Entertainment Armoires in the Bedroom

February 17, 2015

tommy-bahama-kingstown-trafalgar-armoire-2

Growing up, my bedroom only ever had one function: sleeping. Living in a two story house with a basement and an addition meant we had plenty of rooms for each specialized need. Aside from our large shared bedroom, my brothers and I had a separate room, the “play room” or “game room” as we called it, for our toys, TVs, computers, video games, etc. We slept in the bedroom, and spent our time playing games and watching TV in the “play room.” But after moving out and transitioning from that large house to much less spacious apartments, the luxury of specialized rooms is compromised.

For my fiancee and I, our kitchen is also our dining room, our living room is also our home office, and our bedroom is also our “game room.” Growing up, each of those locations had their own distinct door and their own four walls in my parents house, so the transition changed my view of the furniture we needed. A small dining room table suitable for two to four, rather than six to eight, saves floor space in our kitchen. Laptops and a small utility desk have replaced files cabinets and large desktop computer setups to keep our living room a comfortable living space. And lastly, an entertainment armoire rather than an entertainment wall saves room and retains a cozy and comfortable atmosphere in our bedroom while providing a more compact solution for our hybrid “game room.” These compromises allow us to get the most out of our living space while sacrificing little or nothing in the way of functionality. We essentially have everything I had growing up, just consolidated into three rooms instead of six.

Modern technology, and modern furniture designs created with modern technology in mind, has made this sort of consolidation much more possible and realistic than it has been in the past. Multi-functional pieces like sleeper sofas and daybeds, laptops replacing desktops, wireless internet, cell phones, microwave ovens, flat screen televisions, and hybrid storage pieces like media chests and entertainment armoires allow for much more versatile and compact solutions to modern and traditional conveniences. As far as furniture, I find sleeper sofas and daybeds just don’t hold up to the comfort of an actual bed and mattress despite their convenience, I still prefer a powerful desktop setup to the more casual and convenient laptops, and recent studies on microwaves make me wary to overuse them. But a piece of modern furniture I find effective without making sacrifices is our entertainment armoire.

Flat screen televisions, wireless routers, and Netflix have made bulky tube TVs, cable boxes, and drawers full of DVDs obsolete. What once took and entire entertainment unit or even entertainment wall, can now be rivaled or outdone in a fraction of the space. Well-designed media chests and entertainment armoires with the proper storage options to suit your needs can create the ultimate entertainment area in a space narrower than your arm span and shorter than you are. With the proper layout and setup, you may even have storage space left over for other needs in your home.

For us in our apartment, our single entertainment armoire is effective enough to solve the needs of both a dresser and entertainment wall in much more compact unit. The upper shelf holds our Playstation system which is capable of streaming Netflix wirelessly, as well as controllers and the TV remote when not in use. The two drawers immediately below the TV hold video games, DVDs, and a few extra accessories for use with the TV and Playstation system. The row of shelves below those are my sock and underwear drawers, leaving the larger bottom shelves for shirts and pants. My entire wardrobe (excluding coats and suits hung in the closet) is contained within this single unit along with the majority of my home entertainment products. Essentially if I didn’t have to work, cook, and bathe, I would have no reason to ever leave that room! Whether getting dressed for work in the morning, unwinding after work with Netflix or video games, or changing into pajamas and watching a little more Netflix before bed, I spend the majority of each day in that room. And best of all, all of this can be neatly and easily contained behind the stylish doors transforming the ultimate entertainment center/dresser into an elegant and attractive armoire. From “game room” to charming bedroom in no time flat!

And something I never knew I was missing out on growing up: waking up on Saturday morning after a draining week and being able to access a massive library or movies, TV shows, or video games without even having to drag my butt out of bed!

In my opinion, apartment life is great. In fact, entertainment armoires make it even better.

Whether you’re living the apartment life and looking to maximize every square foot you’ve got, just looking to add style and functionality to your bedroom, or wanting to live the dream of never leaving bed on the weekends like me, entertainment armoires are the solution.

 


Metal Beds

November 20, 2014
Hillsdale Furniture Vista Bed

Hillsdale Furniture Vista Bed

Dear Snooze Guru,

After several years of working and scrimping and saving — and putting every spare bit of cash into my student loans — I’ve finally been able to pay off all of my college debt. The only things I’ve bought myself have been things that are absolute necessities, so I really want to use this next paycheck to treat myself to something — specifically a new bed. I’ve been using the same bed since middle school, so I think it’s time for an upgrade. I’m looking for something that is both moderately priced and still a good investment (since I still have regular bills and things — you know, adult life). From what I’ve seen, metal beds seem like they would do the job well. What’s your take?  

Phoebe from Voorhees, NJ

Finished with your loans? Way to go! And look at you now, still using your money for something very practical. A new bed is certainly a good investment, especially if it’s a quality piece. Metal beds are great not only because they are quite economical, but also because they take up less space than a typical wood or panel bed. Their reduced mass also means that they weigh less than most other beds. They’re very durable as well, which is especially great for young adults and young families who plan on moving not far into the future. You don’t have to worry about the frame warping or breaking, so it will hold up to years of nightly use.

Metal beds also have a more contemporary look. Even if they’re designed in a Traditional or Old World style, metal has a more modern association. However, you shouldn’t let this deter you if you really like those styles. A metal bed can still work with the more Victorian themes if surrounded by the right kind of furniture and décor.

I think you’ll really like having a metal bed. There are a number of different brands that sell them, including Amisco, Hillsdale Furniture, and Fashion Bed Group. With all the different styles available, I’m sure you’ll find one you like in no time.

Sleep Well (on your new bed),

The Snooze Guru


Savvy Sleeper Sofas

November 18, 2014

Dear Snooze Guru,

I got married over the summer — which is great! But now my husband and I have to split our holidays between our families, since he’s from Wisconsin, I’m from Virginia, and we live in Michigan. We decided to spend our first Christmas with his family, and they’re coming out to us because he’s an only child and they want to see where we live. Well, we live in a small one-bedroom apartment, and I’m not sure how we’re going to house them at night. (They’re kind of high-maintenance.) I would prefer it if they got a hotel, but my husband wants to put them up in our own bed. Do you have any solution that might lead to a happy compromise?

Janelle from Romeo, MI

Dear Janelle,

Yikes! Spending your first married Christmas away from your family is one thing, but giving up your bed to your in-laws too? Yeah, let’s see if we can find a better solution. You could try a futon, but those have thinner mattresses, which could be uncomfortable for an older couple. (And the last thing you need at Christmas is a passive-aggressive comment from a mother-in-law about sub-par furniture.) You should try a sleeper sofa. They’re way more comfortable, both as a bed and as a regular sofa, and they generally come in full- or queen-size mattresses (I’d recommend the queen for in-laws). Also, sofas are generally built better so that they last for a long time.

Even if your in-laws do manage to finagle their way into your bed, you and your husband will enjoy a sleeper sofa more than any other option. And it’ll come in handy down the road when other relatives come to visit. Really, it’s an investment — in your comfort and in your sanity.

Sleep Well,

The Snooze Guru


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