A guide to bedroom furniture
A brief history of beds and bedroom furniture
One of the great pleasures of modern life is to slip between the sheets on a comfortable bed. A supportive mattress and a soft duvet can be the perfect antidote to the stresses of modern life. When these are part of a beautiful bedroom suite, complemented by attractive bedroom furniture, you have the ideal sanctuary in which to recharge.
Few of us probably consider how beds and bedrooms developed, but its history is long and fascinating. Having a room set aside to sleep in is a relatively recent phenomenon for most people. Our ancient ancestors were rarely so lucky. The oldest mattress ever found dates back 77,000 years, consisting of layers of plant material gathered into mats. These were periodically burned, probably because of infestation. They might look rustic to our eyes but nevertheless, they were a lot more comfortable than sleeping on the cold hard ground.
It was the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Greece and Rome who first developed something resembling a modern bed. Woven metal supports would hold your straw-stuffed mattress, and you'd sleep under a woollen blanket. If you were a relatively wealthy Roman, you might even have your own bedroom to retire to after a long day.
For much of history since ancient times, ordinary people slept on wooden pallets filled with rough straw mattresses, usually in the corner of their main living space. This living space would be shared with the rest of the family, and probably your livestock. Comfortable beds, mattresses and bedrooms to sleep in were the preserve of the wealthy.
Through the Medieval and Early Modern periods beds became more elaborate and luxurious and were a status symbol as well as somewhere comfortable to sleep. Expensive furniture became a must-have in the wealthier home. If you were very rich, this may be made with materials found overseas. Wealthy people would often have their servants sleeping in the same room as them.
By the 17th century it was common for middle-class homes to have at least one four-poster bed, and a separate bedroom to keep it in. The furnishings in the room were also becoming more luxurious, depending on where you were on the social scale. More people now had a comfortable bed to sleep in, even if they had to share it with other family members.
By the 18th century, beds and bedrooms were becoming more commonplace, and less ostentatious. That said, most people were still sleeping where they could, usually on makeshift beds, or sharing a bed with a number of siblings or other family members.
It was in the 19th century that bedrooms became much more like the bedrooms we know today. You could still find four-poster beds, but the posts were much smaller, and headboards and footboards had shrunk. Victorians loved their furniture, with heavy wardrobes, chests of drawers and Ottoman storage all appearing in middle-class homes. Some of this furniture remains in use as family heirlooms today. Few of us would want to sleep in their beds, however. It was during the 19th century that metal bedsprings to support the mattress were also invented, which made for a more comfortable night's sleep, but which squeaked anytime anyone moved.
As the size of the middle-class population grew, so too did the ubiquity of the bedroom.
As the 20th century began, and developed countries began clearing their high-density slums and replacing them with comfortable homes, increasing numbers of people began to have their own bedroom, or one they shared with close family members.
Bedroom furniture design, materials and technology also underwent a revolution throughout the course of the 20th century. Bedroom furniture now became more practical, affordable and comfortable. Manufacturing techniques brought it down in price. Today, most of us can enjoy a level of bedroom luxury that our ancestors could only dream of.
We have more choice than ever before when it comes to style of bed and mattress, and our bedroom furniture can reflect our personal taste. In the 21st century quality is paramount. There's also more awareness of design and environmental sustainability. We want furniture that looks good, reflects our lifestyle and doesn't cost the earth.
Why great bedroom furniture matters
Given how much time we spend in our bedrooms it's one of the most important rooms in the house. As the place where we sleep it plays a primary role in our general wellbeing. The average person should sleep for 8 hours a day. Getting the right amount of sleep is key to how well we look, feel and function in the world. By making sure you have a clean, attractive environment to sleep in, and a comfortable mattress to sleep on, you can go a long way to ensuring your sleep is deep and unbroken.
As well as a place to sleep, it's also a place to relax. We can read, take time out, and pause for a moment or two in the day. It can be a place to enjoy personal space away from family life for a short while. With more of us working from home, it might also be a place to work.
Both the ability to sleep and having space apart to call our own is very important to our personal well-being. It helps us recharge our batteries, consider challenges we face in life, and generate new ideas to help us live happier lives. That's why you should make sure that you take time considering how you're going to furnish your bedroom. Fashions change, but quality is timeless.
How we furnish our bedrooms should reflect our personal tastes. Whether you like a minimal environment in which to sleep, or like to indulge in luxurious bedroom style, the right choice of furniture will help you create the perfect sanctuary.
Take your time
It's good to take some time to think about your bedroom, how you'd like it to look and feel, and the atmosphere you'd like to create. What sort of design helps you to relax? Which materials do you prefer? Do you like a bedroom that's cosy and filled with furniture, or do you prefer to keep your bedroom uncluttered?
When you've answered these and similar questions you can set about exploring some of the available range. At Oak Furniture House we have an incredibly wide range of wooden furniture in classic and contemporary designs.
