Category Archives: Bedroom Design
Things We Like: Balanced Bedroom Design
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
One of the most fundamental concepts of interior design is balance. Balance can be achieved in one of three ways: symmetrically, asymmetrically, or radially. Regardless of which type of balance you aim to create, the primary goal of balancing a room is to equally distribute the visual weight of the objects within the space. Size and shape aren’t the only factors that influence the weight of an object; shape, color, pattern, brightness, and texture also play important roles in achieving balance.
Symmetrical balance is typically used when designing formal spaces, where each side of the room is equally split and weighted with your chosen décor. To achieve symmetry, designers often use identical furnishings on both sides of the room, though not always. A bedroom with matching nightstands and table lamps on both sides of the bed is a common example of symmetrical balance. While symmetrical balance is usually easier to achieve, especially if you’re purchasing new furniture for a square or rectangular room, it can be difficult to create a room that is both symmetrically balanced and visually interesting at the same time.
Asymmetrical balance, which is often considered less formal than symmetrical balance, can be a little more involved to execute properly. Instead of the room being split into mirror images, asymmetrical balance uses different furnishings and décor that roughly equate in terms of their visual weights. For example, you may have a living room designed with a large sofa on the right and two smaller chairs across from it. In this example, the two smaller chairs are used to balance out the larger sofa. While individual tastes vary, I find that asymmetrical balance is the most visually interesting, albeit a bit harder to do right.
One of the hardest parts about creating an asymmetrically balanced bedroom (that looks great) is to make the design appear effortless. Asymmetrical design can require a lot more thought, but you don’t want the room to convey that extra work to its viewers. An example of asymmetrically balance in the bedroom would be where you use a side table on one side of the bed and a mirror on the other. The trick is to make it look right, and appear symmetrical at first glance. Asymmetry can also save you money, especially if you’re buying used furniture or antiques that might be difficult to buy in matching sets.
Radial balance is the third type of balance, and is achieved by arranging furnishings around a central focal point. A common example is a circular dining room table surrounded by chairs. Unless you have a custom-shaped mattress, radial balance isn’t commonly used in bedroom design, except maybe when arranging wall-hanging items or in bedrooms with a lot of space and a seating area. You may also aim to balance your bedroom radially, with how you arrange your larger bedroom furnishings, e.g., you wouldn’t want to put your dresser, chest of drawers, and bookcase all in the same corner of the room – you’d spread them out around the bed.
The best way to understand balance is to look at examples of what other people have done. Houzz has several excellent channels that feature designs utilizing these three types of balance. The following links are provided to show you examples of how other designers utilize symmetrical balance, asymmetrical balance, and radial balance in their space.
What do you think: Do you prefer perfect symmetry or an asymmetrical bedroom? Let us know in the comments below.
Bedroom Design: A Sunny Bedroom
Post by Laura Cheng.
The season calls for shorter days, so any light and warmth I can absorb from sun, I covet. On typical weekdays, I am trapped on the 40th floor of an office skyscraper, smack in the middle of the floor away from any windows. I rarely get the chance to see the sun. Lunches are generally a quick shovelling of leftovers to sustain me until I am ready to leave the office. And by that time, the sun’s counterpart, the moon is there to shadow my commute. Woe is me. The only time I get to enjoy the sun is in my bedroom on the weekends. I have 3 generous windows in my bedroom for the sun to shine in. But by time I have finished all the weekend chores and errands, and retreated back into my bedroom, the windows are no more than black reflections. So, even if my dreary life does does not always allow me to pause and enjoy Mother Nature’s source of joyful heat, it doesn’t mean I can’t utilize other methods to brighten my bedroom atomsphere, day or night.
In addition to the perfectly vibrant shades in this bedroom, symmetry just triggers happy endorphins. Matching ottomans and table lamps helps make the room appear orderly. Together with the vertically striped headboard, the furnishings add a dose of sunny colors that will bring forth an even warmer, saturated hue as night falls. When looking to brighten a bedroom, it’s hard to go wrong with crisp, white sheets that will cast a pure illuminating sheen.
Any reservations that I may have had about painting an entire bedroom’s walls a bright bold color, have vanished after seeing this bedroom’s use of yellow. I don’t consider yellow a soft, calming color. However, this zen like bedroom keeps clutter to a minimum and sunny opulance at a maximum. White linens are again key to intensifying the faux sunlit walls.
If my bedroom lacked windows, I would have even more reason to try to convert my bedroom to a sunroom. This bedroom appears to be a typical Manhattan closet sized studio with just enough room to squeeze in a bed. However, accents of the sun found in the geometric linens and book covers help to make it a golden retreat. And with the help of the canary colored overhanging lamp, the shimmering taupe wallpaper will help the bedroom shine on long after the sun has set.
Things We Like: Bedroom Armoires
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
One of my favorite pieces of bedroom furniture, apart from the bed itself, has to be the armoire. Stately, solid, beautiful, and functional, these handcrafted (often antique) works of art have been an integral component of a well-furnished bedroom for hundreds of years. Armoires are similar to what we think of as dressers, but with a few notable differences: armoires are taller than they are wide, do not include a mirror (though some newer armoires may have mirrored paneling on the cabinet doors), and feature a large, two-door cabinet that you can hang clothes inside of (dressers contain only drawers).
