With our busy lives and hectic schedules, a good night’s rest is the best way to recharge and reboot. Here’s how to make your bedroom a serene retreat from the world – a sanctuary that should truly reflect your personal style.
While pastel, powdery paint colours – such as dusky pink and barely-there blue – are calming and peaceful, don’t be afraid to use dark, dramatic shades for the bedroom. Farrow & Ball’s moody, black-grey Railings, for instance, gives a cocooning, glamorous feel.
Fired Earth’s paint manager, Sarah Foster, says: “Warm, soft neutrals have a restful quality that’s perfectly conducive to sleep. Shades such as Fired Earth’s Orchard Pink, Garden Folly and Skylon Grey are soothing yet sophisticated. Surprisingly, glamorous, jewel-like colours, such as Fired Earth’s Malachite and Dragon’s Blood, however, are ideal for boudoir-style schemes.”
This season John Lewis is showcasing ‘nature’ as an important trend for the home. It also has a new Open Home concept, launching this month, which is a collaboration with renowned design partnership Doshi Levien. The exclusive range of furniture and home accessories work on the principle that modern rooms are flexible, so each product is designed to enable you to define a space according to how you want to live.
Philippa Prinsloo, head of design at John Lewis, elaborates further: “Spring will see a continuation of our love and appreciation of nature, whether through the Modern Country lifestyle by embracing the uplifting beauty and colour of indigenous flowers found in the UK or through the contemporary progressive adaptation of our homes to create a flow between indoors and outdoors.”
For flooring, according to Mike Richardson at Kersaint Cobb, you can’t beat carpet for warmth and cosiness. “To brighten up a small bedroom, choose a soft, light coloured pure wool carpet to create the illusion of space,” he says. “Pure wool has a soft, luxurious quality, is warm underfoot and is perfect for sinking your toes into! A textured carpet in a soothing colourway will give a cool, fresh look whilst adding a subtle design element to your bedroom floor.”
Meanwhile, Heather MacMilla, flooring buyer at Carpetright adds: “Green is the colour trend for 2017 and whether you’re brave enough for Pantone’s ‘Greenery’ shade or prefer more muted woodland tones, you’re sure to want to add this colour into your bedroom scheme. It works well paired with natural woody tones, ivory or soft greys.”
For a modern look, however, Amtico’s Aged Timber or Limewashed flooring gives a clean, spacious feel.
Australian-born, London-based wallpaper designer, Angela Groundwater creates hand-drawn, concept-based wallpapers and specialises in bespoke designs. Here she gives her three top tips for bedroom décor.
- Muted tones – such as pastel shades and greys – are calming and remind us of the innocent days of childhood.
- I like to add a hint of eccentricity to give an adult spin – something beautiful, sensual and playful. The Caravaggio wallpaper in Autumn blends soft colours with a hint of quirkiness.
- Sometimes its good to flip the design on its head and work with dark, sumptuous tones, as seen in my Jewelled Venus wallpaper. I like the idea of making a bedroom into a luxurious jewel box, with deep plum walls and an abundance of velvet and silks.
Whether you go for a traditional iron bed surround – like the Victorian-style brass frames at The Original Bedstead Company – or a sumptuous, upholstered frame, available at And So To Bed – make it a piece that you love. After all, we spend 33% of our lives asleep.
For those who want to recreate a French boudoir feel, source Louis rattan beds, four posters and weathered linen frames from Newtons Furniture.
Meanwhile, fans of more a contemporary aesthetic will no doubt fall for Natuzzi Italia’s Dolcevita bed. A contemporary interpretation of a classic design, it has been designed by Tapinassi and Manzoni of Studio Memo in Florence and features a sumptuous Chesterfield headboard paired with sleek legs.
This month is National Bed Week, so we asked celebrated British designer, Steuart Padwick, to give his advice on how to choose the ideal bed
*First and foremost, choose the mattress – then the bed.
*Think about how your bed will look with your sheets, blankets or duvet on it – how much will be covered or hidden? Do you want it with or without a tailboard? Wood, metal or upholstered?
*If you are short of storage, choose a versatile model, such as my upholstered Rubens bed, which has masses of storage underneath it.
STORE IT AWAY
To create the best environment for sleep and calmness, clear away the clutter. Bedrooms usually have to house a lot of personal items, so choose your furniture cleverly and opt for pieces that can double up as storage items.
As its name suggests, The Great British Ottoman Company offers a range of ottomans, footstools and bedroom accessories crafted by artisans in Lancashire. While The Painted Furniture Company is the go-to brand for a wide selection of bedside tables and chests of drawers in a rainbow of colours to match any scheme.
Furl’s storage beds, meanwhile, including innovative wall beds, are among the most versatile when it comes to storing things away. “A bedroom should ultimately be a place for relaxation so it’s vitally important to plan in enough storage space when redesigning the room,” says David Norman, director of Furl.
“If all you can see when you walk in is clutter, clothes, and things that need tidying away, it can be hard to relax and switch off. Over the years we have worked hard refining our storage bed designs to provide as much storage space as possible and our Max Storage Bed gives a huge 35cm of storage depth. You’ll be surprised just how much you can store and the space can even be further utilised by using vacuum storage bags.”
