Create a calming retreat
Spring is the perfect time to refresh your bedroom, whether it’s adding a few on-trend touches or as a larger renovation project, says Rachel Ogden
There are few pleasures as simple yet satisfying as sinking into a beautifully made bed. However, if you’ve been hibernating over the winter, it’s time to throw off the blankets and turn your bedroom into the ultimate sanctuary. After all, March is National Bed Month. Rethinking your colour scheme, replacing a mattress and including plenty of storage will make sure it’s as inviting for early nights as it is for long, lazy lie-ins.
Rethink your décor
Focus on your walls, windows or floor and you can transform your bedroom with minimum hassle. Rather than replace like for like, there are lots of stylish designer tricks you can try. With 2018 predicted to be the year of the feature ceiling, the bedroom is the ideal place to experiment. For example, you could use a section of patterned wallpaper behind the bed and continue it across the ceiling to add a feeling of height to the room and a visual ‘canopy’. Flowing floral or vine designs will be especially effective. Another option is to choose pale cream or white painted walls with a pretty pastel shade on the ceiling, continuing it on the very upper section of the walls. This is a great technique for adding interest in a room that lacks decorative features.
Windows are another place to be creative. Rather than choose one treatment, the latest look is to combine, such as a patterned Roman blind with plain pencil pleat curtains or sheer voiles twinned with a blackout blind to provide coverage at night. Alternatively, painted shutters are ideal for adding a block of colour if you prefer to keep the rest of the room neutral. Don’t overlook artwork as a way of adding personality and colour – an eye-catching canvas or wall decoration can change the focal point of a room, shifting the style or tone in a different direction. Even better, it can be instantly updated
Smarten up storage
Unless you’re lucky enough to have a separate dressing area, it’s likely that your bedroom will be where you house your clothes, so it’s important to include enough dedicated storage. Built-in wardrobes and made-to-measure shelving tends to be the most efficient way to use your space but even then it’s wise to plan it around your lifestyle. For example, if you have lots of long garments, such as dresses, you’ll need to include enough tall hanging space. Similarly, if your shoe collection covers every occasion, it’s best to store these behind a door or in a drawer to protect them – lots of shallow-depth storage is ideal – or you can put them in Perspex boxes so you can see which pair is where at a glance. Include other types of storage too, so your bedroom stays clutter free. Under-bed drawers or an Ottoman-style bed that lifts up make great places to stash off-season clothes, handbags or shoes.
Add an en-suite
An en-suite is the ultimate haven, combining privacy with the luxurious feeling of staying in a hotel. There are a few different ways to create one, such as sacrificing space from your bedroom, ‘stealing’ it from an adjacent room, or repurposing an airing cupboard or dressing area. As the space is often taken from other areas, it may present design obstacles. However, it’s better to embrace the quirks than skirt around them, such as turning boxed-in pipework into bespoke storage.
Drainage should be your first consideration. As en-suites are connected to the bedroom, quiet plumbing is essential, so no one’s woken up by night-time flushing. You’ll also need to check that your water system has sufficient pressure to cope with an additional shower or bath. If your en-suite doesn’t sit above or below an existing bathroom, so that the drainage can be connected, you may have to extend pipework and fit a macerator pump. The pump will allow you to site pipes further from the drainage and soil pipe, whisking away waste water.
Ventilation is vital for keeping an en-suite dry, especially if it doesn’t have a window. It’s also a must for preventing humidity transferring to the bedroom and damaging soft furnishings. Invest in a powerful yet quiet extractor and control it independently from the lights so that it doesn’t come on during the night.
Finally, consider the aesthetics. Slimline basins and short-projection WCs will take up minimal room, while wall-mounted pieces free up the floor area for a spacious look. Another option for creating a feeling of space is large-format tiles, plus you can often splash out on a more expensive design. As en-suites are used less than a busy family bathroom, there’s no need to tile them all over and risk creating a sterile box. Try tiling halfway up instead and choose colours that complement or echo those used in your bedroom.
The best bedrooms are the ones that are heavenly to sleep in, so make sure a cosy bed is at its heart. If your current mattress sags, is lumpy or leaves you waking up feeling like you haven’t slept, replace it with a new one. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, so go to a showroom and sample a variety to see what you find most comfortable. Natural fillings are the best at regulating your temperature as you sleep, while a greater number of pocket springs will provide support that’s tailored to your body.
Once you’ve indulged in a comfy mattress and stylish bedstead, make sure that what you dress them with is as sumptuous. Cool, crisp linen, Oxford or housewife pillowcases and softly draping covers or throws combine comfort with style and will help create your sanctuary. The newest bed linen prints range from painterly patterns to modern geometrics, or those with reversible designs, which are perfect for a quick update.
Rather than rely on one central light source, create a relaxing ambience by layering the lighting. Try a mixture of table lamps or pendants to illuminate the bedside areas, spotlights or perimeter lighting for an overall glow, and floor lamps to brighten corners. Once you’ve worked out where you need lighting, experiment with different designs, such as coloured glass shades with visible filament bulbs or lamp bases finished in ceramic glazes.
The latest bedroom trends
- Soothing tones is one of the biggest trends for bedrooms this year. Its role as a downtime space is underlined with shades of lilac, blush pink and grey, ultra-tactile fabrics and layers of complementary sleep-promoting scents, such as lavender.
- Neatniks will be up in arms – the trend for Wabi-Sabi, which is a Japanese concept of accepting and celebrating imperfection, is riding high in bedrooms. This translates to a bed that isn’t tucked in tightly, tumbling piles of cushions, frayed edges, natural fabrics and asymmetrical patterns galore. Keep the colour palette simple to stop it descending into mess.
- Statement beds are key, so move on from minimal styles. Deeply buttoned velvet or leather headboards, sleigh-style bedsteads and personalised beds with coordinating fabrics make it the star of the show. Pick a bold shade for your statement bed and it’ll also make a starting point for your colour scheme.
- Mixed metallics is a big 2018 trend across the home but it’s in the bedroom where it can really shine. While previous years have seen copper or rose gold tipped as bedroom must-haves, this year it’s all about combining tones. Generally, it’s better to stick to mainly warm or cool shades, but the trend allows for a pop of brass in a silvery grey space or a statement piece in chrome to contrast with brass, bronze or gold.
- The dark, mossy greens of last year might not have been the best fit for your bedroom but leading on from them is a trend for botanical prints across fabrics and bed linen. Even better, they’re in a range of styles, from designs with a classic Victoriana feel to fresh, contemporary linework.