Sweet dream style
Creating a beautiful boudoir needn’t be just a dream. Designers share their bedroom style secrets with Gabrielle Fagan, so you can create a cosy retreat this autumn
Chilly autumn days make us yearn to be cosy and warm, and the bedroom’s the ideal place to conjure a snug sanctuary in your home.
After all, this is the space where we retreat not merely to sleep, but to recharge, relax and rest. And to be truly successful, it should reflect our taste in its furniture and pander to our desire for comfort and pampering in its furnishings.
“This season, my bedroom’s been inspired by fashion and the classic white shirt,” says Julie Hall, head of home design at bed linen specialists, Bedeck.
“Pure white and cream cotton linens are calming and tranquil, and they give a timeless, elegant look. I like the way pale shades create tone and texture, and can be easily accessorised with a luxurious faux fur or chunky knit throw to cosy up under on a dark, winter night.”
Relaxed elegance is at the heart of the decor trend for bedrooms this autumn, she says, and followers of fashion should consider a vibrant palette of plum, denim and copper, complemented by soft aqua, champagne and rose pink.
Four experts reveal their bedroom secrets so you can create a beautiful boudoir of your own.
TOUCH ME TEXTURE
“A great bedroom should feel like a sanctuary, which is aesthetically pleasing yet functional, and should contain thoughtfully selected pieces that mirror your personality,” says Julie Paul, head of interior design at OKA.
“My personal style is slightly eclectic, veering towards English/French heritage. I like a soft palette and love the muted shades characteristic of Swedish interiors, which work so well in our sharp English light.”
STYLE TIPS: Aim for a mix of great textures and colours, and always include stand-out pieces, like a striking lamp or a bright throw.
TRENDS: Rich colours and metallics will star, she says, and all it takes is a new velvet throw or piece of furniture to update a room.
LIGHT AND SHADE
“The most important piece of furniture in any bedroom is obviously the bed, and it should take centre stage, so always get the largest one you can accommodate,” says Wayne Clarke, creative director for And So To Bed.
“My personal favourite is a bedstead I bought at an auction when I was 18 years old – a solid, wooden four-poster, hand-carved with African animals.
“It’s a fun and hugely dramatic centrepiece in my bedroom, and my love of animals is reflected in the Handel bed, in our range. This has an equestrian feel with tan metal bedstead straps, fashioned to look like worn leather tack for horses.”
STYLE TIPS: Luxury and layering are essential, he says, and suggests white linen bedding with a high thread cotton count, silk bedcovers and cashmere or fox fur throws.
TRENDS: “This Autumn I’m loving rich berry colours and a combination of interesting textures,” he says.
“Calm, warmth and serenity are essential for a great bedroom,” says Claire Hornby, creative stylist for Barker & Stonehouse.
“My bedroom is a mix of materials and finishes because I love that ‘industrial rustic’ look, which has so much personality.
“I have a reclaimed wooden floor, walls painted in Farrow & Ball Light Blue, a linen button-back headboard, mahogany wardrobes, pieces I’ve collected while travelling in India, and a kilim rug and cushions from Turkey.”
STYLE TIPS: If you have a small bedroom, she advises, avoid a feature wall or patterned paper, use a pale colour for the floor, and have a large mirror to reflect light.
TRENDS: Coral, taupe and grey, with accents of teal greens, will feature strongly this season, and in bedrooms there’s a choice of Hotel Luxe or classic English country house featuring tweeds, linens and washed out woods.
“A bedroom must be a haven of tranquility and a place to escape at the end of the day, which means that well-designed storage is vital,” says Wendy Morris Lea, product designer at John Lewis of Hungerford.
“I love contemporary styling at home, and in my bedroom I have soft colours – warm greys and blossom tones – and a range of textures to conjure a warm, homely atmosphere.
“Built-in furniture ensures there’s no clutter and there’s a feeling of order in the room; every inch of space is used. My dream would be a built-in vanity unit so I could dispense with my dressing table.”
STYLE TIPS: Mixing old pieces with newer ones in varied grey tones has been popular, and if this is used with pink hues, it will give a feminine feel to a room.
TRENDS: A brighter, fresher colour palette with turquoise and shades of yellow will star next year, says Morris Lea.
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