8 bedroom renovation mistakes to avoid at all cost

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If you’ve always envisioned a slumber sanctuary for a bedroom, this guide is for you.

Planning a bedroom renovation may seem simple (technically, it probably is less complicated than say, a kitchen renovation), but it is still fraught with potential pitfalls that are best avoided to save you from future headaches or worse, extra costs.

We highlight a few bedroom renovation mistakes you might be making and recommend that you avoid them at all costs.

1. A mattress size that is too big

Too often, we select a mattress size based on comfort. And as alluring as a king sized bed may be, you don’t want to splurge on one if you don’t have enough room in your bedroom. It will make a small bedroom feel even smaller.

PHOTO: Icon Interior Design

Make sure there is enough walkway space around the bed for you to also get in and out of bed comfortably.

You want to set aside at least 60 cm of clearance room and walkway space. Remember to take into account your bed frame and headboard when doing your measurements.

2. A shortage of electrical points

PHOTO: Kuro + Kagi

We cannot emphasise enough the importance of having sufficient electrical points in the bedroom.

You don’t want to be constantly plugging in and out devices, overloading your sockets or having cables running around the bedroom. Consider what activities you do in the bedroom. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Where do you want to charge your phones? Do you want to have them by the bed?
  • Will there be reading lamps that need to be plugged in in the bedroom?
  • Is your dressing area in the bedroom? If so, you might need electrical points for things like the hair straightener or hair dryer.
  • Do you watch TV in the bedroom? Consider getting a TV point.
  • Does your bedroom double as a workspace? If so, how many additional electrical items will you have?
  • Will you be getting a table or standing fan that needs to be plugged in?

3. Harsh, cool instead of soft, warm lighting

Never go for harsh, cool lighting in the bedroom. A bedroom is a restful chamber, so you want lights that feature a soft, warm glow.

Stick with warm colour temperatures for bedroom lighting. That is, bulbs with colour temperatures of 2700K and below. Of course, the eventual output will depend on the light’s casing.

PHOTO: Hock Hoon

Always layer your lighting plan — have a main light, lights for specific tasks like reading or dressing up, and lights for ambience. This allows you to use different lights for different activities and settings.

Indirect lighting is best for bedside lamps unless you are using them for reading. In which case, go for adjustable ones that can be moved around to fit your needs.

PHOTO: Aesthete Interior Design

4. Too much furniture

A bed, a dresser, bedside tables, a study desk and chair, a wardrobe, a coat rack… furniture adds up quickly in a bedroom and since bedroom furniture is usually large, it can make your space feel overcrowded and cluttered.

You don’t want to buy everything at once. Get the largest item in the bedroom first — the bed and wardrobe — and get everything else later. You’ll have a better idea of what you need and whether you have the space for them.

Plus, having your bed and wardrobe’s style in place means it’s easier to shop for the other furniture.

PHOTO: ARK-hitecture

If you have a small bedroom and want a more seamless look, get custom bedroom furniture. It creates less visual clutter and is a great way to maximise storage and functionality in a bedroom.

PHOTO: Charlotte’s Carpentry

5. A rug that is too small

Rugs are popular in the bedroom for adding texture and an extra dose of cosiness.

If you are thinking of getting a rug for your bedroom — you should — then make sure it’s large enough so it surrounds the bottom three sides of the bed. You want a soft underfoot no matter which way you get out of bed.

PHOTO: D’ Initial Concept

For a queen sized bed, the smallest rug to go for is a 5” x 8” rug. For a king sized bed, an 8” x 10” rug will give it enough visual breathing room. You can stop the rug just before your bedside tables rather than have your bedside tables sit atop your rug.

Alternatively, consider having runners running along the two sides of your bed.

6. Not much thought was given to window furnishings

Window furnishings such as curtains, shades or blinds shouldn’t be an afterthought in a bedroom. They impact the functionality of the space, and are not just there to complete the look.

PHOTO: Design Story

Concerned about privacy? E.g. your windows are overlooking a neighbouring block of flats? Invest in window treatments that allow you to have privacy without sacrificing daylight.

Day and night curtains or rainbow/combi blinds are good choices. These will also offer you enough flexibility if you use the bedroom as your home office.

If you work late shifts and need to sleep during the day or you have babies or young children who do daytime naps, you will want to invest in black-out curtains or shades that can completely block out light.

7. You skimped on your mattress

If there’s one thing you are planning to splurge on in your bedroom renovation, it’s the mattress, because ultimately, the bedroom is for sleeping and a good quality sleep goes a long way and has immeasurable health benefits.

PHOTO: Hello Embryo

But latex, memory foam or hybrid?

Latex: For folks who don’t sleep with air-conditioning, latex mattresses are a better option since they offer natural ventilation. Latex mattresses also offer more bounce and can generally last longer.

Memory foam: Memory foam mattresses are great for people who are on the heavier side since they alleviate pressure better. It’s also a better option for those who like having their mattress contour to their body while they sleep.

Hybrid: For the best of both worlds or if you can’t decide, go with hybrid mattresses. They tend to be on the pricey side however.

For an extra luxurious feel, a pillow-top mattress offers an extra layer of comfort.

If you sleep with a partner who has very different preferences in terms of mattress type or mattress firmness, consider getting custom ones that can have two sides of the bed tailored made to each individual’s liking.

8. Not planning for adequate storage

When it comes to planning for bedroom storage, don’t just consider clothes storage and think having a smashing wardrobe means you have enough storage for everything. That’s just one aspect of the things that will be stored in your bedroom. What about the other things?

PHOTO: In-Expat

Think about where you will be storing your sheets, fashion accessories, makeup and skincare lotions, travel things, and “in-between clothes” that aren’t clean enough to go inside the closet but clean enough to wear again.

For those who use the bedroom as a study, you might need storage for documents, files and stationery.

If you don’t want dedicated storage pieces all over the bedroom, getting custom furniture (as mentioned earlier) or multipurpose pieces will be beneficial.

For instance, a closet that that carves out an area as a vanity station or features an exposed hanging pole for “in-between” clothes. Or a nightstand that also works as a desk.

PHOTO: AkiHaus

This article was first published in Renonation.