Good bedroom design places equal emphasis on both form and function, offering a template for personal expression while optimizing the space for everyday use. This points to a primary consideration in bedroom design: purpose.
While the advice is that bedrooms should be primarily used for sleep, in many cases, they now double as work areas. A key challenge for architects is how to design multifunctional spaces where work and sleep can remain separate.
Here’s a closer look at the five key components:
1. Understanding Occupants and User Needs
It is also important to consider who will be using the bedroom, as this will affect factors such as layout and furniture and help to define its purpose. There are three main groups to consider: children, guests, and the occupants of the master bedroom.
Accessibility needs are also key; for example, the amount of clearance space around the bed for a wheelchair user should be a minimum of three feet, with ample doorways, non-slip flooring, and clear pathways for added safety.
2. Optimizing Circulation and Space
Circulation in hotel rooms tends to be kept to one side of the space, allowing for easy access to the door, closet, and en-suite bathroom while avoiding the need for a separate corridor and helping to create a sense of spaciousness.
Another key factor in determining the required amount of space is to consider the use of furniture. The scale should be used to keep the room balanced and proportional. Space around the perimeter of the bed should also be kept free where possible for ease of movement.
3. Balancing Views and Light
While beds are an important factor in bedroom design, they should not be the main focal point. Instead, this should be a window (where possible), ideally facing the door, so this is the first thing a person sees when they enter. Whether the view is of a garden or a city, this has the effect of connecting the room with the exterior space to provide a feeling of spaciousness.
While light, airy bedrooms continue to dominate architecture and design, a more recent trend has emerged for spaces echoing pre-20th century “bed chambers”, with canopy or poster beds and the use of dark colors. In spaces like these, natural light is important to prevent the overall look from becoming too somber.
4. Strategic Locations for Comfort
Situating the bedroom at the corner of the home promotes cross ventilation, which optimizes the thermal levels of the home by managing air quality, pollutants, and heat levels while allowing air and natural light to flow between rooms.
Another key consideration concerning the location of a bedroom is noise: a bedroom located at the rear of the home is less likely to be disturbed by activities at the front, such as occupants coming and going or street noises from outside.
5. The Art of Linear Design
In addition to light and color, linear elements can also be used to create a feeling of spaciousness in the room. This can be achieved with furnishings as well as architectural features like tongue-and-groove paneling.
When using a line, the direction is key. Dynamic, upwardly moving horizontal lines or lines used in busy patterns may be too stimulating in a bedroom. As an alternative, horizontal lines help generate a sense of stability and calm.
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