20 April 2018
Image Source: Woods & Warner
Sleep is important. Like, really important. It contributes to your physical and mental health, happiness and all-round well-being. Step one of getting it right, is creating a space that relaxes and lulls you to sleep, rather than triggering or reminding you of all your to-dos and stresses.
Before you figure out what should be in your snooze palace (yep, that’s what we’re calling it now), it’s good to know what should definitely not be making an appearance behind the palace doors. So we asked interior designers, a lighting scientist and a sleep brand founder (who knows a thing of two about getting a good night’s sleep) to lend their expertise. Heed their advice and nights of perfect rest are all yours. And yes, you will totally feel like a princess. Princess Snooze.
Research shows that 30 percent of pet owners who share their beds report waking up at least once a night because of their furry loved ones. If you want a night of wondrous, uninterrupted sleep, the pooch has to sleep in his own room.
“Avoid eating in your bedroom as it sends the wrong signals to your brain,” says Shea Morrison, co-founder of The Goodnight Co.
3. Any work
“Leave your work out of the bedroom, lying in bed processing your work will more likely make you nervous or agitated, or fill your mind with things you’ll need to do in the morning rather than letting you wind down,” says Shea, and interior designer Melita Mayvn of Mayvn Interiors agrees. “Don’t have your office in your bedroom,” she says, “Your bedroom is your sanctuary, not a working space.”
4. Phones and all other electronic devices
After significant research, we now know that staring at the blue and white light emitted from digital screens prevents your brain from releasing the melatonin, which is exactly what you need to for your body to feel sleepy. Without it it’s hard to fall, and stay, asleep. Plus, receiving notifications can be disruptive (especially if you don’t keep your phone on silent).
5. Blue and white light
Other than the sleep-zapping blue and white light that comes from our screens, eliminate all cool white and blue light. “Shades of white light have different impacts on our circadian rhythms,” says Dr Luc Schlangen, scientist and Philips lighting research expert. “Exposure to cool, blue white light suppresses melatonin, and hence makes us feel more alert and awake. That’s why offices, gyms and operating theatres use this shade of white light, whereas exposure to warm yellowish white light increases melatonin levels, and is used in places of relaxation like our living rooms and bedrooms, and also bars, restaurants, and hotels.” Ensure the light bulbs in your bedroom are warm, soft and ideally, adjustable. Try out a Smart Bulb like Philips Hue, $29.88.
6. Bold feature walls
Interior designers Sonia Warner and Jacinta Woods of Woods & Warner say the single painted feature wall is a thing of the past (that they hope never comes back). “Be brave and paint or wallpaper the whole room . . . it will feel more connected and sophisticated.” Not to mention more relaxing, which is exactly why Melita says to steer clear of red, orange or hot pink in the bedroom, “Your bedroom should be soothing and relaxing rather than vibrant and busy.”
7. Oversized furniture
Over crowding your sleep space is a sure way to make yourself restless. Melita warns against furniture that’s too big for your space, “This will make your bedroom feel smaller and cramped.” While Sarah Cichy, director of Piccolo PR says over accessorising or mixing too many patterns will also make things feel cramped. “It’s hard to relax with too much clutter, so keep things open. Select a signature piece and then use a mix of quieter neutrals for the remaining furniture so that the space feels light and open.”
20 November 2017
Modified via domain.com.au
As the holiday season approaches, one more thing to worry about on the ever-increasing list is how to create a multi-purpose guest room for the family and friends who come to stay once a year, without tying up precious space in your home.
But, according to interior designer Meredith Lee, it can happen quite easily.
“Multi-use rooms are the key to doubling the feel of a home,” says Lee. “Whether it’s sectioning off spaces to create study nooks with creative uses of bookshelves as room dividers or adapting a living space into a guest bedroom at short notice.”
The King Living Felix Studio bed works well in guest rooms that double as a study when not occupied. Photo: King Living
She says the easiest thing to do is start with an idea of the main purpose of the room – for example, understanding whether you have a lot of guests coming to stay or just a few every now and then.
Likewise, if you only use the space as a study from time to time, cabinetry that hides away the workspace will help you relax in the room when there’s no work to be done.
Furniture designers are also helping in the trend towards more efficient storage options for living rooms and guest bedrooms, such as King Living, an Australian furniture manufacturer that has specialised in innovation, quality and design, superior comfort and enduring performance for the past 40 years.
Furniture with multiple functions is the key to saving on space and money. Photo: King Living
David Hardwick, global buying manager for King Living, says functional furniture such as the brand’s award-winning Delta sofa and multi-award-winning Jasper provide a place to sit as well as storage, making them perfect for multi-use rooms, especially as their modular designs can be reconfigured and have backs and arms that can be repositioned.
King Living has recently released The Reo Grand sofa bed, blending contemporary design, functionality and comfort. It also features Smart pockets on the arms to accommodate side tables that swivel, as well as phone charging, adjustable lights and wireless speakers to make small spaces extremely functional.
“Most customers will be surprised when you reveal this sofa bed as the form helps to mask the function hidden within,” says Hardwick. “A 15-stage adjustable headrest complemented by the streamlined aesthetic and deep-seated comfort create what we believe is the most comfortable sofa bed on the market.”
Make sure the room works well with the rest of your house, but has a few unique style choices. Bedroom by designer Meredith Lee. Photo: Elizabeth Schiavello
King Living’s Felix Studio bed is another innovative option, with a quick conversion that only requires the push of a button as it’s fully automated. The armless model is also perfect for small spaces without compromising on seating space and King Living products come with a 25-year steel frame warranty.
“When choosing one, it’s best to try and operate the sofa bed yourself when browsing various options, and have a good lie on the mattress or press down firmly to see where the lumps might be. Also consider the full size when opened to ensure there is still enough space within the room to move around the bed.”
Lighting is another important consideration when multi-purposing a room, and it can be tricky – such as having a bedside reading lamp rather than a floor lamp to provide the flexibility to turn a bedroom design into a living room area with minimal effort.
“It’s also about clever use of colour – in bedroom environments blues and greens are more calming and cooler colours make spaces seem larger,” says Lee. “You want to keep the guest room in synch with the rest of the house so any patterns, colours and textures are consistent. A guest room should feel different, but not completely different, to the others.”
And while it’s important to live in the moment, also consider adapting to life stages when you’re designing your guest bedroom and what the room could be used for in the future. Just don’t make your guest rooms too comfortable. As Benjamin Franklin said: “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days…”
09 November 2017
If you’re still using budget furniture and a duvet from your university days, despite the fact you’ve been working for years, it may be time for a bedroom upgrade. Even if you only have a limited budget, quick upgrades to your bedroom can make all the difference. Paint the walls a fresh new hue; invest in new bed linen, throws, and cushions; or go the whole hog with a statement bed frame or dressing table for an instant revamp. These inspirational bedrooms from Instagram show you just how many options there are for a bedroom overhaul, whether you prefer minimalist Scandinavian design or all-out bohemian excess. Scroll on through these chic sleeping spaces, then start planning the next steps for your room.
1. Blush and Grey
2. Statement Bed Frame
3. Golden Wonder
4. Buttercup and Grey
5. Jungle Hues
6. Golden Accents
7. Feature Wall
8. Chunky Knit on White
9. Peacock Bedspread
10. Shades of Beige
11. Muted Layers
12. Into the Blue
13. Pink Brickwork
14. Bohemian Swirls
15. Greyscale Glamour
16. Pinwheel Boho
17. Green and Navy
18. Cubes and Cushions
19. Dark Wood
21. Purple Reign
23. Teal Touches