Winter sleep retreat

One of the best things about winter is the thought of a warm, comfortable bed at the end of the day, knowing you can fall into a deep, restorative sleep. Discover some ideas to help create an inviting winter sleep retreat this season, with advice from interior designer, Yvette Jay.

Winter sleep retreat image

Here are my top 10 tips for transforming your bedroom into your own Winter Sleep Retreat:


Invest in a good quality BED AND MATTRESS. It’s imperative to get the foundations right for a good night’s sleep, to make the dream a daily reality. Your bed should feel like the ultimate retreat and ensure that you feel renewed and ready for the new day when you awake. It needs to have the right level of comfort and support for your body, as well as looking and feeling luxurious when you slip into it at the end of the day. To find the perfect fit for you, visit the Sealy Bed Selector.


Use BEDDING with natural warming properties. Duvet inners made from down, feather, or wool are naturally warming and easily envelop a weary body. Sheets can be a mix of high cotton thread count, linen, or toasty flannelette for extra winter coziness. Layering up under rich textures, velvets, faux fur and luxury fibers like wools and cashmere quickly brings winter warmth and glamour to a room. Blankets, comforters, foot warmers, throws and quilts are wonderful finishing touches for winter beds. The layers visually soften surfaces, making them more inviting and interesting.


HEADBOARDS are the key to visually anchoring a bedroom and adding softness and texture. They are the focal point that sets the design tone and lets you express your own personal style. Minimalists love sleek and simple headboard designs, upholstered with leathers, linens, or simple velvets. On the other hand, maximalists look to more ornate and decorative pieces, with rich and textural fabrics, embroideries, patterns, tufting, and intricate finishing details.


VALANCES are an essential component to a well-dressed bed. A wrap around valance in the same fabric as the headboard gives a smart, sleek, upholstered finish to the bed when simplicity is called for. When the headboard fabric is patterned and highly decorative, a valance that tones in with the rest of the bedding helps to visually balance the bed.


Get the PILLOWS right. Invest in four beautiful feather or down pillows. Rectangular down pillows will look plump and make your bed welcoming, whether you lay them flat or prop them against the headboard. You can also use a mix of square euros and standard rectangular pillows, or lodge pillows for luxury on a grander scale. But limit it to four pillows, instead of swamping the bed.


DUVETS AND INNERS. Buy the right sized insert for your duvet cover. Measure your duvet cover and buy an infill that is at least five, ten, or even fifteen centimeters larger, so that the infill mushes the corners. Bigger is better for creating warmth and visual generosity, giving you that feeling of being wrapped in a cocoon.


COLOURS. Winter is all about deeper, darker, moodier and more dramatic colours for a sense of enveloping warmth. Put your light, bright and breezy summer bedding and accessories away. Replace them with pieces that reflect the change in mood and need for physical and emotional warmth. Lighter summery pinks give way to rich shades of fuchsia, berry, plum, or aubergine. Cheerful yellows move to deeper ambers and golden ochres. Powdery summer blues can sink down to french navy and deep inky blues. Silvery summer greys slide into deeper steels or charcoal. Summer whites can become winter white. Showcase the warmest luxury textures and fibers.


THE ROOM. It’s not just your bed that benefits from winter layering. Add a soft, textured rug to the floor. Replace a timber bench seat with an upholstered ottoman or comfortable armchair. Use the gleam of warm metals like brass and bronze for a touch of winter glamour, with accessories such as tea lights, trays, or vases. Small things can have a big impact. One or two bespoke cushions, in a luxe fabric with the perfect colour mix, can instantly tie a room together. And of course, enhance the serenity in your winter nest by tidying away mess and clutter.


Think about the LIGHTING. It’s all about creating pools of warm light where it’s needed, rather than flood-lighting the whole room. Make sure your bedside lamps offer an appealing glow, but aren’t too over-powering. Swap cool white globes for a warm white to create a glow of amber warmth.


WINDOW TREATMENTS. When done well these are not only deeply glamorous, but immensely practical. Aim for thick full-length curtains that languidly drape and puddle on the floor. They will look cozy, create instant insulation, and trap heat within your bedroom. Consider adding an interlining when they are made, to give Hollywood sumptuousness and improved thermal performance.

About Yvette

Yvette Jay is a highly accomplished interior designer. Since completing her Bachelor of Architecture degree at the University of Auckland, she has worked across a wide range of residential and commercial interior design commissions around New Zealand.

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