The reality of any bedroom renovation is that it must combine today’s trends yet still take into account the owner’s needs. For many, the bedroom can become a clinical and hospital like room as we get older and must deal with mobility or other health challenges. Think about how many times you’ve visited the home of an elderly friend or relative and seen a lone hospital bed parked in the middle of the bedroom. Or have seen a night stand piled high with medications, a blood pressure cuff, and a glucose monitor? The fact is that home owners do not have to trade a restful bedroom for a purely utilitarian space as they age. Any space in the home can change with its owners’ needs but still retain its character.
The bedroom is a multipurpose space yet is still dedicated to the one goal of being a restful haven. The sleek design of today’s bedroom along with the many options for customized features translates into a space that will easily transition and adapt with its owner’s lifestyle. It is a personalized and pampering space but can be outfitted with technology like a wall mounted television or wireless speakers. The predominant colors are still neutrals but a popular alternative is soft lavender and greys. These colors pair well with the floor of choice which is grey oak and blonde woods. The backdrop of the room is designed to be an unobtrusive accompaniment to the other elements of the room including the bed, lighting elements, and storage.
The bed in modern rooms takes center stage and so the trend has been large pieces that have a dramatic headboard that the owner piles high with soft and inviting fabrics. Visually the first impression is a plush and billowy landscape for the owner to dream in. How can this style translate for the aging owner who has mobility issues? An option is to pair a firm mattress beneath the plush linens with guard rails that provide a hand grip. Others must try to balance very deep linens with the need to have a solid surface to push back on for mobility. One solution is to install a Hoyer lift above a hospital bed. Lifts range from those that have unobtrusive hand grips to larger systems that have seats for the occupant. This way, the bed can be outfitted with more plush fabrics without fear of not giving the owner enough support. A hospital bed with new bed linens in a bright white will have more of a modern spa feel rather than a clinical tinge. The visual texture of a fabric can determine its characteristics as a modern neutral rather than a convenient and easily bleached bed linen. A well made bed can be visually inviting which is half the battle of feeling rested in any space.
A spacious bedroom might be the ideal place to install window seats. This is an opportunity to let in more natural light as well as add color using drapery. The window gives the homeowner a good view from the bed and can also accommodate guests that visit for extended periods. Having this type of seating makes spending time together seem more casual instead of sitting in chairs pulled up to the bedside. Window seating also frees up floor space for better mobility and less visual clutter on a day to day basis.
Nightstands are equally important since they are very functional but tend to become clutter magnets with time. The solution? Build IN and UP! The plan is to put the bed in the center of a main wall and then built in a custom, floor to ceiling piece incorporating shelves and pull out storage on either side. The shelves on top will be a nice display area for photos or other personalized items and can house a charging unit for cell phones, a blue tooth speaker, or sound machine next to the bed. The shelves can also be outfitted with accent lights that will give the main space in the bedroom a warm glow (with recessed lights) or a more romantic feel with faerie lights. This might be a fun project for the home owner to have a hand in decorating their space to make it feel less clinical. Depending on the owner, the unit can be painted a neutral color in line with today’s trends or go bold with an accent color!
The next element that sets the mood for the bedroom is lighting. While natural lighting is best in most other rooms, the homeowner might consider recessed lighting which can provide the same glow in addition to bed side sconces. Another option is a statement piece such as a chandelier or pendant lighting. Chandeliers come in many styles so don’t automatically discount this as an option. Modern chandeliers have many incarnations from the traditional grand affair with pendants and crystals to more shabby chic interpretations or those that incorporate natural elements like beach wood or those with Edison style lights. The idea is to make a bright and glowing element that will draw the eyes upwards in a bedroom to make it feel more spacious, not re-create Versailles. No matter what the style, the home owner should install at least once sconce style light by the bedside that can be used as a reading light.
Lastly, the closet is an integral part of the bedroom since most of us do not have the luxury of allocating an additional room for storing clothes and getting dressed. Clothes should be stored out of sight but in a readily accessible way too. Some forethought and planning with a contractor will help you design your perfect closet suited to any lifestyle. A main feature of accessible closets is retractable clothes rods. This makes use of height to hang clothing but can be lowered for those who cannot reach high above their shoulder or are in a wheelchair. Options available include those that use a pull down rod to models that are motorized. Shoes and boots can be stored in open cubbies for easy access and prevents mould from damp soles. Ask your contractor about sliding panels to save space as well as conserve your energy instead of opening up big swinging closet doors. For ladies, an open storage closet (or semi-open) is a good way to store your large hand bags since their shape will not be distorted from being hung on hooks but remember to invest in some muslim drawstring bags to keep your investments dust-free. If the space is available, reserve some space to hang up your outfit for the next day. Oftentimes, seeing your favorite outfit along with a jaunty scarf draped over it will help you look forward to the special occasion. It will also help you see how an outfit look put together before you try it on.
The plan is make the centerpiece of the bed room visually inviting and practical at the same time. Choose some soft fabrics and pillows if possible and let those be your guide. Allocate room for a Hoyer lift or guardrails then get creative with colors and décor. This is the best way to incorporate personal items in such a way as to highlight in a special permanent spot them so that they will be always visible. Please see our chart below to help you decide what your main design concerns are. This will be the basis of your renovation and upgrade plan that you can discuss with your NCAH contractor.
Top Concerns and Design Guide
- Wood Flooring
- Eliminate Throw Rugs
- Widen Doorways
- Install Sliding Panel Doors
Accommodating A Hospital Bed
- Widen Doorways
- Ceiling Transport like Hoyer Lift
- For more info on Hoyer Lifts. Click Here.
- Sconce Style Light
- Built in Bedside Storage
- Color Contrast Between Walls and Floor
- Lighting Control from Central Switch by the Bedside