The Heatherly Goodnight Series: Charles Prior

Director of Baxter Creative, Charles Prior has worked as a designer on three continents — bringing comfort, function and style to luxurious hotels, merchant banks and even yachts. But it is his belief in beautiful and practical spaces that has made him a masterclass in bedroom design.

Having worked in the industry for almost 20 years, Charles has built a reputation for bold and bespoke projects that uniquely reflect the owners’ style — which is why we have been lucky enough to collaborate with Charles on some of his most beautiful bedrooms.

From soft furnishings to soothing colour palettes, we asked Charles for the bedroom upgrades and design solutions to have us sleeping soundly and dreaming big.

What colours do you feel create the most calming environment? Do you have a go-to palette for a bedroom?

My go-to palette is always a ‘muddy pink’ or a warm lilac.  I love warm tones in a bedroom so I rarely select a cool palette.

The rich pink or lilac tones often feel soft and comforting and strangely don’t seem to feel too feminine.  It’s important to ensure that all those using the space feel comfortable.

Giselle bedhead Charles prior custom design

At Heatherly, we believe that the bedroom should be a restorative place to unwind and sleep well.  What effect do you think the design of a space– or lack thereof– has on our mood, stress level, and ability to sleep soundly?

The design has a profound effect on mood, stress levels and sound sleep but I can’t advocate enough for the best possible bed and mattress to ensure comfort levels are at a maximum.

What are your favourite design elements to incorporate into a bedroom? Why?

I love incorporating plenty of fabric, even in a stark contemporary space.  Full curtains and upholstered walls or large bedheads really help to make the space feel soft. And of course, the acoustic dampening is critical to sound sleep and a sense of comfort and security.

Any tips on how we can easily elevate our bedrooms to become a personal sanctuary?

Houseplants and candles. The health and wellbeing effects of plants are pretty commonly acknowledged these days, but that splash of leafy green always makes me feel healthier when I wake up.

Do you have a favourite upholstery fabric to work with in the bedroom? What do you love about it?

I do love a linen in the bedroom.  That soft casual look always makes it work.

How much should location impact the interiors of a bedroom? 

I will always discourage the use of velvet in a bedroom in a warm climate. Lovely flowing sheers and soft polished linens are better in a warm climate.  Velvets and chenille’s always feel more appropriate in a cooler climate.


What is your favourite bedroom trick to create a tranquil space? 

Replacing white globes with warm globes (you should never use white bulbs outside a bathroom in a residential situation!) and consider your wall colour —avoid it being too light and warm it up to create a soothing comforting space.

Do you have a favourite bedroom you have worked on? What made it so memorable?

A fabulous master suite in Prahran I did almost 5 years ago.  It was converted from the main living room in a fabulous Victorian, so it had ridiculously high ceilings an incredible bay window, a huge marble fireplace and chandelier.

We painted the walls charcoal and used a massive navy velvet bedhead to ground the space, but it just had the most amazing feel.

What are your favourite trends in interior design at the moment?

Loving this move towards a rust palette and the global obsession with houseplants.

Tell us about your own bed?

Oh dear… I stupidly allow my dog on mine, but it’s layered linens in soft warm grey with a dark charcoal bedhead.  It’s in desperate need of some rust colour, but I’m reluctant until I can train the dog to stay off it.

Do you have any bedtime rituals?

I know it’s bad for me, but I do love falling asleep watching episodes of The Golden Girls.

What is on your bedside table?

The usual plus a candle by Russell and White.  It’s their ‘Purple Fields’ scent with lovely calming lavender and chamomile.