After struggling to easily find the right items to furnish her own apartment, Kuldea Co-Founder, Deirdre Mc Gettrick, was inspired to create an online platform to make home shopping as straightforward, efficient and fulfilling as possible. Here, she shares some of the tops tips she has learnt along the way for creating beautiful bedrooms.
Your bedroom is your refuge, and undoubtedly the most personal space in your home where you will spend many hours. So, when it comes to decorating that space, each choice should be reflective of your individual taste and make you feel comfortable and at ease.
When designing my own bedroom interior, I knew that first and foremost I wanted to create a tranquil area in which to relax and unwind. But I realised that the bedroom is also a hardworking room that stores a huge number of items needed for daily life – getting the balance between achieving a beautiful space and one that met my practical needs seemed overwhelming!
However, I found that simple considerations and innovative tips and tricks can elevate your slumber zone to one that restores, impresses and invigorates – all while fitting in the ‘stuff’ it needs to!
Top tip 1) Choose the right size furniture
It may seem obvious, but absolutely key to starting off your bedroom furnishing project is being realistic about the space you have, and using this carefully when making choices about purchasing pieces of furniture.
Start out with a floor plan and a measured drawing; all bedroom furniture should fit the room and still allow space for living, with clear walkways in between. My bedroom was quite small, so as well as making sure the actual furniture would fit, I realised it was also important to check that there was enough room to easily open drawers and doors!
The size of your bedroom furniture is just as important if your bedroom is large too. Adding a chair or ottoman at the end of the bed can soften a larger room, for example. Furniture and accessories that are too small will look lost in a large room, where as weighty statement pieces or oversized items will dominate a smaller space and have an oppressive effect.
Top tip 2) Consider your style goal
Establishing the look you want to achieve is important before you start making big, expensive purchases. Consider if you want to go for a matching furniture set, or a collection of individual pieces and think about how these will provide a base for the type of soft furnishings and accessories you want to introduce. There are so many beautiful bedroom interiors to choose from, so try creating a Pinterest board (Kuldea Pinterest), or check out the Kuldea Instagram and Inspiration pages for lots of ideas covering everything from contemporary, minimalist, traditional and shabby chic bedroom styles, right through to art déco, Nordic and boutique glam to give you a wealth of food for thought.
Top tip 3) Choose the best bed
As the centre-piece of any bedroom, choosing a bed is a massive consideration. As well as setting the style, it also needs to tick some essential boxes in terms of practicality – it is estimated that we spend up to a third of our lives in bed, so getting it right from a comfort point of view is key.
Again, overall bedroom size should always be taken into account. If the bedroom is too small, a massive sleigh bed won’t be for you! To relax properly you need to have a reasonable space around your bed. Beds also offer lots of opportunity for concealed storage, so products with integrated drawers, clever pull-out storage boxes or lift-up ottoman designs could be an option. If you’re improving a multifunctional room, sofa beds offer more living space when you’re not sleeping on them.
The bed’s headboard, frame style and material can also significantly influence the design of the room and have a visual impact on the space. If the ceiling is high, a tall headboard will help to visibly bring it down to size. If the room is very small, as mine was, a bedstead with a rug underneath can create the illusion of more space.
Never buy a bed without thinking about the mattress – for more advice on choosing the perfect bed, take a look at my ‘How to buy your ideal bed’ article.
Top tip 4) Balance your bedside tables
These are a very functional feature in your bedroom interior design, but they also compliment the bed visually and frame your bedroom arrangement. If you are able to use your bedside table as a display area, dressing it with carefully-considered accessories, candles and flowers can have a beautifully designed effect.
However, also think of practicality. Be realistic and opt for a style with enough storage so that you can declutter the surface and hide books, lotion, and reading glasses. If you are likely to have lots of cables connected to devices you keep on your bedside table, a closed design rather than one with legs or exposed shelves will help to conceal your digital necessities and create a much slicker appearance.
