Your bedroom is your last refuge. Make sure it’s the most peaceful room in your house

Have problems falling asleep? Get a lot of disturbing dreams? Or do you find yourself getting irritable at bedtime? Maybe it’s nothing to do with you but the way in which your bedroom is decorated. This is one of the most important rooms in the house but it often tends to be overlooked because we are too busy ‘prettifying’ the spaces where visitors congregate — the sitting room or the dining room.

Just as ‘me’ time is vital for your well-being, a serene and relaxing bedroom is vital to let you escape from the world and its problems. Here are five simple tips that will ensure you get your peace.

Soothing colours

Avoid over-bright colours in your room of rest. A dazzling orange or red works great in a room of activity but can be too unrestful for a bedroom. Pick soothing shades of blues, greens and creams that relax your mind. You will be surprised to learn how big a role colours play in our moods. And always pick simple, quiet patterns. Jangly, large patterns on curtains or elaborately wrought golden embroidery on bedspreads are over-stimulating and disturb the senses. Walls, curtains and bed linen should all be in similar or complementary shades and give a feeling of calm continuity.

Best furnishings

Don’t cut costs in the bedroom. Spend extra but buy the best quality pillow and mattress. It’s the surest way to ensure a good night’s rest, and to avoid neck and back problems. The same rule applies to bed linen. In a hot city, synthetic bed linen is the worst thing to use. Pick the softest cottons for your pillow covers and bedsheets. Pick curtains that can keep out harsh sunshine. And if you have a winter, make sure your duvet or blanket is always soft, clean and fresh. Change bed linen frequently to avoid allergies and infections; and air mattresses and pillows every few months.

No clutter

Clutter around you leads to confusion within. If you want to feel peaceful, you cannot walk into a chaotic, messy and overcrowded bedroom each night.

Get rid of all extra furniture and fussy add-ons, keeping only the essentials. Keep dresser tops and beds clean and spare. Why have 10 dinky cushions on the bed? They take up room and end up on the floor anyway!

Three or four pieces of furniture in simple, clean lines — bed, cupboard, dressing table, armchair — is all you need in a bedroom.

Windows

Window placement is vital in a bedroom. You don’t want your bed facing the window if it looks east. You will be woken up early with the sun bright in your eyes. At the same time, an open window near the bed gives you plenty of fresh air. So place the bed to make the most of the outdoors while avoiding the sun.

If your flat faces a busy street, traffic sounds could keep you awake. If so, invest in sound-proof shutters. It’s money wisely spent. Air conditioners and fans can sometimes make a lot of noise. Again, buy the best and save on long-term health bills.

Ambience

Nothing’s more important in a bedroom than ambience. What paintings do you have on the walls? Are they soothing scenes that please you? Maybe a riverside picnic or a basket of flowers?

A violent bull-fight might not be the best bedside art. Paintings that you otherwise love but are over-stimulating, like a Guernica reproduction, are not very wise in a bedroom.

You can add to the sleep-time ambience by playing soft music remotely, or keeping fresh and fragrant roses or jasmine in the room. Greenery adds considerably to a room’s peace. Keep a couple of potted plants in a corner or a bottle of moneyplant on the dresser.