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The Comfort Zone

The Comfort Zone

The Comfort Zone

Your bedroom is much more
than just a place in which to 
sleep at the end of a long day, 
says Nupur Barua

Bedrooms reflecting individual taste and style     

It’s a very personal, very private refuge from the rest of the world. Coming home to a room that is comfortable and welcoming can make all the difference at the end of a stressful day. For most of us, the bedroom is a place to unwind, let your hair down and put up your feet, which is what sets a soothing, well-planned bedroom apart from a plain four-walled enclosure with a bed and cupboards.

            A bedroom should necessarily reflect its user’s lifestyle, practical needs and aesthetic preferences. This can sometimes pose a challenge to interior designers, if they are not able to understand what it is precisely that their client wants.

            Architect Bharat Gandhi explains, “Your bedroom is your very private world and the interior should reflect your individual taste and style. Hence your require very matured thinking and  planning while finalizing the details. To design the ideal bedroom for a client, the designer must get to know his needs and habits in detail, along with aesthetic preferences and the storage space available.”

            Experts suggest that the first thing to do is analyze the way you are using available space, and then rectify it. The principle of not breaking up the room into little portions applies to the floor as well. A room looks bigger if the floor is carpeted from wall to wall, instead of having little rugs scattered all over it,. However, with the expenses involved in maintenance of carpets, especially in a city like Mumbai, this not always a feasible option, so one could go in for laminated flooring instead.

            Lalita Tharani, an interior designer, believes that the significance of bedrooms has changed considerably in recent times. She says, “Things are different now, and space constraints are the primary reason for this. Where you would have had a 6 x 7 or king-size bed earlier, now you have a 5 x 6. previously, the bedroom was a place where you slept and that was all. Now, there is much more activity, since it usually ends up as the room where people watch TV, and that involves the whole family. Most of the time, the computer is also kept in the bedroom, so it has become a busier and noisier room as compared to the good old days when there used to be separate rooms for studying, working, eating, sleeping, and  so on.”

            Even the trend of bedroom accessories has changed remarkably. There was a time when folding lamps were in vogue, but they are not much in demand these days. Headboards are being increasingly used to accommodate small items such as books, trinkets, souvenirs and tapes, instead of being just a place to rest your back agains.

            Ms Tharani also points out that since bedrooms are much smaller now than they used to be, they can be seen in their entirety in a single glance. Therefore, there are a few things that one should keep in mind to make it a more private place. To begin with, one should be very particular about the placement of the bed.

            After all, it is a private room, so the bed should be placed in a way that it is not the first thing one sees if  the door is left open. The mirror should not be kept facing the bed after all, it is not very comforting or motivating to see your groggy reflection first thing in the morning. The mirror should also not face the door, because then the entire room will be reflected on it or all to see.    

            Some interior decorators also recommend that the furniture items match. If all the pieces are not of the same style, then they should a t least have uniformity of colour and texture. The lighting should be subtle and not concentrated around the headboard alone.

            There has also been a marked increase in the demand for imported bedroom furniture sets these days. According to Varsha Desai, an interiors, consultant and director, Dvvar Interior, some of the factors responsible for this boom are the immediate availability, innovative designs and hardware, new materials, consistency, quality and high production values.

            “Today the trend in interiors has changed. Clients do not want to waste time and energy in getting work done from various ‘karigars’. They want good quality and they get it in the imported furniture showrooms. Also architects and interior designers find it so much easier to visit the showrooms with their clients, take their decisions together after seeing the pieces, designing the interiors around the available pieces or vice versa, and thus cut down on cost and time. This gives the client value for money,” she says.

            While there are several options available in the market, Ms.Desai cautions about indiscriminate purchases in the light of the climate and space crunch in cities like Mumbai. Most of the imported furniture is excellent in finish but the raw materials used are chipboard, glue, paper etc.   

            For our lifestyle and climatic conditions it is very important to go in for solid beech wood, veneer or plywood furniture. Even the glues used have to be suitable for tropical climates; otherwise one could face several problems such as opening up of joints and so on.

            In the final equation, regardless of the space available and your budget, what really counts is making your bedroom a warm, cosy refuge from the hectic pace of life. All other considerations are secondary.

A few tips on making your bedroom the perfect retreat:

* Analyse the space available and work backwards to see what could be incorporated in the given space.

* The bedroom should have a smart bed with space underneath for easy cleaning and a headrest above to accommodate essential items-books, trinkets, perhaps a favourite souvenir.

* The bed should be comfortable and if you want the mattress to be environment friendly and trendy, there is nothing like the spring mattress.

* Go for the minimal. Blinds could take the place of heavy drapes. The colours can be soft which blend with the room, to give it a harmonious and spacious look.

* If the television is kept in your bedroom, make sure your eyes are on level with the TV screen to avoid straining your eye muscles.

* Lighting can do wonders for your bedroom. It lends meaning, expression and depth to your room. Try stained glass if it appeals to you.

* Ventilation is another important aspect. A well-ventilated room is not only bright and cheerful but also good for your physical and mental well-being.