Bedroom Furnishing

Furnishing a bedroom from afresh can be a daunting prospect, however design wise, these days pretty much anything goes. Adding a beautifully crafted lamp and expensive designer bed linen will draw the eye away from a mass manufactured wardrobe and bedside table, or a plain looking bed.

Mixing and matching is perfectly acceptable, gone are the days when the bedroom ‘set’ needs to match the vanity, it all depends on how creative and imaginative we can be when choosing a look for the bedroom.

For those who have neither the creativity nor the time to indulge in fantastical ideas, matching bedroom units are a simple yet effective way of furnishing your room, the advantage of this means the style of the soft furnishings, wallpaper, and accessories, can be changed on a whim, to create a whole new look. You can also look carefully at the floor you are choosing, as this is one area worth making an investment in.

d_33556Bed

Always choose the best bed you can afford. Money spent on a good base and a perfect mattress with plenty of support for your back will result in much more efficient sleep. If ornate beds are not your style, buy plain but then choose a headboard that fits in with the rest of the room. A headboard really can transform an otherwise standard looking divan bed into something a little bit more designer.

d_10865Flooring

As mentioned, this is one area worth making an investment in as it is something you will probably keep forever. Solid wood flooring is a great way to literally match any style, from contemporary to vintage. These days it comes in a range of styles, from rustic to more sophisticated, and offers you an easy clean, easy maintenance option that will work whether you are styling a room for a child, a teenager, or as a haven for a couple.

Wardrobes
Once a bed has been chosen, the second most important piece of furniture to buy is the wardrobe. This should be as large as possible without dominating the room. Consider a wardrobe which compromises drawers, hanger space and if possible a shelf or two. Shelves can be used for folded bed linen and towels,bulky items that can take up a lot of drawer space.

Bedside table

When choosing a bedside table it is best to have one at bed height, so it easy to reach night-lights and alarm clocks. A chest of drawers should match your wardrobe, unless you are willing to pay for unique design or perhaps re-vamp an old one yourself, thus making a feature and an object of desire that stands alone as a beautiful piece.

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Extras
If you have the room for a chair in the bedroom, why not think about a futon chair or a chair bed? An extra bed is ideal for guests and perfect for children’s bedrooms. Strategically placed mirrors will reflect light and open up the room, smaller spaces will benefit greatly from one or more mirrors on the walls.

Whatever design is finally chosen for the bedroom furniture, think storage first and foremost, even the plainest bedroom furniture can be complemented with a few choice accessories, stylish wallpaper and funky soft furnishings.

Sprucing up the living room

Question. What is your favourite room in your house? I’m guessing that some people will say the kitchen, which in many houses is a hive of activity. Some of you may say the bedroom – the place where you finally get to relax and sleep off the stresses of the day. But I think most of you may well have said the living room – the true heart of a family home. This is the room where you watch TV together, relax in front of the fire together, and generally spend most family time. Yes, the living room is certainly an important place for most families. And, if we’ve agreed that the living room is the most important room in the house, then maybe we can also agree that the sofa is the most important piece of furniture in that room.

Because, even in the most minimalistic living rooms, a sofa will take pride of place. It is an iconic item of furniture – think of Gogglebox without those settees to lounge on, or The Royle Family without that slightly threadbare sofa they seemed to spend their whole lives sitting on. But, in terms of sofa that is both classic and classy, there can only be one choice – The Chesterfield.

The Chesterfield is the oldest form of sofa, dating back to the 18th century, and supposedly named for Philip Stanhope, the 4th Earl of Chesterfield. With this in mind, it makes sense that many of the designs of Chesterfield that prove popular are distinctly vintage in their look, in deep maroons and brown and tan leather – giving a real feeling of opulence and wealth to them.  These look fabulous if your style is retro elegance, add a few chosen antiques into the mix (and I don’t mean the husband!) and you get a warm and homely look.

John Lewis Hayworth Medium Chesterfield Sofa from £1,700 click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Hayworth Medium Chesterfield Sofa from £1,700 click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Gable Snuggler from £1,500 click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Gable Snuggler from £1,500 click to visit John Lewis

It would be wrong to dismiss the Chesterfield as just an antique style throwback however. Remove the trademark leather buttons and leather finish and you get an utterly modern piece, totally fresh and most definitely 21st Century. You also need to look at the other elements of your living room in order to keep the look modern. A solid wood floor in a lighter shade keeps the look minimal, giving it a more Scandinavian feel rather than an antique look. You can make the look of the flooring much softer by adding a scatter rug in a neutral shade, or one that matches the sofa.

Other accessories that will make the room look fresh and modern include using scatter cushions on the sofa that add to the comfort, adding soft lighting that will give the room a subtle glow, or using candles for both scent and atmosphere.

Make your sofa the centre of your room design, and then build around it in order to create your own personal, cosy space. Opt for classic pieces, and your style will stay in style long after fashion pieces have faded.

 

Accessible Housing for All

Our homes are our palaces, we cherish them and decorate them to create our own perfect havens away from the rest of the world. These are the places where we feel safe, secure and comfortable. But what about if something happens to us, either for a moment in time, or more permanently, that makes our homes become a place of frustration, and even a danger to use? This is something that wheelchair users have to address all the time.

I have had times in my life when mobility was a problem. Straight after having Joe I was very ill, and needed a wheelchair to get around. I struggled with the most mudane things like getting around corners and through doors. I was lucky, this was a temporary setback for me, I was soon up and on my feet again. But for some people, this is what they face everyday. My family has a history of MS on both my maternal and paternal side, so I have seen aunties who have spent a great portion of their adult lives needing wheelchairs for mobility, homes that needed to install a stairlift to make life easier, so that they weren’t just confined to the lower levels, and bathrooms that needed to be converted into wet rooms in order to make them safe and usable. In short their houses had to be adapted to make them safe and accessible.

The idea that safer mobility in our homes is now only something we need to think of in terms of elderly relatives is now sadly outdated, the number of young adults who suffer with chronic pain is on the rise, and the stigma about talking about this is lessening, meaning more people are seeking the help they need to help them live independently. A Daily Mail report suggested that more than half of the adult population suffer with chronic pain, i.e. pain that lasts more than 3 months, with an NHS report echoing this, 1 in 6 of these people are in the 18-25 age group, which is quite a staggering figure, and this would, in the past, have made independent living very difficult for young people suffering, but wanting to branch out on their own.

But we can now at least adapt our homes to suit our needs and to give us a level of mobility that can also give a real quality of life. That can only be a good thing.