think about style, color and pattern -- and don't forget those functional issues that were initially left unresolved. For example, is the bed really what you want, or was it a hasty, make-do purchase?

It won't hurt to browse the bed department at the local furnishings store. You may be pleasantly surprised by the variety of multi-functional beds available. Futons, air beds, flotation mattresses and so-called articulated beds are all out there vying for consumers' attention, along with the traditional American headboard/box spring/mattress combination.

One of the more interesting of the articulated models is this ergonomically designed bed from Andre Renault Inc. Based on a concept long familiar in Europe, the bed employs an electronically adjustable slat system that can be angled into whatever position the user desires. The mattress, meanwhile, provides maximum support.

The photo shows a double bed with dual motors that allow for individual comfort and control.

Now let's take a look at some other features of a well-designed bedroom. Here, for instance, a decorative wall hanging has been added to produce a visual and tactile softening effect. The cushions, pillows and bolsters make a similar contribution, although these plush objects have a functional as well as a decorative purpose, of course.

One option for the night tables is a pair of groupings of small, movable pieces. They may well prove more practical than just a single surface on either side of the bed, which somehow never seems sufficient for holding all the accumulated bedside items. And, to make more room on a standard night table, why not attach the reading lamp to the wall?

The bedroom is the most personal space in the home. As such, it has to be designed in accordance with individual tastes. The room in the photo, for example, reflects the eclectic preferences of a contemporary couple, with the distinctive patterns and styles combining to form an original and personal expression. That should always be the aim when designing a bedroom.

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