Why are beds all the same? Unique, stylish bed ideas for your home

Every home has a bed of some description, yet if we were asked to draw a bed most of us would probably come up with a very similar concept. Which is somewhat ironic given that the choice of beds available to us is vast; from high to low, soft to hard shapes and those that accomodate 1 adult and those that sleep an entire family. 

In this article we explore if it is time to rethink the traditional and what is possible when it comes to bed design?

Breaking the Mould: Shapes and Sizes in Bed Design

When we envisage the standard bed, we likely think of the classic rectangle – a trusty go-to in the world of sleep sanctuaries. Yet, the range of bed choices has evolved, embracing an array of shapes that challenge the standard. From the elegant simplicity of squared frameworks to the embracing curves of circular beds, the diversification in design has broadened to accommodate a variety of aesthetic and practical preferences and spatial constraints.

Furthermore, to consider a bed purely in terms of its function is to do a disservice to its potential as a centrepiece of interior design. Over the last century, the bed has evolved from a piece of furniture with purely a functional purpose, to the design anchor that brings the bedroom together. This gives space for designers to give real purpose to the shape, height, and materials used, from the regal presence of a four-poster bed, its silhouette grand and imposing, or the chic modernity of an oversized headboard, transforming the space with its bold statement. 

These are no longer just pieces of furniture; they are sculptural elements that give definition to a room, bringing character and style that goes beyond their primary purpose.

From Rectangle to Round: Beds that Defy Norms

The quintessential bed is often rectangular, a symbol of traditional sleep havens. Yet, contemporary bedrooms are now adorned with beds that break the mould, such as circular ones, providing novel aesthetics and in the case of the Miami bed from Bolzan, new formulations for pillow talk, with the movable headboard allowing you to face side by side or at opposite ends. Square beds redefine simplicity, turning a corner of minimalism into a statement of style and a grandeur scale to accommodate the width matching the length.

The allure of unconventional bed shapes extends to avant-garde designs like the four-poster bed, which carves out a majestic presence or if kept simple, a clean framework surrounding our place of sleep, for example the Ceylon 4 poster by Bolzan. Round beds, surprising as they may seem, radiate an ultra-modern ethos, offering an unexpected centrepiece that challenges standard convention.

The circular bed was deemed a symbol of luxury and futurism during the late 1960s and early 1970s. As you can see not only the shape was unique but opened the doors for various colours and designs in the bedroom!

Embracing these unconventional forms is not just about creative indulgence; it’s a thoughtful choice for those who view their bedroom as a place where they can express themselves. Whether it's a grand four-poster inviting a dreamy state or a cosy round cocoon fostering intimacy, these novel silhouettes promise to make your home a beacon of originality.

Maximising Space: Square and Corner Beds

The advent of the square bed caters to those who prioritise symmetry and balance, offering a sleek alternative to traditional rectangular mattresses. However, on a practical note, don't expect to be able to buy your bedding in traditional retailers!

Integrating storage solutions, these bed designs elevate the utilitarian appeal, serving not just as a sleep station but also as a space-saving furniture piece, as some contemporary linear solutions create the sense of a square dwelling by the addition of side storage or even storage at either end of the bed. Muller Small Living beautifully mix sleep with space for literature or other sleep accessories. In urban dwellings where floor space is a luxury, square and corner beds are innovatively transformative in pursuit of comfort and style.

Beyond Functionality: Bed Frames with Flair

In the realm of bed frames, artistic expression and architectural innovation combine to create pieces that are as much works of art as they are functional furniture. An exposed bed frame allows the designer to show the quality of the materials whilst expressing the design ethos of the bed.

A great example is in the minimalist purity of Scandinavian design, as the material and structural variety offers infinite possibilities for personalisation all the while keeping striking simplicity in the design.

In contrast, the allure of an oversized headboard transcends mere fashion; it becomes a centrepiece that bestows your bedroom with a distinct sense of grandeur and sophisticated character that is timelessly appealing. 

A popular choice is to recreate a hotel level of luxury, with the oversized headboard of a bed like the Clay bed, which features a beautiful headboard making a real design statement and feeling of luxury.

Oversized headboards in their own right represent a design statement purely due to their size relative to the scale of other items. Additionally, they offer another canvas from which to tell a story, the below image illustrates how, via the choice of different detailing, you can give the sense of a classic or more modern design aesthetic.

Sleek and Modern Framed Beds

When envisioning the apex of contemporary bedroom design, framed beds stand as the epitome of stylish modernity. Their crisp lines and uncluttered aesthetic offer a tranquil sanctuary where form marries function.

Characterised by their robust construction, framed beds can display a variety of materials - from lustrous metals like on the Bend-e bed, to warm woods as seen on the Jack-e bed, each contributing a different vibe to the bedroom atmosphere but both exuding simplicity and a sense of space. The juxtaposition of a sleek frame against soft bedding creates a haven of relaxation that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

Moreover, these beds can play a pivotal role in defining the bedroom's ambiance. With options for low-profile frames that ground the room, or elevated platforms that afford a more airy and open feel, there is great versatility within this design choice. These framing choices influence not only the bed's functionality but also its visual weight and impact within the space. 

Use of materials here can allow the marriage of materials or instead offsetting a metal frame with wooden accessories can help add striking lines along with the warmth that wood offers. Another less common but nicely disruptive trend in this category, frequented by fabric finishes, is the use of techniques and materials seen in other industries, for example the rope detail in the Sailor headboard is not something you see everywhere and offers a stunning and striking detail. 

