Here we explore how to best prepare for renovation hiccups, avoid disasters and guarantee your best chance sticking to a budget and timeline.
What are the key things to know about your Front Door so you can create a welcoming and comfortable home?
Consider how you’ll design your front door, and the experience of entering your home, so that it enhances the overall aesthetic of your home, and sets up the type of feeling you want your home to have from the start.
Image Source @Canva
A Welcoming Entry
Many homeowners tell me they want a welcoming home. One that makes people feel comfortable, and embraces all those who visit it with warmth. And your front door plays a big part in helping start that experience for visitors. And you, if you don’t have a garage with an internal entry.
What does the front door tell people about what awaits inside? Front doors come in so many different sizes, detailing and materials, that you can choose one to celebrate the aesthetic style of your home, and give your front elevation a lot of character.
It’s not only the door itself that you can play with. What can you choose for door knockers, and door handles? What happens around the door? On the landing, on the ceiling, on the walls? And in the pathway up to it as well?
Consider how you can invest in something that really celebrates the entry to your home, and brings joy on a daily basis as you welcome people through it.
Far too often, we plonk a door in a wall, and create a small covered entry that simply feels like a pit stop before we let someone inside (or choose not to!)
An architect I worked for very early in my career always reminded me to consider how things felt to touch – not just to look at – and the importance of creating surfaces and choosing materials that we wanted to touch at our ‘tactile height level’. That is – where we walk past, put our hands on, as we move through a space. This can dramatically change the experience of entering your home.
Making the entry process one that flows, and that feels easy and comfortable, with moments of joy and delight, can be such a beautiful way to enhance the experience of arriving at your home.
And when you think about how that relates to what’s going on inside your home, and create some continuity with colours, materials, detailing or design ideas, this can be a very strong way to improve that sense of flow in and beyond your home.
You don’t need a lot of space. It doesn’t have to be big to be welcoming. Use the design of your front door and entry to start telling your story, and highlight elements that create interest and anticipation of what’s inside.
Image Source @Canva
Visibility from the street
When positioning your front entry to your home, consider how visible it will be from the street, so visitors know clearly where to go, to announce their arrival at your home.
This helps with the overall security of your home, because the design tells people how they need to interact with your home’s entry.
You can do this by making the door very visible from the street, through its location, its colour, and the landscaping and building treatment leading up to it.
In a narrow lot, where a side entry may be needed (and the door not directly visible from the street), consider using other elements to highlight where the front door is. A well-landscaped and delineated front entry path. A projecting roof or awning to bring people to that side entry. Changes in colour or materials. Things that draw the eye.
Highlighting where your front entry is, and showing people clearly where to go, also helps privatise anything else that is at the front of your home.
Consider what will happen if they decide to drive in and park on your driveway. How will they get from their car to the front door and maintain the privacy of your home? Give them somewhere clearly demarcated to walk that enables a clear pathway of entry to your front door.
If they’re walking past other parts of your home as they arrive at the front door, consider how you’ll maintain the privacy of those spaces. There are so many designs that have a trio of narrow windows on the front of the house for privacy or interest. Those thin narrow windows (horizontal or vertical) mean internal window furnishings are strange, and views and light for that room are compromised.
Look at the landscaping design, or the distance you keep people away from that space with where pathways are positioned, or the angle at which they can look into the room.
Design tells us how to move, where to walk, what to look at, how to behave, in our everyday lives all the time. We’re not always aware that this is happening, but that doesn’t stop it working! We can do this to help improve our home’s security, privacy and overall feeling as well. And we can do this from the moment someone sees our home from the street.
Image Source @Canva
Our front door security doesn’t only come from the physical locks we put on it. You can create security through design.
Consider the idea of ‘threshold’. The entry door itself is a big threshold moment between the public world of your street and front garden … into the private world of your home’s interior. However, what other thresholds can you create (through design, materials, built elements) between the front door and the street?
