Let’s go to bed: How to create the cosy winter retreat you’ve always dreamed of

October 17, 2019 7:45:13 AM

A bedroom is arguably the most important room in your home. It’s a space just for you – and possibly your partner – where you can relax, shut off from the outside world and just be yourself. So, if yours is in need of an update, let our four experts help you with the ultimate seasonal transformation.

Keep it minimal, says Georgia Metcalfe, creative director of The French Bedroom Company

Soho Black Velvet Bed With Grass Gold Studys, from £995; Leopard Print Fur Throw, £99; Plushious Velvet Teal Bedspread, £360; Boutique 400 Tuxedo Bed Linen Set, Double, £99: Brass & Bronze Drum Pendant Light, £85, The French Bedroom Company (The French Bedroom Company/PA)
Soho Black Velvet Bed With Brass Gold Studs, from £995; Leopard Print Fur Throw, £99; Plushious Velvet Teal Bedspread, £360; Boutique 400 Tuxedo Bed Linen Set, Double, £99; Brass & Bronze Drum Pendant Light, £85, The French Bedroom Company (The French Bedroom Company/PA)

What’s your own bedroom style ?

“I like a minimalist style, as it helps to keep my mind clear and calm,” says Metcalfe. “Also, that makes it easy to add accessories to suit my mood, the seasons or the trends.”

Georgia Metcalfe, Creative Director, The French Bedroom Company. (The French Bedroom Company/PA)
Georgia Metcalfe, creative director, The French Bedroom Company (The French Bedroom Company/PA)

“My black velvet bed is accessorised with a green velvet throw and cushion. Green’s been a huge trend for the last two years and I love the effect it has on my mood – energising in the morning and calming in the evening.

“I am tempted for next season by a navy blue velvet throw, as I love the chic combination of navy and black together.

“My ultimate luxury is having a freestanding bath in the room. There’s no single thing better than a hot bath at the end of the day, and it’s lovely to be able to bathe the children while I potter around chatting and tidying.”

Metcalfe says: “I’m surrounded by beautiful, elegant and feminine pieces by day and I enjoy being more minimal and monochrome when I’m at home. Everything in perfect balance!”

How do you create the perfect bedroom?

“Your bedroom’s your sanctuary, so make it a personal and private space, creating a place for memories and keepsakes,” she suggests.

Over-complicated colour schemes should be avoided, she warns: “Far better to choose one base colour (white, ivory, cream, fawn or grey) and accessorise with an accent colour.

“A great alternative to colour is texture – just one single soft colour in multiple textures. I’m a huge fan of soft ivory in textures such as silk, lace, cotton, velvet, linen, wood, and cashmere or wool.”

Finally, she suggests blocking out external noise with inter-lined velvet curtains, and scenting the room as a finishing touch. “A few drops of geranium – my favourite essential oil – on my pillow in the morning, allows the scent to gradually fill the room, ready for my evening arrival,” she says.

Play up the personality, says designer and TV star, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

Tropicoco duvet set, in cotton, from £75 for a double set. It is part of the new Sleeping Beauty Collection by Laurence Lllewlyn Bowen made in collaboration with bedding designers J Rosenthal. (Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen/PA)
Tropicoco Duvet Cover Set by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, from £100 for a double, available from Appletree Living (Appletree Living/PA)

What’s your own bedroom style?

“My bedroom has a lot of black, which anchors my scheme. Generally speaking, dark colours are better for bedrooms, because they create a more restful and cocooning atmosphere, rather than light, bright colour palettes,” explains designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, whose new range for Appletree Living includes a black and gold Dandy duvet set, from £75.

Designer, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (Steve Thorp/PA)
Designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (Steve Thorp/Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen/PA)

“Our walls are neutral and contrast with a black carpet and headboard.  Beautiful champagne-coloured silk curtains dress the many windows,” he elaborates.

“I’m very, very fond of our photographs, in fabulous heavy black frames, of our two daughters and our family. They add to a display of photos taken over the last 25 years of ‘celebrity-dom’!

“My favourite item is a lovely Georgian starburst mirror which I bought in a flea market and works really well.”