Types of bed
The first and most important component of your perfect bedroom that you need to consider is the type of bed that will best match your needs. A lot will depend on the size of your bedroom, and your own particular requirements for a comfortable night's sleep.
Here's a quick guide to your options:
Single beds – usually the first type of bed we have as a child. Great for smaller rooms and in occasional guest bedrooms. The UK standard bed size for a single bed is 90cm x 190cm.
Small double – an increasingly popular alternative to the single bed, or as an occasional bed for guest rooms. Ideal for single people who want more space, or teenage children. The UK standard bed size for small double beds are 120cm x 190cm.
Double – the most popular type of bed in the UK. A standard double bed is 135cm in width, and 190cm in length according to UK standard bed sizes.
King size – an increasingly popular choice for couples, allowing more space and comfort for sleep, and for taller people who appreciate the extra length. The UK standard bed size for a king size bed is width of 150cm x 200cm length.
Super Kingsize – the super king size bed is a favourite choice when it comes to luxury and comfort. The largest bed size in the UK with a width of 180cm and a length of 200cm. If you need extra space and have a large enough bedroom, this is the option for you.
How to find the right type of bed for your bedroom
It's important to carefully choose the right kind of bed for your bedroom. The bed is the centrepiece of any bedroom. If your bed is too large for the room, it will completely dominate the space and limit the choice of bedroom furniture you can have. Similarly, a small bed in a large room can look lost, or something of an afterthought. Getting it right will make a huge difference to the overall look and feel of the room.
Here's some of the factors you should consider before purchasing a bed.
• Design and style of your bedroom -
What is your personal style preference? Do you prefer a stripped, back minimalist look when it comes your interior, or do you prefer something cosier? Perhaps you want all your bedrooms to be luxurious places to which you can retreat. The simple, classic look of the Atlanta Oak Furniture range can complement stripped wooden floors, and a Scandinavian style look. If you've an eye for luxury, the elegant style of the Corndell Cheltenham Oak Furniture range could be ideal. There's urban designs, more traditional options and everything else in-between. Think about what you want, and then look online for inspiration. That way you'll have a room that looks cohesive rather than patched together.
• Size and dimensions
The size of your bedroom should be taken into account when choosing the size of the bed. It's no good having a bed so large people need to squeeze around it when entering and leaving the room, nor should a bed look lost in a large room. Interior designers have come up with the 60-30-10 rule. Your bedroom furniture should take up no more than 60% of your bedroom space, 30% should be free space for moving around and the remaining 10% given over for miscellaneous bits and pieces. Measure your bedroom dimensions, and then work out what percentage of those dimensions your chosen bed will take up. If it's too high, you won't have much of that 60% left over for other types of bedroom furniture. If it seems low, you might want to consider buying a larger bed.
• Age groups & ideal bed size
A small child will be lost in a king size bed, an older teenager may well find a single bed too small. In which case, an older child may be more comfortable in a small or standard double. Increasingly, couples are preferring king size beds to standard doubles as they offer extra space and can make for a better night's sleep. If you're tall, the extra length of a king size bed might be necessary to ensure you're comfortable.
An important consideration when considering the right type of bed for your bedroom is cost. Generally, the larger the bed you opt for the more expensive it will be. Prices vary widely however, a size of bed that may be beyond your budget in one range could well be considerably cheaper in another. If you have some flexibility both about style and size of bed, you're more likely to find the ideal choice within your price range.
People often forget to consider the bedding choice available for their size of bed, or how it might complement their chosen style of bed. Bed sizes in the UK are standardised, and bedding is designed to be slightly bigger than the mattress it's designed for. This is worth considering when you're choosing the size of bed for your bedroom. A bed complete with bedding will take up marginally more space. This can make a difference in smaller bedrooms. Think about how your bedding will complement the rest of the room,
Finding suitable furniture for your bedroom
Choosing the right furniture for your bedroom is important when it comes to creating the perfect space to sleep and relax. It also needs to be functional, with enough space to keep your clothes and other items. Ideally, your furniture choice should complement the bed. It needs to combine style with utility, and to be something you can live with for a number of years.
Here's some of the factors you should consider when choosing bedroom furniture.
• Consider the design and style of the room
Your bedroom furniture should reflect and enhance the overall style of your room. Is your style stripped back and minimalist, or more luxurious and elaborate? What materials would best suit your room? What colour scheme do you have and will your furniture match? What is the age, and style of your property overall and how are your bedrooms going to reflect that? There's a huge choice when it comes to bedroom furniture from classic, simple designs to more contemporary styles. There's sure to be something that suits your specific style.
