Features: Sleeping

Editors Choice: Our favourite wardrobes

by Alexandra Thomas on May 29, 2015
wardrobe
Hanoi Slim Black Lacquer Oriental Wardrobe

Keep your glad rags organised beautifully with our pick of the best wardrobes around.

Wardrobes are essential bedroom kit, that’s if you don’t like your clothes covering the floor, chair, bed, etc, and being the stylish lot we know you to be, we’re guessing you don’t.

Before you get stuck into choosing one on its style credentials, consider what your practical needs are first. For example, if you haven’t got room for a separate chest of drawers, then a design that incorporates drawers is a must. Or do you own lots of long dresses which you need to keep pristine? Then one with a high hanging rail will stop them from draping on the floor.

We’ve chosen our favourite three and given you the lowdown on each of them, so all you have to do now is pick the one that’s right for you.

The Slimline One

Being short on space doesn’t mean having to compromise on style, and this Hanoi Slim Black Lacquer Oriental Wardrobe (see above) ticks the boxes both for looks and for practicality. Its slimline profile means you can squeeze it into even the tightest of spaces without having it dominate your bedroom.

Made from solid wood, it’s been finished with an understated black lacquer complemented with subtle brass handles, which makes it a fantastic option for a sophisticated oriental style boudoir.

Inside there’s a generous hanging rail for clothes as well as two shelves, one which can be removed to give you more height for shoes and boots should you need it.

Also available in a white lacquer finish, this sleek and stylish wardrobe is part of a wider bedroom collection which includes a chest of drawers, console/dressing table and mirror.

The Guest Bedroom One

Guest bedrooms often lack one crucial piece of bedroom furniture - a wardrobe! How many times have you stayed with a friend or family member and found yourself desperately searching for somewhere to hang your clothes, or felt guilty that your own visitors have had to live out of their suitcase?

This Industrial Open Wardrobe by Out There Interiors is the perfect model for a guest bedroom. Narrow in dimension, it will easily slot into even the tightest of alcoves and the smallest of spare bedrooms.

wardrobe
Industrial Open Wardrobe

Ideal for those who want to inject a bit of industrial style into their scheme, this open-fronted wardrobe is reminiscent of changing room lockers – but in a good way.

There’s plenty of room for guests to hang their clothes on the rail, and two shelves - one perfect for jumpers and tops, and the other for shoes - which means it really is the only piece of furniture you need in your spare room.

The Versatile One

As wardrobes go, this one is a bit of a beast, and is the next best thing if you don’t have space for a walk-in wardrobe.

Made from solid wood, this timeless piece is probably best suited to a classic scheme but could work well in a more contemporary bedroom when teamed with vibrant punches of colour.

wardrobe
Viborg Painted Mahogany Double Wardrobe with Drawers

Style aside, this wardrobe will be an utter godsend if you have lots of clothes to store.

With an generous interior, there’s plenty of space for even the bulkiest of winter coats and jumpers so you needn’t worry about having to find somewhere else for out of season clothes.

Split into hanging rail space and shelves means there’s tons of room for hung or folded items, while the two bottom drawers can be used to stash tops and underwear.

Editors Choice: Our favourite bedsteads

by Alexandra Thomas on March 30, 2015
Barcelona White Bed by Coco Male

Searching for the perfect bedstead? Here’s our top three, and what makes them stand out from the crowd.

We've scoured our gorgeous range of bedsteads and put them under intense scrutiny. Here’s our top three, and what makes them special.

Everyone loves sinking into a comfy bed at the end of a hard day, but having a comfortable mattress doesn't mean you have to compromise on style, as our selection of stylish bedsteads prove. So it’s time to ditch the divan and use your bed to create a statement in the bedroom with our pick of the best bedsteads around.

Best for…contemporary cool

This simple yet ever so stylish Barcelona White Bed by Coco Male (see above) screams hotel chic.

With sleek lines and a high gloss white finish, this super cool bedstead offers a minimalist way to create a striking style statement in the bedroom.

Generous in size, the bedstead comes complete with sprung slats, which ensure your mattress is kept in place securely and gives you a great nights sleep, while the headboard features an understated grid design which adds subtle texture and pattern.

And if white’s not your colour, you’ll be thrilled to hear the Barcelona is also available in walnut, and the range includes a matching bedside table, mirror, wardrobe and console/dressing table so you can create a cohesive look throughout your scheme.

Top tip is to keep your decorating clean and simple to complement the sleekness of this bed and add in pops of colour by using attractive cushions on the bed and statement artwork on the walls.

Best for…classic style

Cane bedsteads have been popular for centuries but can be a little fussy in their design.

This Classic Weathered Cane Bed by Primrose & Plum is far from fancy and is ideal if you want to add a classic look to your bedroom but like to keep things simple.

