How to design a sumptuous and welcoming bedroom

Sophie Paterson is a world-class interior designer with a clean and modern style. We grill her for expert tips on how to create a gorgeous bedroom - from the perfect window treatment to the ideal colour palette...

What are the key things to consider before you begin to design a bedroom?

'Hundreds of considerations run through my head when I see a room and begin to assess how to best re-design it. I look at the strengths and weaknesses of the space, think about how to overcome any problems and make the most of its plus points.

I always ask a client to tell me what they love and hate about the space and we look at images of interiors that they like - a picture speaks a million words and helps convey quickly and efficiently what they are looking to achieve. In bedrooms most people want the same things on a practical level - peace and quiet, plenty of storage and flexible lighting to create a space where they can escape and relax.'

Where do you start when you design a bedroom?

'I always have our floor planner go into a space first before I start designing so I can do the most effective space planning using a scale floor plan. This saves so much time in measuring furniture and choosing the right pieces for the size and scale of the room.

I tend to start with fabrics I’m passionate about - in a bedroom I think that soft cocooning textures are essential in creating the right atmosphere.

Layering fabric upon fabric, in different textures, creates a plush, luxurious look.'

What are good colours to use to create a restful bedroom?

'Greys and taupes are ideal for a master bedroom. Their soft colour is calming and isn’t too feminine.

Whilst I love dark bedrooms in a hotel where you want to see drama and a statement design, for day-to-day living at home, I personally think there’s nothing more off-putting than a bedroom trying to be overtly sexy.

No satin sheets or black and red colour schemes for me thanks!'

What colour palette would you recommend?

'I predominantly use neutral interiors, but I am increasingly using colour in subtle ways. At the moment I have an obsession with purple and I love the combination of grey and turquoise.

I always create a moodboard for every room I design and if my clients are unsure of it I’ll bring along large swatches of fabric and finishes to view in the room. This is a useful exercise as the same colour can look completely different in different lights.'

What’s the best way to use wallpaper in a bedroom?

'To get it right there are a few key considerations. Don’t use a large-scale wallpaper pattern if you have a low ceiling as it will feel claustrophobic.

Equally a small-scale pattern will be lost and irrelevant in a large room.

I like to use wallpaper on all four walls in the bedroom as it creates a cocooning effect and adds interest so you can get away with using less art.'

How can you use mirrored furniture in a bedroom?

'It’s great for creating a sense of light and space. The finish lends itself well to a variety of styles from Art Deco glamour to sleek minimalism. If you’re worried about finger marks you can use a smoked mirror finish that hides any smudges.'

What should you consider when selecting window treatments for a bedroom?

'In a city situation where you will have neighbours overlooking your room,  I always recommend using a sheer blind for during the day to give you extra privacy but still allow the light through. Depending on the style of the room I would opt for either roman blinds or curtains, never venetian blinds or wooden shutter blinds. Using fabric window treatments adds another layer of warmth and luxury.

I also always use black-out lining so you can have the option of cutting out the light - if you want to wake up with natural light you can always leave your curtains slightly parted.'

What furnishings work well?

'I’m a cushion addict and have eight on the bed in one of our guest suites, which might seem a little excessive, but I believe it’s a great way to add texture and ensure the bed is the focal point of the room. Also if you find a fabulous but expensive fabric its an affordable way to use it.'

How do you keep a bedroom clutter free?

'Have a place for everything. Always allow for more storage than you think you need - trust me you will fill it. Ideally clothes would be stored in a separate dressing room but that’s not always possible.

I encourage my female clients to dedicate space for a dressing table - its such a luxury, but makes the process of getting ready so much more enjoyable and looks great as a piece of furniture too.'

What’s the best way to store shoes?

'I have created shoe cupboards for clients in a wide variety of locations- one recent fashion designer client had approx 200 pairs of shoes so we created a mirrored hall way with storage behind each mirrored panel for shelves of shoes. Carrie Bradshaw eat your heart out!'

What’s your top tip for lighting?

'It’s vital to a successful scheme. I like to align the spotlights so they look neat on the ceiling as well as being located in the appropriate location to highlight certain pieces of art and furniture - its time consuming but worth it. Even if you don’t have the budget to hire a lighting designer put your lights on a dimmer - dim your ceiling lights as much as possible and have table lamps scattered around the room to give a warm glow. It’s so much cosier and flattering than overhead light.'

Sophie Paterson works on both commercial and residential projects around the world. To contact Sophie call 0207 370 2210 or email on [email protected]

Like the ACHICA Facebook page here

The ACHICA Living blog brings you style inspiration from

Already a member of Click here for current shopping promotions.

Not yet a member? It’s free to join to get your daily dose of shopping promotions

For beautiful furniture, accessories and daily design ideas for your home and lifestyle,
shop at ACHICA.

Emma Morton Turner, Guest Editor

View all posts by Emma Morton Turner, Guest Editor