Blissful Boudoir: How to create the bedroom of your dreams
Winter's a time for hibernating, and our bedrooms should be a cosy retreat. Gabrielle Fagan sources essential ingredients for blissful boudoirs
As winter approaches there's no better time to transform your bedroom into a luxurious bolthole, where you can relax as well as sleep.
You'll ensure sweet dreams if you literally allow your imagination to run wild and indulge your taste to create a sanctuary that soothes your senses.
"When it comes to creating the perfect winter retreat, you need to make sure it's as snug and as inviting as possible," says Damian Topping at bed specialists, Dreams.
"We're demanding far more of this room than ever before, because it's often used as another 'lounge' where we sit and relax, watch television, and generally enjoy private time.
"Nowadays, we find people have very definite ideas about their style. They've often stayed in hotels and want to replicate a look they've liked, whether it's ultra-traditional, romantic or a sophisticated, 'hotel' style which leans to the contemporary."
The bed is usually the largest piece of furniture in a bedroom and will dominate the space, so care needs to be taken in choosing its scale, design and style. But equally important is making the right decor choice, says colour and design manager at Dulux Rebecca Thompson.
"Colour affects our mood and is particularly key in setting this room's atmosphere. While soft neutrals conjure a serene, restful space, that doesn't mean you can't have colour which is so popular in homes currently," she says.
"Greens and blues are popular, and I'd favour a rising star in the colour palette, indigo. It's a striking, rich statement shade inspired by dreamy, ocean landscapes hidden from everyone but deep sea divers.
"It tones with warm neutrals or other soothing tones of blue or purple."
Get the look with Indigo Night from the Dulux Paint Mixing range, one litre emulsion, £14.89 (€18.50).
If a makeover's beyond the budget, simply opting for new bedding to welcome winter can be just as effective, advises interiors specialist, Alison Cork.
"Good bed linen can totally transform not only the look of your bedroom but also your sleep quality," she says.
"A beautiful set of crisp white soft sheets will give a bed an instant lift, and the comfort and texture can help you drift off more comfortably too."
Four-poster beds, buttoned headboards and sumptuous fabrics are all key ingredients of a room where indulgence and sensuality rule.
"This is a room which is a visual feast and pleases the senses," says Rachael Offer, senior designer at Ashley Wilde, who have a variety of celebrity bed linen brands.
"Mix sumptuous faux fur cushions with silky satin and velvet fabrics to create a full-on luxury feel. Little details count as well, from gilded mirrors to glass ornaments which catch the light, and lighting's all important.
"Give a soft flattering glow with fairy lights, side lamps or candles."
The essence of country style is pared-back decoration, with the emphasis on texture and quality and natural materials.
Decor should be simple with painted or tongue-and-groove panelled walls, or wallpaper featuring nature to help set a rustic scene.
"Keep clashing patterns to a minimum and instead layer textured soft furnishings, quilts and cushions to give a snuggly feel," says Damian Topping.
"Use a large rug, such as a sheepskin, to add warmth on wooden floorboards or hard floors. Add to the air of informality by using, instead of a bedside table, books stacked in a small tower by the bedside. Opt for functional, practical lights and a few well-chosen prints for the walls. Fussy embellishment has no place in these rooms."
For contemporary hotel design invest in neutral bed linen, in crisp cotton and natural fabrics, a quality duvet, and pile up fluffy pillows, says Topping.
"A plain decor scheme can be enlivened with a wall of pattern whose colours tie in with the neutral shades on the wall," he says.
"Opt, ideally, for a generous sized headboard and streamlined furniture to add subtle but understated style. Overdress the bed, with an abundance of covers, quilts and a runner to create a lavish effect."
Minimise clutter, he advises, and enhance the room with soft lighting using sidelighters and dimmers.
"This style of room should cocoon you and black-out blinds and inter-lined curtains will avoid any chinks of light from disturbing your sleep."