Christmas Gift Guide: Room by Room – The Bedroom

Seeing as it’s got so cold – I know tis the season and all that – but still… I thought we’d head into the bedroom for the next Christmas Gift Guide as, at this time of year, it’s my favourite room and the one I find hardest to leave. As with the other rooms, it’s about what goes on in there – resting, sleeping, relaxing and how you can enhance that experience for your giftee. You can take these as generic ideas for this room or suggestions of actual products. I have stuck to the idea that you are looking for something for everyday use that is more beautiful than the humdrum of everyday.


himla bedding
himla bedding

This Swedish company offers sustainably produced linen bedding in different weights and coordinating colours and suggests you layer up the pieces to create the look you want. So you can buy just a duvet cover (and I have seen them and they are very soft and light) and add a light throw, and a heavier bedspread and so on. One other tip – if you hate cushions on the bed then try buying pillow cases in different colours which will give that dressed/hotel effect of cushions but you won’t have to clear them all off before you can get into bed.


from €28

notebooks by antoinette poisson
notebooks by antoinette poisson

I always sleep with a notebook by the bed just in case, although there’s a high chance I can’t find a working pen in the dark and I end up typing those midnight ideas into the phone instead, but it’s the idea that counts. This French company was founded by three paper conservators who named their store after Louis XV’s “favourite” Madame de Pompadour (Jeanne Antoinette Poisson was her birth name) a patron of the arts and lover of wallpaper. Shop for gorgeously patterned notebooks, letter trays and wallpaper all created using 18th century block printing techniques. They were also commissioned by Alessandro Michele to create textiles for his Gucci Resort collection last year so you’re in good company. If these are too pricey there are plenty of other places to look for gorgeous stationery.


pooky bedside light
pooky bedside light

Talking of lighting, the bedroom is the one place where a fabric lampshade really works. Lots of you don’t like the naked bulb look (and it has been around for while) and while it has its place I think that place is possibly not the bedroom. Its replacement – the frosted globe bulb – is pretty but often more for a gentle atmospheric glow than anything else. If you like to read before your sleep then you need a decent light. A fabric shade will also diffuse the light (remember a metal one will just send a direct beam of light up or down) round the room as well as providing enough illumination to actually see by. And a thin base like this one won’t take up too much room on a bedside table.


large rectangle tray from westelm
large rectangle tray from westelm

Now approach this one with caution. You can’t just give someone a tray – they will think you haven’t thought about it/them and be, quite possibly, offended. However, in the right hands, this can be a good gift. What you are trying to say with this is breakfast in bed, time to yourself, luxury – that sort of thing. So you need to dress this tray. Wrap all the little gifts separately and put them on the (wrapped) tray and again the budget is up to you. But let’s go with: a mug, a plate, a little vase, a paperback book, perhaps even the notebook and pen, or a subscription to their favourite magazine. Get the gist? This is a good present and one I would be very happy to receive. This tray also comes in round which I potentially like even more. Note this also works in the sitting room with two glasses and a bottle of something delicious on it.



naked couple throw by helen b from wa green
naked couple throw by helen b from wa green

Because Baby it’s cold out there and also this is fun and warm and pretty and practical and those are all perfect combinations when it comes to giving presents.


asymmetric mirror from H&M
asymmetric mirror from H&M

This doesn’t have to go in the bedroom but a large mirror is always useful and I like the unusual shape which means you can see more than just your head so it’s more useful too. If you’re buying this for a teenager’s room then you can always add some make up or cleansing products just to bring the whole thing together and make it a bit less random. The key is to avoid the random. Not just in present buying come to that.

MONOGRAMMED SLEEP MASKS from anthropologie

sleep masks from anthropologie
sleep masks from anthropologie

I’m a fairly recent convert to the sleep mask and now I can’t be without one. It’s not just about keeping the light out – they are brilliant for summer when it’s light at 4am – but also I quite like the signal from the soft velvet or silk on my face telling me to close my eyes and sleep. Also, if I’ve left the light on so The Mad Husband doesn’t have to stumble about in the dark. This way I can’t see the light and he can see the bedside table before he stubs his toe on it. The monogramming is an extra touch – my favourite is the C so I’ll have to go with my first name Charlotte rather than the K, which I like less. These are silk. Mine is velvet and I bought it from Elizabeth Scarlett.


leather round box from zara
leather round box from zara

Storage is alway an issue in bedrooms. It’s not just about clothes and shoes but somehow there seems to be all sorts of other stuff that needs putting away. These leather boxes will look pretty stacked in a corner or on a shelf or even by the bed with an assortment of lipsalve and tissues in – all of which is currently in a bowl by my bed after my bout with the flu the other day. Alternatively, we have a box for that is adapters and international plugs which otherwise you can never find when you need them and results in an expensive panic buy at the airport. Of course if you wanted to put a particular plug in it to signify an upcoming trip that you had bought as the main Christmas present that could work well. Or maybe just a sleep mask and a beautiful scented relaxing candle and pillow spray. Also lush.



velvet cushions from att pynta

Because despite what The Mad Husband says people will always put cushions on beds. And these are pretty ones. And if you take a cushion on the bed as a sign that someone has time to lie in bed reading then you can add – like the tray – a book or a magazine and perhaps a fabulous pair of pyjamas. There is also a matching throw which is just beautiful. And this cushion even comes in white velvet which might be how I get round The Mad Husband’s ban on coloured bed linen and cushions. This is beginning to sound like a plan….


this one is from Etsy

vintage glass tray from etsy

I always try to buy something vintage for Christmas presents as a vintage piece will often be more original and unique than something mass produced. A small accessory like this can work well as you can look for something that will really suit the person. The round leather storage box above could also be vintage – search for vintage hat box – or the tray. I put this in as it would be great storage for rings and a watch if you take that off at night. Or on the bedside table to keep the lipsalve and handcream on. It’s got myriad uses and you can search to find one you like. Up to you if you add anything to it.

So there you have it. Some suggestions for bedroom gifts. I hope they are useful. Bathroom next week, followed by home office the week after. We’re getting there people we’re getting there. Personally I’d like a post on what to buy 16 and 18yo boys but I’ll work it out….

Tags : bedroom giftsChristmas gift guidechristmas giftsGifts for the bedroom
Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. I wish I was your relative 😀 these present ideas are great. I’d be over the moon to open one of these on Christmas Day!

  2. Great suggestions Kate. Esp the extra little additions to complete a gift so it’s not so random. I’d have been there with a beautifully wrapped tray and little else 😳

  3. I love these seasonal posts but would like them a little earlier so I can feel smug and prepared for Christmas before 24 December! I have bought the wonderful green roasting tin cookbook, roasting tin and myriad of ingredients all inside a shopping bag for a friend; a blanket, vitamin C and paracetamol as hangover kit for niece and going music book and vinyl themed for my husband. And I’ve sewn cloth bags to put presents inside to be a bit more sustainable instead of wrapping.

  4. These are genuinely the most thoughtful gift guides around, I love them and am slightly in awe of your ability to put things together and create such magical gifts. I think I need to do better with my own offerings this year… Also that mirror is marvelous, popping it on my Christmas list as we speak!

  5. Thank you Kate for these suggestions. I especially like your idea of using the presents as a starting point for adding more related gifts.

  6. Good morning Kate – you inspired me for my 16yo daughter. So I bought her a ‘party girl’ present: black faux something jacket, red dress from Hollister; black fancier than usual Converse; makeup palette from Too Faced and a very pretty M necklace from Anthropologie. Now I am excited for Christmas Day! Thank you for these fantastic posts, I usually hate shopping. 🎄

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