Words: Laura Dweck
Considering the importance of the bedroom’s ambience for our sleep and health, you’d be surprised that it’s often the room that sits furthest down the renovations priority list – mostly after the more ‘public’ rooms on show, like the kitchen and living room. If you’re stuck for inspiration, here are some tips for creating a bedroom to be proud of, no matter who sees it.
In my humble opinion, there are two schools of thought when it comes to colour in the bedroom – those that wouldn’t dream of steering away from the neutrals in the rest of the house and those that see it as a chance for colour to influence their bedroom mood. If you’re in the latter camp, you might want to look at a blue colour palette. Well known for its calming effect, it’s perfect for bringing on slumber and much more soporific than the previous romantic trend of pinks, reds and purples.
One of the fundamental principles of Feng Shui is having the door visible from your bed. Even if you’re not a believer, consider it on a practical level and avoid having the door behind the bed, so you can see who is coming and going. Equally, try and avoid having a window behind your head and opt for a ‘grounding’ headboard.
Most people use the symmetry of a bed with bedside tables either side, if space allows, as a starting point for the layout. Again this is vital on a practical level, to save any bed companions pole-vaulting over you to get under the covers.
If you can, group storage together so you can compile an outfit from a chest of drawers and wardrobe without zig-zagging the bedroom. If you’re lucky enough to have a dressing table, consider placing this under a window for plenty of age-defying natural light. Your complexion will thank you for it. Alternatively, consider a makeup station with a shelf and mirror near a plug socket for hair dryers and tongs.
The star of the show
Choosing a bed is such a personal choice – no one escapes the Goldilocks moment of too high, too low, too soft. Fortunately retailers have risen to the occasion and you now have an abundance of both mattress and bed frame choices, both in-store and online. Gone are the days of a frilly valance stretched over a damask divan, as these have now thankfully been replaced with storage ottomans in the fabric of your choice. For oversized statement headboards I love Button & Sprung – perfect if you want to introduce pattern and colour to a scheme without the inevitable feature wallpaper.
If there is one impactful update that is quick and easy to do, it’s to introduce new bed linen. If space is limited, opt for light colours so it doesn’t absorb too much light from the room. Have a look at Dusk, an online retailer of hotel-quality bed linen, with an amazing selection of white sets that are perfect for a boutique hotel look.
They also sell a duvet that I might go so far as to say is life-changing. For those of you that have an allergy or an aversion to down duvets – but miss the cloud-like lightness of feathers – have a look at the Feels Like Down range of duvets.
Still on the topic of bedding, Silentnight have just brought out an ‘Eco Comfort’ pillow made from 100% recyclable plastic bottles. I can attest to the comfort – I found it very breathable with a shape that sprung back and stayed well-maintained.
Soft furnishings in the way of dress cushions can be a big bone of contention within many households. My advice would be to negotiate on the basis they can make a huge difference to the room’s scheme, by adding vital texture and layers in an otherwise neutral scheme, or by giving an injection of contrasting colour to lift a dark colour palette.
In support of uncluttered surfaces promoting peaceful slumber, enough storage in a bedroom is essential. Yes, the adage goes that if you create more, it’s inevitable that you’ll fill it. This might not be great for the bank balance, but it will give the clothes you own the space they need to gain visibility and be worn again. If space is limited, don’t overlook the additional clothes storage that you can fit into extra-wide bedside tables or ottoman bed storage. And if you haven’t got on the bandwagon of storing a season’s clothes in vacuum bags, hop on!