The perfect bedroom is the one that's perfect for you, created as a private retreat and designed for resting. It's all about comfort and indulgence, so if your bedroom is keeping you awake all night here are some helpful tips
on how to create the room of your dreams...
To create your personal sanctuary, a bedroom must have the right balance of light, colour and comfort, be clutter-free and an example of 'hushed' design where style is never compromised. Realistically, it means the perfect bed, a well-placed lamp, soft sheets and a wealth of texture and restful colours.
You have to decide how you want to use the room. Do you really want to retreat to a space that doubles as a home office, media room, late-night diner or gym? Perhaps that suits your lifestyle, but seriously, a sanctuary should be for meditation, quiet relaxation... and yes, for sleeping.
Try to allocate a space away from your bed for working on your laptop, checking your emails and watching TV. Yes, a real sense of sanctuary (and that means quality of sleep) comes from minimal media stimulation, so install the TV where it won't dominate the landscape! An iPod dock, however, can provide a place to play your favourite chill-out music.
Make sure your bedroom is quiet both acoustically and visually (no Pucci prints or prissy chintz). You want to be able to close the door on any ambient noise such as traffic, the television or your teen's manically-repetitive music. A wall of bookcases (and don't forget the books), built-ins or a floor-to-ceiling wardrobe will help block sound from a neighbouring room.
Upholstering your walls in fabric is like dressing your whole room as though it were a bed. This traditional approach can look wonderfully modern using a tonal stripe or a floral pattern.
Now that more and more platform beds are dropping their bedheads and ends, an upholstered bedhead becomes the element du jour for a chic bedroom retreat. A bedhead forms a good sound barrier, especially when covered in natural hide (leather and suede).
Carpet is the choice of flooring for bedrooms and it's easy to see why – it's quiet and provides softness under bare feet. If you have floorboards, raise the comfort level by adding a thick woollen rug beside the bed.
Let there be light
Get the lighting right and you'll have the perfect mood for sleeping and relaxation. As we tend to sleep better in a darkened room, use block-out blinds for night.
Overhead lighting kills the mood but is essential for general use where you need to sort clothes or vacuum the carpet. Look for a flush fitting in frosted glass (pendants can be intrusive over a bed).
As an alternative to bedside lamps, pendant lights are great. Installed at head-height (when sitting up in bed) they will give you illumination at the right angle for reading.
A bedroom won't feel like a sanctuary if there's stuff all over the floor and the remains of last night's pizza on the bedside table. Clear the room of everything not deemed essential to free up your sleep zone.
The upholstered bed
Messy doesn't cut it any more. A neat, well-groomed bed will help you sleep better and is ideal if you like the feeling of sleeping in a cocoon. The best hotels groom their beds with tightly tucked corners and pillows laid flat and stacked.
Don't skimp on quality. Price is a good indicator when it comes to mattresses, pillows and quilts. Enjoy a variety of pillows including feather and down and include a beautiful woollen blanket or plush (fake) fur throw and quilted mattress protector for sink-into comfort.
Pure cotton sheets are beautiful to sleep in and Egyptian cotton sheets are the ultimate in comfort and style. Buy the highest thread count that you can afford – the higher the count, the finer the fabric.
White, white and more white. There's so much choice in bedlinen but white has universal appeal. Add colour with a 'bed scarf' (a folded fabric length, knitted or fabric throw) draped over the end of the bed
A huge factor in making your bedroom tranquil is to match colours to your lighting. Some shades respond better to artificial lighting such as aubergine, and look dramatic and moody as feature walls. But others like grey and some whites appear dull.
Shades of green give balance and serenity while blue is supposed to slow the heart rate (good for chilling out); the whole idea is to create a feeling of calm with a muted tonal palette.
Write a poem or select a few famous meditative words and have them printed on wallpaper behind your bed – so chic.
Your room should have an inviting fragrance, but avoid cheap candles which tend to smell artificial. Go for natural fragrances and a reed diffuser.
Keep in touch with nature, but don't fill a bedroom with flowers (very funereal); a few perfect blooms will make the most impact.