The bedroom can be a challenge to decorate. On one level you want it to reflect the style of your home, on another it needs to be the room where you can escape and relax. We asked the experts how you can achieve the dream bedroom.
Five steps to comfort and style
‘I’ve slept in so many rooms I’ve lost count,’ says James Lohan of the Mr & Mrs Smith boutique hotel guides. ‘The best rooms are a seamless blend of colour, comfort, texture and lighting to engage all the senses.’ Start with these steps:
‘Buy the biggest bed the room can take,’ advises Adam Black, co-founder of bed company Feather & Black. ‘A 5ft-wide bed is fine if you’re in a cuddly mood but feels small if you’re not.’
Fabrics are a way to add character, as Adam explains. ‘Velcro fabric onto a headboard for an easy update – you can change the fabric in an instant.’ Also, try a tapestry in place of a board.
‘Good bedlinen is an investment,’ says the author of HomeFamilyLifeStyle, Anita Kaushal. ‘You spend so much time in bed, it makes sense.’
You need bright light to see things in a wardrobe but not at other times, so dimmers are ideal. Bedside lamps can be a feature and provide light to read by.
Attention to detail
‘Don’t forget the ceiling,’ warns Kit Kemp of The Haymarket Hotel. ‘It’s the one thing you’re sure to notice when you’re in bed!’
6 Hotel Bedroom Trends
Give your room that five-star feel with inspirational styles and trends from some of the most beautiful boutique hotels in the business. James Lohan from Mr & Mrs Smith gives us his insider tips on some of the hottest ideas to steal.
Mix it up
Use different patterns in complementary colours, play with scale, or contrast masculine and feminine by upholstering a pretty chair in some masculine tailoring stripes.
Add vibrancy to all-white rooms with accent colours. Introducing a simple throw, colourful cushions or a piece of painted furniture is an easy way to lift neutrals and add character.
Go for glamour
Dark colour schemes create a sensual atmosphere and tactile fabrics intensify the luxurious feel.
Indulge in some gilty pleasures Gilt frames have real impact, or try other metallic touches such as Tom Dixon’s Copper Shade lights or Osborne & Little’s metallic wallpapers.
If space permits, bring your bath into the bedroom or replace a wall with a window so that the bedroom looks into the en suite. Baths in stone, brass or even wood make a real statement.
Create a sense of individuality by adding personal treasures, finds from your travels or artwork to create a focus
Choosing colours and fabrics for your bedroom
‘Never use a fabric that you wouldn’t want to sit on in the nude,’ is the sound advice from top hotel designer Kit Kemp. And fabric is the simplest way to make a difference to a room. You can really afford to go to town with tactile finishes, luxurious materials and touch-me surfaces. Add a range of patterns and texture to create interest on walls with eye-catching papers, textural hessian, silks, wood panelling or even polished concrete or plaster.
Colour is, of course, key to creating a relaxing bedroom, and it’s important to select a shade that works well both first thing in the morning and last thing at night. ‘I always think it’s a good idea to choose a muted shade of one of your favourite colours,’ says Anita Kaushal, author of HomeFamilyLifeStyle. ‘Paint & Paper Library does a fantastic range. I’ve used a colour called Wild Silk in lots of schemes – it’s a greyish, antique pink that looks great in all types of light and isn’t at all girlie.’
It’s essential to feel something sumptuous underfoot, so choose either a plush, deep-pile carpet or top warm wood floorboards with a soft rug, but avoid fashionable floor coverings such as sisal or coir as they’re too scratchy for a bedroom floor.
‘We always use curtains in the guests’ bedrooms as it finishes the look and gives a real sense of luxury,’ says Kit Kemp. ‘The look we create is soft, but not in a “swags and tails” way. Instead, it’s more about tactile fabrics and texture.’ However, custom-made curtains can be expensive, so choose yours with care. Other options include blinds (most top hotels have blackout blinds to ensure guests can take a nap at any time of the day), sheer curtains or even shutters to provide privacy.
Essential Bedroom Storage
When space is at a premium, a bedroom often becomes home to a whole host of possessions. ‘Fitted wardrobes will keep storage hidden from view, but add a beautiful armoire or chest of drawers for individuality,’ advises Kit Kemp. ‘And if you have the space, a separate dressing room is a real luxury that will bring wow factor to any home.’
‘Multifunctional furniture maximises space. Consider under-bed storage, an end-of-bed ottoman or a window seat with lift-up lid.
Will you be able to open wardrobe doors without bumping into other furniture? ‘Sliding doors may be the best option,’ says Elaine Palmer, from bespoke wardrobe specialists Hanging Space.
Use awkward spaces to stash items that you use infrequently. If space is really tight, consider other storage areas around the house for out-of-season clothes and other non-essentials