While the weather outside is frightful, it's time to make your bedroom delightful, writes Gabrielle Fagan
When you're battling snow, ice and recovering from the festivities it might make you feel the safest place is in bed with the covers over your head. If that's your inclination, at least make sure your bed is a superb sanctuary, by dressing it with bedding that's designed to thrill as well as to warm.
Getting into bed at the end of the day and facing thin cotton covers, limp duvets and faded throws will simply lower your spirits during this somewhat stressful season. But sinking into a soft bed, dressed with pure cotton or silk sheets and snuggling under thick quilts (yes, they're back in fashion) or faux fur throws, won't just ward off the chills, it will make you feel like a princess.
"The whole look for interiors is about luxury and textiles, and nowhere is that more important than the bed," says designer Joanna Wood.
"We spend so much time in it, and it should be a place to relax and recharge as well as to sleep. Layering is the key to success. We're seeing people asking for feather and down mattress toppers, sensual textures such as silk and velvet and the look is enhanced with plump cushions."
There's a selection of looks to choose from, but don't be limited by trends. After all, your bedroom is your personal, private space, so you can experiment with whatever style pleases you, and create a room where you're guaranteed sweet dreams.
Ski lodge snug
Think cosy log cabins and beds dressed in the traditional colours of the season – cheery red and white – for this jolly look, which owes its inspiration to a Scandinavian influence sweeping through interiors.
An Edelweiss bedding set, from La Redoute, is a delight with its slick mix of red and white spotted sheets and folk art patterns. It's also a steal at 7 for a pillowcase, and a duvet cover from 19.
Marks & Spencer's interpretation of this look is just as good, with a red check pattern bed set, from 35, cuddly red Fair Isle knit throw, 35, and chunky knit cushion, 25.
Those who swan around in slinky, silky nightwear and wouldn't be seen dead in fleece pyjamas will want a glamorous, statement bed, fit for posing.
Kylie Minogue caters for divas with her exquisite Latina bedding, in a flock-patterned satin fabric embellished with diamante, from her Kylie At Home collection. Pillowcase, 20, and single duvet cover, 55, from Leekes.
Dorma are masters of bed linen and the new Rivello range is a classic design with a modern twist. It's ultra-luxe with textured jacquard and white soft-touch cotton velvet detailing, edged with a rope trim. Double duvet cover, 100, and there's also a selection of matching pillowcases and boudoir cushions.
They're certainly not sleepyheads when it comes to style, and there's nothing they like better than revamping the bedroom to match the latest trends.
Plumping for purple is a safe on-trend choice, because it's predicted by all the experts to still feature strongly right through next year.
Asda's amethyst embroidered flower bedding in plum is excellent value at 15 for a single set, and 20 for a double.
Just because the landscape outside is rather on the bleak side, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy pretty blooms. But forget mumsy florals – the most fashionable designs have a painted, artistic feel, and House of Fraser's Lex bed linen collection for Linea is one of the most attractive. Pillowcase, 10, and double duvet cover, 45.
Alternatively, be inspired by the decorative style of Morocco and dress a bed with vividly coloured, highly decorative throws and cushions from the Alegra bedding selection at John Lewis. Floral patchwork bedspread, 60, and pom pom cushions, 20 for two.
Smart spare room
There's nothing like an attractive, well-equipped bedroom to make guests feel welcome.
Dress the bed or beds stylishly, and provide other home comforts such as a hottie, a TV and an electric kettle, which will allow visitors to use the room as a retreat. After all, everyone needs a little privacy, space and time out from the hurly burly of a long family break.
Add a touch of luxury with Egyptian cotton white bed linen from The White Company. Their Single Row Cord Bed Linen – pillowcase, from 14, single duvet cover, 45, is rightly one of its best sellers. The Vienne velvet bedspread in natural or silver, from 140, would be the ideal finishing touch.
And if you have a steady stream of visitors throughout the year, the smart Roxy sofa bed, 750, from John Lewis, could be a wise buy.
Encouraging the smallest members of the family to go to bed can be quite an achievement.
But fun, new bedding could be a treat, if not sleep-inducing, and it's an easy way to update a room.
Cath Kidston's prints never disappoint and her retro-inspired Cowboy design is my favourite. The single duvet set, which is reversible with a red and white polka dot pattern on one side is 34.99, from The Gifted Penguin.
If you want to spoil a little girl, Laura Ashley has pretty choices. Its new heart-decorated pink and white Carrie bed linen, 50 for a single duvet cover, is charming and would team well with with its pink Libby bedspread, 100, decorated with ribbon bows and satin ribbon trim.
Asda: 020 3003 6555/www.asda.co.uk
Laura Ashley: 0871 230 2301/www.lauraashley.com
Dorma: 0844 980 0011/www.dorma.co.uk
The Gifted Penguin: 01642 763 000/www.giftedpenguin.co.uk
House of Fraser: 0870 160 7270/www.houseoffraser.co.uk
Leekes: 0845 050 8240/www.leekes.co.uk
John Lewis: 0845 6049 049/www.johnlewis.com
La Redoute: 0844 842 2222/www.laredoute.co.uk
Marks & Spencer: 0845 302 1234/www.marksandspencer.com
The White Company: 0870 900 9555/ www.thewhitecompany.co.uk
Joanna Wood: www.joannawood.co.uk
YP MAG 1/1/11