Monthly Archives: August 2019

  • What is a Sleigh Bed?

    Choosing a new bed? Whether you’re furnishing a new house or replacing your old bed, it’s a big decision to make. It’s very important to get it right, to strike the right balance between comfort and practicality as well as style and of course, budget.

    A popular choice is the sleigh bed, a type of bed that has been around for hundreds of years in a variety of different forms. The sleigh bed is named because of its distinctive headboard, which is curved or rolled, often along with the foot of the bed. This and its usually sturdy, solid construction makes it look uncannily like a sleigh or a sled.

    Sleigh beds were around as far back as 200 years ago, but the style is believed to have roots even further back - from ancient Greek and Roman times. The look we recognise today comes from the American Empire style, a trend from the 19th century. It is a French-inspired neoclassical look, most popular in the U.S. in the 1820s but popular enough as a style to still be in fashion today.

    Why are sleigh beds so popular?

    This style of bed offers many benefits. You can find many affordable options, ranging from French reproduction sleigh beds all the way through to minimalist, modern styles. The sleigh bed often has attractive curves, and is a solid, durable presence in the bedroom. They often come in wood, but you can also find upholstered sleigh beds. Another possible reason why so many people love sleigh beds is the slightly enclosed or cocooned experience of sleeping in one. Sleigh beds have the appearance of curving at the head and foot, with height at both ends, so they can make sleepers feel safe and protected.

    dark wood sleigh bed with blue bedding in a room with wood floor and large glass windows. Luxurious master bedroom with vaulted ceiling, floor to ceiling glass windows, window seat lined with red seat cushions and contemporary wooden sleigh bed

    Choosing your dream sleigh bed

    These days, sleigh beds come in all kinds of styles, sizes, finishes, fabrics and shapes. You really will be spoilt for choice. Here are just a few of the most popular options:

     

    • Wooden slats. Sleigh beds can be heavy and solid looking, making them quite dominant in a room. To soften the look, you can choose a sleigh bed with wooden slats at the head and footboard. This lets light through and makes the bed appear lighter and more contemporary - while still hinting at the rustic and traditional roots of the style.

     

    • French-style solid wood. This is the classic sleigh bed look, in beautiful polished hardwoods such as mahogany, and with plenty of high quality detail.

     

    • Headboard only. Not all sleigh beds have both a curved headboard and footboard. You’ll find many that still have the distinctive sleigh look, but with just a rolled or curved headboard. This is a modern take on the style, ideal for neat contemporary spaces.

    Can you upholster a sleigh bed?

    Sleigh beds tend to be made from wood, but you can also find beautiful upholstered versions of this classic style. It’s not recommended to try upholstering a wood sleigh bed, as it can be very tricky - and why would you want to hide all of that beautiful detail and the elegant curves of the bed’s outline?

    If you love the upholstered look, why not opt for an upholstered sleigh bed in a crushed velvet look, smart linen or even luxury faux leather? You’ll find sleigh beds in all kinds of designs, styles and fabrics, showing just how versatile this classic look can be.

    How to dress a sleigh bed

    With a sleigh bed, you’ll want to show off its curvy contours rather than hide them under inappropriate bedding. Avoid floor length bedding, as the footboard may get in the way of making the bed properly, opting instead for a duvet cover or quilt that hangs no more than a couple of inches over the sides. Ruffles and fussy details are to be avoided as they compete with the decorative features of the bed - which should be the centrepiece of the room.

    If you have a traditional or classic-style sleigh bed (for example, one in polished wood with plenty of decorative detail), you should choose your bedding to match. This doesn’t necessarily mean complicated or old-fashioned patterns, but nothing too modern. Simple, beautiful white or pale coloured bedding would be perfect, creating an elegant and classic look.

    Do you need a boxspring with a sleigh bed?

    A box spring or divan, usually used to support the mattress and act as a brace, is not usually needed with a sleigh bed. Most types of sleigh bed have enough of a frame and base to support the mattress, and they are already the correct height to make getting in and out of bed nice and easy. You should be able to use a standard mattress with your sleigh bed, just make sure before you buy that it’s the perfect size to fit your bed snugly.

    Fern xx

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  •  Should you put a rug under a dining room table

    Rugs in dining rooms tend to divide opinion. Some people swear by a rug under their dining table, offering practical benefits as well as aesthetic, whereas other homeowners think it’s a real no-no. But which is the right option for your home?

    Rugs under dining tables - the pros and cons

    There are two main things to consider when deciding whether or not a dining room rug is the right choice for you - practicality and aesthetics.

    On the practical side, a rug under your dining table can easily become dirty or stained, particularly if you have children. You can overcome this issue by choosing a rug in a dark colour, or one with a pattern which distracts the eye. Clean and vacuum regularly and you can keep the rug in good condition.

    Some people find that a rug under the dining table makes it difficult to move their chairs in and out - when sitting down and getting up from the table. Whether this will affect you very much depends on the rug you choose, but there is another side to consider. If you’re not a fan of the scraping noise that metal or wood dining chairs can make on wood or tile floors, a rug is the ideal solution.

    It can also be very pleasant to have a thick or fluffy rug under your feet while you eat. This can make the dining table more usable for a wider range of activities, from lazy Sunday breakfasts to doing homework after school, dinner parties to board game evenings.

    On the aesthetic side of things, a rug can add a huge amount of visual appeal to a room. It can create a frame or a border for the dining table, making a focal point within the room and a real feature of the dining room. Rugs are so important in large or open plan spaces, as they help to ‘zone off’ different areas (such as the dining area). You can use a large area rug, along with smart lighting choices, to create a space within a space. If you have a large room and you’re worried about it feeling cavernous or confused, a beautiful area rug can work wonders.

    large wooden table with two statement lights above it and a black rug underneath it.

     

    How to choose a dining room rug

    If you’re ready to take the plunge and pick out a beautiful new rug for your dining table, bear the following in mind:

    • Go larger than you think you need. When it comes to area rugs, bigger is usually better. A rug that exactly fits or is only just larger than an area rug can look a little odd, as the proportions will be out of balance. However, a generous rug that extends quite a way from the table looks luxurious and creates a dedicated dining space. It’s also practical, as it gives extra space for dining chairs to be pulled out (without the legs bumping onto the hard floor).

     

    • Durability is key. The rug under your dining table will have to put up with a lot of use, so it needs to be up to the job. Chair legs will be constantly scraped back and forward, and the table legs themselves may start to leave dents in the floor - many fragile or very expensive rugs may not be able to withstand this kind of use. You might want to look at rugs that have been specially made for patios or outdoor areas, or at least ones that aren’t too delicate or at risk from fraying or damage.

     

    • Choose a camouflaging pattern. You don’t want to be terrified of spills and stains on your pristine cream rug every time friends or family come over, so it’s best to choose a dark coloured patterned rug. This will camouflage any stains and spills nicely.

     

    How to measure a rug for a dining room table

    If you have your heart set on an area rug, it’s time to start measuring. It’s always a good idea to measure up before buying a rug, just so you can double-check that it fits properly and the finished look is what you imagined. As above, be generous with the amount of space you leave around your dining table. If you haven’t yet bought either dining table or rug, you could find that it helps to measure the room first, and then factor in the size of rug and table you have in mind.

    If you’re having trouble picturing what your new rug will look like, why not mark it out on the floor? Use something temporary like chalk or tape, and mark the outlines of your rug with the dining table in the middle. You can move and adjust as you like, noting down measurements for a custom rug or double-checking that a rug you like will be perfect for the space.

    Fern xx

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