Sailor bed by Bolzan with rope detail

Finally, one must consider the transformative potential of a framed bed in contemporary decor settings. Be it a minimalist framework that embraces the 'less is more' philosophy, or a statement-making bed with a sophisticated oversized headboard - framed beds can redefine a space. They challenge conventional notions of bedroom design, presenting new ways for your restful retreat to also serve as a testament to modern elegance and refined taste.

Regal Charm: Embracing Four-Posters

The allure of the four-poster bed lies in its stately grace, a nod to the grandeur of bygone eras yet remarkably fitting for modern living. The needs have changed significantly since their inception, originally the frame offered the ability to hang curtains to alleviate drafts in what were typically draftier residences, as well as provide privacy in the chamber where servants would often also reside. These days if you are fortunate to have help at home they are likely to have their own residence, the drapes are often lost but the structure is still there, helping to frame the bed and bring a real focus to the sleeping space.

In modern living, we see often see that a four-poster bed can serve as the centrepiece in a room adorned with contemporary Scandinavian furniture. The juxtaposition of clean lines against the intricate framework of the bed can create an intriguing visual dialogue. And with designs ranging from the ornate to the understated, there’s a four-poster to suit every preference and elevate the sophistication of any bedroom. A natural oak is cosy in its softness but a stained darker oak as seen here on the Ceylon 4 poster by Bolzan, can also look striking set against a white canvas.

Importantly, the versatility of a four-poster bed extends beyond its aesthetic appeal. The structured canopy offers practical benefits, providing a sense of seclusion and tranquillity that can enhance the sleep experience. Whether draped with sumptuous fabrics like in a Mediterranean retreat or left bare, the canopy frames a personal haven for serene repose.

A Statement in Comfort: Headboards and More

There is probably one element of any bed that can dramtically change the aesthetic more than any other element, the headboard. it really can take centre stage, transcending mere function. These commanding features are not just supports for weary heads at night; they are canvasses showcasing textures, materials, and craftsmanship. An oversized headboard can act as a commanding centrepiece, further accentuating the bed's presence and enhancing the bedroom's overall ambience.

In the realm of luxury sleeping solutions, a headboard might be likened to a "sleepscape artist". It has the capacity to set the tone for the entire room, be it regal, avant-garde, or subtly elegant. With the right material and design, a bed headboard can transform the sleep space into a veritable sanctuary, mimicking the comforting embrace of design that evolves beyond the standard utility of conventional headrests. 

This example here on the Kate bed by Bolzan even has an adjustable headboard to support sitting upright in bed whether you're watching tele or finishing a good book.

The Practicality of Bookshelf Headboards and Sides

Functionality meets design with bookshelf headboards.

In contemporary interior design, multi-functional furniture is increasingly sought-after. Bookshelf headboards epitomize this trend, blending practicality with aesthetic appeal. These headboards serve as both a storage solution and a design statement, enabling homeowners to utilize the vertical space above their beds. Notably, this type of headboard can dramatically enhance the functionality of smaller bedrooms.

Maximise space without compromising on style.

Modern bookshelf headboards come in a variety of designs and finishes - oak wood for a warm, classic look; lacquered white for a clean, minimalist aesthetic or ply as another modern twist blending soft tones with a simple finish. 

The Underrated Appeal of Divans and Storage Beds

Looping back to that picture of a bed that we would all imagine if prompted, the divan is the epitome of a night's sleep. Divans exemplify a fusion of elegance and utility, offering a streamlined form factor that conceals ample storage beneath. This type of bed can sometimes negate the need for additional furniture, like bulky chests, by ingeniously incorporating drawers or an accessible void space. A divan bed truly shines in limited quarters, providing a stately yet unobtrusive solution to declutter and organise your sanctuary.

Capri bed by Bolzan
Gaya storage bed by Bolzan
Metropolitan Bed by Bolzan
Corolle Bed by Bolzan

When it comes to beds, size as well as style matters

By now we've establshed that in fact there are a multitude of different types of beds out there, often their inception and design was influenced by historical factors, however their modern twist has not been restricted by this. There is also one other element, sometimes subtle but also often overlooked and that is the size. Not only have beds, like cars, typically grown over time, originally the popular choice was single or double and today it's king size beds for those who are sharing at a minimum, but also the standardised sizes are varied. 

What many didn't or still don't realise, is that standard sizes are different by country, and this isnt just for the mattress but also the linen that goes with it! I remember in the UK it wasnt until IKEA came to our shores that we realised there was a whole world of metric sizes for bed linen. Which, as we were stuck in an imperial system, meant that many a person when making their beds with old sheets on a new bed were desperately trying to stretch items to fit!

This nuance is true also between other European countries as well as visitors from the US who realise their system is different yet again!

So if you're in the market for a new bed, whether it be Super King, King, Queen, Double or Single, consider whether your existing mattress (and linen) will fit snugly!

Beds, if you can dream it, it is probably possible

Now, hopefully we've established that there is no standard bed, whether it be by design, size or material, in fact we'd say if there is something you have in mind then it is probably out there and can be produced.

Here at Milola we offer the ability to customise most of our beds, taking existing beds and making them wider and longer, or enlargening the headboard or recently making it smaller to adapt to the dynamics of a room. So if you have an idea of your dream bed then please get in touch and we can discuss how we can create the bed of your dreams.

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