It’s Sleeptember this month – an event organised by The Sleep Council which runs throughout September, reminding us of the benefits of a good night’s sleep as well as how to get it. A healthy lifestyle and regular sleep patterns are a good starting point, but our surroundings have a big part to play in addition.
As Architects and Interior Designers, we know the importance, not just of creating a fully functional space, but also providing a restful and luxurious retreat when it comes to clients’ bedrooms.
Let there be light
Lighting is key in a bedroom; however beautiful your furnishings or décor; if it is too harsh or too sparse it can make or break the look and feel of a room. Getting it right is essential in a multifunctional space where you may want complete contrasts, for example, eradicating as much light as possible for sleep, and ensuring enough light for functionality at other times.
Lighting can be divided into three categories; ambient, task and accent. Using all three in layers creates clever, inviting spaces.
Ambient lighting is the general light source in a room, for example a main overhead light or series of spotlights. In a bedroom it is an idea for the main light source to be dimmable.
Task lighting is lighting used for a specific purpose, for example, bedside lights in bedrooms for reading. You may also want this kind of lighting inside a wardrobe or above a dressing table.
Accent lighting can be used to highlight any focal areas, perhaps a favourite piece of art. Accent lights can also be positioned either side of a headboard, as often seen in hotel rooms.
Night Lights are another good option for bedroom lighting. These are handy to have adjacent to a bedside table, and provide enough of a glow to see where you’re going, without the need to turn on brighter lights or risk disturbing a partner.
Room with a view
If there are architectural elements of a bedroom that are special or striking, we are always keen to showcase these; a high ceiling can be highlighted by a chandelier or striking pendant. Conversely a great deal can be done design wise to compensate for areas that might not be your ideal.
A lovely view can be enhanced by lowering the window sills and positioning the bed to make the most of these. Clever use of window dressings can also make an impact.
Older properties may have fireplace details which can be charming in a bedroom and create an additional point of focus.
Clear of clutter
An untidy bedroom with clothes thrown over chairs or piled up on the floor creates both mental and physical clutter. To overcome this, installing a dressing room is a luxurious yet very functional use of space, which clearly separates storage from sleeping areas.
Alternatively, built in or walk in wardrobes with customised shelving to suit a client’s needs are a popular choice and blend more seamlessly into a room than freestanding options. Bespoke wardrobes can also be designed to fit around odd angles and maximise all available space.
Children’s bedrooms tend to be an exception, but generally speaking, calm colours in muted, restful shades are best for bedrooms. Warmer neutrals can be effective for counteracting the Blue tinged light in North facing bedrooms, whilst cooler shades like Greys, Duck Egg Blue and Eau De Nil are wonderfully soothing and work well with a neutral palette. If you are a fan of bolder colours these can then be introduced by way of accessories and soft furnishings such as bedding and cushions.
The finishing touches
Cushions, throws, rugs, a favourite ornament or piece of art, fresh flowers or plants and natural wax candles combine to create a personal sanctuary. Don’t forget texture, which adds depth and interest to an interiors scheme – chunky, large knitted throws and cushions are ideal for this, as is an interesting statement headboard. Generally, natural materials like Linen, Wool and Cotton work well in bedrooms, while Velvet or Brocades can add a more luxurious feel.
Single bed shot:
Isla loveseat sofabed in Jade smart velvet by Sofa.com (@sofadotcom)
Bed with rug in foreground and knitted pouffe to side:
Noble Aztec Rug, www.carpetright.co.uk (@carpetright_uk)
Grey panelled bedroom:
Dimensions Heathers Stripe in Highland carpet by Brockway Carpets (@brockwaycarpets)