An interior designer’s approach to bedroom storage.
Updated: Nov 22, 2020
As a design studio when we approach bedrooms the very first item for consideration is storage, as without this you have nothing short of a bed in the middle of a walk-in wardrobe! Think hotel room, what’s the first thing you see when you enter the room? What’s takes up 80% of your view? The huge show-stopping, cloud-like bed. Adorned with tactile throws and pillows just begging you to jump in.
Hotels conceal the Inroom storage behind mirrors, or in transitional walkways through to the ensuite bathroom.
If only we all had bedrooms large enough to make those options a reality. I believe in small spaces, functional storage ( drawers & wardrobes ) should not dominate the room, the key is blending storage into the background, therefore becoming the backdrop to the main attraction, the bed. So as a design studio, this is how we do it… (little mark Morrison reference for all you 90s kids)
We consult the plans and looking for the largest run of the wall, usually by the doorway, ideally a wall clear of niches, windows and radiators. Marking out this space is our first consideration as a full run of floor to ceiling concealed storage. For example, if the wall is 4 meters long, including a doorway, a solution would be a 3-meter run of bespoke fitted wardrobes as you walk into the room, your eye will register this space as a wall. It sees this as an unbroken block, (like a wall) opposed to free-standing wardrobes and chest of drawers placed in a line, it registers this set up as separate items.
The full run of storage can be filled floor to ceiling with clothing, accessories, bags, toys and completely concealed from the eye in every angle of the room. Suddenly the space to play with becomes larger for the bed and bedside tables, back to your 80% bed view we spoke about earlier. The USP of this setup? You can get into bed every night, not having front row tickets to draws spilling over with t-shirts, a labyrinth of a hairdryer and straighter wires, ready to trip you up on your midnight bathroom trip.
The aesthetics for this bespoke full run storage can take on many forms, timber, mirrored glass, rattan panels or perforated metal however covering the options in depth could be a blog in its own right so I’ll skip that part for now and get onto the bedroom design side of things.
THE BRIEF - 10-year-old boys bedroom, full colour & bombproof
Looking at the space with its central bay window, I’m thinking this should be the focal point of the room; however, there’s a radiator beneath it and it’s impossible to see where you will fit storage for the bedroom? The double bed that now seems like an essential for every 10-year-old boy and not to mention storage for the endless Lego, nerf guns and soft toys. The room had previously housed a rather, solid oak wardrobe complete with fur coats and an entrance to Narnia! wasn’t really the answer to the storage issues we faced. We went back to the floorplan, deployed our theory of concealed storage and as if by magic the room became clear for a bed to sit front and centre under the bay window.
In this instance we had to move the radiator from beneath the bay to the right side of the room under the alcove, this seemed like a logical spot, as this would become a mini vanity space, complete with pivoting mirror and a notice board for the impending sports memorabilia. Moving rads is not a costly exercise's it's about £100 per radiator however the plumber has to drain the whole system so best to move a few at the same time to save the budget, also worth remembering the heating will take a few hours to recover.
The original led windows were hanging on by a thread, so would eventually be replaced with clear panel aluminium window’s, subsequently inviting the garden greenery into space.
The vibe had to be confident colour with rich blues and greens with a trace of mustard as the anchor colour. I wanted the space to be simple in design, a real amalgamation of sentimental pieces like the line drawings we picked up at IACF and the holiday pictures and shells from trips to sunny European island of summers past. As a boys bedroom, I was aiming for future proof, free of age references, Fortnite and Minecraft featured on pyjamas only in this room.
Adding in the ceiling rose, keeping the original deep oak doors, windows sills and exposed beams cement the bedroom to the period of the house. The herringbone wheat shade carpet was the only stretch to the budget but we felt happy to make as the flooring is part of the rooms curation as and reflects the houses original features.
The heart of the room is the fabulous fabric that I sourced from a local surface pattern designer Sophia Francis, we had met earlier in the year and instantly connected on our love of pattern and colour with a vintage twist. With the fabric, lined and made into roman blinds these are the art that the room boasts every evening when they are dropped and I know as the teen years approach these will be down more than up but you know, I’m happy with that as I love them so much!
Be realistic to whom will be using the bedroom, teenagers spend a lot of time in the space and have a strong aversion to the daylight ensure you have blackout blinds, and multiple accessible electrical points to avoid the overloading of the socket’s as god forbid all 6 gadgets are not at
100 % charge 24 hours a day!
The likes of you and I will probably retreat to the bedroom and use it as a sanctuary, to rest and recharge, we need limited distractions and multiple options for mood lighting, low-level lighting for reading at night, wall lights for Sunday morning newspapers and directional lighting for finding your way to bed after a few too many.
As always this can seem like a daunting and If you've read this far your probably feeling overwhelmed and I don't blame you as a studio we create on average 24 room designs every year and we learn something new every day.
Which is why we are so proud to launch our new service the pre-build consultancy, we aim to highlight the potential pitfalls when undertaking a house extension /renovation before you start. Within this 2 hour session, we examine the architect's plans, with a view to futureproofing your home. Focusing on how you will live in the space on a daily basis.
Our key objective is to ensure each room scheme works together with design continuity.
Once the session concludes we send you over a full video link to watch back at your leisure as the information comes thick and fast and we don't want you to miss a beat.
Head over to our services page and hit the contact us tab to book your session and get your project underway.
Photography - AlexWroe
That’s all folks! I really hope you found the piece interesting, and as always I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have or head over to email – emma@EmmaMerryStyling.com. All images & mood board copyright are owned by Emma merry styling except where noted. Please make sure you credit and tag if you use them. Thank you. x