Functional Furnishings

We spend a lot of time in the bedroom, but it’s often one of the last rooms we decorate. Whether it’s trying to find the right rug or deciding what to put on the wall or the great debate of fan vs. chandelier, decorating your bedroom can be a big task. So we invited HGTV Design Star Runner Up and “Fan Favorite,” Britany Simon, into our studio to help us pull together all the elements that make a bedroom beautiful, from floor to ceiling.

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Build a Seating Area

Your bedroom should be a restful retreat, an indulgent place to relax at the end of a hectic day. Embrace it and make your bedroom more than just a place to sleep, Britany says. Create a comfortable seating area in your bedroom that gives you a private spot to catch up on reading, watch TV or enjoy an intimate conversation with your loved ones. “Or, if you’re like me, you have a convenient place to throw your clothes!” confesses Britany.

Take a look around your bedroom and find a suitable space to fit a seating area. Start with objects of interest, such as a window or fireplace or choose an empty corner. However, if you lack the square footage, the end of the bed is a natural place for seating. Depending on your space, consider a storage bench (“it’s perfect for keeping your throw pillows,” suggests Britany), low-back settee, chaise or slipper chair.

For our bedroom, Britany designed a seating area for two, complete with a pair of upholstered chairs, an accent table to set a book or drink on and a bold, graphic rug that anchors the space beautifully. “The bed is for sleeping. Make the seating area your special place to relax and unwind at the end of the day. You deserve it,” Britany says.

Choose a Pair of Side Tables

Aside from your bed, a side table is the most functional piece of furniture in the room. Unless you’re really short on space, it’s preferable to have two side tables flanking each side of the bed for both balance and function. What style you choose, however, is entirely up to you, says Britany.

“It’s a good idea to have at least one side table with a drawer,” she explains. “It’s perfect for hiding your bedside musts that aren’t necessarily for display.”

While you’re on the prowl for the perfect bedside tables, there’s just one other thing to consider, and that’s height. “Don’t go for anything that’s more than a few inches over the top of your mattress or it will be too high,” warns Britany. And don’t worry if your side tables aren’t exactly the same height, she adds.

The most important goal for Britany was to find a pair of side tables for our bedroom that were multifunctional for the space—and a little fun, too. On one side, she settled on a slim, elegant desk with cabriole legs that serves as a side table, work station and vanity.

“This is a small-space choice that’s so versatile and works beautifully. Store your bedside reading, pay bills and apply your makeup all in one place,” Britany advises.

On the opposite side of the bed, the designer went for an unexpected look: a bar cart. Since the desk offers so much storage, she wanted to choose something that’s airy and open. “I love this piece,” Britany says. “It’s not big or bulky. It just doesn’t take up as much visual space. And if you need extra storage, you can always add a basket on the shelf below.”

An added bonus is the cart’s castered design, so you can move it about the room. Use it as a temporary TV stand and roll it to your seating area, suggests Britany. Plus, the antique gold finish complements the bed’s nail head trim and multiplies the glam factor.

Make Unexpected Choices

Britany’s last piece of advice for functional bedroom furniture? Avoid the matchy-matchy look at all costs!

“Think outside the box,” she urges. “Choose non-traditional pieces that aren’t part of a matching bedroom suite.

The bar cart and desk are both great examples of Britany’s design philosophy. Both are completely different styles that function differently—and they don’t even share the same finish. Choosing pieces independent of each other gives you so much more freedom to choose the unique finds that you really love, says Britany.

“Always go for the unexpected.”

Do you love this bedroom as much as we do? Do you have your own bedroom decorating tips? Share your feedback in the comments below.

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