At the end of the day your bedroom is your sanctuary. Use these expert tips on design, decor and furnishings to make it a beautiful retreat.
More than any other area of the house, your bedroom should be a calm and pleasing space. "Increasingly, the bedroom is becoming the only private place where we can truly relax," says Ikea's Bedroom Range Leader, Chris Cadzow. "What this means is we're seeing bedrooms become a decorating priority."
When it comes to setting up a blissful bedroom there are a couple of factors to keep in mind, says David Heimann, Director of Sydney style emporium Orson & Blake. "A bedroom should reflect your personality, and, more essentially, deliver a good night's sleep. It should have storage, gentle lighting and tactile textures," he says.
Heimann notes that the luxe look is top of people's lists when they're updating their bedrooms. "You can achieve this by combining grand gestures with feminine details - for instance, decorative wallpapers with sumptuous velvets and linens, over-scaled elements and upholstered walls or bedheads. Crystal lighting also works well, as does a deep, moody colour palette."
But everyone's different. Your idea of heavenly may be, say, an all-white space or simply a bedroom that has built-ins or is a suitable size for a four-poster. And that's the key to creating your ideal space: pinpointing a look or feel you love.
In the blackThe main element to consider when decorating a bedroom is the colour scheme. If you're in your bedroom only after the sun goes down, enhance your room's dark side. In a bold decorating move, you can showcase a luxurious boudoir look, with decorative walls and a glittering metallic pendant light.
Sydney interior designer Lynda Kerry suggests using a blue-black paint or wallpaper. "A true black is probably going to be too harsh for any bedroom," says Kerry, who is a fan of beautiful, moody rooms, "but a blue-black paint, particularly if it has a touch of gloss, will bounce the light around sufficiently." Texture is also an important tool. "When you're using such an intense colour, it's great to have some textural points of interest." And, of course, contrast comes strongly into play: "I'd opt for simple, good-quality white bedlinen to make the room pop."
Low overheadsIn cooler climes, bedrooms are traditionally in hideaway places, such as on mezzanines and in lofts or attics. "You have to be careful with calculations when designing an attic bedroom. The roof height is quite restrictive and it also limits the style of window. The only covering that would work with the shape and size here was customised plantation shutters." You can counteract these limitations by placing the bed away from the walls to create a space for a dressing table. A design like this can also allow for metres of storage, in the form of custom-designed wardrobes and drawers.
Artful touchBedrooms work best when the decor expresses an owner's personality, while still projecting a sense of calm. A subtle colour scheme will add to the relaxed atmosphere but you need some drama in the decor to spark interest. Artworks, such as paintings, sculptures or architectural details, can work wonders. However, the art needs to reflect its surroundings. A painting shouldn't be of a subject that's too alarming or in a style that's aesthetically confronting. "A painting can add texture, as if it were a piece of beautiful fabric or a mosaic." When selecting artwork, consider subject matter, colour and size, Elliott says. "Trust your feelings. Very bold paintings can work."
Custom fitInterior designer Greg Natale believes a tone-on-tone palette is an important part of the luxurious hotel-style look he favours. But the key to pulling it together, he says, is symmetry. "It's about coordination, finding a pair of good bedside tables and table lamps. I love things to match. If you do it well, it works."
Colour and pattern take a back seat in this type of bedroom, allowing texture and shape to come into play. "Rather than simply painting a wall, you could upholster the walls or paper them with a grass-weave wallpaper to introduce a bit of texture," he says. To keep the bed sleek, Natale opted for a custom-made bedcover and pillow shams. "You simply can't get that tailored hotel look with a quilt," he says. "I'd recommend having your bedding custom-made instead."
Clean and sereneIf the bedroom is going to be crisp and minimal, key accessories - such as a woven throw, artworks above the bed and glossy, richly toned floorboards - ensure it doesn't feel sterile. Melbourne architect and designer Clare Cousins says: "This approach is more about a sense of reduction in a room, creating clean-line cosiness, if you like".Live like a kingWhen it comes to bed size, king is the new queen, says Sarkis Movsessian, Bedding Manager at Domayne's flagship store in Alexandria, NSW. "More people are buying king-size for the simple reason that they don't want to disturb their partner during the night," he says. Of course, you need a good-size bedroom to comfortably accommodate a king - and this is something architects and designers should consider when they draw up bedroom plans. "The bed you choose will dictate the look and style of your room, but space is the most important consideration," says Movsessian."Another thing to keep in mind is that a mattress and sprung base take up less floor space than a mattress and bed," says Movsessian.
What's in store?Storage should be a priority in any bedroom - after all, who likes to sleep surrounded by stuff? "Second only to a comfortable bed is the need for sufficient storage so you can create an uncluttered sanctuary," says Chris Cadzow, Ikea's Range Leader for Bedrooms. Built-ins or a walk-in wardrobe may be the best solution, but if you haven't got the space there are other options. Sometimes, the answer is to think vertically, using cabinetry to maximise what might otherwise have been unused space around the bed. "High cupboards can store out-of-season or rarely used items. Either side of the bed, you could have hanging space for jackets and coats. I'd also suggest ditching the bedside tables in favour of a headboard with storage space to hold books and lamps," says Cadzow. It's a great way to add a design feature while providing a place to store bedroom necessities.
Consider luxurious bedding, with an abundance of down pillows, a quilt cover and blankets in pure cotton. Accessorise with upholstered furniture.
Lamps and candles play a vital role in setting up a room that serves as a retreat from our busy lives.Window wiseJenny Brown, Luxaflex Window Fashions Marketing Manager, offers these tips on bedroom window coverings: Look for energy-efficient shades such as Luxaflex’s Duette Architella, which has built-in air pockets to keep your bedroom cool in summer and warm in winter.
Privacy sheers work well in the bedroom. Luxaflex makes a sheer that filters daylight, but also has fabric vanes that can be drawn for a dark room. On trendOrson & Blake Director David Heimann explains what’s hot right now: Luxe Hollywood glamour meets exotic touches.
Easy and calm White-on-white, for a Zen-style sanctuary.
Handsome and tailored Get the look by combining oak furniture with leather, cotton and linen fabrics.
Vibrant hippy love Go crazy with colour, then add vintage pieces and over-size motifs.
Eco Choose timber and bamboo, then mix in rustic and recycled items.