Pillow Talk with... Diana Yates

This season's Pillow Talk is with the beautiful and charming Diana Yates, ex-corporate COO turned soft furnishings maker and avid gardener.

Diana has spent the last 6 years restoring the two-acre garden of her 18th-century listed home into a productive kitchen and cut flower garden. In 2023, Harper Collins published her first book, Growing at Greenfields. When not making bespoke soft furnishings for local and international clients, she writes a monthly column for Country Home & Interiors magazine, and more recently can be found working behind the scenes for The Reclaimed Garden Company, a recently founded climate focused venture with her husband Andrew.

What is your ultimate bedtime routine?
decadent bath, which I do every evening, and on occasion with a dose of epsom salts. A glass of water and enough soaking time to solve the Wordle and mini crossword. After which it’s a few drops of my favourite face serum, a fresh nightie and a flick through whichever interiors magazine or gardening book I’m currently devouring for a future project.
What is on your nightstand?
A tape measure, I’m always thinking about proportions for upcoming work projects and my trusty tape measure is perfect to create a visual. My serum or face oil of the moment and magnesium in some form or another. My current reading material, which is Jamie Becks' an American in Provence, I dream of living there someday soon. A lavender filled eye mask made by my sister, and a daily affirmation card stack I received as a gift from my youngest daughter.
Your one pearl of wisdom for a good night's sleep?
A cold bedroom and slightly elevated feet.
And one fallacy?
A dark bedroom aids sleep. In spring and summer especially I love to fall asleep with the curtains opens so I can drift off to views of rolling hills and swaying leaves. Waking up the same way to the dawns light on my face feels like gift.
Whose bedroom would you most like to snoop around?
Definitely the bedroom of my favourite interior designer Rita Koning. I adore her sense of style and taste, and would need the details on everything from the bed linen, to the mix of fabrics used plus an up close look at the art adorning her walls.
The best garden you have ever been to?
Floors Castle Gardens in the heart of the Scottish Borders for the treasured memories of past visits with my husband and three children.
Most romantic piece of music to relax to?
May I have two? Departure by Max Richter for its intensity and drama, and Hold You In My Arms by Ray La Montagne, his voice enough said.
What is on your breakfast-in-bed tray?
If I’m eating in bed the food has to be as decadent as the act itself, therefore a rich warm buttery croissant or two laden with raspberry preserve, and at least two cups of English breakfast tea.
Bedtime reading: Paper Book or Kindle?
Likely controversial but at bedtime audible is my best friend just before I nod off. A soothing voice reading aloud takes me back to childhood and is the fastest way to relax my mind ready for sleep.
Your favourite If Only If nightie?
Currently Leonore, for the subtle print and generous swathes of fabric, definitely a piece I’d want to wake up in on my birthday or Christmas morning, and who doesn’t want that feeling all year round. That said JoJo is on constant rotation and I now have my eye on Sands for an upcoming holiday, I can imagine it taking me from day to night.
One smell that evokes Spring is... 

It has to be a blend of Lily of the Valley, native bluebells, and the earthy scent of freshly cut grass all melding together to create a scent that is so uniquely spring.

When it comes to bed, nothing feels better than... 

Clean everything, and the cold side of my pillow.

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