Solve your storage problems and style dilemmas with the latest wardrobes and chests of drawers.
Boosting the existing storage in your bedroom with a freestanding wardrobe or chest of drawers can transform a cluttered room into an organised and restful space. Many of the latest designs combine sleek lines and luxurious finishes with high-tech internal fittings so they're beautiful to look at and easy to use, too. At the other end of the style spectrum, the raw-edged, industrial look that is popular in kitchens and living areas is creeping into bedrooms, with pieces crafted from recycled and aged timber to add character.
Today's bedrooms house far more than just clothes, which furniture designers are well aware of. The offerings - whether flat-packed or bespoke - include dedicated space for everything from a laptop and iPod dock to extendable racks and rails that turn even the tiniest of nooks into organised dressing zones. They're also pleasant to use, with rounded corners, soft-close drawers, and internal lighting so you can see inside with ease.
Versatility is another growing trend. Expect to see drawers that double as room dividers, modular wardrobes that expand to suit your needs, and decorative armoires that conceal a desk and computer cables.
Decoratively, the lines between the bedroom and living room are blurring says Coco Republic's Peter Fowler. "Today's bedroom storage is designed to provide just as much visual interest as you'd find in the living room," he says. "While a bedroom needs to be restful, there's no reason why you can't use decadent finishes; for example, silver leaf to soften dark timber," he says.
Furniture finishes cover the full gamut from mirrored and coloured glass (great for making a small bedroom feel larger), and rustic natural and brightly painted timbers to sophisticated veneers. Also, profiles are becoming leaner: think metal edging, concealed handles and slender legs that make even a substantial unit appear to float.
There are several things to consider when choosing bedroom storage, says David Cross, Senior Design Consultant at Poliform. "Know exactly what items you need to store and how much space is available for your furniture - you don't want to crowd the room," he says. "You also need to think carefully about colour, finish and texture because the bedroom should be a restful space." When it comes to wardrobes, think about door style as well. Hinged doors take up more room when open than sliding or coplanar doors, but will allow better access to the interior, especially if you like to see all your clothing at once.
Solid timber is a better choice for the environment than some composites and timber veneers, which can be formed with chemicals that release nasty emissions into the air. Look for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) labelling to be sure solid timber comes from a sustainable source. Nick Garnham, Design & Marketing Director at Jardan says we should be aware of smaller details too. "The plastics and metals used on hinges and fittings can also produce harmful emissions. Look for quality, recyclable ones that won't need to be replaced." Eco-friendly finishes include water-based timber stains and GECA-approved powder-coated steel finishes.
High-tech inclusions such as LED lighting and soft-closing mechanisms make wardrobes and drawers easier and more pleasant to use, while extendable racks, pull-out baskets and pivoting rails (which attach flat to the inside of the wardrobe door then swing out for access to clothes), increase storage capacity. Many modern designs have these inclusions but a competent DIYer can update existing pieces with new handles, pull-down racks, tie and shoe racks and lighting to illuminate dark recesses. Have a look at the ranges at Hettich Australia and Häfele.