So the girl from accounts that you’ve been looking at has deigned to come back to your place after a night out. Your apartment is looking sharp; you’ve remodelled the bathroom and the kitchen and the living room contains understated, chic furniture with sleek, clean edges. But if you get really lucky, you’ll hit the bedroom… And quite possibly encounter an epic interior design fail.

Bedrooms always get neglected; they rarely need to be gutted and when we’re in them, we’re mainly sleeping, so we forget about design. Consequently, once you manage to open the door, barricaded with a month of unwashed laundry, there’s a good chance that things won’t be looking too hot.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Creating the wow factor in the bedroom, at least when it comes to design, is all about ambience and doesn’t need to be expensive to achieve. As for the rest? Well that’s up to you and the girl from accounts.

Colour cool

Blue for a boy still holds true but let’s not have the place looking like an out-take from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Mix deep blue curtains with grey bed linen and breezy white curtains, or go grey on the walls and have bright blue bedding provide the colour accent uplift. You could throw in some fire-engine red pillows or dark purple chair covers as a contrast. Other on-trend wall colours include white and ‘nearly-gold’. You might want to go deep and dark on the walls (and that can work too), but keep the rest of the décor light, use contrasting colours (for example the bright green of plant leaves will pop against a grey/brown paint) and maximise natural light too. If your limestone walls have been covered, consider taking the plaster off for a traditional, masculine look.

Treat your windows

It’s not girly to get a decent pair of curtains. Not only will they insulate your windows in the winter and keep the outside noise down, they’ll also protect your furniture from the sun, and, if you pick the right ones, give the room some class. Solid and metallic colours work well; think about using different textures to add depth. Curtains should be lined; it’s worth the extra money in the long run and will help keep out the strong Maltese morning sun when you need a lie-in or a nap. Simple lines are best.

A harsh bare bulb is the equivalent of putting on a bit of death metal for your seduction scene

Fine furniture

Any fool can buy a matchy-matchy furniture set from a department store. The key to making a bedroom look cool is to mix interesting pieces together and make them work. Ultra modern platform beds are still trending, but team one up with an antique chest of drawers to add some interest and make the place look less like a hotel. Handpick mismatched bedside tables and find an old trunk to infuse the room with your own personality. If you have space, add an armchair to create a comfy reading nook. Go with neutral, block colours rather than patterns and then add the pizzazz with cushions or throws. That will make it easier to update the room in the future. Another sure winner is a worn leather easy chair.

Reclaimed wood can add a bit of rough to a bedroom; use a solid block as a headboard, or steal some of the ideas on pinterest to create your own rustic version from reclaimed pallets.

Décor deals

If your colour palette is fairly neutral, then what you put on the walls has to show who you are. Think about your hobbies or the interests that define you, and then get some oversized photographs to reflect that, whether it be wildlife, sports or modern art.

Vintage memorabilia can help too. Try eBay to find things that you love, such as flags, street signs, antique army uniforms or old metal adverts. You can collect good quality carvings, masks or hangings when you travel (however, avoid the tourist tat markets; seek out proper antique shops instead).

You can also create a floor-to-ceiling piece of art at your local printers, but choose wisely or it will overwhelm the room. Less is more; one or two key focal pieces work best.

Turn offs

TV is for the living room, not the bedroom and it will ruin the look. If it sneaked in there, get it out post haste.

Rugged rugs

Rugs are warming, especially on tile floors and will help to lift the look of a stark room. They’ll also keep your toes warm on a cold winter day. Go for a big design (if you have the bed over most of the rug, it won’t be too overpowering) or opt for natural fibres with a great texture and neutral colours.

Light bulb moment

Lighting is critical to mood. A harsh bare bulb is the equivalent of putting on a bit of death metal for your seduction scene. So get some functional, angled bedside lights and perhaps invest in a dimmer switch for some wall mounted lights, rather than the classic overhead light dangling from the ceiling. If you can’t avoid having a central light, make sure the bulb wattage is not too high… or just leave them off altogether and light a couple of candles instead.

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