Changing levels can be a great threshold. Think of large public buildings. You walk up a large set of stairs to ‘arrive’ – and in doing so, you leave the public domain. Entering the building feels more special and ceremonial. This idea can work on a smaller scale when navigating levels at your home’s entry.
Landscaping can also create thresholds, and material and colour choices do as well.
The visibility of your entry from the street will also improve security, as it makes it difficult for someone to be loitering unnoticed around your front door. When you have a side entry, ensure you still create good physical and visual separation between your ‘front’ yard, and ‘back’ yard at that entry point – so it’s difficult for someone to continue down the side of the home unnoticed.
Also review ‘surveillance’. This is where you’re able to maintain visibility on the door and entry itself – or the impression of visibility. Some do this by adding sidelights to their door (which can create privacy problems for your home’s interior). Some do this by adding a peep hole, or by including intercom cameras. However, perhaps your surveillance comes from an adjacent room, or a living space at the front of the home that has ‘eyes’ on the street, and anyone who enters your site.
You can of course, create mechanical means of security. Good locks. Security screen doors. Alarms. Cameras. However, this can often be at odds with creating a welcoming and comforting feeling that’s so important for our homes. Think about the design and what it can do to create security. Pay attention to the spaces you’re moving about to see how others have used design to do this too.
Image Source @Canva
Providing Ventilation (including a screen door)
With many narrow lots and smaller homes, the front door can be one of the few openings at the front of the home.
In addition, it can also be the end of a hallway, which can act as a fantastic breezeway, if the door can be left open (and secure) to provide natural ventilation. In smaller homes, or on narrow lots, this can make a huge difference to how the home feels and performs overall.
Consider whether you’ll want to leave your door open more regularly when you’re home. You can then include some type of security screen door that stays locked, but means you can leave your front door open and get those breezes into the home.
Security screens can be a way to add another layer of character and aesthetic to your home. From simple, geometric patterns, to custom-made laser-cut screening, you can access some fantastic options as a lovely feature on your home.
The home in this image is the entry of one of the homes my husband and I renovated. The screen door was custom made to suit the shape of the existing entry, and we used to for screening in that space as well. I chose a laser-cut pattern in powder-coated aluminium that highlighted the history of the site as an orchard. This pattern also still gave privacy and security to the door. Someone couldn’t slide their hand through to unlock the door from the outside as a result!
(Many people want to leave their key in the lock inside for convenience, but having a screen door that’s easy for someone to slot their hand through and unlock from the outside will create problems!)
Remember too, that your screen / security door will most likely open outwards. So, when designing your entry landing, accommodate sufficient space for the door swing. That way you won’t knock someone off your entry when you need to open the security door to let them inside!
And if you’d prefer to see your front door from the outside, you can always have it open outwards, and locate your screen door on the inside. It’ll just mean selecting a certain type of door jamb and hinge to enable this.
Image Source @Canva
The moment you arrive HOME
There is a moment I describe to homeowners about their home, and what to aim for in their design. It’s the moment when you feel “I’m home”.
The moment when you walk into your home, put down your things, and your shoulders drop. The moment when you connect with the things you love about your home and site (views, design of space, quality of light, colours, materials). It’s the moment of the exhale when you connect with the feelings of relaxation. It’s the moment when you actually arrive HOME.
This moment may happen at your front door, as soon as you open the door to reveal your home’s interior. It may be a moment you’re willing to share with any visitor that comes to your home, and steps inside.
Or, it may be a more private moment, and something you want to experience and save for only those closest to you who are welcomed into, or live in your home.
Think about what experience you want to create, because opening your door ‘reveals’ your home to anyone on your doorstep instantaneously. Design the experience.
Do you want to privatise your home’s interior, and only allow those who are welcomed inside to see it? If so, look to create a small and privatised entry zone on the inside of your front door.
