Bedding down the perfect boudoir

Kya deLongchamps has some seductive ideas to enhance your bedroom and guarantee that perfect night’s sleep.

You dress there, undress there, luxuriate in a fabric nest, even from time to time make love there. Most of us preen and physically prepare in the bedroom, storing and stirring that public armour of clothes.

Enfolding you as you slough off the troubles of the day, there should be a warm sense of soul deep protection, intimate enjoyment and enriching relaxation to this space every time you withdraw there.

Here are some seductive ideas to enhance the feel-good of your bedroom.

TOES OUT: The first thing your tender toes should touch in the morning is something soft and receptive. Calm the jolting shock of hardwood flooring with a deep pile rug.

A slip resistant pad will ensure you don’t surf across the room in your PJs. Rugs also reduce the clatter of feet on wood in a second story bedroom.

Littlewoods Ireland stock large sheepskin rugs in 2 sizes — 60 x 90 cm, and 60 x 170 cm from €72 in teal, plum, black, green in a 100% sole swallowing, heavenly wool. www.littlewoodsireland.ie.

TEMPERATURE CONTROL: A bedroom is better a little under than over-heated. Set the thermostat to no more than 18C-21C.

Secondly rather than drowning in a stifling duvet or electing for a wispy ‘summer’ tog, use old fashioned layers of bedding to handle the subtly shifting conditions.

If you prefer to keep the window closed, and you’re still too hot, a Dyson Air multiplier is the latest development in fan technology with no distracting air buffering. Prices from €254 for a desk fan. www.dyson.co.uk.

NO TEXTS PLEASE, WE’RE IRISH: Most health experts agree that the bedroom should be reserved for sleeping and sex (the physical exertion and release of which makes us sleepy).

Rogue brain-tickling activities such as TVs, mobile phone use or computer watching weaken the essential association between the bedroom and rest.

There is some controversial evidence that the electro magnetism generated by these devices is also disturbing to the body and mind.

Quiet music is permissible. Set up your sound system with a remote control or timer, so that you don’t have to thrash around or leave the bed to turn it off.

Many clock radios now come with a facility for an MP3 player. The Philips AJ3231 in a mirror finish features a gentle wake and MP3 dock. €27.49. Argos.

WINDOW DRESSINGS: Your curtains and blinds should completely shut out the world, down to the last winking light.

A combination of sheers and traditional curtains remains popular as it diffuses light by day offering privacy and a flattering illumination when we’re semi-undressed and most vulnerable.

Ensure the curtains are generously sized (at least one and half times the length of the opening for a nice deep folds) and lined to make the room truly and completely dark. Liners will aid sound insulation if you live on a busy suburban street.

THE BED: A mattress should be replaced at least every 15 years in its entirety, together with any supporting box spring.

Heaving with dust mites and with the supporting springs and layers of padding compromised, it’s not performing beyond this vintage.

Most of us do not sleep entwined in our lover’s arms, and they often become a territorial nuisance by midnight. Buy the biggest and best bed you can afford.

When you try it out at the showroom (and you must try it out) you should audibly gasp with joy. The density of the springs, foam and outer padding will dictate the support and feel of a new bed.

Go for ultimate luxury with the SleepSpa range of beds which combine a unique cooling gel technology (K3Gel) and cubed air pockets in a 1600 spring bed. From €1,055. Caseys. www.caseys.ie.

If you flip from your back to your side regularly, IKEAs 365+ Fast pillow has a low and high side in delicious memory foam. €25.99.

TOXIC CLUTTER: A room littered with clothes, mashed slippers and piles of dog-eared books does not speak to the soul.

If you haven’t worn something over the course of a full calendar year, donate it, sell it or throw it out.

One terrace of built-in storage against one wall is more restful that a parade of disparate smaller pieces dotted around a smaller room. Try SlideGlide.ie.

If money is tight, a simple wood frame and canvas campaign style wardrobe is a classic addition and in a double will set you back well under €100. Argos has a legion of these economical storage soldiers in drawers, ‘robes and rails.

Feng Shui principles advise not putting goods under the bed where they block the flow of good Chi. Also keep any mirrors away from the bed end throwing your reflection back to you.

CONFIDENT BUT CALM COLOUR: Bold experimentation in strident, warring colour choices is not recommended for the bedroom. Harmony, using two or three colours on the same side of the colour wheel and subtle tonal compliments from colours side by side on the wheel are much more restful.

Warm neutrals with an ochre undertone work particularly well, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have a punch of colour in measured doses. Dulux have an emulsion range called Moda which offer not only a tranquil scheme choice for bedrooms but an irresistible soft to touch texture too. www.dulux.ie.

PATTERNS THAT PURR: Busy, visually sparring pattern snags the attention, forcing the eye to dart around the design. Geometric pattern in monochrome is especially shrill. Consider something more demure and assured, a motif one or two shades darker or lighter than the background colour or in a smudged pastel or putty shade.

Restraining a bold wallpaper or paint colour to one wall as a feature suggesting a stately headboard will add drama without over-powering. We love the bold tropical florals with shy holographics in the Fabulous range by Trevor McDonald for B&Q. Accessories can take hotter, more frenetic choices in small bursts around the room. Darker colours add dimension, (stopping the eye), and definition, (showing something off), preventing a scheme floating away as an insipid tapioca dream.

TOUCH ME: Our senses should be stroked in a bedroom, even if we’re just going there to escape the family or sneak a look at ’50 Shades of Grey’.

Introduce stirring texture from Greek Flocati rugs to achingly soft Blarney lambswool blankets and woven throws (from €102). Dunnes Stores offer quilted throws and cushions from €30 with a vast bedding department that includes Paul Costello’s Montpelier throws in a sensuous silken gold or duck egg cotton-sateen matched to 100% pure white cotton sheets (doubles from €55).

Layers add extra fascination. See Matthew Williamson’s venture into bedding with his iconic Butterfly collection at Debenhams in a witty pom-pom trim. Sale price €116. www.debenhams.ie.


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