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Date published: March 03 2014

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Boutique hotels spark demand for beds with the WOW factor says Wayne Clarke

Boutique hotel design has a powerful influence on domestic interiors, especially bedrooms.  The rise of eclectic and vintage styles can be attributed to iconic contract interiors, but equally so can both a super-sleek, minimalist aesthetic and highly decorative furnishings offering palatial levels of grandeur.  

What unites these apparently disparate styles is their emphasis on luxury surfaces and materials, their generous - even oversize - proportions and, above all, a refined and coherent offering which is designed down to the last i-pod dock.  

Luxury, scale, lifestyle:  These are the key elements currently making the biggest impressions on bedroom trends and buying patterns.

One of the most noticeable effects on domestic bedrooms has been in the size of beds.  At the mid/high end of the market, Kingsize has virtually replaced Standard Double as the most popular size, with Emperor and even Super Emperor sizes catching up quickly.  
Significantly bigger beds are a direct reflection of the amount of space which people are now prepared to dedicate to bedrooms, especially in the ‘master suite’ - another key trend from the hotel world now making waves in high end domestic interiors.  Increasingly, a dedicated sleeping area flows seamlessly into a relaxation area (fully equipped with audio-visual entertainment) and then on through into a fitted dressing room and a sumptuously appointed bathroom.  Seeking this glamorous look has also seen more and more customers turning to interiors professionals.

In the sleeping area, people are spending increasing amounts of time and effort to get the perfect night’s sleep, seeing it as an investment in both style and lifestyle. 

The luxury mattress market is booming as they discover increasing wellbeing from a better quality of sleep.  Specialist retailers who understand how to match customers’ requirements to the many different mattress offerings on the market are also driving the trend for people to move up to better quality, more durable products.

The bed itself takes centre stage and whilst customers’ personal tastes vary from super-extravagant to pared-down minimalism, there are certain key trends at work here too.  People want their bed to be really important; a major statement piece with a distinct wow factor.  And they are prepared to pay for products which are custom made, or at the very least personalised with bespoke elements.  

And So To Bed’s ultimate statement bed, the Grand Versailles, is hand encrusted with thousands of Swarovski crystals; made to order, it has become a best seller.  In both beds and bedroom furniture, And So To Bed find their bespoke finishes as much sought after by individuals as by the trade: From high gloss lacquers and colour-matched paints to remarkable new metallic surfaces, specialist finishes create wholly personalised looks…now just as important to the retail customer as to design professionals working on high end projects.

Design notes from chic hotels worldwide have stimulated the revival of upholstery, very often seen as supersize headboards.  Alongside this, there has also been a resurgence in both traditional upholstered beds (eg Louis XV styles) and a move towards contemporary upholstered divan sets.  Again, whatever their personal style, customers want to be able to choose from a wide range of fabrics or supply their own fabrics to achieve an individualised look which they can match across the bedroom and its adjacent areas.

Yet another element of this co-ordinated look sees increasing sales of bedroom furniture which visually support the centrepiece bed.  

Not since the 1960’s (the days of G-Plan and Stag Furniture) has it been so fashionable to see a theme right through from bedside tables and chests to dressing tables, cupboards and smaller occasional pieces. 

The difference between then and now?  Again, taking a lead from the eclectic school of hotel design, it’s become super-cool to mix and match modern and vintage styles in the same space.  Being able to co-ordinate or match finishes across a variety of pieces is an easy way to nail two trends at once; achieving both individuality and that all-important visual coherence.  

Author: Wayne Clarke

Company: And So To Bed

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