Jayne Dawson: Common or posh? Your bedroom will reveal all

COLD COMFORT: A posh bedroom has no room for warm and cosy.
COLD COMFORT: A posh bedroom has no room for warm and cosy.
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There has been bedroom talk - but relax, nothing embarrassing is about to ensue.

I’m referring to Her Majesty, who has decreed that the flat sheets and blankets combo be whipped off the beds at Windsor Castle to be replaced by lazy old fitted sheets and duvets.

Fair enough. She’s the one with her face on the stamps, she can do what she likes, but I’ll tell you now, a fitted polyester doesn’t say magnificent residence of wealthy, mature, well travelled woman to me. My only hope is that she sticks with plain white.

But that’s the thing about bedrooms, isn’t it? They tell you so much. Not for nothing does Come Dine With Me always include a dig around the sleeping quarters. If you want to know the state of a nation, or the sanity of a fellow diner, check the beds, I say.

There was a time when you wouldn’t, but that’s not now.

That time was way back when a surreptitious snoop around anyone’s bedroom just didn’t pay dividends, because you know what you would find – a cold room, and a bed.

Back before we all had lots of stuff, the idea of decorating a bedroom just to make it pretty was bizarre.

If there was furniture it was stuff too clapped-out to be on public show, if there was a wardrobe then it had belonged to a dead relative and if there was an eiderdown it was shiny, and covered by your coat for extra warmth in the winter.

Any carpet had to be threadbare and faded to an underwater murkiness; ditto wallpaper.

Your main source of pretty pattern was the frost on the inside of the windows every morning, and that lasted for about nine months of the year.

This in fact is how I believe the bedrooms of the magnificent residence of a wealthy mature, well travelled woman should look. I believe nothing says British, old-school posh quite so well as a cold,stark bedroom, the kind to make you plucky.

If she wants to join the masses with vulgar, shake-it-and-leave-it bedding, then I suppose that’s up to her, but I’m disappointed. If you want to take her place in the posh stakes, stick with blankets, an iron bedstead and sheets without hint of a curve.

It’s hard though. Bedrooms have changed so much, more than any other room in the house, I would say. The revolution began in the 1970s - it’s okay, you’re safe to read on, we’re still talking decor. Specifically, duvets.

All over the land, people crawled into bed mouths agape with wonder that this one, fat cover was going to keep them warm - without even their coat on the top.

Next came televisions - with the aid of an old set, an old chair to balance it on, an aerial point created by that handyman bloke down the street you could, with a bit of luck and the wind in the right direction, watch an episode of Gardeners’ World in bed.

If you had central heating as well - and some lucky blighters did by this time - you were laughing.

I had my first taste of central heating in 1986. I tell you it was a thing of wonder. I would wake at 6am, just for the joy of hearing it click on.

A decade later and bedrooms weren’t just hot, they were frilly as well. And full of cushions. every bedroom in the land was a riot of frilled, floral cushions, and stuff that matched them.

Gradually they were joined by the rest of the stuff your bedroom had acquired - you know, the fairy lights, the feathery things, the fluffy things; the piles of clothes from Primark, the magazines. From being blank little cells filled only with the unwelcome bodies of your siblings, bedrooms became busy little palaces.

I like a bit of central heating, and a fat duvet and a fitted sheet - I’d say I lost my plucky British backbone the first time that central heating clicked on - but in real palaces and proper posh homes, I believe things should still be different. Make your choice.

Sarah Champion MP

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