For many, bedroom design represents a very personal project, both intimate and enjoyable. Sleep areas for 2018 / ‘19 surely aim to reflect the character and lifestyle of their owner(s) and in achieving this a prerequisite is to create comfortable spaces in which to relax and rejuvenate. Unbroken, restful sleep is not always that easy to achieve, but is very much a vital factor in the longevity of we humans.

cover image: Flexform for Il Lusso

Habitat examines this annually with a particular concentration on the integration of bedroom and bathroom as a holistic interior. As is our proven direction with FOCUS features, we include the opinions of those in the know.

Well designed and decorated master suites add value to any home, whether it be a city loft, compact apartment or country house. Stylish design concepts for the contemporary bedroom need to incorporate decorative appeal and functionality, plus a measure of innovation and even whimsy, in order to create a unique interior space. So bedrooms are interiors where design solutions might include novelty and originality, fresh ideas for a space in which most of us spend around eight hours of each day.

This is a very personal sanctuary and before embarking on the design it’s important to assess any particular individual requirements. Because every bedroom is a unique space in being an interior to both relax in and enjoy, bedroom design for 2019 should include these prerequisites within an overall pleasing and comforting signature.

‘Bedrooms are a very important part of human life due to their essentially private nature, it’s important to ease into sleep, to be relaxed and dream,’ says George Giorgio of Poltrona Frau. ‘Dreams were recognised as having not only personal meaning for the dreamer, but also social and cultural meanings for the dreamer’s community for millennia. Relax in a pleasant bedroom with generous and soft bed lines, complemented with a comfortable mattress. Give great attention to the bedroom interior, it’s the last nightly vision and can make the mind readier for the adventure of sleep. The materials used in the sleep area should be natural: wood, cotton, leather, in order to not create electromagnetic fields that disturb and interfere with brainwave patterns that make it difficult for the mind to achieve the deeper alpha and theta states conducive to relaxing deeply; and to hear the inner voice.’

Sandrine Fanchette of French designer / manufacturer Roche Bobois says: ‘The space can incorporate tactile, velvet-style fabrics and fine linen. In 2018 / ‘19, dark colours are quite in fashion for shell decoration as they help to create a certain ambiance and we’ve noticed recently that there’s a measure of demand for romantic pink accessories. Wallpapers and claddings have returned strongly in décor, and we’re able to customise to an extent depending on wall dimensions / tastes and colour palette. As a basis we always suggest adding carpets or rugs and armchairs – and moreover, the night stands should be funky and easy to use. Some of our clients are including small side tables or even suspended night stands to personalise bedroom spaces.

‘Current trends are quite different from one country to another. In South Africa immense headboards still remain in fashion. We just released our new line from Bruno Moinard (a renowned architect / designer / painter / scenographist) who has created furniture and decoration for the most classic brands in the world including Cartier, Balenciaga and the Hôtel Plaza Athénée. His bedroom design is elegant, warm, timeless and ticks all the boxes for our South African clients; they can even select their fabric to cover this bed base / headboard combo.’

Porada for maldini adds: ‘Beds and the sleep area in general currently play a significant role in today’s homes. Functional pieces (such as night-tables, chests of drawers, mirrors and lamps) are extremely important, while materials and detail are crucial in obtaining the most stylish sleeping area. Further, while there is need for comfortable beds, headboards are inclined to show remarkable dimensions and a variety of textile features. We include the presence of wood in the base and legs of beds, embellished with detailing in brushed brass.’

‘Among the 2018 must-haves for the bedroom are certainly eclecticism, a strong presence and a minimalist design trend,’ so says Cattelan for maldini. It interprets these trends by combining different materials: Canaletto walnut or burnt oak and stained ash wood for the structure and soft leather, eco-leather, fabric, synthetic nubuck or micro nubuck for the headboard. ‘This creates a distinguished design.’

Sure enough, a number of key elements in interior design and decoration accurately reflect global trend predictions on an annual basis. And examining how forecasting concepts relate to individual lifestyle helps gain an understanding of what transformation in bedroom design is achieving.

‘Colour can have a large impact on how a room feels. Neutrals have always been the go-to when creating a calming bedroom, however don’t rule out darker moody hues,’ so says interior designer Tracey-Lee Gradige of Sandton-based importers Casarredo. ‘What soothing means for one person can differ greatly for another. If it’s a deep tone that says restful, then choose it. And if the space has hardwood or tiled floors, consider layering an area rug adjacent to the bed, and with a carpeted floor add an element of design with a rug over the carpet.