Be careful of creating dog-legging hallways that are tight and dark though. They’ll kill the feeling of spaciousness in your home. Ensure there’s sufficient natural light in this space so you don’t suffer a contrast adjustment every time you open the front door.
If you are happy to reveal more of your home, then you can align the front door with your main hallway as a circulation axis into and through your home. This can be great for keeping things ordered.
Create sufficient space at the front door that your visitors can step inside, and you can move around them to close the door, and then in front of them to lead them into your home.
If you’re using a void at your entry, lead the eye to somewhere meaningful (a focal light fitting, up a set of stairs, to a high level window). Be careful you don’t create a vertical tunnel at the entry which feels noisy and cavernous to stand in.
Image Source @Canva
Light (Day and night)
Natural light at your entry will make it feel more welcoming, and help with a sense of spaciousness. And if you’re dealing with a narrow site and / or home, then natural light at your front door may be necessary to avoid a dark entry hallway.
Entry doors come in all sorts of designs and configurations now, with glass included in lots of different arrangements – either in the door, or as sidelights.
However, many compromise the privacy and security of their home’s entry by the door that they choose.
A few things to think about if considering glazing in your front door (or in a window or sidelight nearby):>> will privacy be an issue?
>> does the glass need to be transparent (could you choose an obscure glass, or add a an adhesive film for part or all of the glass)?
>> do you need to have the glass at eye level (or could it be above or higher in the door?)
>> can you provide thresholds or gateways before your front door (so not everyone gets up to the door itself unless ‘let in’)
Also consider your night time lighting. Choose lighting at your front door for function and appearance, so you can create a secure and welcoming entry at any time of the day.
There are loads of options for night lighting:
>> downlighting in soffit of roof over entry
>> pendant lighting (careful how the wind impacts it)
>> wall lighting (it doesn’t have to be symmetrical)
>> in low landscape walls
>> in the entry landing itself
Invest in great quality exterior lighting at your front door, to really enhance the look of your home overall. The type of light fixtures you choose will also start to tell the story of your home’s aesthetic, so consider how they integrate with what you’re choosing internally in your home (shape, fixture colour, type of light, etc).
And ensure functionally, it’s really safe and secure to approach your front door of an evening.
If you have some transparency at your front door (due to sidelights or glass panels in the door itself), consider how your interior lights will also light the entry space.
If using sensor lighting, ensure you have a set up that doesn’t get triggered when the wind blows through trees, etc. You’ll drive yourself and your neighbours bonkers.
Image Source @Canva
Your Front Landing
In years gone by, many homes would have a front porch or deck with a collection of chairs and a place to sit and watch the world go by. Chatting to neighbours walking past, and interacting with the street generally, was common-place.
Now, front doors and front landings can be tight spaces which are simply about ‘getting in’ to the home. With little cover and a tiny space to stand whilst you knock at the door. All the space is dedicated to inside the home instead.
Creating a well-designed front landing can do lots of things for your home – even in the most compact of designs. Here are some things to think about …
If your home is south or west to rear, you may want to create a seating area at your home’s entry so you have a spot to sit in the sun that’s different from your rear exterior spaces. This can be great in Winter time, and it can help with the overall feeling you have in your home.
>> Weather and shade
It’s important to provide overhead protection at your front door – not only for visitors to have somewhere dry or shaded to stand whilst they wait for you to open the door, but also for the long-term durability of your door itself.
With all the online shopping happening these days, chances are you’re receiving a fair few deliveries at home. Design a front door and entry that makes it easy for packages to be left in a hidden and fairly secure place when you’re not home.
>> Light and Shade
There’s something known as ‘articulation’ when designing the exterior of homes. Put simply, this is how walls, roofs, and other surfaces, step in and out to create shadow on a facade, and general interest in the appearance of the home. Think modern homes that can appear quite ‘flat’ to the street, vs old Queenslanders with deep verandahs and shadows. Specific articulation can help emphasise the aesthetic you’re chasing, create a more welcoming entry, and may also be required by your local town planning rules.
