torstar file photo


A tall headboard provides a great spot for lounging.


If you’re itching to turn your utilitarian sleeping quarters into a relaxed, multi-purpose place to hang out, the design team applauds you!

We just love the newest trend in bedroom decor, which is all about turning a single-purpose bedroom into a multi-use place to lounge and do what you like to do. Good riddance to the days of the bedroom as just a place to sleep at night!

These days, you can use it as a cosy refuge, a comfy place to lounge, read, compute, write, watch television, play guitar, listen to music, or whatever you fancy. If your bedroom is large enough, create functional zones, such as a reading area complete with chaise longue, blanket and pillows, lamp, bookshelf and side table; or a television viewing area; or a writing corner.

Make it functional. Don’t just put chairs in an empty corner. If you must have your coffee first thing in the morning, think how much you’d enjoy a built-in coffeemaker and a small sink. Are you a news junkie? Consider a media centre, complete with a newspaper and magazine rack, and perhaps a television and wireless laptop for following breaking news.

If you have a smallish bedroom with not enough real estate for functional zones, consider an oversize headboard. Not only will it provide a great-looking focal point, it’s the perfect place to sit back and read, watch television, chat on the Internet, knit, and so on.

To get the style punch of an oversized headboard, you must work with a headboard that rises at least four feet above the top of the mattress. Remember, you’re going for a dramatic look, so an average-sized headboard will just not do the trick. You may find one that suits your needs, but more often, you or an upholsterer will have to make a custom one.

Our favourite is a padded headboard upholstered in textured fabric; it continues to be stylish as well as comfortable. But you can use anything from a damask tablecloth or chenille bedspread to leather, fur, spotted pony or cow skin, pleated or bunched fabric, or practically any upholstery fabric. If you’re reasonably handy, you might consider making one — we’ll tell you how in next week’s column.