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House Tip: how to create a relaxing bedtime setting

Whether hosting guests or refreshing your own bedtime ritual, Soho House Housekeeping Manager Ian Nieuwoudt believes a few simple tweaks can make all the difference

1. Mood-makers

'Lighting is an instant mood-setter. Across our House bedrooms and bathrooms, we lower the lights to 'amber' in the evenings, for an instantly softening feel. At home, a simple dimmer switch achieves this brilliantly. Another useful touch is a bench at the foot of the bed for any cushions or throws that need to be removed from the bed before sleep. An occasional chair is also useful so that guests can sit down to take off their shoes.'

2. In the details

'Simplicity is always the best approach. Our bedlinens are white and crisp, we have a combination of soft and firm pillows, plus 10.5 tog feather and goose down duvets that work well across all seasons. Turndown is an opportunity to refresh the small details - something that guests at home will appreciate too. We lay the pillows flat, remove throws and cushions from the bed and close the curtains for a cosseting feel. Visitors always appreciate small touches - we set out water by the bed using glass vessels made from our recycled wine and beer bottles from Houses across the globe. A detail like this is always memorable. At home, try adding a carafe of water and a couple of classic novels that your guest might enjoy. A simple cut flower or small sculptural branch from the garden in a bud vase adds another welcoming note.'

3. Optimum relaxation

'Key to a good night's sleep is an uncluttered room - make sure there is plenty of storage to accommodate clothes and accessories at the end of the day so that the space feels tranquil. Temperature is also important. A room should be well-ventilated so that it is neither too stuffy nor too draughty for an optimum night's sleep. Our rooms are set to a temperature of 21°c, though personal preferences differ.'

4. Hit refresh

'Finally, embrace the seasons. Make the bed your centrepiece, with cushions and throws that reflect the time of year. In summer, easy linens and soft patterns inject a fresh, cooling feel, while in autumn and winter, swapping out light fabrics for tactile velvets in berry shades will dial up the comfort factor, making bedtime something to look forward to.'