Agent Provocateur: How to create the perfect bedroom

Now designing bedlinen, the saucy knicker house shows gives ten tips to planning your bedroom, by Annie Deakin
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The Independent Online

‘Moulin rouge isn’t my look,’ says Sarah Shotton, Creative Director of Agent Provocateur. ‘I don’t like a naf boudoir-type bedroom; it’s important to get the right ambience between sexy and cosy.’ The luxury lingerie brand has recently unveiled its first home collection including bed linen and towels. Here, Shotton shares her tips for creating the perfect bedroom. ‘Bedrooms should be a relaxing space,’ she says. ‘Living rooms and kitchens end up being where people run around but bedrooms should be for quiet time.’

1. Lighting - It’s the most important bit of bedroom design. Ideally, you want side table lights. If you have overhead lighting, it must be on dimmer switches.

2. Candles - There is nothing worse than a stale smelling bedroom. Create your own unique smelling bedroom by mixing musty or leathery smelling candles with something sweet like Ditpyque Pomegranate and Fig mixed with Tuberose.

3. Colours - How you paint your walls will affect your mood. I once painted my bedroom hot pink and yellow – it sent me a bit crazy. Yellow isn’t good for bedrooms as it’s a sign of madness. My bedroom is now a very soft pink but I’m about to change it to a mint-y, green-y, grey. I change my rooms once a year. Sometimes, stark white rooms can be really sexy. It depends on furniture.

4. Cushions - Bed should look really welcoming with many different shaped, sized and textured cushions. Mix silk with jacquard. A bed with just two cushions looks a bit sorry for itself.

5. Wall hangings - What you hang on your walls can affect your emotions. I like it when people hang things like vintage dressing gowns and playsuits around a bedroom. A bedroom should be like a sanctuary but also quite sexy.

6. Flooring - Carpet is really important. Some friends have floorboards in their bedrooms that look great but they’re not very cosy or warm. If you’ve got floorboards, you need a rug by the bed.

7. Entertainment - It’s always good to have music in your bedroom, even just a little radio. TV and computers are a no, no in the bedroom.

8. Window fixtures – I love curtains that are quite dramatic and give you a boudoir feel. Curtains do need to be beautifully made, not shop bought. They should be really heavy, drag on the floor and be pulled to the side.

9. Furniture – If there’s space, a chaise longue or day bed is great. Lie down, read, chill out. It’s nice to have a beautiful 1950s dressing table. I remember when I was younger watching my mum get ready at her dressing table. I can see a trend for more interesting beds coming back. I have a beautiful antique sleigh bed and we have a four-poster bed in our head office. There is something very sensual about something above your head; it’s the feeling of being enclosed.

10. Bedlinen - When designing bed linen for Agent Provocateur, I wanted something interesting for both sexes that sticks with the brand. Our cotton range is very heavy and luxurious and has a satin touch to it, like our lingerie. We’ve done black or white with baby pink piping. We use the same silk for our knickers and for the silk bed sheets. For the ultimate boudoir, we have a super luxe and totally frou frou range with ruffles and a leopard print. Just don’t think Rod Stewart It’s charcoal grey and black.

Annie Deakin is interiors writer for sofa and interior design website