You can be generous in your design of your front landing, without chewing up a lot of physical space. Design your front landing AS you design your home – don’t leave it as an afterthought you bolt on at the end.
Home design by Amelia Lee | Photo by Jacob Hutson
Double door, pivot or hinge. Timber or something else?
There’s a lot of choice when it comes to the type of door opening you can have for your front door.
A hinge, 820mm door (opening size) is the fairly standard approach. But what if you want something different?
Some homeowners choose a pivot door as an option. They can be a lovely looking front door, with a really luxurious feel. They’re challenging as a front door, though, because it’s difficult to get them well sealed.
Because the pivot hinge is on the top and the bottom of the door, you can’t run a continuous seal around the perimeter edge of the door. So if your door is not well-covered, or you’re hosing outside, you can sometimes find that leaves and water will track under the door where it’s not sealed.
Double doors are another choice many make for a grand entry. And they can be great if your entry space is wide enough to house them, as you can have them both open when moving furniture in and out of the house. (Otherwise, people are often having to move larger furniture in around the back of the house).
However, I’ve seen many choose a double-door setup which is actually quite tight when only one door is open. And you usually open one door when welcoming someone into the home. So, if you’re planning a double-door entry, pick one that’s wide enough when only a single door is open.
Generally consider upgrading your front door to a 920mm door opening. You can make it taller too. Often the front door is a different material and frame to the other openings you’ll have on your front facade, and doesn’t necessarily need to align with the height of them as a result.
If choosing a timber or timber veneer, choose a timber from a sustainable resource. Be ready to regularly maintain it as well. Do your research when selecting a finish for it, so you know what expectations there are to refinish in the future.
Image Source @Canva
When I lived with a friend in Surry Hills, Sydney, during my uni degree, we were in a 2 storey terrace house (in a row of terrace houses).
Every so often, she would change the door colour by giving it a new coat of paint (or two). Sometimes I wasn’t aware this was happening, and would walk straight past our place when coming home at the end of the day LOL!
Door colour has been a place of great experimentation over the past few years. With many homes using monochromatic colour schemes, the door colour is seen as a way to add personality and vibrancy. Plus, it’s a smaller area to paint should you get tired of the colour down the track.
It’s fantastic to see … yellows, pinks, greens, blues. All the colours of the rainbow – and I think it really adds some joy to the front of a home.
A few things to mention about this:
Think about how much of the door you’ll paint in colour. Do you want to bring that colour inside too? Or will you need to figure out how to terminate the colour on a door edge (and potentially paint your architraves and skirtings in a different colour so they don’t need to continue inside too).Check the manufacturer’s warranty of your door. If you’re using a new door, some brands won’t warrant a door that is painted a ‘dark colour’. Check how they define ‘dark’, and ensure you won’t have issues with the door’s performance long term. Test the colour before you commit. Light (both night and daytime) can do strange things to colours, especially strong ones. Paint your tester the same way it’s recommended to paint the door (generally a base primer and 2 coats).Also test whether you want matt, satin or gloss finish to your paint. Painting a front door in gloss and getting a great result takes skill, and may not be a DIY job for you.
It’s great to have fun with colour in your home. Pick a door colour you love, and bring it into your interiors with other choices you make. If you’re worried you’ll get sick of it, highlight it through soft furnishings inside that can be easily replaced.
You’ll create a great feeling of continuity to your home, which improves that sense of ‘flow’ we all love!!
FOR MORE ON FRONT DOORS AND ENTRIES:
Be sure to listen to my podcast episode on designing your Main bedroom and its associated spaces. You can listen here >>> FRONT ENTRIES + FRONT GARDENS
Images are sourced from Canva and my own personal projects. Photography by Canva and Jacob Hutson.
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What are the key things to know about your Main Bedroom design so you can create a great one in your future home?
