Archive for the ‘About our blog’ Category

1930s Bedroom Style

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Bedrooms of the 1930s typically displayed no-nonsense classy earthy tones, notable for their geometric designs and simple aesthetics. The prevalence of this style was largely due to both period art influences and to economic factors such as the significant advances in large scale production of household goods such as furniture and appliances. For many though design sensibilities were not a priority as financial upheaval and personal hardship prevailed, and for the majority spartan décor, rather than any specific style might just have been the order of the day.

Within the homes of the middle class sombre colours defined the look of the era with earth tones such as coffee brown and cool creams dominating much of the design aesthetic, with flashes of colour reserved for smaller intricate items and accessories. The typical 1930s bedroom colour scheme made significant use of light and shadow to lend added depth of character. Manufacturing advances meant also that electric home fixtures such as lighting became widely available, with designs that became refined to a point where artificial lighting was readily integrated within the overall room decor. The overall effect though remained dark and moody, albeit with a cosy persona, with bedspreads and upholstery generally matching the restrained décor schemes, although deep rich reds remained a favourite choice for upholstery and fabrics.

Furniture of the era saw a prevalence of hardwoods as well as spring and cotton stuffed upholstery. In a bedroom setting this normally equated to wooden beds constructed from quality hardwoods with matching bedside tables, chests of drawers and vanity units, all in deep rich timbers. Iron bed designs remained popular, perhaps as a legacy from turn of the century popularity, and synthetic materials such as plastic derivatives were becoming more and more commonplace. Specific products such as polystyrene and acrylic resin had just hit the market, meaning that some plastic products that in this day and age would be considered gaudy, would then have been viewed as status items or at the very least have been seen as quality items and accessories.

Art deco influences which had their roots in in Victorian England and 19th century France dictated a significant part of the design culture of the era in spite of economic austerity. The Victorian style, when deconstructed into its simplest aspects, chiefly focuses on a balance of comfort and restrained craftsmanship, whilst by contrast the Art nouveau furniture popularised by the French was highly ornate, often to a level of impracticality, although it showcased a high degree of sculpture-like detailing in woodcarving, such as the popular leaf designs of the style. Art deco by contrast removed many of the frivolous, ornate aspects from both older styles, whilst retaining the clean shapes and comfortable practicality. In part the demand for decorative and artistic furniture was driven by the American middle class in the mid 20s when the Art Nouveau style was formally announced by the French Exposition Internationale. These demanding consumers sought to emulate the more expensive furniture which was the preserve of the wealthy, and whilst the design sensibility originated as a mimicry of other styles, it was eventually to evolve into a widespread and distinctive design aesthetic of its very own.

So it was then, that as much as the furniture and design industries of the American 1930s tried to popularise the image of Art Deco, it was in essence a style ultimately based on convenient mass production. The still evolving mass production techniques of the time meant that highly ornate work remained an extremely expensive proposition, and therefore an aesthetic of stylish simplicity was a matter of cost consideration and sensible business practice. Clean geometric design therefore was to be the order of the day influencing a host of simple, cleanly styled and practical items that defined the typical 1930s bedroom in the Western world that remain relevant today.

Versatile Blue and White Bedroom themes…

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Winchester iron bed

Blue and White room colour schemes are fresh, appealing, and above all, versatile.

With overtones of traditional Shabby Chic or perhaps an appealing seaside feel, blue and white inspired bedrooms are romantic and welcoming, and give free rein to any number of accessory and furniture choice combinations. The combination is particularly well suited to room schemes where a certain time-worn look is desired, with a cosy appeal that is soothing, finding friends with him and her, and both young and old alike.

Use this decor theme for master bedrooms, or perhaps for a guest bedroom, or a youngster’s bedroom with a fresh twist. It’s sure to strike a chord, and might just be the point of inspiration for other blue/white applications throughout the home…

Cottage style bedroom schemes are intrinsically linked to the blue and white colour palette. We’ve touched on Cottage style room decor elsewhere within these pages, but make no apology for flagging up the enormous charm of cottagey style decor which incorporates a room setting with well-loved accents and furniture pieces, with more than just a hint of Shabby Chic.

Choose a subtle vintage white paint colour for the walls and hang paintings and framed prints of gazebos, garden features and fresh outdoor scenes. Incorporate white lace doilies underneath a bedside table lamp, and use crisp white linens to dress a pretty white or ivory, iron beds in a Victorian era inspired, unmistakably traditional design. Include within the room scheme a cosy white wicker chair or chaises longue in a quiet corner, scattered with cushions in contrasting powder blue fabric. Plaids or toile patterns could work equally well here, and consider white eyelet or lace trimmed curtains, for added appeal.

Those same lacey accents, are guaranteed to set the scene for a little romantic getaway, and table fringes, a lace patterned fabric for the metal bed valance, and lace trimmed pillows would all set the scene, whilst a gauzy bed canopy will add height to the room whilst imparting an air of intimacy.

