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Dream up your ideal sanctuary; In our fast-paced world it is a big comfort to have an inviting bedroom to retreat to at the end of the day.

Byline: LAURA DAVIDSON

IT used to be just a place to lay down your head for a good rest after a weary day at work.

But today, bedrooms are much, much more than just the place where we grab 40 winks.

Modern bedrooms are our sanctuary - an extension of our living space and a cocoon where we indulge in that all important "me time" that we so frequently deny ourselves in our fast- paced, modern world.

It's a place where you crash out and decadently eat croissants on a Saturday morning, where you sprawl around with the papers on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

It speaks volumes about our need for comfort that the bedroom is now the highest priority for most DIYers who have just bought a new home.

Not too long ago, new home-owners would want their living room decorated first. But today it's all about personal space - and having a comfy bedroom to retreat to at the end of the day wins hands down over having a show- home lounge to impress visitors.

Of course, your bedroom will only become such a sanctuary if it's a space that genuinely encourages you to want to spend time there.

If you sleep in a draughty, uninviting room, you probably can't wait to jump out from beneath the covers as soon as the alarm goes off.

If, however, you create a warm atmosphere with comforting colours and tactile fabrics, the family might have some trouble getting you out of the room.

Practicalities are first - and a comfortable bed or mattress is essential.

Spend the most money you can possibly afford - most of your room's budget - on the bed.

Not only will your back thank you in years to come because it has had good orthopaedic support, you will also be in a much better state of health all round if you're getting the best night's sleep that you possibly can.

As far as bedding is concerned, stick with natural fibres - cool cottons and sumptuous wool throws for a bit of luxury.

Judith Wilson, author of Essential Home (Ryland, Peters & Small, pounds 18.99), advises investing in plenty of good-quality white cotton bedlinen.

She says: "Your basic white bedlinen should play the same role as white T-shirts - easy to mix with other patterns, timeless and fresh-looking.

"Life is too short for making beds with hospital corners, so fitted bottom sheets are fine, but do include flat sheets in your basic kit. Not only are they great alone in summer, but they also look pretty over a wool blanket or eiderdown.

"Look for styles with drawn threadwork or embroidery on the top. It's fun to build up a wardrobe of bedlinen in bright colours, unusual textures or funky patterns to complement the plain basics."

Keep lighting simple and subdued, but remember to have decent bedside lamps if you enjoy reading before you go to sleep.

Likewise, often the most tranquil of rooms are the ones which have the simplest designs - and the least amount of clutter.

Make sure you have ample storage space for clothes, shoes and accessories and keep cabinet tops clear for a feeling of added space. Avoid glass doors, so that you don't have to worry about keeping your wardrobes tidy all the time.

Another thing you don't want to lose sleep over is the colour of your room.

While feng shui experts will claim that scarlet walls are great for encouraging passion in the bedroom, is it really the colour you want to wake up to if you've perhaps had one too many vinos the night before?

That said, don't be afraid of colour. So you're not sure about an entirely red room? Then why not just paint one focus wall in your chosen, daring shade?

However you decide to lay out your personal sanctuary it will be very much down to individual taste and what helps you to relax after the troubles of a stressful day at work or a tiring evening with the children.

What matters is that you create a space that's just for you.

Sweet dreams!
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
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Title Annotation:Living
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 19, 2003
Words:681
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