When it comes to home design, one area of huge importance to homeowners is their Main Bedroom.
And it’s not surprising … because it can be a long-held dream to have a relaxing haven that feels like a sanctuary for the adults in any family home.
So, here are some key tips to help you get it right in the design, planning and arrangement of your Main Bedroom.
Image Source: Canva
Locating the Main Bedroom in your overall floor plan design
There can be different views about where to locate the Main bedroom in the overall floor plan of your home. If you’re building new, you’ll have some flexibility with this, however if you’re renovating, you may need to work with the existing layout of your home.
I see many floor plans where the Main bedroom is at the front entry, and access into the Main bedroom is easily visible from the entry hallway – in fact, sometimes it’s the first thing guests will see when they arrive.
This can be great if you’re wanting to supervise teenagers coming and going (I’ve had homeowners specifically request this in their home design!), however if you’re wanting to maintain privacy to your Main bedroom, consider how the bedroom’s entry door can be pulled off the hallway, or the room located elsewhere in your floor plan.
Locating the Main bedroom on the upper floor of a 2 storey home can mean you struggle with whether to locate it with a view over your rear garden, or to put it at the front of the home, with a view over the street.
There’s a couple of ways to decide.
One is the orientation … as having a south or east facing Main bedroom is lovely for light quality, and avoiding having a hot bedroom to go to sleep in.
Privacy can be another factor, as you may find it difficult to achieve privacy at the rear given the design of your neighbour’s homes. Having the Main at the street-side of your upper floor can be great for natural surveillance of your street and front garden, which can assist with security for your home overall.
Lastly, homeowners with young families can often position their kids’ bedrooms near their Main bedroom to make those night trips for feeding (or for toddlers to find their bedroom) safer and easier.
However, your kids are BIG for a lot more time than they’re little. Consider whether locating the kids a bit further away will be better for your home’s future use, and then create safety for the short term with sensor night lighting and temporary safety gates as needed.
Image Source: Canva
The Overall Size of your Main Bedroom (and what goes in it)
In an effort to create a relaxing haven in their home, homeowners can go overboard in the sizing of the Main Bedroom, and end up with a cavernous space that chews up a lot of floor plan area. Especially once combined with an ensuite and walk-in-robe.
I’ve seen this happen in the most compact of floor plans. The Main Suite has been bigger than the living / dining / kitchen area, and often due to the arrangement and design of the associated walk-in-robe and ensuite spaces.
So, when you start planning the overall size of your Main Bedroom, consider carefully what will go in it.
Will you have a queen bed, or a king? Bed side tables on both sides or some built in storage behind the bed instead? A seating area, or simply a chair in the corner? Perhaps you can do an ottoman at the end of the bed instead of a free-standing chair. A window seat can also be a lovely built-in alternative as well.
It can be nice to have somewhere to sit other than you bed when in your Main Bedroom, but if it’ll just be a dumping ground for your clothes at the end of each day, it may not induce that feeling of relaxation you’re chasing!!
Main Bedrooms do not need to be huge, and it wasn’t that long ago that built-in robes in Mains were the norm. A built-in robe along one wall can be far more functional storage than a pokey, poorly designed, walk-in-robe.
The same goes for your ensuite. It’s lovely to have a space that’s just for the adults in the home, but remember they’re cost-intensive areas in a building budget. You can create luxury and relaxation without it needing to be a big space.
I see many homeowners get really enthusiastic about creating a retreat-style Main Bedroom, inspired by a holiday they had, or something they’ve seen in a magazine or online.
However, the idea and romance of it, can be quite different to the reality in a family home. If you have little ones, you may not actually be spending all that much time in your Main Bedroom (and you may be sharing it with others besides your partner LOL!)
Image Source: Canva
Arrangement of the Main Bedroom and associated spaces (walk-in-robe and ensuite)
When designing your Main Bedroom, picture yourself lying in the bed in that room. Roll your head from side to side. What will you see?
