New Zealand was once the land of the quarter-acre dream – but no more.
Our urban population is soaring and we’re fast getting used to having to share our space with more and more neighbours.
That, and the sky-rocketing cost of housing, mean that more and more Kiwis are living in smaller and smaller spaces – most often in apartments that have been purpose-built or converted from larger townhouses.
To accommodate this new type of lifestyle, New Zealanders are having to embrace some of the tricks to apartment-living which people who grew up in Asia, Europe or America often take for granted – and prime among those tricks is how to make the most of you bedroom.
Simply put, the comfort of your bed is just as important whether you live in a shoebox or a palace – but those with less space to play with must think a bit more carefully about how they style their bedrooms, whether they even have the space for a separate bedroom, and how they can make the most of what’s most likely to be their largest piece of furniture.
What isn’t an option is to sleep on the sofa – so here’s Bedpost’s guide to finding the right bed and mattress for your small space.
Just because you’re working in a small space doesn’t mean you can’t think big. Here are a few ideas to help you make the most of where you sleep.
- First of all, do you have a separate bedroom? If you do, the rule of thumb is to find the biggest bed which can fit into the room (here’s our Bedpost bed-size guide to help) – just make sure you’ve got enough space for storage. If you don’t then your first decision is whether to make a feature of your bed or hide it away somehow.
- Nestling your bed in the corner of your room creates the most amount of space in a room and also means you can either double the bed as seating or find creative ways to divide it off from the rest of the room (think rollerblinds, curtains and floor-to-ceiling plywood walls).
- Alternatively you can make a feature of your bed by placing it in the centre of the room – it can still double as seating if you need and you can go wild when it comes to decorating by using a canopy, or creating a cool double-use for the back of the headboard (think display shelving, cupboards, bookcases, desks and entertainment systems).
- If your bed is in the area where you spend most of your time you might like to think about how you style the whole room – for example, is there a way to create a mezzanine if you have high stud ceilings.
Once you move into a small space, it’s only a matter of time before you become obsessed with storage and finding the most economical ways to keep your clutter to a minimum.
Because your bed is most likely your largest piece of furniture (especially in terms of the floorspace it covers), there are plenty of creative ways to use it to help rather than hinder your storage options.
There are plenty of options for beds which have in-built storage or, alternatively, you could choose a bed base which has space underneath for your own storage solutions – and this is another area where you can get creative (you don’t have to resort to hiding cheap plastic bins under the bed, why not make something accessible for your music collection or create draws for your shoes).
Make sure everything fits
It may seem stupid, but one of the keys to apartment living is finding ways to get you furniture into your flat in the first place.
Modern apartments will likely have wide corridors and large lifts so deliveries can find their way to the front doors easily, but if you’re in a converted villa or townhouse make sure you know the dimensions of what can fit up those old, crooked stairs – or at least work out a way to hoist your bed base and mattress through a large window.
Have you got a touch of that famed Kiwi ingenuity? Well, small spaces are the perfect testing ground for weird and wacky ideas when it comes to beds.
You can always spend the money on a really good mattress to make sure you’re guaranteed a great night’s sleep, and then use your imagination to come up with a cool place to put it.
Why not build a bunk bed with secret compartments for storage, or create a series of cabinets with space for a bed on top; we’ve already mentioned the mezzanine, but why not consider hanging a bed from the ceiling or create a tiny space under a mezzanine level; and some apartments hide the bed in a foldaway cupboard or have them sliding out from under the floor.
Whatever your project, contact Bedpost or chat to us online and we’ll help you find the perfect solution to finding a bed for your apartment.