Whether you are downsizing or moving to a larger home to accommodate a growing family, you'll need to make some decisions about how you use the space in your new home. One of these will be choosing the master bedroom.
First, don't let yourself be constrained by how the previous owners lived in the house. If the master bedroom is at the front of the house, you may prefer to swap to a smaller bedroom overlooking the garden.
You could investigate knocking through an archway to an adjoining room to create a dressing room so that you don't take up bedroom space with wardrobes and other storage. The original master bedroom can then be partitioned off to create two smaller rooms, if needed.
Bear in mind that if you aren't planning a long-term future in the house, it's a good idea to make it easy for future buyers to have the option of reverting to the original layout.
Your first consideration in any bedroom layout is always going to be where to put your bed. While we'd all love a large bedroom with a super king size bed - or even a four-poster bed - in pride of place, you can only work with the space available.
- Do you want your bed to face the door or the window?
- Do you like to be able to walk round both sides of the bed or would it be better to place one side against the wall to free up floor space in a smaller bedroom?
- Do you need regular access to under-bed drawers on both sides?
Storage beds are useful in any size bedroom, whether they come with drawers, sliding doors or, in the case of Ottoman beds, lift up to use the whole under bed space. The ultimate space-saving luxury has to be a leather TV bed, where the television will slide away into the footboard when not in use.
You wouldn't believe what some people keep in their bedrooms, from irons and ironing boards to collections of stuffed toys. Clutter rarely equals calm, so be ruthless and get rid of items that don't belong in the bedroom. Make sure you have plenty of storage to keep your belongings tidied away when not in use.
Some bed ranges will come with matching bedside cabinets: consider whether you need drawers for underwear, make up and jewellery or a drawer/cupboard combination for books, relaxation tapes or other bedside items.
Freestanding furniture has the advantage of being easy to move if you decide to change your room around - and you can take it with you when you move house. If you have limited space, choose tall, narrow wardrobes and drawer sets, to make the most of the height of the room.
Shoes have a habit of piling up at the bottom of the wardrobe so either keep the boxes they come in or invest in stacking shoe racks.
Chair or Ottoman
While an armchair or chaise lounge can add an element of cosy comfort or elegance to the style of your bedroom, make sure it can be tucked out of the way where you won't fall over it if you get up in the night. Also, be careful that chairs and other surfaces don't become a dumping ground for discarded clothes; keep a laundry basket tucked away in a corner or in the bathroom. A footstool with storage or an Ottoman trunk placed at the end of the bed will offer useful storage and also seating when you are dressing.
While you don't want your neighbours looking in on you, natural light is useful in the bedroom, especially for putting on make up. Ideally there will be space for a dressing room table in front of a window and you can always add voile curtains to ensure privacy without blocking out too much light.
While a free-standing mirror can be conveniently moved around, a wall-mounted mirror will save space in a small bedroom, as well as making the room appear bigger through reflection.
Bright lighting might be best for hair or makeup but consider a dimmer switch for softer lighting at night.Using bedside table lamps creates a calm atmosphere and uses far less energy than ceiling lights. For a child's bedroom consider LED lights which emit virtually no heat and are 92% more efficient than a standard bulb!