‘If there is sufficient space consider a side chair or two for reading and lounging in a corner or in front of a window. And a bench at the foot of the bed becomes a handy place to sit and is a useful surface to lay out items.’

The latest trends in design and decoration here will generally include a measure of functional separation of the bedroom from other living spaces, while introducing ultimate comfort, tranquility and increasingly, the use of natural materials. A key factor is to allow this interior as much space as possible, both large and small contemporary bedrooms can be made more appealing through being airy. Key winning hallmarks are personal comfort and ease of use – influencing simplified interior design – the result being ergonomic and pleasing spaces reflecting modern fixtures and accents.

En Suite

Paramount factors remain as comfort and convenience. Considering that we spend a third of our lives in the bedroom it’s a given that the bathroom manifests as being personal. And in contemporary 2018 / ‘19 residential design, the bathing space will often be adjacent to the sleeping area as an integrated interior. The decorative storyboard should therefore coordinate key elements: the finishes of furniture and fixtures (tones, textures and the colour palette), plus lighting in order to create a cohesive, easy to enjoy whole. These positive elements will help contribute to necessary rest and relaxation – sleeping in a space that one finds both comfortable and pleasing to the eye pays dividends.

Dessie Nikolova of Bathroom Butler says: ‘There’s been a change in the way the en suite bathroom has been incorporated into the bedroom, rather than, as previously, having completely separate rooms usually separated by a door and wall. Today, these areas are partially or totally open-plan, with the inclusion of storage space, dressing room and bathroom in one open area. It’s preferable to maintain a continuous decorative signature in the total space. A pleasing oneness results.’

Further to this is the linking of the sleep area to sympathetically appointed storage for clothes and accessories through the use of purpose-made dividing walls and wardrobes in dressing rooms. In fact, the modern, high-profile bedroom en suite is a three-part story of interconnected areas that are in synch with each other. Here, the aesthetic is paramount, with a complementary design signature.

Horizontal Aspect

Unless you’re a pop star, massive beds are no longer de rigueur. In today’s master suites there is a growing trend to cater for partners separately rather than in one bed; it’s a fact that humans sleep better apart than together. Twin beds are not uncommon with suitable delineation to accommodate the needs of each partner, as is the case with an adjoining bathroom, which may have his / her basins, tub and / or shower. A further measure of privacy has evolved in bedroom and bathroom design with individual bathrooms not uncommon in upper echelon homes, plus adjoining dressing rooms and storage space. Yet, open shower wet areas remain popular in bathrooms that directly adjoin the master suite; only toilets and usually bidets remain behind closed doors.

Mattresses matter and worn or badly constructed examples can be the enemy of sound sleep. If the mattress is too hard it can cause continual turning, yet if too soft it can result in aching hips, shoulders and back; only in the case of a damaged spinal column is a very hard orthopaedic mattress necessary. At the high-end there are two key types: sprung and foam mattresses, but more recently also hybrids; memory foam mattresses feature a combination of conical pocket springs below and NASA-derived memory foam above. Very obviously, sleeping positions differ and can influence the type of mattress best suited to the individual body – balance and support is important in gaining ultimate comfort.

Living Divani for maldini maintain that bed designs should feature simple, neutral shapes, which reproduce the lines and concept of its homonymous sofas. The mattress areas in the Extrasoft bed are surrounded by a perimeter of soft, regular volumes embellished with stitching, which becomes asymmetrical on the headboard. The natural evolution of the Rod Bed features a neat yet elegant outline and finally, the Lipp Bed shows its characteristic and elegant sartorial detail on the headboard, a stylistic code but also a soft element to lean against. This classic and purified image is made extremely modern by the sharp cut of the shapes.

Frigerio Salotti for maldini says that the concept behind its Cloud bed was to create a soft headboard – like a cloud – with waves, so that it provides additional space and comfort both for the back and the head. The bed is therefore padded in both the headboard and bedframe, thus providing a soft look that, when linked to the metal base’s defined design, is patently contemporary.

Latest evolutions in the US are smart mattresses, which involve four layers of high density and responsive foam. Allegedly, these offer maximum comfort while also tracking sleep patterns, managing the temperature of the bed and even connecting to smart home devices. Costs vary from $1 000 upwards for these high-tech beds that involve ongoing R&D and incorporate space-age materials.

So, carrying out a measure of personal research can pay dividends in making the best selection to ensure sweet dreams.

For the full article see Habitat #268 November / December 2018


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