Bedroom Furniture Buying Guide
When it comes to redesigning the bedroom, we are often unsure of where to start. We may think the first step is to decide the decor, colours and design of the room, but the foundations should actually be built using quality, classic furniture pieces.
To help you choose bedroom furniture that stands the test of time, we have enlisted the expertise of our Design Director, Kevin Harrison, to help us create this article. His skills and knowledge are truly valuable as we take you through the key steps to buying the perfect bedroom furniture for your room.
Your bedroom is a special space. It is the place you go to relax, unwind and most importantly, sleep. As the primary function of the room, ensuring your bedroom gives you a solid night of rest should be the initial focus of your redesign activity.
“The bed is ideally the best place to start when redesigning the bedroom space” said Kevin, “but its location can often restrict the options for storage.” He continued: “You have to treat the two together, to work out the best compromise, whilst ensuring the finished layout is relaxing and a place you want to be.” Use a visual plan to map out your ideal layout, considering all the ways you want to use the space. This will give you an indication of what size and how many pieces of furniture you need.
Once your plan is complete and you are happy with the layout, it is time to consider what furniture you want to bring into the room. We asked Kevin what his starting point would be: “I would first consider the build of the furniture” he said, “Ask yourself if it is built well enough to be moved. In the future you might want to change the room layout or move home. High quality furniture is an investment and should be able to join you as you live and grow.”
If you are designing a smaller room, don’t worry too much about the details. Kevin elaborated: “A small bedroom should only be designed differently in the size and quantity of items. Smaller rooms can benefit greatly in appeal if finished to the same standard as the master bedroom.” Below are some of the other basic elements you should consider as you start the search for your perfect bedroom furniture.
Beds & Mattresses
Your bed and mattress combine to create the focal point of the room so they should be the first piece on your wish list. Make sure there is plenty of space for bedside tables and consider investing in a hotel quality mattress for the ultimate sleeping experience.
Here at The English Cabinet Co our collection of mattresses are all hotel-grade quality. Available in soft firm, medium firm and very firm, we have a range of styles available depending on the level of support you need and the position you like to sleep in. When it comes to the bed, the quality of the build is the most important aspect. Combining a solid wood frame with strong fittings creates a resting place that will last for years to come. For a more comfortable sleep choose a bed with a slatted platform. Not only do the slats allow for a more breathable experience, but they also accommodate mattresses of all sizes and offer better weight distribution.
Our stylish beds are available in king, double and single sizes with both high and low toe-board options. All of them are manufactured with solid timber legs and curved sprung bed slats to provide a solid, yet comfortable experience.
The dressing table is the perfect place to start your day. Whether you use it for applying cosmetics, drying your hair or just rubbing in some moisturiser before you go, it is important to choose a piece that suits your needs. Kevin suggested adding a dressing table glass protector to preserve the piece against common day-to-day activities: “Whilst the tops of our bedroom furniture are made from durable solid oak and the paints and lacquers that cover and protect them are highly impenetrable, it’s surprising what furniture dangers you can find in a bedroom. The simplest being your morning cup of tea or coffee. The ceramic and porcelain materials used to make cups and mugs can scratch, get hot which can damage lacquers and timber, and the drinks are wet which can also hurt the tops over a period of time.”
He continued: “Then there are more obvious enemies to your furniture, like hot hair straighteners and curling tongs which can dry out and damage the surface or, more seriously, burn it. Everyday items that might be kind to skin can also contain chemicals that are not always kind to furniture with nail polish and polish removers being the most aggressive. All of these dangers can be protected simply by the addition of a glass top. The English Cabinet Co’s range of glass tops have our logo subtlety etched into the glass surface, reminding us of the products’ brand and character.”
If you are struggling for space, combine your dressing table with a wooden trinket box with drawers to create a classic look with added storage for your special items. The dressing table is also the perfect location for a medium sized mirror. Position the dressing table adjacent to a window to capture the natural light throughout the bedroom.
Unique bedside tables are a great way to bring character to the room but first you need to consider the function. If you need extra storage, consider a closed bedside table like this one from The English Cabinet Co. If the room you are decorating is on the smaller side, or you prefer a more minimal look, an open bedside table gives the appearance of space.
Choose a table that is roughly the same height as the top of your mattress for ease of use and to create a clean line across your sleeping space.
As Kevin stated earlier, it is important to think about storage early on in the design process. You have a number of bedroom storage options available to you, but the two key pieces to consider are a wardrobe and a chest of drawers. If your space permits, we would strongly suggest budgeting for both to ensure the room remains a relaxed, clutter-free space. For the wardrobe, consider one with compartments for both hanging and folded items. The English Cabinet Co’s stylish wardrobe is 2045 cm tall with ample hanging and drawer space giving you a versatile piece to suit your entire collection of outfits
For both pieces consider additional features such as soft close drawers. Kevin explained the benefit to us: “Soft close drawers are simply a sign of quality and control. The controlled closing action prevents the drawer from shutting noisily, protecting its mechanisms, making it more durable and making sure you don’t wake your partner up when looking for the perfect outfit for your day. It also has the added benefit of looking good in use.” The English Cabinet Co’s collection of bedroom furniture comes with fully adjustable and lockable runners as standard, to give you a smooth closing finish.
British Made & Sustainably Sourced
Although exported pieces can often be cheaper to buy than British made furniture, it is important for our economy to buy British. Kevin explained further: “It is never more important than it is today to buy British” he said. “Whist we trade and compete in a global market, we should be looking after our local manufacturing businesses. Britain’s manufacturing is also renowned for its quality and durability so you are guaranteed to receive something well-made and long-lasting.”
