How to design a successful bedroom
Design a bedroom that covers all bases, from creature comforts to style notes.
Designing a successful bedroom may seem easy, but striking a perfect balance between beauty, serenity and practicality goes beyond selecting a comfy bed and attractive bed linen. For a start, take into consideration how much natural light enters the room by day and how you might control it, as well as the effects of pendant lights and bedside lamps.
Modern bedrooms also require well-placed power outlets and discreet spots for charging digital devices, plus effective cable management to reduce clutter. “Unsightly cords will let down the feel of the room, while the right lighting can improve the feeling of the space, day or night,” says architect Madeleine Blanchfield.
Last but certainly not least is ensuring that your bedroom is a relaxing space that harnesses texture and colour in a completely personal way.
LAYER, LAYER, LAYER
For a calm and restful space, layering is the key, says Interior designer Mardi Doherty. In this chic Melbourne bedroom (below), Mardi layered just enough texture and colour to create interest without over-complicating it. “We used custom joinery, carpet and lots of different materials in items from the bedhead to the accessories and even artwork, adding a pendant light plus a lamp for soft light at night.
Photo: Derek Swalwell
ADD COLOUR AND TEXTURE
You won’t find any blue stripes, anchors or other nautical notes in the NSW beach house at right. This deliberately non-beachy look is exactly what the owner asked of Alexandra Donohoe Church, principal of Decus Interiors. “We delivered a sophisticated yet relaxed room by using a muted tonal palette with citrus accents,” Alexandra explains. Deluxe bed linen delivers the biggest impact in terms of colour and texture, followed by the artwork. Custom-stained timber bedside tables have earthy appeal, while the bedside lights add a contemporary touch.
Photo: Anson Smart
ROOM TO MOVE
Albert Mo of Architects EAT cleverly used borrowed space to expand the main bedroom of this California bungalow in Melbourne. A small adjoining bedroom was converted to an ensuite and an enclosed porch turned into a walk-in wardrobe. “We also restored the original skirtings and cornices, and fitted the bay windows with plantation shutters for privacy,” says Albert. The white-painted walls reflect as much natural light as possible, and provide the owner with a blank canvas on which to display block colours, a treasured retro poster and vintage cinema seating.
Photo: Annette O’brien
By layering the soft furnishings – the classic bedhead, valance and curtains – in shades of sea green, interior designer Adelaide Bragghas transformed this Melbourne bedroom into a timeless and elegant space. While highly refined, it’s not overly feminine. “The textured wallpaper contrasts softly with the colour palette,” Adelaide explains. “We always concentrate on comfort levels and on using natural fabrics. Good lighting is another important factor so clients can read in bed.”
Photo: Maree Homer
Once a living space, this room in a 1920s Sydney duplex was reconfigured to maximise light and space. “We retained the fireplace and placed the wardrobe and ensuite elsewhere to ensure the room felt open,” says architect Madeleine Blanchfield. A quirky wall sculpture on the mantelpiece and George Nelson pendant light add contrast and eclectic appeal.
Photo: Prue Ruscoe