Interior Designer and Owner of The Private House Company Yvonne O’Brien is known for creating rooms that are understated yet elegant and timeless.

Here are her tips for turning your sleep zone into a serene sanctuary:

A bedroom is where you want to feel relaxed when you walk through the door. It is not a room where you need to make a statement but should be a comfortable space for unwinding.

Keep it neutral

When choosing colours for a bedroom, you want to decide on the atmosphere you aim to create. With a relaxed space in mind, keeping it neutral will help give the room a calming effect. Soft tones create a serene and tranquil atmosphere. We don’t use loud prints and bold colours that are going to shout at you.

Wallpaper do’s

When it comes to choosing wallpaper, you need to have the overall theme in mind. You want to select one wall as an accent wall to make a subtle statement. If applying to all walls, then use a plain textured wallpaper in a muted colour. Adding wallpaper to the wall behind the bed draws one’s attention to a focal area of the room.

We often use light wallpaper to create a more spacious and fresher feel in the space.



Add texture

I love texture! A gentle textured finish can provide a touch of elegance without overwhelming a space.

A textured wallpaper or scatter cushions add depth and visual interest to a room.

Other ways to add texture to your space are through your throws or with rattan accessories or baskets. Rattan baskets not only add texture but also provide very practical storage.

Let the light in

Lots of light is essential for a bedroom space as it allows the room to feel fresh, which can help to improve your mood and productivity for the day. Large windows maximise natural light and in addition the use of lamps for soft, accent lighting creates a cosy feeling in the evening.



Make it personal

Once you have accomplished a spacious and airy look, you will need a few pieces to add a cosy and curated touch. An upholstered headboard and bed base soften the corners of the bed, and a comfortable occasional chair or couch creates a space to curl up and read a book. Curtains, throws and rugs are a few more accessories that can be used to soften a room. Look for rugs made from natural materials to add warmth and comfort to the room. When selecting art for a bedroom space, you need to consider the colour palette of that room. We often use large desaturated photographic prints, neutral textured paintings or frame textured materials that suit the aesthetic and colours of the room.

Walking through a home is a journey and every room you create needs to speak to your personal sense of style. Keep in mind that there needs to be a golden thread linking each room to the other.


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A version of this article was published in the Garden&Home November 2023 print edition