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The reception rooms of the home are often styled with great enthusiasm, but interest can sometimes wane when decorating bedrooms. We live hectic lives which incorporate work, family, socialising and exercise. However, there is one constant: we start and finish each day in our bedroom.

Everyone has a different request when decorating a bedroom.  Some see it as just a place to sleep and change, while others see it as a sanctuary.  I encourage you to think about the bedroom space.  The key to making it work, and this is regardless of size, is tidiness and organisation. If the space is untidy then no amount of styling will make it work.

Most bedrooms are average size and it can be tempting to play safe with muted colours, but think again.  Look at the bed: it fills a large proportion of the space available in the bedroom, therefore this space should be used to dramatic effect. I like to think of it as the main character on a bigger stage. It is the central statement which can be transformed by simply changing bedlinen.  The choice of how to dress the bed is vital to creating atmosphere and luxury.  There is a vast choice of luxurious bedlinen available so bedtime need never be boring.

I encourage clients to buy two sets of linen with a common colour strand, this way on laundry day your room will maintain the décor style while giving it a fresh new look.

Two very different styles of bedlinen will create a very different ambiance in the room.  A cool grey such as Dulux Moon Sand on the walls gives a lovely backdrop with wooden floors.  The mink colour quilt above is classic luxury defined by the embossed pattern while, below, the warm orange tones with blue hues coupled with textured cushions change the look to a more country/ethnic ambience.  

Headboards can be the centre of décor for a bedroom.  Colour and drama can be introduced in upholstered headboards, while the more adventurous may make a unique headboard from recycled materials. These antique wood panels make a bold statement as a headboard. This is a unique, classic design. The muted mink tones of the bedlinen with large dragonfly adds further drama while being sleek and luxurious. This screams passion and class.

Dulux Calm Cloud muted grey is soft, yet fresh for walls, and when paired with modern vibrant bedlinen it becomes sharp and crisp. This look is all about accessories. A high headboard in a plain fabric and simple line keeps the look sharp. Voile curtains defuse light and can be combined with blinds if more blackout is required. The simplicity of the side table and rug keep everything else calm. 

A mural feature wall is another way to add that wow factor to any room.  Digital printing has opened up so many options for murals and many companies offer a bespoke service. This soft floral image adds romance and femininity and offers a range of colours to blend with in paint, furniture and accessories.

Bring the outdoors inside.  Large blooms coupled with faded wood and drift wood will have you dreaming of the shores of the Wild Atlantic Way. With soft light filtering through the tiered colour of the voiles, I can almost hear the waves breaking. 

Lighting is vital to the ambience throughout your home but especially in the bedroom.  Make note of areas where more lighting is required for reading and application of make-up.   Use specific task lighting in these areas.  A chandelier or interesting shade can link elements of the room giving the wow factor, it is a room where you can use a slightly more decadent light.

Choose bedside lamps for colours and design.

Tired furniture can be given a new lease of life by painting or simply change the knobs to add interest. Jewel coloured knobs will transform any chest of drawers. Pair with matching hooks for added detail. 

Finally, add a touch of class to your window with an interesting curtain pole, designer finials and luxury curtains. 

Sleep tight!


Rita O’Driscoll

Interior Designer




Products Acknowledgments: Harlequin Fabrics, Anthropologie,  Walcott.


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