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Sweet Little Bedroom Love


Workers cottages of yesteryear, for all their charm, fall very short of modern families daily storage needs. These sweet little bedrooms are easily crushed under the clutter of flat pack furniture or modern sliding wardrobe monstrosities. Otherwise there might be a vintage armoire, which certainly looks the part but doesn’t do the job.

Squeezing the clothing, sporting goods and often travel gear of two professionals into 3.6 x 3.6m while retaining the architectural character and proportions is spatially and aesthetically challenging. Here’s how we did it for a beautiful family of three in Leichhardt.

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It’s essential to balance the need for storage with the scale of the room. Back in her day, this little cottage would have been furnished with dainty free standing armoires and bedside tables and a modest double bed.

Today, everyone wants a queen size bed, or a king as well as generous wardrobe space. In a room of 3.6 x 3.6m there’s only a metre either side of the bed remaining. Add a door and window and there’s little floor space left for walking around the bed, let alone a wall to wall wardrobe.

Solution-bring it all together in one cohesive unit that’s sensitively scaled to the room.

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Amy and John have a love of books and wanted their home to feel personal. They wanted to fit as much clothing storage as they could in their bedroom without ruining its charm. Previously a sliding mirror wardrobe towered all the way along the wall which meant the bed was squashed up to the wall facing out the doorway. The room felt so lopsided it was almost like a sinking ship.

After assessing their clothing we found that we could split their clothing into items that needed to be in the wardrobes and items we could fit into other furniture so that we didn’t need to dedicate the entire wall to wall for a massive wardrobe. Instead, we used that space to centre the bed into a recess so that they now have a gorgeous view out the window, and the room feels beautifully balanced.

Integrating the bed into the built in furniture unites the storage and bed in this small master bedroom. Pigeon pair wardrobes respectfully sit well below the ceiling retaining the room’s proportions and plasterwork. Recess panel hinged doors reflect the heritage of the cottage.

Recessing the bed created floor space opposite to build a credenza under the window for the remaining storage. While the cabinet and shelving behind project the bed forward, eliminating the claustrophobic potential of being between the wardrobes. The shelves are personalised with memorabilia from grandparents and other treasures with lighting on moveable arms to add atmosphere and reading light. To make the most of every bit of storage, there’s a cabinet behind the bedhead where John’s comic collection rests.

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Inside the wardrobes 2.5 metres of lineal hanging space is sufficient for this no fuss couple, leaving the remainder of storage opportunities allocated to shelving-all at eye height so the couple never need to bend. A full length mirror is a handy, compact addition to the interior.

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Belts are managed on the back of the door, the more we can allocate at eye level the easier it is to find and put things away, so it stays neat.

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Opposite the bed the credenza grounds the beautiful window and provides invaluable storage for shoes, underwear and a laundry hamper to eliminate all daily clutter. At 500mm deep, this leaves a comfortable 600mm walkway between the bed and the credenza.

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Shoes stored vertically are easy to access and solve the age old problem of not being able to find one behind the other at the bottom of a cabinet. It also makes full use of the depth of the cabinet because you can fit multiple rows.

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Tilting laundry hamper by Hafele eliminate clutter in the bedroom. The fabric bags are lightweight, soft on your clothes, shins and walls as they are transported to the laundry, definitely a great option.

Tilting laundry hamper

Sally Hart bedside lamps

Tip: Comfortable height for reading lamps in bed is when the bottom of lampshade is in line with your chin so you have illumination without glare. So sit on your bed. Measure from the floor to your chin. Then measure your lampshade and position it so the bottom of the lampshade is the same height as your chin.

It’s really about getting the balance right. First and foremost, a bedroom needs to be a lovely place of rest and relaxation. The main features of the room, in this case, the window need to be highlighted. Storage is secondary and needs to be sensitive to the architecture, shaped to the room so the scale and character is retained.

Before Shots

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Sally Hart

Sally Hart is Sydney’s leading wardrobe and storage designer. Sally’s achievements have been recognised repeatedly over the years and most recently through being awarded the highly esteemed Best of Houzz Award 2015 for service. http://cleverclosetcompany.com.au/

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