Mad About . . .

8 Of The Prettiest Bedrooms for National Bed Month

9th March 2021
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I’m not normally one to mark National this and Daily that but given that schools went back yesterday and I discovered it was national bed month, it felt like there was a link. I have kept going by telling myself that as soon as life returns to normal (whatever that is) that I will celebrate by taking a week off and mostly lying in bed. Of course I won’t. Isn’t it true that the weekend lie-in days are the ones we wake up earliest yet on a Tuesday morning you need the wild horses to drag you up?

bedroom at rita konig house

bedroom at rita konig’s house with its black and white floral paper and pale pink bed head

Equally I’m not going to bore with you those old tropes about not drinking for seven hours before you go to bed, turning your screens off at lunchtime and lighting candles and all that. You know by now what works for you (and probably what doesn’t) although it is important to buy the right mattress. I would argue that that is the most important purchase you can buy and it’s definitely worth investing in a good one. If you scroll down to Bedding on My Do Less Harm Directory, you will find information on companies who are creating natural mattresses and trying to create carbon neutral manufacturing practices etc.

pearl lowe bedroom

Pearl Lowe’s bedroom with green velvet bed from Soho Home

When it comes to buying a mattress, I went to John Lewis over five years ago and spent a couple of hours in the bed department trying out various different combinations with The Mad Husband. We bought our mattress from there and years later when John Lewis sponsored the podcast, I wrote about their advice for choosing the right mattress.

muted pattern clash and english country style at sophie robinson house

muted pattern clash and english country style at sophie robinson’s house

The key takeaway is that a firm mattress isn’t nececessarily the best. It depends on your weight. A really firm mattress will push the spine of a petite person out of line and the most important element is that your spine must be straight when you like on your side. Lying on a wooden board isn’t comfortable because your hips and shoulders are pushed up curving your spine in the middle.

bedroom styling for Annie Sloan

Ideally, you should be heavy enough (or the mattress should give enough) to allow your shoulder and hips to sink gently into the springs so your spine is a straight line. This, of course, begs the question of what you do when one of you is much heavier than the other. The answer is that you can now buy mattresses in two halves that zip together as one. No they’re not cheap but this is your back and your sleep, which you plan on doing a lot of over a lifetime so it’s an investment worth making.

skye mcalpine's wallapered bedroom and minimal four poster by madaboutthehouse.com

skye mcalpine’s wallapered bedroom and minimal four poste

The other point is that pocket sprung mattresses allow one person to toss and turn without the other really noticing. Have you ever slept on a mattress where one person turns over heavily and you feel like you’re about to bounced onto the floor? Pocket sprung can avoid that as each spring is individual so you only affect what you touch.

dark and cosy bedroom by @bo_decor

dark and cosy bedroom by @bo_decor

If you’re still not sure, when you lie on your back you should be able to slide a hand between the small of your back and the mattress.

bedding by bedeck1951 and wallpaper by morris and co

bedding by bedeck1951 and wallpaper by morris and co

The Sleep Council recommends you change your mattress every six to eight years. This will vary according to each of us (and our budgets but if it’s noisy or saggy or you are waking up with more aches and pains than you went to bed with then it might be time to consider replacing it.

bedroom at kettners part of Soho Home

And with that I shall leave you. I spoke to several parents of primary school children yesterday who were just going to spend the day staring into space and enjoying the silence. If that’s you it was well-deserved. You have my unending admiration.


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  • Anna 13th March 2021 at 9:18 pm

    We stayed in a hotel and slept so well, we researched the make of the mattress and bought one. It’s time to replace it so once we are liberated I intend to try the mattress that accommodates, softer for me, firmer for him.
    A mattress can ruin a holiday. We had to leave an expensive holiday let after 3 days due to a very firm mattress causing me so much pain! I agree Kate it is well worth paying for a really good mattress.
    If I was rich I would have a freshly made up bed every single day!

  • Elaine Fraser 10th March 2021 at 12:24 pm

    I love the soho home bedroom best as I am madly in love with the burnt orange colour and have been for past five years. The pattern is more muted ands I might be able to live with it longer . The sofa or couch as I call it is obviously for your the unironed laundry , sunday newspapers , socks , dressing gown if you have one and best of all for little people to jump on at 5am .

    Great ideas here and I feel very ‘on trend’ having just last week decided my bedroom needed refreshing. With a floor to ceiling window next to my side , I have enjoyed watching the bird table and bird bath activity during lockdown – so have gone for Sanderson woodland chorus wallpaper on one wall. To my delight features all the birds I see in my garden. Its background of pale blue matches the existing curtains perfectly otherwise a total deal breaker, as there is no way I’m adding to lockdown misery with the fresh hell that is attempting to measure windows and curtains accurately.

  • Barbara Jenkins 10th March 2021 at 8:53 am

    I pre-ordered your new planning book , I used bookshop.org and now they ve cancelled the order as unable to supply.
    When & where will it be available?

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 10th March 2021 at 2:34 pm

      Hi Barbara, I think this is because the publication date was changed due to chaos at the ports. My publisher is talking to the bookshop today but otherwise I can only suggest that you re-order either from there or other usual places. It will be out next week on 18 March. I’m sorry for the inconvenience and thank you so much for pre-ordering.

  • KittyT 9th March 2021 at 6:34 pm

    I love Rita Konig’s and Skye McAlpine’s rooms, but I could never relax in Annie Sloan’s bedroom for fear of getting brained by those plant pots above.

  • Leslie-Anne 9th March 2021 at 4:41 pm

    I love Sophie’s bedroom because it is so colourful, and Rita’s because the black and white wallpaper is very elegant.

  • Libby Kemp 9th March 2021 at 3:01 pm

    I still can’t get over everyone’s fixation with cushions. Where do you put them when you get into bed? Or is this what the sofa is for?

  • Allison 9th March 2021 at 10:00 am

    Beautiful rooms today Kate. I love the Zoffany (?) paper in Rita Konig’s property. I’d never have picked it but it looks gorgeous the way she has used it. Skye McAlpine’s is gorgeous too. Wallpaper looks so good in bedrooms, giving them a really cosy feeling.

  • Janet Whincup 9th March 2021 at 9:02 am

    Some lovely wallpapers and bedrooms there. All great food for thought.

  • Lenore Taylor 9th March 2021 at 7:47 am

    Hmm, after a certain age sleeping with a snoring giant that periodically throws its heavy leg over one seems barbaric. And I never understood the sofa at the end of the bed. Why not just sit up in bed in perfect comfort? Or is it a place where one’s lackey should curl up, ready to do one’s bidding? Cheers from Canada!

    • Lucy 9th March 2021 at 10:00 am

      Ha! I don’t get it either… It always makes me wonder. I think it’s just a place where you can sit without sinking to put your shoes on… perhaps? Yet, it does make the room look elegant and a bit “hey-it’s-so-big-I-can-put-a-bed-and-a-sofa-in-it”. 🙂

      • Kate 9th March 2021 at 4:10 pm

        What I will never understand is: how can anyone put on shoes already in the bedroom?? I put on my shoes in the hallway or better in the mudroom. Because shoes are dirty. Always.

    • Sian 9th March 2021 at 4:31 pm

      I think it’s something they do in hotels so they can call it a “suite” and charge more 🙂

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