• Matching bed and bedroom furniture
Over the years we amass different pieces of bedroom furniture. They are bought at different times of our lives and reflect changing fashions and our own evolving tastes. When we move into our first home, we might inherit furniture from family members. The result is that our bedrooms can look disjointed and mismatched. Matching bed and bedroom furniture can give your bedroom a cohesive look. Buying matching bedroom furniture can also save you money as retailers often offer discounts on matching bedroom furniture suites. If you've moved into a new home and want to make it as comfortable and stylish as quickly as possible, then matching bedroom furniture packages might be the answer.
• Bedroom packages
A bedroom package can transform your bedroom, giving it a stylish cohesive feel. They let you create a beautiful bedroom that is the perfect place to retreat to. They can also save you money. Oak Furniture House have a range of stylish bedroom packages that make furnishing your bedroom simple. You don't waste time and energy trying to find the right furniture. Instead, you can have a stunningly furnished bedroom for less than the price you'd pay if you bought the different elements separately. There are traditional and contemporary options available in the Oak Furniture House range in a variety of colours and finishes. With a warm dark oak finish, The Bentley Designs Turin Dark Oak Bedroom Set has everything you need to create the perfect bedroom. The Maison White Painted Furniture Set gives your room a clean, bright and simple look.
Creating a bedroom design plan
Planning a new bedroom is your opportunity to create a beautiful haven. It's the place where you can escape the stresses of modern life, take time to recuperate and get the sleep you need to function properly.
Creating the perfect space needn't be stressful. By taking time to consider a few important factors, you can begin to imagine how your ideal bedroom might look.
• Style & theme
Perhaps the most important aspect of bedroom design to consider is style and theme. How would you like your bedroom to look? Is there a particular style that inspires you? Consult style brochures and check out other peoples' ideas on sites such as Pinterest. Get a feel for the kind of look that you find the most attractive. Do bear in mind, however, how the bedroom style will fit in with the rest of your home. Don't rule anything out too quickly. Contemporary styles can often look good in period or older homes when done sensitively, perhaps with stripped wooden floorboards. New homes can be cosy and more traditional, perhaps by making use of natural materials and classic lines like the Dorset Oak Furniture range. If your tastes are more contemporary, then reclaimed wood and industrial furniture, can give your bedroom that classic New York loft apartment look. Your style is your own, and this is your chance to really make your mark on your home.
• Who is the room for?
A key factor to consider is who the bedroom is for. The bedroom of a child will have different requirements to a bedroom for an older couple, or a single elderly person. A young child's room will need to be fun, friendly, and personal. It will be a place to play and in which they should feel safe. It may only need a single bed so may have more space for other furniture, such as a place to store toys and games. A young child's room may be the smallest in the home, so intelligently using space will be important. A teenager's bedroom will need somewhere to study, should offer a degree of privacy, and allow them some self-expression. You may need to make room for a standard double bed as a growing teenager may find a single bed increasingly uncomfortable. A couple's bedroom is a place to retreat at the end of a busy day. It should offer comfort, space and a degree of order.
When people are designing their bedroom they often overlook lighting, which plays a crucial role in creating the right atmosphere. Bedroom lights are required to do a different job to bathroom lights and living room lights, for instance. Whether you opt for ceiling lights, LED lights or centrepiece chandeliers, think about the role you want light to play in your bedroom and how the right atmosphere can be achieved. The correct choice of lighting can help to unify the whole design.
• How much space do you have available?
An all-important consideration is the size of the bedroom and how much space you have available. If you had plans for a large bed and several pieces of furniture but your bedroom doesn't have enough space for all of them to comfortably fit, then you'll have to make some choices. Which pieces of furniture are essential, and which are optional? Could the additional pieces of furniture be located elsewhere in the house, such as on a landing? How much storage space do you need in your bedroom and how best can that be achieved? Your choice of colour and finish of your furniture might also be influenced by the size of the room. Smaller bedrooms often benefit from lighter furniture, such as the Corndell Annecy White Painted Furniture range. Larger rooms, which can lack intimacy particularly if they have higher than average ceilings, can be made cosier with bedroom furniture that has a darker finish. The Vancouver Compact Furniture Painted Black Grey Wardrobe Set makes a striking contemporary impact in larger rooms.
• Choice of materials
The materials you choose for your furniture are a key consideration when it comes to bedroom design. Different types of wood have a very different feel and can help to create different atmospheres. Lighter, softer woods tend to create a more open, spacious feel. Darker woods can make a room feel cosier and more intimate. You also need to consider if you want the wood to match your flooring. If you have stripped wooden or laminate flooring, your choice of wood should complement the finish of the floor. It doesn't have to be an exact match, and too close a match can make the bedroom feel claustrophobic. The key thing to avoid is too much of a clash. Are you planning on changing your carpet, or will the furniture need to fit with the existing style? What other features are there in the room which the furniture will need to match, such as light fittings?
• What furniture options will go with the bed?