Classic Weathered Cane Bed

Perfect for a modern country bedroom, the bed is made from solid ash and features a simple yet elegant handwoven cane head- and foot-board, which have been gently weathered to give a sophisticated, shabby chic look. Available as a king size, this large bed is perfect for creating an elegant style statement and will add a stylish focal point to any bedroom.

A great styling tip with this bed is to use delicately patterned wallpaper in subtle colours such as a faded floral or simple stripe design, with elegant white bed linen and textured cushions and throws.

Best for…French chic

If you love French-style furniture and regularly channel Marie Antoinette when decorating your home, then this Provencal Velvet Upholstered Bed by The French Bedroom Company is just the thing for you.

Perfect for adding a vintage touch to the bedroom, this elegant bedstead is finished in a simple ivory paint and features intricate carved wood detailing on the head- and foot-board. The real piece de resistance however, is the decadent headboard.

Provencal Velvet Upholstered Bed

Gently curved, the high headboard has been covered in sumptuous neutral velvet which has been gently buttoned and adds the final grand touch to this glamorous bed. And if you love the classic French look, you’ll be pleased to hear this bed is also available with a matching choice of bedside tables, dressing table, chairs and storage options.

To make the most of this luxurious bedstead team it with a sophisticated pastel colour palette such as dusky pinks and elegant greys, keep bedlinen simple by choosing a subtly textured white design, and choose a mohair or silk throw to add an additional touch of glamour.

Buyers Guide to... Beds

by Catherine Gregg on July 01, 2010
bed
Sweet Amberley Sleigh Bed, £2195, Sweetpea and Willow

Oh, to be back in bed; that archetypal place of comfort, security and escape from the world.

Oh, to be back in bed; that archetypal place of comfort, security and escape from the world. More than just a yearned for retreat, your bed is the foundation on which the style of your bedroom and the quality of your sleep depends.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, assuming you weren’t a peasant (which undoubtedly I would have been), your four-poster canopied bed with its embroidered hangings and sumptuous fabrics would have been absolutely your most valuable possession. And even now, buying a bed remains one of the most important investments you’ll make for your home, in terms of cost as well as comfort. If the thought of deciding what to go for is giving you sleepless nights, take a look at our buyers guide and find the bed of your dreams.

Wooden Beds

There’s huge variety in the style and design of wooden bedsteads. If you’ve got a large bedroom with a high ceiling, a four-poster bed such as Lombok’s Lovina , Shanghai, or Twilight is the perfect indulgence. Carved solid wood beds, such as the Chateau from Lover’s Lounge and Sweetpea & Willow’s Cream French Chantelle, have a similarly sumptuous feel making them a great alternative in bedrooms with lower ceilings. Rattan beds with carved frames, such as Sweetpea & Willow’s Classical White Marianne and The French bedroom Company’s Provencal Natural Rattan bed, have an opulent yet airy feel, great for smaller bedrooms or where light is an issue.

For a sleeker contemporary look, Puji’s Lumber Cubic bed is low off the ground and beautifully minimalist, making it a stylish centrepiece for a modern scheme. The Haven bed in walnut or oak from Heal’s has a simple low frame and statement headboard with strong modern styling. With any new bed purchase it’s important to go for quality of construction and finish. The better the quality of construction the longer your bed will last, while finish quality is all the more noticeable on such a large item. And So To Bed is the ‘go to’ place for style inspiration and exceptionally high quality handmade beds.

Metal Beds

While choosing a particular type of bedstead is a decision primarily based on style preference, the open construction of metal beds makes them a great option for smaller bedrooms. Elegant Victorian and Edwardian style metal beds in forged and cast iron or brass have a wonderful nostalgia to them with enduring appeal. Finishes range from polished metal and nickel plate, to white or black paint and various antiquing effects. And So To Bed has a fabulous range of metal bedsteads, including the beautiful Art Deco inspired Sage bed in polished brass or nickel plate, as well as traditional Victorian styles. For contemporary metal beds, check out Tom Faulkner’s range here on Furnish. The only drawback with metal beds is a tendency to creak and squeak, so it’s especially important to go for quality.

furnish
Millibed, £1895, Duffy London

Upholstered Beds

Upholstered bedsteads add sensuality and softness to the bedroom, creating a sumptuous effect. For a luxurious, boudoir feel go for a bed with a high footboard as well a headboard, such as the curvaceous Sweet Amberley Sleigh bed from Sweetpea & Willow. The deep-buttoning and silky soft, blush fabric makes this bed a beautifully nostalgic centrepiece for a romantic bedroom. The Willows Shell Carved bed with gilt edging, also from Sweetpea & Willow, has a fabulously French boudoir feel, with antique white raw silk falling into deep buttoning on the head and footboard.

