The Insider: How to create a relaxing bedroom


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The Independent Online

The season of panic buying and family tension is nigh. One's bedroom, therefore, more than ever, must be a sanctuary from the madness. Here's how to make sure yours does the job...

Fit for purpose

"Every piece of furniture should have a function, as well as looking great," says Judith Wilson in her book Casual Living (£19.99, Ryland Peters & Small). "The more streamlined, the more tranquil."

Lighten up

Go easy on strong, warm colours: they stimulate rather than calm.

Sleep lightly

"Don't hang a heavy picture above your bed," warns Sylvia Bennett of "Your subconscious won't relax at night worrying it may fall on you." She also advises hiding work paraphernalia ("the vibrations disturb sleep") and adding an orchid, which exudes plentiful oxygen after dark.

Perfect scents

"A spritz of room fragrance can transform the atmosphere of a space," says Talib Choudhry of luxe interiors agency, Starworks. "Try Jo Malone's Basil & Verbena Living Cologne to freshen things up or go warmer with Diptique's relaxing Baies room spray."

Crease up

"Pick a bedcover that looks as pretty rumpled as it does smoothed down," says Judith Wilson. Eiderdowns are chic-ly old-school and hide many sins (try for vintage or for hip prints), while my friend Holly swears by a no-need-to-iron waffle-textured duvet cover.

Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at