A restful night’s sleep is a universally acknowledged necessity to a productive day and long-term health. Yet it is only fairly recently that beds and bedrooms were given their due proper attention.
Considered the private areas of the home, previously bedrooms often were left on the back burner since only the people who lived there saw them. Everything changed when bedrooms began to double as places to read, work, play games or watch TV.
“We notice that people are spending more time thinking about their bedrooms,” says John McLennan, CEO of furniture and lifestyle company Indigo Living.
In Hong Kong, many are looking at extra storage within the bed due to small spaces, whether that’s in a mattress that lifts up or with drawers underneath.
“In the past, it was mostly wooden frames; now, we see more fabric with accents such as piping or buttons on headboards. Headboards are getting higher and more luxurious, sometimes wrapping around the head of the bed for a sense of cosiness and warmth. The wood itself is also lighter, and we see wire brushed or bleached species for additional softness.”
Indigo Living operates offices in Shanghai, Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as out of its head office in Hong Kong.
Up to 70% of its collections and the majority of its textiles are designed in-house, while it collaborates with designers such as Jean-Pierre Brown on accessories, including candles.
Indigo Living adapts a three-prong business model: it is a retailer for home furnishings and accessories through its many shops throughout the city; it leases its entire range of products to Fortune 500 company executives who opt for more bespoke residential environments; and it collaborates with developers and hospitality designers on projects such as showflats, serviced apartments and hotel guest rooms.
One of its recent projects was the refitting of Gateway Apartments’ furnishings.
“Although people know us as a retailer, the percentage of our project business shifts according to the economy,” says McLennan, a Vancouver native. “At the moment, 60% is retail and 40% is project-based.”
Dang, Indigo Living’s design director, believes a good bed should be about comfort and support.
“To sleep and rest is the foundation of health,” stresses the Malaysia-born architect.
“Choosing the right bed is very personal. Hong Kong people prefer to have their bed elevated, and a firmer mattress. I personally like a wooden headboard; it is easy to maintain and I can rest pillows and bolsters against it if I wish to read or work in bed. Headboards and frames used to be one unit; now we sell them as separate pieces so that people can change the headboard for a completely different look without changing the bed frame.”
He explains that Indigo’s pocket coil mattresses allow for localised movement and better support; if one sleeper is restless, the other sharing the bed will be less disturbed as the mattress shifts minimally. Futons, although popular in Japan, tend to be mostly used on sofa beds in Hong Kong.
“The problem with a futon is where to store it. However, sofa beds are in big demand here,” he says. “Our bunk beds are designed for smaller apartments and tend not to be as high.”
In addition to bedside tables with ample storage, dimmable lighting and his preference for reed diffusers to give bedrooms a fresh, clean scent, he emphasises the feng shui of a bedroom is important to Hong Kong residents.
“You should always position your bed relative to the door and window,” he says. “Also, avoid a beam or cabinets above the head of the bed.”