i+D - July/August 2018 - 52

Living by

Designer Evelyn Eshun
focuses on how the color
palettes, textures, and
materials she chooses
will affect the emotions
and psyche of the sleeper.
(Image: Arnal Photography)

the Mind & Soul
Just ask Brian Gluckstein, principal of Gluckstein Design Planning
based in Toronto. His approach treats the bedroom as a personal
retreat and looks to myriad elements to help inform his design.
"I like monochromatic schemes in the bedroom because
it creates a more peaceful environment. There isn't a lot of
contrast or pattern to distract. With a monochromatic palette,
I'll rely on texture more than pattern to create visual interest,"
he says. Think natural materials, such as cotton, linen, and wool.
Even more specifically, he likes to use wall coverings, fabrics,
and carpets with low VOCs. "I also use a lot of upholstery and
drapery to absorb sound from the outside world, especially in
urban environments. Oversize headboards, upholstered walls
behind the bed, sun blinds to filter the light, and drapery for
blackout and sound absorption all work well when creating
a restful space," explains Gluckstein.
Evelyn Eshun of Evelyn Eshun Design Inc. in Concord, Ontario,
Canada, also tends toward soothing and serene when homing in
on the feeling she wants to create through her clients' bedroom
designs. In fact, she keeps luxury hotel suites front of mind
when it comes to execution and defining the space, paying close
attention to how the color palettes, textures, and materials she
chooses will affect the emotions and psyche of the sleeper. But,
her calming strategy shifts when dreaming up a visual bedtime
story for adolescents, who call for more youthful, energetic
environments that engage the mind and reflect the personal
expression of inhabitants. "We recently completed a space for
a teenage girl who was fortunate enough to have parents who
realized that if they invested in creating a room that expressed
her personality, it would give her the opportunity to feel home
pride," Eshun recalls. "We chatted with her to understand how
she wanted to use the room and, with that information, we
selected materials and created storage systems for her particular
needs. Built-in nightstands with hardware made of various
precious stones provide storage for clothes so that they are not
strewn about, and the upholstered headboard not only looks
great, but it also functions to absorb sound," making the room
quiet and calm after all. And, in the spirit of efficiency and dual
functions, the desk area doubles as a makeup vanity, offering
shelving for storage as well as a mirror.

Holly George of Holly George Interior Design, LLC, in New Jersey, also changes
her approach to bedroom design when different ages and abilities are in play,
especially when it comes to the height and reach of furniture and objects.
"For a toddler, everything is sized closer to the ground, with the exception of
the things they shouldn't be able to reach," she says. "Teenagers appreciate the
extremes, so I like to use low places for lounging with friends and high places
to 'escape' to, such as beds they can climb up to. Pre-teens put a lot of energy
into shedding their child identity and just want their room to look like their version
of 'cool.' Creating a space for them to hang posters and maybe even write on
the wall is easy and inexpensive with magnetic paint and chalkboard paint, which
can be painted over when they've moved on. Busy adults appreciate the type of
space that allows them to be present-a place that can function without a lot
of fuss, a place to reset for the next day." (Gluckstein, too, shares this philosophy
and therefore discourages incorporating desks into adults' bedrooms lest they turn
into workspaces.) And, for the aging client, keeping things within reach, seating
that is high enough to get out of easily on their own, and a bed that adjusts are
all considerations George takes into account, while, of course, including familiar
objects, her client's favorite piece of furniture, and family photos-all of which
elicit sentimentality.

Individual Demands
But, what about when designers must consider different physical and mental
ability levels-ones that might not even have surfaced yet? Suddenly, planning
for a client's needs and potential needs becomes an even more challenging
challenge. From choosing first-floor master suites that avoid stairs, to wider
doors and closets that allow for wheelchair or walker access, to motiondetected lighting upon entry to the room, and even down to accessible outlets
placed where they can be used for medical equipment or for a bed with
mechanical features: Designers must strike a delicate balance between style
and functionality. "I firmly believe that a room that functions for the elderly and
disabled does not need to look like it was copied from the rehab facility,"
George stresses.


i+D - July/August 2018


i+D - July/August 2018

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