For a more contemporary look, choose a lower bed without a footboard such as the sleek Manhattan bed frame from Heal’s, with walnut surround, brushed steel base and quilted black or white leather headboard. The Millibed from Duffy London is a striking centrepiece for a contemporary bedroom, upholstered in grey or racing green, it stand on stilts inspired by a millipede’s legs. It’s subtly fetishistic, like a bed of nails turned upside down, and makes a high-impact statement piece. The only draw back with upholstered beds is the capacity of fabric headboards to get grubby over time.

Beds with Storage

Beds with built-in storage are fantastic when space is tight. Wooden framed beds are available with drawers fitted in one or both sides as well as in the foot of the bed. It might sound obvious but double-check which side you want the drawers if the bed is going against the wall. Divan beds are available with a choice of storage options: drawers, sliding doors, and ottoman-style. Drawers in the divan base are located in the foot of the bed and in one or both sides, with the smaller drawer placed at the head of the bed to allow for bedside tables. Sliding doors that allow access to the interior of the divan base are often a cheaper option, because essentially it’s just an empty cavity. While this option isn’t great for storing clothes, it can be very useful if you’ve got larger items to store. Ottoman-style divans have a shallow hinged platform on which the mattress sits. When lifted this gives you access to just about the maximum under-bed area, excepting the hydraulic mechanism. This makes ottoman-style divans a great choice if you need space to store bulky items.

bed
Shanghai four-poster, £1195, Lombok

Mattresses

Comfort is subjective, and there’s no substitute for lying on mattresses to choose the right one for you. If the bed is for two, shop together to ensure you’re both happy. If you can’t agree, many manufacturers offer double mattresses made from two singles zipped together, and others will combine different degrees of firmness in one mattress. Set aside enough time to try out several mattresses for at least ten minutes each, adopting your usual sleeping position and lying on your back as well as your side. Make sure you’re not tired, otherwise any mattress will feel amazing and it’ll be difficult to appreciate differences in softness and support. Most manufacturers offer mattresses in soft, medium and firm, but there’s no industry-wide standard for tension, so try out lots of different options.

A comfortable bed offers the correct support; try this test from The Sleep Council to help you make an assessment. When lying on your back, slide the flat of your hand under the hollow of your back. If your hand slides in very easily or there’s a gap, the mattress is too firm, leading to pressure on your hips and shoulders. If it’s really difficult get your hand in at all, the mattress is too soft, causing your body to slouch and leading to back pain. Ultimately, it’s up to you what feels right, but ideally the mattress should mould to the shape of your body while remaining supportive. Remember to make sure that the mattress is suitable for your chosen bed base, in terms of size, depth and weight. If you’re buying the base and mattress from different manufacturers make sure to measure both because, again, there’s no industry-wide sizing standard despite the typical labels.

Divans versus Bedsteads

Divans often feel more solid and supportive than bedsteads on legs, distributing weight more evenly, but if you go for quality there’s no reason why a bedstead shouldn’t last just as long. However, if you’re on a tight budget, a divan is probably the better option; you’ll avoid the squeaks and creaks of cheaper wooden and metal bedsteads. Bear in mind that divans will often come without a headboard. This allows you to personalise what’s essentially a fabric covered box, but it’s also an added expense and you’ll need to make sure the headboard is compatible with the base. With bedsteads it’s equally important to ensure that the mattress you choose is compatible with the base, particularly in terms of weight. If the mattress is unsuitable, any warranty on the bedstead will be invalidated. One of the irritations with divans is the need for valances. If you don’t want be heaving the mattress off every time the valance needs changing go for a plain divan base that you’re happy to have on show. Essentially, it’s your choice of mattress that’ll ensure a good night’s sleep. Put value for money over price and it’s just a question of style.

A new bed is such a treat, and if you take your time to choose it’ll bring lasting pleasure.

How to create... a romantic bedroom

by Emma Foale on June 16, 2010
wallpaper
Honesty wallpaper, £23 per roll, Graham and Brown

A romantic bedroom should evoke intimacy, passion, and most importantly charm. So, design your dream romantic boudoir with our ‘How to’ guide.

Fairy-tales and dreams can come true with a few striking furniture pieces, the right lighting and a little imagination. You don’t need to spend a fortune, and your bedroom doesn’t need to be lost in rose petals for this to work. In fact a romantic bedroom can be achieved simply by adding subtle accessories and personal touches which will create a sense of comfort and indulgence.

Your wallpaper can determine the overall romantic mood of your room, and using a feature wall can accentuate a theme or colour that will inspire a passionate feel. Eve and Honesty wallpaper from the collection at Graham and Brown use soft pastel colours and feminine floral patterns to create a sensual atmosphere. Or if you want to be more daring with colour, the Timorous Beasties Thistle wallpaper has a provocative texture, and its powerful fuchsia colour will ignite a sense of passion and beauty into your bedroom.

bedside table
Cream French Carved bedside table, £225, Sweetpea and Willow.