Gold Sunburst Mirror, £135, Audenza (Audenza/PA)
Gold Sunburst Mirror, £135, Audenza (Audenza/PA)

With a dressing room and a bathroom leading off the bedroom, he can see the roll-top bath from the bed. “It’s a lovely way of celebrating space, but also maximising the efficiency of how it works,” he enthuses.

How do you create the perfect bedroom?

“The big thing is adding personality, and the more personality the better,” he urges. “So, if you feel like being Cleopatra, be Cleopatra! It’s about really letting go and not denying yourself – just go for it!

“You’re actually at your happiest when you inhabit a space that really reflects who you are, and a private, inner sanctum like a bedroom is the perfect place to express that.”

Flamboyant and stylish, Llewelyn-Bowen is no fan of minimalism or hiding possessions away.

“If you’ve got things that mean a lot to you, surround yourself with them. Surrounding yourself with the things you own is surrounding yourself with memories and the stories of your life – stop putting them away in a cupboard!”

Bring in the light, says Andrew Tanner, design manager for Sainsbury’s Home & Argos Home

Argos Home Highland Lodge Bedroom, www.argos.co.uk (Argos/PA)
Argos Home Blissford Four Poster Kingsize Bed Frame, Pine, currently £336.49 from £449; Highland Check Rug, £28; Highlands Brushed Check Cushion, Multicoloured, £14; Small Faux Sheepskin Rug, Blush, £20 (Argos/PA)

What’s your own bedroom style?

“Our room has Crittall-style wardrobes, which I love, as it allows for display in the bedroom and also adds a feeling of space and light,” reveals Tanner.

Andrew Tanner, Design Manager, Sainsbury's Home & Argos (Sainsbury's/PA)
Andrew Tanner, design manager for Sainsbury’s Home and Argos Home (Sainsbury’s/PA)

“We have stripped floorboards and the style of the room reflects the age of the property, which is a 200-year-old former post office.

“Framed photos of our children are grouped on one wall as a feature, which we often change to refresh the look. The lighting is gentle, mainly floor and table lamps.”

How do you create the perfect bedroom?

“Make rooms relevant to your personality, but choose neutral paint which won’t date or restrict your colour choices for bed linen and accessories,” he advises.

“In winter, I love injecting new richly-coloured throws and accent cushions, and using them to layer the bed, which makes it look pampering and cosy.”

Store away for serenity, says Jacquie Dunton, creative director for Sweetpea & Willow

Olivia Bed, With Dark Walnut & Brass Effect Base, from £1,360; Constance Inlay Chest of Drawers,. £1,575; Constance Inlay Bedside Table,: £690, Sweetpea & Willow. (Sweetpea & Willow/PA)
Olivia Bed, from £1,360; Constance Inlay Chest of Drawers, £1,575; Constance Inlay Bedside Table: £690, Sweetpea & Willow (Sweetpea & Willow/PA)

What’s your own bedroom style ?

“My bedroom is mainly white with lots of light flowing through. I deal with colour, shapes and texture every day, so when I get home, I like a simple palette to clear my mind,” says Dunton.

Jacquie Dunton, Creative Director, Sweetpea & Willow (Sweetpea & Willow/PA)
Jacquie Dunton, creative director at Sweetpea & Willow (Sweetpea & Willow/PA)

“I love table displays and have a collection of china ring trays on my bedside table. I can’t resist buying new scatter cushions and throws. Every so often, I’ll update the chandelier above the bed – it’s a simple change which has a big impact.

“In the colder months, I drape a pure white faux fur throw on my bed. My kids love to snuggle up on it on lazy Sunday mornings.”

How do you create the perfect bedroom?

“Keep the palette simple. Look for relaxing colours to paint the walls and keep your room as clutter free as possible,” she advises.

“Storage is everything. Built-in wardrobes, beds with in-built storage, and bedside tables with drawers are great ways to achieve a calm and tidy space, where rest and relaxation is a priority.”

“Side lamps are such an important feature, especially in winter.  When I have guests staying over, I always make sure side lamps are on when they arrive, and a scented candle is burning.”