To make the best use of space, especially rooms that have odd angles, go for built-in wardrobes. David Hall Furniture offers a bespoke fitting service in the Cambridgeshire area, while Langtry Fitted Furniture, also based in Cambridgeshire, offers a wide range of fitted bedroom designs.
Tony Jones, director of Langtry, gives his advice: “When planning your bedroom, it is important to balance practical needs – such as storage – with style. We can design and make wardrobes, chests of drawers and dressing tables to fit individual needs and awkward spaces and our designers have a wealth of experience to provide new ideas for your room. For those with lots of clothes and clutter to hide away, go for fitted wardrobes, which run floor to ceiling, to make use of the maximum amount of space. Our high gloss stone grey pearl Langtry range is great for smaller rooms as it is seamless and does not look imposing. Meanwhile our metallic gloss Modern range adds personality and is great for teen rooms. For a classic look – go for Calcutta mussel – it has a timeless finish.”
THE ADDED EXTRAS
Make your bedroom as inviting as possible, with luxurious textiles, soft pillows and tactile bed throws.
Christy’s new range of bed linen for Spring-Summer 17 offers a mix of elegant, minimalist and trend-led designs. Lucy Ackroyd, design manager, says: “The latest range varies from feminine classics to trend-led exotics, with, of course, our minimal, all white staple pieces at the heart of the collection. My favourite is the Rain Forest duvet set for its bold use of colour, its on-trend botanical feel and how it brings the entire room to life.”
Meanwhile, at Sheridan Australia, Jo Jaggs, general manager of design says: “The Sheridan Spring-Summer 17 Collection explores teal-casted blues for the bedroom, as seen in the Korra and Arbor designs, which feature levels of petrol and baltic. The teal blues can be used in place of a classic blue, as they are equally versatile and perfect for an investment piece. For the cooler months, style with jewel tones for depth and richness or back with white for a fresh, summer aesthetic.”
LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON
Karen Wallis-Smith, director at Fritz Fryer, advises on bedroom lighting
“It’s important to have multiple layers of light in a bedroom, with the principle source being dimmable in order to set the right mood for the room. I also love task lighting located either side of the bed. Controls for all of the lighting should be located by the entrance to the room and from either side of the bed, as you would find in a well-designed hotel room.”
THE LITTLE ONES
When it comes to younger children’s rooms, let your imaginations run riot and have fun with the décor. Cuckooland’s range of inventive beds, for instance, which come in the shape of tree houses or tents, may mean that bedtime tantrums are a thing of the past.
“Designing a kids bedroom is a great opportunity to be creative,” says Nathalie Davis, director of Cuckooland. “Choose bright, stimulating colours and keep things stylish with on-trend geometric prints and Scandi-inspired accessories. A statement bed in the shape of a tree house or space ship gives the real ‘wow’ factor, and will inspire your little one’s imagination, ensuring they’ll always remember their childhood bedroom.”
Don’t be afraid to use colour. Take inspiration from Harlequin’s All About Me collection of wall-coverings and textiles which offers inspiring choices for both girls and boys (images above).
While iLiv’s contemporary palette of textiles, gives alternative options for youngsters who don’t want to go for the stereotypical pinks and blues. Carrying on the modern theme is Nubie – an online store that offers a range of cool furniture, inspiring wallpapers and unusual accessories sourced from around the world and all with a design-ethos at their heart.
CREATE AS THEY GROW
Renowned for its hand-painted children’s furniture Dragons of Walton Street is an expert in creating classic rooms for the little ones. Lucinda Croft, managing director, gives her top tips
*Designing an older child’s room is different to a nursery for obvious reasons, but as they develop and grow you can incorporate more of their character into their bedroom’s design.
*With an older child the colour palette can be more vibrant, too. Incorporating a study area is important, as well as space to play, once they enter the world of school and homework.
*Storage is crucial, so that all the different stages of growth they go through, all their belongings can be hidden from view at the end of a hard day’s play!
*Children’s fabrics don’t just need to stay around the window. The same fabrics can be used for the small accessories, like the lamp shade, to make the room feel playful and can be easily changed once the child has transitioned into something else. Cushions, bean bags and rugs are great for creating cosy corners for reading or story time and can be used to add colour.
EDITOR’S TOP TEN: MY PICK OF BEDROOM BUYS
Versailles Bedroom Sofa, £1,180, www.frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk
French Three-Drawer Bombe in gold, £375, www.outthereinteriors.com
Oe-Rug-Gum Rug, £249, www.nubie.co.uk
Teal Velvet Cushion, £25, www.alsohome.com
COVER IT UP
Daya Monsoon Bedspread, £150, www.bedeckhome.com
PUT ON YOUR FACE
Fonteyn Oak And Coral Dressing Table, £399, www.made.com
Venus Chandelier, £565, www.sweetpeaandwillow.com
Pitch Shelves, £299, www.steuartpadwick.co.uk
LIGHT AND SHADE
Faringdon Papershade, £25, www.papershades.co.uk
LEAN ON ME
Floral Heart Cushion, £10, www.sainsburys.co.uk
This article also appears in the March 2017 issue of The Cambridge Edition Magazine