The making of a bedroom that’s pared back, understated and yet warm and comfortable

This week's Designer's Room piece takes a look at a calming space in the Lime Wood Hotel in the New Forest.

Susie Atkinson has spent almost a decade decorating the bedrooms and drawing rooms at Lime Wood hotel in the New Forest. A recently completed project is this suite, which benefits from a double-aspect position with views of the garden.

‘Our remit was to celebrate the classic proportions of the space, as well as making a nod to contemporary design,’ explains Mrs Atkinson, who has also been responsible for decorating the Beaverbook Hotel in Surrey and projects for the Soho House group.

‘The aim was to create a room that felt comfortable, but pared back, with understated colours, elegant furniture and the occasional injections of warmth through the use of antiques and art.’

The bed is one of the designer’s own creations, with an upholstered headboard covered in a soft floral fabric by Hazelton House (0800 304 7201; The walls are upholstered in a taupe-coloured linen by Osborne & Little ( ‘I love using fabric walls for bedrooms because they make the space so much cosier. Lots of people are reluctant to hang paintings on fabric walls, but there’s no need to be — it’s often easier to move pieces around than on painted surfaces because the pins can easily be removed without leaving a mark.’ A still life to the right of the window was bought at an antique fair.

The chairs are Mrs Atkinson’s own Sussex design and covered in a contemporary textured fabric called Loom Weave by Kit Kemp for Christopher Farr Cloth (020–7349 0888; The colour in these is picked up by the sofa, which has been upholstered in a wool-based teal-green fabric by Namay Samay, available through Tissus d’Hélène (020–7352 9977; A pair of bedside lamps with hand-painted bobbin columns are by the Winchester-based furniture designer and antique dealer Max Rollitt (01962 791124;

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Susie Atkinson (020–7384 0700;; Lime Wood (023–8028 7177;