It might seem counterintuitive, but I have actually found that in a bedroom with relatively small square footage, up-sizing the bedside tables can make the most of every inch while creating a streamlined, fitted effect.
Top tip 5) Include plenty of storage
It is said that a clutter-free space leads to a clutter-free mind, and I believe this starts in the bedroom! Storing things out of sight can help the room to appear calm and roomy. These days, storage doesn’t just come in the shape of traditional chest of drawers or wardrobes – there are hundreds of clever ideas that integrate into your room to provide maximum practicality, as well as visual impact. Some of my favourites include:
- Trunks or storage benches at the foot of the bed to hide spare blankets or pillows
- Headboards with built-in shelves or sliding panels to keep books or accessories within arms’ reach
- Custom-designed organisation systems to make maximum use of wardrobe space
- Under-bed drawers on wheels for an easy-access, cost-effective solution
- Platform storage beds to create a chic mezzanine effect, or a fun feature for children’s bedrooms
- Tailored wall storage to cleverly utilise unusual shapes, nooks and crannies in your room
- Floating shelves to add a modern, sculptural dimension while making use of empty wall space
There are also lots of clever hacks and ingenious storage options for clothes on the market. On-trend ‘exposed’ clothes racks, wall-mounted hooks and rails can be used to create whole storage walls where garments and accessories are carefully arranged for a stylish design statement.
Top tip 6) Consider colour and soft furnishings
There is possibly no other room in the house where you’ll appreciate lush, opulent textiles and finishes more than the bedroom. From your bedding to your window dressings, fabrics are the soul of any bedroom and are a crucial component in characterizing of your space. Cushions, throws and rugs offer the perfect way to experiment with various colours, prints and fabrics without initially committing to a bold wallpaper or paint. Clever layering techniques are also an easy way to create a highly professional, polished look.
When choosing a colour scheme for your bedroom, bear in mind the impact of natural light. If your room is north-facing and in the shade for much of the day, it will benefit from warmer shades like pink, gold and yellow tones to introduce a cosy, welcoming atmosphere, where as in a sunnier south-facing room you can experiment with cooler undertones for a crisp, fresh look.
Top tip 7) Include several lighting options
Lighting has such an impact on a bedroom; as well as enhancing the mood and ambiance, light shades and lamps are amazing design pieces and become key accessories in your bedroom look.
I’ve found that in a bedroom, it’s good to layer lighting throughout the room. Ambient overhead lighting brightens the whole room, while smaller lamps providing focused ‘task’ spots for reading, and uplighters or free standing lamps help to wash the walls in soft illumination.
For a carefully considered bedroom lighting scheme make sure you choose the right bulbs based on the brightness and tone you wish to achieve. Think about lamps with movable arms so you have flexibility to direct the light if needed, and consider installing dimmers or separate on/off switches for individual parts of the room so that you can be selective in lighting specific areas.
There are thousands of different lighting styles to choose from, but remember to keep your overall look in mind when choosing what to buy – individual lamps can look stunning in isolation in a shop or online, but don’t be seduced into purchasing one that won’t fit in with the style of your room!
Top tip 8) Make room for guests
So, you have your own bedroom in hand, but when it comes to furnishing guest rooms – which are very often one of the smaller rooms in the home – I’ve found that simplicity is definitely the way to go. It’s best to keep the décor tasteful and uncluttered, and ensure there is as much free surface area as possible.
Make sure the room’s furniture allows easy access to functional items like plug sockets and mirrors, and opt for bed linen that is easy to launder and keep looking crisp if you will be changing it frequently.
Whilst most of my general bedroom top tips still apply when furnishing a guest room, remember that if the room is used for other purposes in between accommodating visitors, transformative furniture such as day beds or futons can help to free up space and allows the room to adapt to your needs. ”
To start your bedroom furnishing project, head to our Bedrooms page for thousands of products from the UK’s leading retailers and get your transformation underway!