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Beds Buying Guide
The Truth About Twin Beds
Twin beds are a popular choice for decorating children's rooms. But don't limit their potential: decorating with twin beds is a convenient, economical way of furnishing second bedrooms and guest rooms. They are also a versatile means of adding functionality to dual-purpose rooms, they take up the least amount of space and they define the personal sleeping area for each person when a room is shared (by kids or adults alike). The bed, no matter the size, tends to be the focal point of the room, and twin beds can be a dressed up or as laid back as you want them to be.
Start with a Plan
Twin beds are available in every price range, so you don't have to spend a lot of money just to find a good quality twin bed. Make a budget; it will keep your decorating project on track.
Twin beds come in a wide range of colors, styles and materials, including wood, metal and a combination of wood and metal. Decide what kind of bed you want, what it will be made of and the style that best suits your décor.
Are you making room for one or two? If you are decorating the room for two people, you will probably want to select matching beds. If space is an issue, when decorating a child's or teen's room, you might want to purchase twin bunk beds to make it less crowded and more functional.
Take measurements. Knowing how much space you have to work with will prevent you from purchasing a twin bed that might not fit.
Especially if the room will be shared, you might want to select a twin bed that includes under bed storage.
Consider what features you want your twin bed to have. If you are furnishing a guest room or teen's room, you might choose a bookcase headboard, which makes allowances for not only reading in bed, but will add storage options.
Types of Twin Beds
A bookcase bed typically has a headboard that accommodates a shelf or shelves for books, knickknacks, an alarm clock and other necessary treasures. Some manufacturers offer bookcase beds with both headboards and footboards that include storage options. While many of them are designed specifically for children, there are some adult versions available as well.
A canopy bed is essentially a four poster bed with a covering. A canopy frame can be added to any poster bed where the posts are of equal height. Canopies are made from a variety of fabrics and can include a frill or tailored border. Many manufacturers will include the frame but not the actual canopy, allowing you to match the fabric to your décor.
A variation of the platform bed, a captain’s bed combines a place to sleep with handy storage options. The mattress is typically placed on top of, depending on the manufacturer, a set of drawers, cubbies or a trundle unit, converting the unused area beneath the bed into a much-needed storage solution. This type of bed generally doesn’t require a box spring, making it an economical choice.
Twin panel beds have headboards and footboards that are usually made from one piece of material, without spindles or slats. They typically stand flat against the wall. Panel detailing is mostly vertical. As a variation on the standard panel bed, some types do include horizontal panels or decorative slats that allow you to partially see through the headboard. Other popular decorative accents used in panel bed designs are shaped moldings and raised or recessed panels.
Platform beds consist of a raised platform or frame that directly supports the mattress without a box spring, making them economical and versatile. Because it sits closer to the ground, a twin platform bed is ideal for decorating average or smaller sized rooms, since using a twin platform bed as the focal point will make the room appear larger and more spacious. Many types of platform beds include under bed storage solutions.
The classic bunk bed is designed as one unit, two twin beds one above the other. They are an economical and convenient way to decorate a smaller-sized room or a regular size room that will be shared by two children or teens. Trends in bunk beds are constantly changing, offering the consumer both fashionable and functional up-to-the-minute choices. Because twin bunk beds use the floor space in a room vertically rather than horizontally, it leaves more room for a desk, dresser or bookcase.
The twin poster bed is a popular choice, especially when decorating a girl’s room or a guest room with a more traditional theme. They have a dramatic appearance, depending on how high the posts are. A twin poster bed can also have a contemporary look and feel. No matter what the décor style, a twin poster bed draws the eye into the center of the room.
Mostly associated with the Victorian era, sleigh beds possess a timeless elegance. Soft, flowing lines create a romantic feel. They come in a range of styles, including traditional. For a more contemporary look, select one with cleaner lines, in a solid bold color or made of metal. If you want to create a casual look, choose a twin sleigh bed with a shorter footboard.
Twin Bed Style
The style you choose for your twin bed will set the tone for the room. It also expresses your tastes and personality. For a relaxed, casual look, select something contemporary. If a formal feel is more to your liking, then traditional will be the style for you. To help you decide which one might best reflect your personal taste, the following is a brief description of each of the major styles to choose from.
