Homes & Gardens
CREATING BEDROOMS WITH A SERENE FEEL “SOFT AQUA COLOURS IN EAST-FACING ROOMS ARE BEAUTIFUL BY DAY; WHILE SOUTH AND WEST-FACING ROOMS CAN TAKE SMOKIER SHADES LIKE LAVENDER”
COLOURS THAT CALM Everyone’s heard the line about blues and greens being the most calming colours, but it’s not the whole story. Karen Haller, an expert in colour psychology and author of The Little Book of Colour (£10.99, Penguin Life), explains: ‘It’s specifically the paler, softer shades that are restful. This is to do with the way we perceive colour in wavelengths that travel to the hypothalamus, the centre of the brain that governs our emotions and sleeping patterns.’ Warmer colours, such as pink and apricot, are just as soothing if they’re pale, she adds.
LIGHTING TO UNWIND BY The way lighting is controlled is key in a bedroom, says Sally Storey, creative director of John Cullen Lighting. ‘Dimmers are essential to change the mood from day to night. Make sure each light is controlled individually and with accessible switches, so you can eliminate glare easily when you’re in bed.’ She also stresses the importance of lampshades – translucent ones give softer, more diffused light, while solid ones create harsh beams – and recommends creating washes of light with LED strips concealed behind headboards and above curtains. Lastly, ensure the bulbs you choose have the correct ‘colour temperature’. They should always be labelled 2700K or lower, which are warmer and yellow in tone. ‘Anything higher will be too bluish and cold.’
TACTILE TEXTURES FOR COMFORT Experts agree – when it comes to textiles, natural is best. ‘Because they are breathable, natural fibres wick away moisture and prevent the body overheating – the primary cause of sleep disturbance,’ says Mark
Tremlett, founder of Naturalmat. Linen and silk have the same breathability. ‘Linen won’t leave you feeling clammy like synthetic fibres, which can irritate skin,’ says Jessica Mason of Piglet in Bed. Jo James, co-founder of bedding brand Bedfolk, makes her space more cosseting with an extra layer of pillows and ‘going one size up on the duvet’. As for floors, soft rugs by the bed for bare feet to step onto are essential. ‘They’re not just tactile, but also soften acoustics,’ says Jo Littlefair, director of Goddard Littlefair.
STORAGE AND LAYOUT The key ingredient for a peaceful bedroom is good flow of space. ‘Ensure you have room to make the bed easily and that movement around it is unhindered,’ says Tiffany Duggan, founder of Studio Duggan and TROVE. ‘Symmetry promotes a clear mind, too – match lamps and bedside rugs and hang art in pairs.’ Philippa Thorp, director of Thorp, believes vistas are important for your mood. ‘We always make beds high enough so that you can see out of the windows to a view beyond,’ she says.
PATRICK OÕDONNELL, colour consultant and brand ambassador, Farrow & Ball, farrow-ball.com