Furniture is essential for making sure you have somewhere to keep your personal belongings, and you can find many pieces that will make the perfect statement in a romantic bedroom. I love the collection of furniture from Sweet Pea and Willow, for example the Classical White Marianne Rattan bed is a beautifully carved and intricately detailed bed made from antique white rattan. Using white in a bedroom suggests innocence and purity and gives you the opportunity to use bolder colour elsewhere in your room. For a bed that exudes luxury, try the Pearl velvet bed which is made from gorgeous velvet upholstery. If you’re looking for an idyllic bedside table then Cream French Carved Jonelle bedside table is a fabulous choice. Inspired by Eighteenth century French art and rococo style, this bedside table in antique cream will give your boudoir a romantic fairytale ambiance.

cushion
Wool Love cushions, £60 each, Jan Constantine collection from Occa Home

Love is all about appreciating the little things in life, so fill your bedroom with lots of your favourite gifts and memories. Accessories can bring the overall theme or mood of a room together, for example share your love and comfort with Jan Constantine’s collection of cushions from Occa Home, including the Wool Love cushions available in red and cream. Remember the times you have shared with your loved one with the Silver heart crown photo frame from Graham and Green. You can also display flowers in this elegant, LSA Circa vase from Red Candy. Traditionally the colour of love, red symbolises desire and passion, so use this colour in your bedroom for romantic impact and a warm feel.

Romantic lighting will help set the right mood, whether it is sensual, or cosy and relaxed, there are plenty of ways to give your bedroom an enchanting look. The pink acrylic Shocking chandelier from The French Bedroom Company will bring fun and colour to your room even without the light on. For low key lighting try the Love heart tea lights from Oliver Bonas; these can be placed around your room for a romantic night in. The intricately perforated silver metal of the Zenza lamp from Plumo has large crystal facetted clear stones that are strikingly beautiful, and will give a soft star light effect.

Don’t be afraid to go with your heart in making decisions on the design of your bedroom, after all you want it to be the most private and personal place in your home.

How to create... a glamorous bedroom

by Emma Foale on May 24, 2010
chandelier
Mimi Mimi chandelier, £185, The French Bedroom Company

Many of us aspire to have a more glamorous boudoir that exudes style and comfort. We advise how you can use different elements to pull it together.

The first step is to start experimenting with colours, for example, pastel colours create a natural and calming feel in a bedroom. However, you should not be afraid to be more adventurous with colour, particularly when choosing your furniture and accessories, to make a bold statement.

Wallpaper can be the perfect backdrop to portray the romantic mood in a bedroom. True Blue wallpaper from BODIE and FOU is a perfect example of how your walls can ignite some passion and excitement into your bedroom. The high quality gold pigment gives a shimmery effect and a warm feel, which works well with earthy tones and with a few candles lit will create a romantic mood. If you want to create a feature wall in a bedroom, this works particularly well behind the bed as it draws your attention, and it allows you to set the theme of you room. Floral patterns are a great way to add a feminine touch to a room, or an intricate design like Sparrow wallpaper from 95% Danish adds detail and pattern to your decor.

bed
Chateau carved bed, £630, Lover’s Lounge

French-style, mirrored or ornate bedroom furniture is essential for a glamorous look. From bedside tables to wardrobes, you can choose to go big and bold or small and elegant, but either way you cannot fail to make your room more enchanting. Your bed will essentially be the focal point of your room, and so choosing one that has beautiful detailing such as the French provincial style Chateau carved bed from Lover's Lounge, will instantly give your boudoir a glamorous look. Accompany your bed with the hand painted Verona Silver Leaf bedside table from Sweet Pea and Willow, or a dressing table, to give you storage but in a way that does not look cluttered, and keeps the theme of glamour running through your room. For a sense of glamour, soft textures such as suede, silk or faux fur, or velvet are always a great way to make your room feel luxurious. Add a sumptuous and cosy feel to your bedroom with the Velvet quilt in Mulberry from Lombok, which would be the ideal feature to bring out pastel colours in your wallpaper. What better way to add glamour to you room than with sequins which can be on throws, bedspreads or cushions, like the small silver sequin cushion from Rockett St George. I love this cushion because it combines fun and style, and ties together the theme of luxury and comfort.

cushion
Small silver sequin cushion, £29.95, Rockett St George

Finally, the key to a glamorous bedroom is mood lighting; to create a romantic setting choose a chandelier like Mimi Mimi Chandelier from The French Bedroom Company, which is ideal for smaller rooms. Ceiling lights can be hung over the bed and to illuminate all the best features in your room. Subtle lighting can create a romantic mood, and also give a dramatic feel of grandeur and elegance. Or if you’d prefer a free standing light to brighten up a corner, then why not choose something unique like the Miro Floor lamp from Tom Faulkner, with its hand finished silver leaf pattern.