'Your environment is key to getting good, restful sleep, and your bedroom should feel like a sanctuary, says Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, sleep expert at Silentnight. Keep your bedroom free from clutter and junk particularly the space around your bed, where tidiness clears the mind and helps you to let go of the day. Clutter is often distracting and creates mental busyness the opposite of what is needed for peaceful sleep.
Take advantage of the space beneath the bed... Silentnights new Diamond Collection of pocket-sprung divan beds (from £769 for the 1400 Natural luxury double bed set) have storage drawers beneath to take all the clutter, including an option with two standard and two narrower continental drawers, so you can access them without moving the bedside cabinet. Or try Dreams for the Palermo double bed, £349, which has an ottoman-style lift-up base.
Expert idea Try on the contents of your wardrobe and donate the reject pile to charity, including anything that needs altering, as the chances are it wont get done, says Julia Dee of Total Wardrobe Care.
● Theres a good reason for the current trend for tallboys. More practical than low cabinets, they over a bigger storage potential within a small amount of floor space.
● Dont forget to sort out the spare room. According to a recent survey of 1000 homeowners by online wardrobe specialist Spaceslide, 81 per cent of people couldnt list more than five things they stashed away in their spare room.
● Budget buy: Pretty up the room with vintage-style hangers and wall hooks if space is super-tight. Bombay Duck has a great selection.
● Shoes will last longer if you care for them properly on shelves or a shoe rack. Store in the Total Wardrobe shoe storage box, £10, John Lewis. It has a window so you can see inside at a glance.
‘Buy the best you can afford,’ says Jane Robson, creative director of The Fine Cotton Company. ‘Bedding should be seen as an investment and can make all the difference between a good or bad night’s sleep.’
● Trade up to a duvet with a down filling – it’s the lightest, fluffiest option and the best insulator. Down is often mixed with more robust feather; choose a product with at least 80 per cent down.
● Try a wool- or silk-filled duvet for a hypoallergenic option that’s resistant to dust mites. ‘Wool wicks moisture away from the body, for a sound night’s sleep,’ says Dick Beijen, founder of Devon Duvets.
● The top hollowfibre synthetics are readily washable, and often have anti-allergenic coatings. Look out for microfibre, which is similar in feel and weight to feather and down fillings. ‘A boxed wall construction ensures the duvet is never stitched through from front to back, so there are no cold spots,’ says Jane.
Gas. H88xW140xD59cm. Cooking area: 63.5x42cm. 3 burners. Gas hose and regulator, drip tray, grill and griddle. Warming rack. Cover.
Good points: Straightforward push button ignition. For maximum control, each burner has independent ignition. Even heat coverage, producing good results. Useful warming rack above the grill. Flare-ups from food drippings give foods an appealing char-grilled flavour.
Gas. H100xW125xD47cm. Cooking area: 54x30cm. Single rectangular burner. Comes with gas hose and regulator, disposable drip tray. Built-in thermometer on lid
Good points: Push button ignition. Very quick to assemble. Compact and easy to manoeuvre. Side wings folded inwards for storage. Excellent results for grilling burgers, sausages and chicken. Very good when cooking with the lid closed. Disposable fat collector aids cleaning.
Drawbacks: Side wings quite small and did not feel very robust. Grill needs continual greasing as food sticks.
800W motor. Weight - 1167g. 5 speeds. Noise 83db. Length of continuous operation 3mins. Attachments: 2 sizes blades, whisk, chopper bowl with knife blade and slicing/shredding disc.
Good points: Good versatile appliance which will do everything a food processor can except knead dough. Coped well with all food preparation tasks tested especially whisking and chopping. The supplied accessories are very well made and sturdy. Instructions are well laid out and very clear. Large processing bowl.
Drawbacks: Pricey. Lid to the chopper bowl quite stiff to remove. Accessories not dishwasher safe.