6 bedroom design dilemmas solved

From maximising storage in a small bedroom to creating a multifunctional yet relaxing retreat, Julia offers her advice

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Mode double duvet and pillowcases from Bluebellgray

2. What to do if… you have a small bedroom

As with loft rooms, small bedrooms are lovely places to rest and feel cosy and secure. The key to success is keeping the space well organised, as it’s easy for clutter to take over. Where possible, consider converting an adjoining box room or landing space into a separate walk-in wardrobe, to avoid having to fill the bedroom with large pieces of furniture.

When choosing the bed, keep the size in proportion with the room, and opt for a design on legs rather than a solid base, to help create a feeling of space. If extra storage is required, a pull-up bed with compartments underneath is often a better choice than an additional piece of furniture. Alternatively, glazed wardrobe doors can extend the sense of space.

Never be afraid to use darker colours in a small room. Embracing this is often more successful than fighting to try to lighten it. Be bold and create a stylish and impressive interior lifted by metallic accessories and a large mirror. Avoid cluttering windows with fabric to make the room feel as open as possible – Roman blinds and shutters are both good options.

Karndean LooseLay vinyl board in Country Oak

Henley double headboard from Tesco

5. What to do if… you want to work with period features

Original details, such as coving and fireplaces, give focus to the space, which plain bedrooms often lack. Decide whether the room is to remain traditionally styled or receive a modern look. This will determine whether features are picked out against a plain backdrop or incorporated into a more ornate scheme. It is generally more in-keeping to use freestanding pieces of furniture in a setting with coving, picture rails and other such features, as built-in cabinets will create awkward detailing.

Painted floorboards are a perfect fit with period features, and can be softened using a large rug to complete the look.

6. What to do if… you want to design a dual space

Bedrooms often need to be flexible, providing additional work space, craft areas or other uses. The trick is to combine the two so that neither takes over. Careful planning is required to ensure that adequate space, furniture and light is afforded to all activities.

In a guest bedroom that doubles as an office, choose furniture that allows the work equipment to be tidied easily away or covered over when guests are staying. A folding screen is ideal for concealing an area that is hard to continually tidy. Combination beds and desks are a good solution in smaller bedrooms, maximising the space. A daybed is another great idea to ensure the room doesn’t feel like a bedroom when you are working in it.

If filing cabinets and other specifically office-style items are needed, choose designs that won’t detract from the overall look of the space. Opt for pieces that fit the room’s dual purpose and complement the colour scheme – avoid generic office furniture at all cost.