elements of domestic design


For adults it is the ultimate sanctuary and away from the hub of the house – with as little distraction as possible from the ‘me-ness’ or ‘us-ness’ of the space, our bedrooms are likely to reflect our inner core in some way. Cocoon, cave or love nest – it’s up to you, light and bright or subdued and moody. There is special chance for self-expression here in the décor and soft furnishings.

Of course there are all sorts of people groupings and every household has its own idiosyncrasies, but I shall visualise the most common – the principles apply widely in varying degrees. Families like to cluster their bedrooms when children are small. It is good to feel close to the children when they are small to know they are safe and to be near at hand when a bad dream strikes. This often fits the pattern of the standard two storey house well-enough with all the bedrooms and family bathroom on the First Floor.

As the years go by the position of bedrooms may not follow this pattern. In fact everyone feels like they want their bit of space, but not so adjacent to everyone else’s. This is the moment when a loft conversion for a Master Suite is a great idea to pursue. That little extra distance away from the teenagers is good for everyone!

Small children may use their bedroom as a playspace and a space for toys, so make it easy for them to do this and to put things away. Untidiness seems to be an endemic problem for those who are a bit older in their teens. At that stage it becomes a space of self-expression and that can include all sorts of distractions as we live now which pre-occupy their every waking hour. (No wonder they stay up so late and then can’t get up in the morning.) Brain function diminishes with lack of sleep, so bear this in mind when helping to plan a teenager’s lair – if they will let you!

Sleep is a great restorer and we realise how much we need it when we don’t have it. Sleep specialists say ‘keep your bedroom free from the stuff that occupies your mind during the day’.

Practicals:
1. The key to planning the layout of the bedroom is the position of the bed or beds allowing for door and window positions. A double bed may vary in size but you should also allow for access to either side of the bed and to wardrobes. If it is a guest room a twin bed option may be better as it will require less space overall.

2. To make a Child’s bedroom really fun consider where the extra mattress may go when you start to host ‘sleep-overs’. Is there space for storage of and play with toys? A bookcase and a comfortable chair for reading in may encourage good habits that will last a lifetime. If not you will need to make extra allowance for this in planning the living spaces.