Ideally, you won’t see straight into your walk-in-robe and / or ensuite.
These service spaces associated with your Main Bedroom can make the room feel much more cluttered and less relaxing, when they’re able to be viewed from your pillow.
It also means that when one of you gets up at night to go to the loo, and switches the light on, it will cast light over the person trying to stay asleep in bed.
Consider how you can conceal these service spaces more effectively in your overall Main Bedroom design.
This is especially important if you and your partner have different schedules that involve you getting up at different times, or coming to bed at different times.
I’ve worked with homeowners where one was a keen cyclist or runner, and so was getting up at the crack of dawn to exercise before work. So, the Main Bedroom layout was designed so that the walk-in-robe and ensuite were entered in a more concealed part of the room (and in some layouts, even accessed off the hallway into the Main Bedroom).
This meant that lights could go on without waking the other partner, and the keen cyclist / runner could leave the room without coming back into the bedroom … and even come back and have a shower afterwards, without having to enter the bedroom again.
Your lighting design can also assist with minimising the impact of these service spaces on your Main Bedroom, by including some extra, smaller lights that give sufficient lighting at night for a quick bathroom visit.
Keep the views from your pillow ones that inspire relaxation and rest. Think about your daily routines in your home (because they’ll start and end in your Main Bedroom), and how they differ to the partner you share that room with.
It’ll help with creating a great feeling in your Main Bedroom, and a better night’s sleep as well!
Image Source: Canva
Designing the Main Bedroom to suit you and your needs (parents’ retreat)
In the 25+ years I’ve been working in this industry, I’ve designed LOADS of Main Bedrooms (almost 1,000 by last count). And it’s always really interesting to see how differently people view the use, layout, needs and design of this particular space.
Some see it as a full parents’ retreat. An escape place that will be purely theirs as adults, and one they can ensure is always ‘nice’ and ‘tidy’! It’ll include a space to sit – and even sometimes a full lounge area. These can sometimes be very large, and even take up a whole region of the floor plan design.
For others, it’s purely a place to put their head down at night. It needs to fit a King-size bed because there’s often an extra body or two who comes in at night (!) The windows don’t need to be huge, and they need good blockout blinds to ensure full darkness in the room.
Some homes even design in two Main Bedrooms … because I’ve learned in all the years I’ve been doing this that not all couples share a bed every night, and one doesn’t want to be relegated to a minor bedroom just because they sleep separately.
One thing I’ve really loved seeing is where homeowners weigh up their Main Bedroom and its functionality with other rooms in the home. They know they want a place to escape, but the floor plan might not accommodate a full-sized second living space.
And so they’ve enlarged their Main Bedroom a little to create a lovely adults-only sitting area, that then acts as their second living space. It saves $$$ overall, and it also saves in floor plan area. And it gives them functionally what their family needs to get that ‘space apart’ when required.
Others have created a study space just off the Main, for the one who works-from-home, or even works late at night. It gives them privacy and separation away from the other activities in the home, and is designed so as to not wake the sleeping partner.
So, if you’re designing your Main Bedroom – don’t think there’s just one way to do it. Create a design that suits you and the way you live. It’s always possible to do that, and it still work for other families who might buy your home in the future.
Image Source: Canva
Getting your dimensions and layout right in your Main Bedroom
How to know you’re getting your Main Bedroom layout right? Know your dimensions and test them out at 1:1.
Far too many floor plan designs don’t show furniture laid out in them. It’s the BEST way to test how your design will work in real life, and this especially goes for your Main Bedroom.
Work out at design stage where you’ll locate your bed. Which wall will it go against? Is the wall long enough to fit your bed (including the bedding, which can make the bed a bit wider and longer than a mattress size)? What about the bedside tables? Do you have sufficient room to walk down beside the bed comfortably? And how about bending over to make the bed?
