Choosing Your Perfect Bed
"Is it really important to have a bed frame in terms of style? What about just a metal frame with a bed skirt? What's good in a smaller bedroom to save space?"
Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams Answer
To us, it's definitely important -- in terms of style, and of comfort, too. For our sense of style, nothing warms up a bedroom like a fabric- or leather-upholstered bed. It gives a room a finished look and more.
In a room usually dominated by wood, an upholstered bed helps add softness. And not only visually -- it's hard to beat the comfort of leaning against it while watching TV or reading.
It can also add color...though you may prefer to go more neutral and have your bed linens or decorative pillows provide pop. This ensures the room will be easy to update.
Getting a finished look doesn't require a full bed frame. An upholstered headboard with a bed skirt is an affordable option with similar benefits.
For an even cleaner look, try an upholstered headboard with upholstered rails at the sides and foot (also called "floating rails"). A foot rail feels lighter and less obtrusive than a footboard and thus is good in smaller rooms where it seems to take up less space.
Another clean modern option: a platform bed. Platforms often have only a mattress on a wood surface or slats instead of a box spring. However, for comfort's sake, we much prefer our platform beds with box springs built into their upholstered bases.
Things To Consider
Headboard height: A low one can work well under windows or be right for hanging artwork above. And you still get the comfort without overwhelming a small bedroom. Even in a small room, though, you may prefer to go the other way. A tall headboard makes a bed feel grand and gives a room a dramatic focal point. If space is tight, you can use a small pedestal side table as a nightstand and mount lights on the wall.
Bed shape and style: A simple square Parsons frame is classic and can work with almost any décor. To add pizzazz, choose a "grid-tufted" one (without buttons, so it still feels modern). We also love the sheltering feel of a traditional wing-back, perhaps outlined in nailheads. And we enjoy the curving "garden-gate" types (like the one recently featured in the movie The Kids Are All Right) for the romance they lend a room.
If you like a footboard, be sure it isn't so high that it blocks the screen if you watch TV in bed. Actually, rather than a footboard, we often recommend an end-of-bed bench. It completes the look, adds additional color or texture, and gives you a place to sit when dressing or set pillows at bedtime.
Care is no different from other upholstery. Use hand vac attachments to vacuum regularly. A lint brush can help with quick touchups. A professional upholstery cleaning service can be brought in when time for a thorough cleaning of your other upholstery.
From an easy-care viewpoint, with the added benefit of great style and flexibility, don't forget this choice: a slipcovered headboard in a machine-washable fabric.
And one last benefit we've really come to appreciate about an upholstered bed: It doesn't hurt your legs if you bang up against it getting in and out.