Repaint an old dresser or vanity table in weathered white finish, and bring it to life with some collections of silver topped perfume bottles and a silver hair brush. Soften down the mood with plenty of lace and ribbon- trimmed cushions. Blue and white fabrics featuring floral, paisley or Old English inspired illustrations, all have a part to play here.

For a blue and white room with a rather more seaside inspired flavour, go wild with prints of seascapes, boats and seabirds. The blue/white colour combination harmonises perfectly with ocean themes, so fill ornate glasses with white sand and feature a little seashell collection or pebble feature. Traditional metal bed designs will work equally well within this room theme, and ivory or satin black painted iron beds, or even a simple brass beds will all feel right at home…

Ocean themes with a masculine twist would look fabulous with some old wooden boat paddles, ships wheel or anchor wall feature, with a mantelpiece model wooden ship carving or an old ships compass. Use bold blues with abandon in this style of room and enhance the nautical mood with wooden architectural features, furniture, or an old wooden bedstead, in dark wood tones, for a grounded, time –worn, traditional flavour.

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Beds Iron Beds Brass Beds Mattresses

Cottage hideaways

Thursday, September 16th, 2010
Arigna Iron Bed from The Original Bedstead Company.

Arigna Iron Bed from The Original Bedstead Company.

Looking  to transform your bedroom into a cosy hideaway full of the beauty and grace of an English country cottage?

It need not be difficult with sympathetic use of individual touches, definitive cottage details, and blends of materials and patterns inspired by village gardens and floral influences. Create the perfect backdrop with  luxuriously textured walls or quality Laura Ashley style wallpaper featuring pastel cricket  stripes or floral patterns.

Or, for a really cottage effect, why not try classical cottage wainscot or beaded tongued and grooved wooden panelling finished in off- white or creamy hues?

Run the paneling or wallpaper halfway up the wall and top it off with a small white painted shelf on two or three of the walls on which you can feature garden themed collectibles, vases, plates, monochrome family photographs  and other little collections which please the eye.

The centerpiece and focal point of the room is always going to be the bed, whether that might be a natural wooden beds design or a traditional cast iron beds. With metal beds a simple Victorian inspired style always seems to harmonise well with cottage bedroom themes, and softer colour finishes such as glossy or textured ivory are enduringly popular.

Covered with an eclectic mix of fabrics to include chenille, lace and cotton the effect is particularly informal but suggests gentle enchantment and romance. Mixing plain colours with patterns is particularly effective in this room style and stripes, checks, florals and tartans all have a part to play.

Selecting a colour theme common to all will help to pull it all together and avoid a jumbled look and lightly coloured wall treatments will impart a stand out feel to such colour accents and bedding. For those who prefer a floral or patterned wallpaper, striped and tartan patterns, gingham checks and solid colours will all coordinate if accent colours are drawn in.

It’s even possible to mix floral patterns together with abandon, as long as they are all related in some way by style, but more importantly by colour. A common thread in this regard will impart a degree of discipline to what otherwise might appear to be a mish-mash.

As with all “thrown-together” looks (that are actually anything but!), a little experimentation might be required to achieve the perfect quintessentially Country Cottage look that is easy on the eye and calms the senses…..

Coming next: More “cottage comforts….”

What makes us different ?

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

Our blog has been created with the with the purpose of encouraging discourse, debate and insightful comment.

Like most good internet forums of its kind, it thrives on views and thoughts from a wide range of perspectives to breathe life into what otherwise might be simply a raft of related articles lacking the human element to give it a soul.

The topic of beds, bedding, bedroom furniture and all the associated paraphernalia that we chose to introduce into the most private room in our homes, is a vast, almost unlimited subject with countless links and a most fascinating history that has been chronicled at length.

The intimacy of the bedroom and its purpose as a private sanctuary away from the demands of modern life is surely unquestionable.

Likewise, the mysteries of sleep and our dreams have intrigued mankind across the centuries.

The fables and stories that centre on the bedroom have also spanned the generations with a familiar and endearing quality and visions of Victorian attic bedrooms and romantic Arabian nights cannot fail to stir the emotions!

And yet, whilst most of us spend upwards of one third of our life in the bedroom we are frequently guilty of neglect in this fast- lane age when fixtures and furnishings and inspirational or soothing decorative nuances receive only passing thought.

As fundamental to our sense of well-being, the bedroom deserves far more than this.

After all, it is often only the one place where key moments of our life occur. As a setting for birth and death, relaxation, taking a nap, lovemaking or perhaps working or simply contemplating, no other room in our homes offers such a complete reflection of the human self.

And as a personal space where we can revive and recharge, the bedroom deserves a degree of reverence for those life- enhancing qualities that we so often take for granted.

If in some small way our blog can encourage thought and dialogue to provoke intrigue then it will remain true to our open-minded philosophy and forward thinking values.

As something of a trendsetter within the industry, our in-house manufacturing policies and groundbreaking designs set us apart.

If this forum achieves the intent of encouraging comment from which to draw future inspiration for product groups and bedtime associated topics, then it will have been a job well done…

At the very beginning of a new decade our resolution is that there might be no constraints on our aspirations, imagination and enthusiasm for what lies ahead…!