I see lots of floor plans where the wall that the bed sits on is too short for the layout to work well.
This can be especially true where the design locates a walk-in-robe behind the bedhead. The wall length means that bedside tables won’t fit well, and the bed will most likely be pushed quite close to the side wall.
Consider your window locations too – do they interrupt or interfere with furniture locations?
When you’ve measured all the things you want to have in your Main Bedroom, get out a tape measure and test the size in your design at 1:1. You can do this in your current bedroom space. I’ve also seen homeowners use butchers paper to cut out a plan of their furniture at 1:1 and then lay it out somewhere larger (in their back garden, in their living space etc).
It may seem labour-intensive and weird to do this. However, it’s a brilliant way to get certainty before you commit to your design.
And it’ll avoid dramas down the track. Your home is a lot cheaper to change when it’s lines on a page, than when it’s under construction, or a completed building.
Give yourself the best chance to avoid regret and frustration at making the wrong decision!
Image Source: Design by Amelia Lee | Undercover Architect, Photo by Villa Styling
Glass windows and doors in your Main Bedroom
Let’s talk glass windows and doors in your Main Bedroom – because it’s an area of mistakes and regret I regularly hear from homeowners.
If you’re reviewing your design on floor plans (and haven’t been presented or figured out elevations yet), then be sure you understand two things:
The position of windows in the wall (how far off the floor they are, what the height is to the top of them, and how wide they are)The operability of the windows ie how they open (and how far they open too)
This goes for any window in your home design, but I see it happen especially in bedrooms. And particularly in two storey homes where the bedroom is on the upper floor.
If you’re aiming for a window design that gives you great natural ventilation, you may be disappointed to find that the builder has to put restricted openings on the window to meet code.
If natural ventilation is a goal, try to have windows on 2 different walls in the room, so you can promote that cross-breeze.
If you’re putting windows on the same wall as your bedhead, consider doing 2 narrow windows that can line up with your bedside tables. It will give you wall space above the bed to hang artwork or family photos.
If you have an amazing view, it can be better to put your bed at right angles to it – so you look sideways out to the view. I often see people put it in front of their bed, which means they have to be sitting up in bed to enjoy it.
No views, and neighbours close by? Don’t forget windows or skylights that give you a view of the sky can be a beautiful inclusion in your Main Bedroom. You can mimic camping by lying in bed and seeing the night sky
Worried about privacy? You can always consider external screens or internal window furnishings to assist with privacy, and window tinting can be super helpful too (it helps with glare too).
Think about this all at the floor plan stage. Ensure the window design and placement doesn’t limit how you can furnish the room, or where you intend to put the bed. Review your window furnishings during this stage as well, so the window design can cater for the style you are wanting in your Main Bedroom.
Image Source: Design by Amelia Lee | Undercover Architect, Photo by Jacob Hutson
Creating spaciousness in your Main Bedroom: Where you lay your bed
Want to create spaciousness in your Main Bedroom? Then look at how and where you enter the room, and the bed placement.
The most ideal location to enter the Main Bedroom is at the foot of the bed, where your path of circulation from the doorway, into the room, and around the bed, isn’t interrupted by furniture.
In the house we live in, the Main Bedroom is entered on the same wall as where the bed head is. It means that me – who sleeps on the opposite side of the bed – has to walk in the room, circumnavigate the bed, in order to get in.
(Or climb right on over – but that doesn’t always go down well LOL!)
It’s a pain – and it’s not a great way to enter any bedroom. I’ll be changing it when we eventually renovate!!
The same can be said for walking in on the side of the bed, or at the head of the bed. It’ll truncate the room, and make it feel smaller than it is.
In a Main Bedroom, the bed itself is usually the ‘hero’. It’s the money shot in all the images you see. It’s the item in the room that most highly triggers a sense of relaxation and calm, and it’s the thing you invest in, plus add good-looking bed linen to as well.