Armoires were borne out of necessity, since closets weren’t common in homes until recently. The word armoire originates from the Latin word “armorium,” which was a chest used by Roman soldiers to store their arms. The modern day armoire was first developed in France during the early 1500s, and quickly became cherished family heirlooms used to store valuables (mostly textiles).
You can read an interesting piece about armoires from the Nov. 19, 1985 edition of the Dispatch, here.
Armoires were very popular in the United States during the 1990s. Not wanting their bulky television set to be on permanent display, many households purchased oversized armoires—often high dollar antiques—to hide their bedroom electronics. Today, ultra-thin LED televisions and wireless components have made hiding technology much less of a chore, which has brought down the market premium on antique armoires making them more affordable than they once were.
While you aren’t likely to be storing a television inside armoire today, they remain very versatile pieces of furniture that can serve as the focal point of your bedroom. Whether you need additional space to store your clothes, linens, or books, armoires still have a place in the modern home. Best of all, they come in almost unlimited shapes, styles, and sizes so you’re sure to find one that fits your bedroom design. Construction methods have also evolved, making armoires much easier to move (in pieces) than earlier armoires that could only be moved as a complete unit.
You can see some more armoire eye candy over at Houzz.
How do you, or would you put an armoire to use in your bedroom? Share your ideas in the comments below.
Bedroom Design: WAKE UP!
Post by Erin Sears.
Cock-a-doodle-doo! Huh? Cock-a-doodle-doo! What? COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO! Awakened by a rooster? I’m upset. I live in a city. Portland, Oregon to be exact. I know that many of us in the city are currently half-courting, half-sneering at our Portlandia driven fame and I know that urban farming is popular here, but a ROOSTER? Seriously? No. How quickly can I google Portland Chicken Ordinance (we have one) and turn that piece of poultry in to the authorities? I’ll put a bird on him…
These are my very grumpy thoughts as I try to will myself from my bed over to the computer. Just then, I hear my neighbor getting out of his bed on the other side of the wall (yes, quarters are THAT close) and I suddenly realize that the rooster noise was coming from his place. It occurs to me that what I was hearing was not a live animal, but rather an app on my neighbor’s phone. Damn. I guess you can take the guy out of Nebraska, but you can’t take Nebraska out of the guy.
Here are some neighbor friendly AND design friendly ideas for alarm clocks:
This is the DIY faceted wood alarm clock from Design*Sponge. Use it to creatively cover up your conventional digital alarm clock. As I am geometrically challenged, the plans are too complicated for me, but I’m sure you can handle it.
While traveling in Alaska many years ago, my dad asked for a wake-up call at a hotel. They handed him a clock with ringer bells. Here’s a new version of this classic. White on white. Ghost love.
I want all of these! These inexpensive silicone encased clocks can add that much needed punch of color to any room.
I appreciate the sleek and simple design of this analog clock. It would look right at home in your modern bedroom and it is battery operated, so you don’t have to worry about pesky electricity.
And for something a little different… a futuristic alarm clock you can wear!
Sweet dreams, lovelies!
Things We Like: San Francisco Micro Living
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
How small is too small when it comes to the size of your apartment? Sure a one bedroom would be nice and a three bedroom would be even better, but you could probably get by just fine as a single adult with a studio. What about a micro studio?
Popular in urban centers like London and Tokyo, so-called micro studio apartments have developed to meet the needs of cost conscious, single adults who want to live in the city. While micro studios aren’t the epitome of luxury living, they provide all (or most of) the creature comforts an urban explorer needs.
Embracing the trend towards smaller, more affordable urban apartments, San Francisco city officials recently passed an ordinance that allows the development of what will be some of the smallest micro studios in the world. At 220 square feet these new micro studios will feature a bathroom, closet, and integrated living space that serves as the kitchen/dining room/bedroom/living room (though not all at the same time as the bed has to be folded up before the dining table can be used). To meet code, each unit must have at least 150 square feet of integrated living space, a bathroom and a closet. Space will be tight! The plan calls for an initial 375 test units to be built before finalizing the ordinance.
As you can imagine, furnishing such a small space requires a lot of careful planning. A while back, I wrote an article on maximizing bedroom space in a small apartment, and many of those tips are equally applicable to micro apartments—you just need to scale down the furniture even more.
The bed is the first thing you’ll need to plan for in a micro apartment, since even a twin-sized bed can take up just under 21 square feet, or 15 percent of your total living space. A Murphy bed is a given to help maximize your space in a micro apartment. The dining table is also another space hog. However one clever combination of sleeping/dining area had the Murphy bed fold onto a support table, which doubled as a dining table when the Murphy bed was folded up. I thought it was a pretty smart use of space.
If you want to read more about San Fran’s micro apartments click here.
Could you make it in a micro studio? Maybe they could be marketed as a luxurious alternative to Alcatraz. Let us know what you think in the comments below.