How to create the perfect bedroom: 7 things you have to know, by Henriette von Stockhausen

Interior designer Henriette von Stockhausen shares her thoughts on how to create the perfect bedroom.

What is your starting point?

A bedroom needs to be comfortable, calm and warm and the scheme has to work as a whole. I start with the architectural features: I look at any period detailing, the windows, the light and the size and take my cues from there.

How critical is the bed?

Very. When designing large bedrooms, I like making a real statement and often use a custom-made four-poster to create drama and cosiness. When that isn’t appropriate, we’ll go for a fabric half-tester or use a corona. A good trick is to use a darker colour on the inside of any fabric treatment as it has a cosy, enclosing effect. Vispring is one of our favourites and even its basic range is heaven to sleep on.

A Georgian four-poster bed creates drama, from £7,400 (080-8841 5838;

What about smaller bedrooms?

When four-posters aren’t appropriate, the next option is a headboard. We like winged ones because they cocoon you and give a feeling of being protected.

To cover the headboard, we prefer to use a really interesting fabric: for this, we often turn to Colefax & Fowler (020–7493 2231;, Guy Goodfellow Collection (020–7352 9002; or the new range from Susan Deliss (07768 805850; Alternatively, use a plain fabric with a ready-made velvet trim from Samuel & Sons in a huge variety of fabulous colours (020–7351 5153;

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What about valances?

We prefer fitted ones with box-pleat corners over the ruffled version, but either works well. Rather than a plain fabric, we would usually choose from the wonderful prints by Nile & York (01628 525255;

Paint or wallpaper?

Wallpaper – even if it’s a textured plain rather than something with a bold pattern —helps to create a warm and special atmosphere and adds an extra level of interest. I love all of Robert Kime’s papers for their faded ‘always been there’ look (; 020–7831 6066) and Lewis & Wood has a gorgeous selection of wide-width papers (020–7751 4554;

how to create the perfect bedroom

Irving & Morrison’s Azolla Cherry lampshade, from £294, adds warmth to a bedroom

Any lighting tips?

Well-planned lighting is fundamental in a bedroom and should be on a two-way circuit so you can switch all of it off from your bed. If not antique, we often use porcelain and opt for warmer colours for the shades made from antique silk – Irving & Morrison (020–7384 2975; and Guinevere Antiques (020–7736 2917; or perhaps a pop of colour from Pooky, which has great, less expensive options (020–7351 3003; A good reading light is also advisable. We use John Cullen’s LED bedside reading light (020–7371 9000;

how to create the perfect bedroom

John Cullen’s LED bedside light, from £250

Any final thoughts?

Go for the best-quality bedlinen you can afford. Nothing beats that feeling of craw-ling into crisp, cool Egyptian-cotton sheets after a long day. We love Ralph Lauren Home’s Tan Palmer or Bowery (020–7535 4600; And to round everything off, a layering of rugs and accessories creates the perfect oasis for the senses.

VSP Interiors (07787 574192;