So, you want to enter the room in a way that shows off the bed first. Entering the room at the foot of the bed will do this, plus prevent you having to weave around any furniture – which dramatically helps the sense of spaciousness in the room too.
The image shown here – this photograph is taken from the room’s entry, and circulation is clear to move through the room to the walk-in-robe and ensuite beyond.
When positioning the bed head, consider what’s on the other side of the wall. Having your bed head up against the ensuite wall, where a toilet flushing or basin tap running in the middle of the night, can be challenging. Consider sound insulation in the wall if this is unavoidable.
There’s also lots of info about designing for Feng Shui and EMF minimisation when it comes to bedhead location. So do some research on those if they interest you.
Image Source: Design by Amelia Lee | Undercover Architect, Photo by Jacob Hutson
Making a grand entrance into your Main Bedroom: Your doors
There’s something I want to talk about.
It’s the double-door entry into the Main Bedroom.
Sometimes this can be two, equally sized, double doors.
Other times it can be one bigger door, with a smaller door – that still both open into the room.
I see it get used in designs – especially by volume / project home builders – as an upgrade to add some sense of luxury to the design.
It doesn’t. Don’t do it.
There’s a few reasons why.
One is because a door swing takes up room as it opens and closes into a room – and when you have two, you’ll reduce the space and functionality inside the room. You won’t be able to furnish near the door, or you’ll have your door banging against something as it opens. And chances are your light switch will end up behind one of the doors.
Another is because it is SO rare that homeowners have both doors open. And to do a double-door opening economically, a single door won’t be the same width as a standard single door. So you’ll end up with a narrower entry into your Main Bedroom.
I often wonder if those who specify this envisage them pushing both doors open at the same time, in some grand gesture, each time they enter. I’m not sure it happens that way in real life.
If you want to upgrade the entry into your Main Bedroom to make it special, here’s a couple of alternatives.
One is to upsize the door to the next standard size door opening. So, for example, using a 920mm door leaf instead of an 820mm door leaf.
Another option is to use a pivot door hinge instead of a standard hinge on this door. It can create a sense of luxury to the door opening.
Want acoustic privacy? Use a solid core door.
Don’t fall for a design gimmick that doesn’t deliver in real life.
Have I changed your mind?
Image Source: Design by Amelia Lee | Undercover Architect, Photo by Villa Styling
Lighting design and power point locations in your Main Bedroom
Have you thought about the lighting design and power point locations for your future Main Bedroom?
Lighting is amazing for creating a mood, as well as serving a function. And with Main Suites containing the sleeping zone, the walk-in-robe and the ensuite, there’s lots of opportunity to consider an effective lighting design for all occasions
Some pointers for you:
If you’re painting your room a dark colour, choose your light switch plates and power points appropriately so they don’t jump out as wall acneLocate light switches so you can turn lights on and off from both the room and from bedConsider lighting levels for the different functions in your Main Suite and use dimmer switches to have ultimate controlRemember light can be about function and about feature – so have fun with enhancing the aesthetic of your Main Bedroom with your lighting selectionDon’t create conflict between downlight beams and fan blade motion, or you’ll end up with a disco strobe every time you turn the lights and fan on simultaneouslyWall lighting and pendant lighting can be gorgeous in a Main Bedroom for a softer, more focussed type of night lightingConsider what you’ll have plugged in on your bedside table, and position the power point to conceal cords and plugs behind furniture.
Those are just a few, but there are loads more tips when it comes to lighting design and power point location. What have you discovered in your research?
FOR MORE ON MAIN BEDROOMS:
Be sure to listen to my podcast episode on designing your Main bedroom and its associated spaces. You can listen here >>> YOUR MAIN BEDROOM
Images are sourced from Canva and my own personal projects. Photography by Canva, Jacob Hutson and Villa Styling.
The post 9 Things to Know About Your Main Bedroom Design appeared first on Undercover Architect.