Master bedroom ideas for when you next redecorate


Sleep has become the ultimate luxury. Scientists estimate that we spend about a third of our lives asleep and also spend seven years trying to drift off – which makes having a restful bedroom so important.

Yet it’s not only about slumber, the master bedroom is increasingly a place to showcase style. And if you get it right, it could even help sell your home. “Buyers tend to focus on three key areas: the kitchen, living area and principal bedroom,” says Verity Wakley, associate director at Savills Sloane Street. “Features such as a spacious layout, an en suite, abundant floor space and ample built-in storage can ultimately influence a buyer’s decision to make an offer.”

Choose a comfortable bed

In London’s best hotels, the bedrooms are as large as possible – the 190 rooms in the new Peninsula London in Belgravia, for instance, start at 50 sq metres, or 538 sq ft. And luxury developers have been following suit, meaning there’s plenty of space for the most important piece of furniture: the bed.

The Premier King room at The Peninsula hotel in London

Focal point: take inspiration from London hotels, such as the Peninsula, and go for the largest bed you can comfortably fit in the room

Many interior designers agree that a truly luxe main bedroom should boast the largest bed that fits comfortably in the room – that usually means king size at least, although Camilla Clarke, creative director of Albion Nord, opted for an emperor for the principal suite in the three- bedroom show apartment she designed at The Bryanston, Hyde Park. “In a spacious bedroom, an emperor bed makes a statement and creates a natural focal point, without feeling overwhelming in the space,” Clarke explains.

You should also ensure there is enough room around the bed. Amy Dalrymple, creative director at Dalrymple Studio, advises allowing at least 80cm on each side and at the foot.

Four-posters are the epitome of elegance if you have the ceiling height – as seen to great effect in a show apartment at The OWO designed by Elicyon, which features a bespoke four-poster by The Cornish Bed Company.

And some beds are also high-tech to provide the best night’s sleep possible. Top of the range at Swedish brand Carpe Diem Beds is the Vindö, an adjustable model that offers automatic lumbar and neck support with head and footrests that can be lowered or raised to suit the occupant’s needs. It also has a variety of massage functions that can be controlled via an app, as well as built-in under-bed lighting.

Use natural materials

Many designers advocate natural materials for mattresses as they’re breathable and better able to regulate the sleeper’s temperature – and the same principle applies to bedding. The Peninsula London boasts the finest 400 thread-count sheets by Quagliotti and has 12 different options on the pillow menu, while Albion Nord’s apartment at The Bryanston has European white goose-down pillows and duvet and 700 thread-count hemstitch cotton sheets & pillowcases from Heirlooms Fine Linens.

A room in The Bryanston hotel in Hyde Park, London

Keeping it simple: opt for the highest quality bedding, as featured in this room by Albion Nord at The Bryanston

When it comes to colour, the most luxurious main bedrooms avoid large expanses of bright hue or pattern, sticking instead to more relaxing neutrals and soft textures. At Albion Nord’s Bryanston apartment, the walls are covered in a cream silk wallcovering that contrasts with the dark timber of the floor and joinery, while Aliona Ione, interior designer at SHH, advocates a “less is more” approach, with the focus on statement art pieces. Artwork is the centrepiece of a residence at The OWO designed by Angel O’Donnell, which boasts mixed media collages by Ema Mano Epps and Jyoti Bharwani and an oil by Richard Ballinger.

Invest in soft furnishings

When it comes to furniture, a small sofa or chaise longue at the end of the bed is perfect for curling up with a book. “The more soft furnishings you have, the more the sound will be dampened and I love to have really thick lined curtains in a bedroom to keep out the draughts,” says Amanda Ransom, founder of Amanda Ransom Design. As well as having lamps on bedside tables, a dressing table is also a good place to add lamps that can then be layered with dimmable chandeliers and wall sconces.

A Budleigh bed by Naturalmat

Invest where it matters: soft furnishings, lamps, and storage are all elements that can elevate a room

Credit: Naturalmat, Jon Day

While air conditioning is becoming more popular in bedrooms as our summers get hotter, good sound-proofing and storage are also crucial, with bespoke wardrobes especially sought-after. “Clever cabinetry, especially in a city, can be hugely appealing,” says Harry Buchanan, director of Jackson- Stops Westminster and Pimlico.

The finest principal bedrooms have a separate dressing room, although Oliver Deadman, head of design at Clive Christian Interiors, is seeing a growing demand for his- and-hers dressing rooms. “This space is designed for comfort and pleasure as well as practicality – many dressing rooms incorporate seating, entertainment systems and even a dry bar or coffee machine,” he says.

Deadman will often integrate custom-built safes with watch winders, jewel pads and currency drawers, operated by fingerprint recognition, and is increasingly putting in Sub-Zero beverage centres, Kaleo integrated-countertop wine coolers and even warming drawers used to preheat linens and bathrobes. “It means the principal bedroom is evolving into an entertaining space – and is fast becoming somewhere occupants don’t want to leave,” he says.

The London Magazine celebrates prime property and luxury lifestyle in the world’s greatest city. Read the latest issue online.

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