The bed is the key furniture component in any bedroom. Your choice of bed size will determine how much other furniture you can have in the room. If your space is limited, you may have to be selective. If you have a large room you'll need to ensure that your furniture isn't lost in all that space. As well as the amount of furniture you have in your room, you will need to ensure that the furniture matches or complements the bed. A bedroom furniture package can be an ideal choice if you're looking for matching furniture. It can take the stress out of choosing the right furniture for your bedroom. Oak Furniture House have a wide-range of high-quality bedroom furniture available in complete bedroom packages. Whatever your taste, personal style or size requirements, there's something for you.
Before you choose a bed, it's a good idea to work out your total budget for the whole project. How much do you have to spend in total? You shouldn't blow the budget on the bed, or a statement piece of furniture if that's going to leave you with next to nothing left for the rest of the room. You'll end up with a bedroom that looks half-finished, rather than the cosy, stylish room you had hoped to create. Be honest about your finances and look at how you can maximise what you can purchase for what you have available. Complete bedroom packages can save you money, as well as time. There's no hidden surprises, and no chance of you having to go beyond your budget. If you already have a bed and you're looking for high-quality furniture at a competitive price, then the Burford Oak 3 piece double-wardrobe set might be of interest. If your budget is a little larger and you're looking for a complete bedroom set with the emphasis on luxury, then the Bentley Designs Bordeaux Ivory Kingsize Bedroom Set can help you create the perfect sanctuary. Whatever your budget, the range of high-quality wooden bedroom furniture at Oak Furniture House offers plenty of inspiration.
Other things to consider
New furniture should be strong, well-made and able to cope with everyday wear and tear. You should be confident that it can last for several years without the need for replacement or repair. No one wants to invest in bedroom furniture only for it to fall apart within months. Make sure that your supplier offers a warranty. A retailer that is confident about the quality of their product will offer a warranty that guarantees your furniture for a reasonable period of time. Oak Furniture House offer a 28 day, no-quibble returns policy for your complete peace of mind. You can return the furniture for any reason within that period, even simply changing your mind about your choices.
• Environmental sustainability
There is increased concern about the impact of wooden furniture on the environment. Does your furniture come from a quality, ethically sourced supplier? Do they use wood from sustainable sources? With more consumers making environmentally responsible choices, furniture suppliers and manufacturers are usually keen to tell potential customers about their environmental credentials. Products that don't mention sustainable and ethical policies are more than likely to be of a lower quality, with little concern for the environmental impact their manufacture might have. Oak Furniture House only work with suppliers with a strong emphasis on quality and sustainability.
• Finance options
Does your supplier offer affordable finance options to make purchasing the perfect furniture easier? Ideally, this should under certain circumstances be 0%. Products purchased using high interest finance options can become much more costly than if you'd paid for them upfront. Before entering into any finance contract be sure to check the small print, and don't sign up for something you can't afford. At Oak Furniture House we partner with Klarna to offer affordable and accessible finance options. In most cases, this means you can spread the cost without paying anything extra in interest.
Oak Furniture House are the perfect choice
There's a wide range of furniture suppliers to choose from but the quality of the products and the service they offer can differ widely. At Oak Furniture House we have a track record and levels of experience that speak for ourselves. Founded in 2006, the business has gone from strength to strength without compromising our core values of quality and service. It remains a family-business, offering exciting offers and great discounts to a growing number of discerning customers.
• A great range
Oak Furniture House offer a wide-range of bedroom furniture from some of the UK's best furniture manufacturer's such as Bentley Designs. The styles are varied, from classic, to contemporary, with colours and finishes to complement any colour scheme.
• An emphasis on quality as well as affordability
Oak Furniture House don't believe in selling poor-quality furniture that's unlikely to last very long. We work with some of the best manufacturers' and work hard to only stock high-quality products at affordable prices. When you invest in bedroom furniture from Oak Furniture House you have a guarantee of quality.
• 0% Finance available on orders over £1000
Oak Furniture House makes high-quality furniture more affordable by offering 0% finance options available in association with Klarna.
• Worldwide shipping
Whether you're in the UK or overseas, Oak Furniture House offer a range of delivery options. From basic, standard delivery which takes between 10-20 days, right up to Premium next-day delivery, your furniture will be delivered by experienced, careful delivery teams. The courier teams will contact you 2-3 days prior to the delivery, so you will always know when your delivery is going to arrive.
• 28-day returns
With a no-quibble, 28-day returns policy you can purchase your bedroom furniture with complete confidence. If you find something wrong with your furniture, or if you just decide that you no-longer like your choice, you can return you furniture. As long as the furniture is returned in the condition in which it was sent, you'll receive a full refund.
Oak Furniture House sell only the highest quality furniture for the best possible price. To ensure that the price of their products is always competitive we offer a range of discounts.
Looking to transform your bedroom?
Speak to the friendly team at Oak Furniture House today.