There are other benefits too, as he goes on to explain: “In doing so, we also benefit from the personable service that local businesses can offer. In fact, the white glove delivery service The English Cabinet Co offers to all customers, and for free on orders over £50, is an example of the added benefit you receive by buying British.”
Along with the importance of British made materials, designers and consumers are also becoming more conscious of the impact that our buying habits can have on the environment. As a result, the industry is making a concentrated move towards using sustainable materials in the manufacturing process.
In Kevin’s words: “As an industry, using sustainable materials must be part of what we do.” He added: “Furniture sourced from natural trees rather than plastic is better for the environment, more durable for the consumer, longer-lasting, multi-purpose and the finish makes a more attractive addition to the home.”
He continues: “The English Cabinet Co is proud to use wood from sustainable forests in our manufacturing process because we care about both the carbon footprint left on our world and our furniture standing the test of time for our customers.”
As a significant investment, it stands to assume that you want your bedroom furniture to be good quality and long lasting. We asked Kevin what you need to look out for to ensure the furniture you buy is a superior standard.
Kevin answered: “Firstly, is it already assembled? At the end of the day, flatpack furniture is flatpack, no matter how well it’s done. Another really easy way to identify quality furniture is to pick it up. You’ll know straight away if the furniture is built to last from the sheer weight and rigidity of it. If it’s light and easy to move it’s probably not very good quality. Our Old Manor Collection of bedroom furniture is heavy and durable which is why we offer a white glove delivery service to all our customers.”
The final thing to think about when choosing the quality and material of your bedroom furniture is the finish. We would suggest choosing natural woods such as solid ash and oak. Kevin shared the benefits of these materials with us: “Natural material and colour brings a warmth and softness to the home that the harsh, sharp edges of manufactured materials can never match.”
Natural wood also acts a great basis for the decor of the room. As a versatile material, it complements a huge variety of interior styles and will journey with you as your decor tastes change and mature. And what about veneer? Often considered cost-effective and lower quality, Kevin said it is actually a misunderstood material: “If we care about the environment then we should care that we use natural materials appropriately.”
Kevin continued: “Where we need more durability, like on the legs or the tops of the pieces, then solid materials are best. However for more decorative areas such as the side of a chest, whilst we want a matching look, we don’t need to over engineer the furniture and use materials unwisely. In these situations veneer - which remember is still wood - is often the best solution.” The English Cabinet Co’s Old Manor Collection of bedroom furniture is made using solid ash, oak and ash veneers making it the perfect, natural furniture for your home.
The Finishing Touches
To bring everything together, you need to end with the finishing touches. Deciding on the overall look and feel of your room is a big decision and there are a few things that are worth taking some time to reflect on when it comes to choosing the look and feel of your bedroom furniture.
For Kevin, style is extremely important. He explained: “When I buy furniture for my home, style is the key characteristic I look out for. Combining simplicity, elegance and good quality, durable materials is what makes furniture stand out for me.” When making a significant investment, as you do with bedroom furniture, it is important to consider how your tastes might change in the future. Choosing classic, stylish and tasteful pieces in a neutral shade should prove to be a wise choice as the years pass by.
If you are looking to bring a specific decor style into your room, make sure the furniture you choose complements it. For example combine dark coloured, muted furniture with saturated accent colours to create a mid-century modern aesthetic, mix exposed wood pieces with clean linens for a relaxing nautical vibe or choose organic materials and a functional furniture style to achieve a relaxed Scandinavian boho chic.
Consider creating a unique aesthetic by introducing contrasting pieces. Kevin explained: “When it comes to contrasting pieces of furniture it really depends on what you’re doing with the rest of the decoration. From a design perspective, however, bringing in some contrast is a great way to create a unique aesthetic.” He continued: “The smaller bedside tables often make great pieces to contrast against the main scheme.”
When choosing your interior colour scheme, consider if you want the furniture to be a canvas on which you build the colour or an integral part of the colour scheme. If you want to create harmony within your bedroom furniture set, The English Cabinet Co’s entire collection is available in 30 sophisticated colours. This saves you the trouble of having to shop around for pieces made by different manufacturers but in matching colours, an almost impossible feat with such a variety of shades available on the market today.
Colour is also a great way to bring contrasting styles to life as Kevin explained: “Rather than bringing the contrast in through furniture style, which can look unappealing if done wrong, think about using colour.” He continued: “The tones used in The English Cabinet Co furniture co-ordinate well together, even when the colour seems markedly different.”
From powerful white bedroom furniture to beautiful brights, the entire The English Cabinet Co. collection is available in 30 sophisticated colours, at no additional cost, that suit a wide variety of bedroom colour schemes. To get a taste of what we have to offer, you can order a free colour sample pack of your six favourite shades.
More About Design Director Kevin Harrison
Kevin has worked for JT Ellis, The English Cabinet Co’s parent company, for 15 years and he now oversees product design for all aspects of the business. Originally from Nottinghamshire, he relocated to Yorkshire for Love 30 years ago. He is fiercely passionate about design and finds joy in the shaping of materials, colour and proportions to create style, value and a great product.
He believes that all these things come together in The English Cabinet Co’s Old Manor Collection and is just about to place an order for his bedroom at home. His colour of choice is charcoal with a natural solid oak top. We hope this bedroom furniture buying guide with our Design Director, Kevin Harrison, has helped you get a clearer idea on what you need to consider before you start redesigning your bedroom. We want to send our thanks to Kevin for answering all our questions and adding his expertise to bring this bedroom furniture buying guide to life.
If you have further questions, or need more advice on designing your interior bedroom space, contact our highly skilled and friendly team who will be more than happy to help.