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Sweet dreams

No longer just a place to sleep, the bedroom is an escape from the world outside, a private retreat where you can relax and be yourself. But to help you unwind you need more than a comfy bed. A restful colour scheme is important, as is a decorating theme that reflects your own style.

Keep bedrooms close to the bathroom or have an adjoining ensuite. The positioning of bedrooms needs thought. They should be near bathrooms and away from noisy living rooms. Many modern houses have now the 'parents retreat' at one end of the house and the children's bedrooms at the other, maybe with stairs in between if they're on different levels.

This is fine if those children are teenagers, not so great if you have to tend to hungry babies or upset toddlers in the middle of the night. Ok intercoms are at help to hear your baby crying but you still have to get up to check what is the trouble... A good solution would be to convert an adjoining study or dressing room into a nursery for the first couple of years.

A built-in wardrobe is a real space saver because space is generally limited in a bedroom, you need a place for everything so you are not drown under a sea of clutter and clothes. Built-in-wardrobes are efficient and depending on your preference, they come with shelves, baskets or drawers for practical storage, low hanging rails for shirts, skirts and trousers and high rails for gowns and long dresses or coats.

If space is no issue, go all out and custom design a designated his and hers walk-in-robe.

Use your bed linen for design inspiration. Remember that your bedroom is a private place where you can indulge your fantasies. Here you can go wild with colour, swim against the fashion tide and generally do your own thing. If you're short on ideas, check out the latest bed linen collections. Leading bed linen companies produce glossy brochures full of bright ideas or you can search the web. The range of quilt covers and accessories is vast, so many design influences, it surely will get you inspired. Have a little fun with mixing patterns, you can easily mix florals, patterns, plains, spots and stripes... The more you pile on bed, the better. Inject colour and texture through textiles.

Having a personal reaction to certain colours is normal and while that response will vary from person to person, there are a few general rules of thumb. Use colour in the bedroom wisely. Blues and greens tend to have a calming effect while studies shown that red can be overstimulating, so a red accent in the bedroom might not sound as a bad idea :-)

Make light work by placing enough powerpoints. Think ahead: You need to make provision for bedside lights, a clock radio, electric blanket, phone charger, and students for a desk lamp, computer and perhaps a television or sound system. Consider lights in the wardrobe too so you can see into dark corners. Think about pelmet lighting over the window or behind your bedhead to give a warm, background glow. Also don't overlook a central ceiling light or downlights for flick-of-the-switch convenience when you enter the room but dimmer control is essential, for when you want to create a romantic ambience, it is after all your bedroom.

Timber floors contribute to a look of warmth but don't necessarily 'feel' warm in winter, so you might want to add rugs where you stand or linger the most. Wall-to-wall carpet is very popular in bedrooms because it feels as warm underfoot as it looks. The downside is if you're an asthma sufferer, carpet in the bedroom is not a good idea because it will collect dust.

If someone in your family has the bad habit of leaving recently worn clothes on the floor, be creative and add a comfortable armchair. Comfort in the bedroom is always enhanced with the addition of a chair. A well-padded, beautifully upholstered armchair provides somewhere to sit or lean on while dressing, a place of retreat where you can read a good book, away from family life.

The time before bed is sacred. What you do before bed time determines how well you sleep and whether you will wake up the next day energised. I often thought that morning routines were key until I realised that a morning routine is useless if you wake up tired and lifeless.

It’s hard to get out of bed and start your day with a bang if you haven’t slept well and didn't set your day up the night before. So chill, spend time with your loved ones, let your worries rest and contemplate what you have achieved. Appreciating one thing helps you to realise how much you already have. Every day, you get one gift of something going right amongst all the stuff that goes wrong. This gift is a good focus point to reflect on and be at peace with.

Every day, one thing is going right for you. What is it?

Did the car start? Did someone hold the door open? Did the customer do what you wanted them to do? Did you get to read that book?

There are plenty of things that went right in a day and remember one of them will help you prepare for tomorrow and wake up energised.

Sweet dreams x


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