8 tips to get the bedroom of your dreams!
I have a terrible confession to make. Our current bedroom is probably my least favourite room in our house. The reason being we decorated it in a rush before my first son was born and we cut a lot of corners because of a shortage of time. The carpet is a mushroom colour and although the Sanderson mint green peony wallpaper is actually quite nice, the wallpaper really doesn't hide the uneven walls. There are also some hideous dark brown laminate cupboards that cover a full wall and a dado rail that has to go. The good news is we are moving out in a few months (fingers crossed) when we manage to get round to decorating the new master en-suite across the landing (you can see my mood-board and bold ideas for that room here) and hopefully we'll get round to skimming and redecorating our current bedroom into a usable craft space for our hobbies such as sewing and airfix models and have a delightful guest room. The big question is - should the build in wardrobes stay or go?
Anyway beside my own bedroom sagas, quite a few clients have asked me to help design their bedrooms and I've managed to see quite a few different styles through my Journey Home series on the blog. As you know I believe that our rooms and homes must express who we are but it's interesting how that the function of our bedrooms are similar across the board and there are elements I believe we must consider to nail the design of this particular room. You know my starting point is always thinking about how you want the room to feel but it's also important to marry that in a creative way with the function. This week it's bedrooms but not kids rooms which I have already written loads about, but adult spaces with a bit of style and sophistication. Let's make a start with the the most important point of all...
1. bedrooms are for sleeping!
I know this sounds really obvious but this needs to be considered so that the colours, textures and what goes into your room really helps you get the best night's sleep possible. What colours help you relax? This will be different for everyone. For me it's got to be dark absorbing colours that add to the darkness that I need to switch off and remain in a deep sleep. I need a dark room with blackout curtains but dark colours on the walls also make me feel relaxed. For someone else this might be light and airy colours and for others it might be a calming green. Maybe some nature-inspired wallpaper will do the trick! (Read more about Mary's earthy and floral room here).
2. No technology
Following on from the previous point, I'm a big believer that there should be no technology in our bedrooms. Ok so I am the sort of person that watches something like Black Mirror on Netflix a few minutes before going to bed (which thankfully it doesn't stop me falling asleep) and do have my phone on my bedside table but my big NO-NO is having a TV or even a laptop in my room. I remember as a teenager I would really struggle to sleep and I think it was because I would study and revise in there all the time. Our body and mind associates experiences and if we watch TV or type on our laptops in bed, it might stop us switching off when we need to rest and enter that precious slumber (even if we're doing those activities earlier in the day)!
3. Get rid of the clutter
I'm writing this as such a fraud because I am totally embarrassed at the state of our own bedroom at the minute but I keep reminding myself that we are still in the midst of renovating and have a slight shortage of space. (If you need survival tips for that have a look here.) The problem is that the second I walk in there I see a mountain (literally) of mess and it affects my mind. I don't want to be in there and the mammoth time-consuming task of sorting it out is so daunting. However I know that there are two main steps to decluttering thanks to Marie Kondo - getting rid of things and then (and only then!) finding the correct storage.
This is an aspect of interior design that I adore talking about and I honestly believe that lighting is crucial to make any room really work, but even more so in the bedroom. If you're reading or chatting before bed you'll want to dim the lights. And for romantic lighting you’ll need lots of different light sources from various points around the room. Use candles, table lights, floor standing lamps or even light boxes. In the bedroom bedside lights are a must and I’m totally in love with the idea of lampshades hanging down by each side of the bed. Artificial light (particularly if its bright) beyond daylight hours actually suppresses the release of melatonin which is the hormone responsible for maintaining the body's circadian rhythm. Get creative and whatever you do don’t rely on just that pendant light in the middle of the room!
5. How do I get a bit of HOTEL STYLE?
This is something that clients often ask when I chat to them about the redesign of their bedroom and I think that to achieve a bit of hotel luxury it really involves bringing lots of different elements together. If you fancy a bit of luxe and gold then you're in luck since these are on trend at the minute there is a plethora of side tables and gold lamps for example that you get from any high street store.
One thing that everyone loves when you first walk into a hotel room is the fact that the room is relatively empty when you enter (i.e. not cluttered) and also the room has really been designed with the user experience in mind. You can turn off the lights by a switch by your bed and there is often a seated area should you wish to read or eat. I also think the decor always has a very intentional, considered look which doesn't mean that you've got to get rid of everything you already have but have a little room audit - maybe that means throwing out that mirror you've had since uni...
This is essential for that cosy feel. Sheepkin has such a nice texture and throws are decorative as well as functional for those chilly nights (which we've had a lot of this year). Use patterns and textures that catch your eye and normally I leave this as one of the last jobs when designing a room when everything else is in there.
You're definitely going to need some furniture in your bedroom for the main function of dressing and getting ready and most rooms will need bedside tables, drawers, some wardrobes and maybe a dressing table if you do make-up in your bedroom rather than the bathroom. If you're super lucky and have a dressing room then you really can have a clutter free bedroom! You can go for furniture all matching or go for a more electric look with mixing and matching different pieces. You could even upcycle an old piece in a contrast colour to the walls. You can have built in wardrobes which I'm not always a massive fan of but they can work really well in alcoves and when painted the same colour as the walls so not to overpower the room.
Mirrors and artwork make any room so don't forget them in your bedroom. Again choose things that make you feel calm and maybe consider something motivational or some word art to inspire you the minute you jump out of bed!
I'm not sure if you've noticed but some of my blog posts this year have taken a new direction and I've been focussing on specific rooms, discussing how you can get inspiration and how you can really make a room your own. I'm always asking my diligent readers what they'd like me to write about and this was something that was requested by a few people last year. Bedrooms can be really fun rooms to decorate as we don't imagine having to show guests around them so we can be brave and go for something we really love! I'd love to hear your own favourite bedroom tips especially if its something that I've missed. See you next week for a special treat - my first ever guest post from a local lady with a lot to share about home renovations.
Yours in colour and creativity,
Disclaimer: All photography by me.