Traditional style twin beds are immediately recognizable by their intricate decorative flourishes, such as crown molding, scalloped edges and Classical motifs. They tend to have rich finishes that have either been distressed or have a matte or satin appearance. Based on historical periods and social customs, traditional twin beds can have a stately, formal or simplified profile. Other characteristics of traditional furnishings include elaborate carvings, barley twist posts and cabriole legs.
Contemporary style reflects current trends, using color and construction materials for effect. Lines are more relaxed, but still have a clean and linear appearance. A contemporary twin bed can also have a dramatic look. Geometric and minimalist, contemporary frequently mixes textured elements such as chrome accents with wood tones. Decorative detail is used with restraint for a more simple and refined effect.
A transitional style twin bed merges contemporary and traditional design principles together, resulting in a look that resembles traditional style, but without as much intricate, decorative detail. The result is furniture that is simple yet sophisticated. A transitional twin bed typically contrasts straight lines with tapered legs or curved profiles.
Modern style emerged in the second half of the 20th century, a direct protest to conventional forms, decorative detail and composition. A modern twin bed might be made of a stark, bleached wood and have an asymmetrical design. Modern can also be sleek and angular, with spare lines and an austere profile.
Country style furniture has a relaxed and casual feel, with a touch of rustic charm. Because it has its roots in traditional design, a country twin bed might display many traditional elements, such as scalloped aprons, bun feet, carved accents and crown moldings. However, country furniture really reflects how furnishings were adapted in regional or provincial environments, with craftsmen using local materials and motifs instead of following the conventions found in major European centers. A country style twin bed could have a distressed finish, embossed inserts, stenciling or a rooster motif.
Common Materials for Twin Beds
Engineered woods are made from recycled materials that are mixed together, processed, then shaped into sheets by using heat, pressure and glues to bind the fibers together. Medium density fiberboard or MDF is a commonly used engineered wood for furniture because of its strength and versatility. Other types of engineered or composite woods include plywood and particle board. MDF is just as strong and durable as genuine wood, but doesn't warp as easily. Since engineered wood is produced from recycled materials, most kinds of composite woods are more affordable than genuine wood.
Wood veneers are created by removing cross-sections of wood from a tree in thin slices. They are then attached with glue to the piece of furniture, typically made from MDF, using heat and pressure. It is an economical way to make a twin bed, because it gives it the look and feel of real wood while keeping costs down.
Considered to be the most durable material for furniture, genuine wood furnishings are constructed from timber cut from the trunks of trees like oak, mahogany or birch. They are generally more expensive than furniture made from engineered wood. Timber can be produced from wood of hardwood or softwood trees, and refers to whether or not the tree is deciduous (sheds its leaves) or coniferous (doesn’t shed its leaves/needles).
Laminates are typically used as a type of finish because it is durable, easy to care for and generally stain-resistant. Produced by pressing layers of materials such as wood and plastic together, they are then sealed with a thermosetting resin. Once the sheet of laminate material has been produced, it is then applied to the surface of the furniture piece, usually made of some kind of engineered wood. Laminates can be a solid color, patterned or have a simulated wood grain pattern.
Another popular material for twin beds is metal. Most metal beds are made from some kind of alloy, which is made of at least two different types of ores or elements that have been combined together. Typical ores and alloys used to make metal beds are iron, steel and nickel. Once the bed has been made, the surface of the metal is sealed with a finish. Finishes for most twin metal beds are typically applied by a method called powder coating that electrostatically sprays extremely fine ground particles of pigment or resin onto the metal. It is then baked, giving the finished product a highly durable and smooth finish.
Other Things to Consider
Twin beds are also known as single beds.
When decorating a guest room, two twin beds pushed together will give you the same sleeping area (width wise) as a king size bed, but will allow you to move the furniture around more easily, particularly if the room is smaller.
If furnishing a room for teen boys, consider extra long twin beds. The length of a standard twin is 75 inches and an extra long twin is eighty inches. Keep in mind that sometimes finding bedding for the extra long twin is not as easy as standard sized twin beds.
If you plan to add under bed storage or a trundle unit to your twin bed at a later date, make sure that there will be enough room. To accommodate under bed additions, the mattress should stand 10 to 18 inches off the ground.
Couples who experience health issues or sleeping problems may opt for twin beds as a viable solution.