by Lori Marks
Ahh…the bedroom. The first room we see in the morning and the last room we see at night. The place we read, relax, dress, unwind, get away from what’s happening in the rest of the house and, of course, sleep. The bedroom should be your sanctuary — a space in which you feel comfortable and totally enjoy. Creating the perfect bedroom shouldn’t be just a dream. A few simple guidelines can start you on your way to a beautiful, relaxing space.
If you’re starting from scratch, clean the floors, windows, walls and furniture. Even if you’re not, do the same but also focus on de-cluttering. Get rid of the items you don’t use, don’t like, don’t wear and anything that shouldn’t be there (laundry, toys, mail, etc.). Once you clean it, keep it that way. A cluttered bedroom does nothing to help you relax. You can, however, keep a few intentionally placed items on a dresser, nightstand or shelves, such as candles or books.
Different colors evoke different emotions. If you want calm, choose blues, greens, neutrals or pastels. Dark colors will create a cozy, cocoon-like effect, however, red is usually not advised as it can be too stimulating. Feel free to use wallpaper, as well; just don’t go overboard. Think about how you want to feel when you’re in the room.
If you have overhead lighting, it tends to be a brighter light. This is great for things you need to see and do but think about adding dimmers for lower lighting when you want it. Lamps on nightstands are great for softer light or for reading. If you want to maintain space on your nightstands, wall sconces are also a nice option and swing arm lamps allow you to adjust the light where you’d like it.
This is a debatable subject. The recommendation is to leave electronics out of the bedroom. This includes the television, laptop and even the phone. They are too tempting and too stimulating at a time when you’re ready for rest. Admittedly, many (if not most) of us keep our phones on our nightstands but try to resist the urge to look at it unless necessary. Turn it over and leave it. The television is a personal preference. If you really want to promote sleep, don’t put it in the room. If it’s your “snuggle up with somebody and watch a good movie” spot, well, you know what works best
The most important piece in your room is the bed, particularly the mattress. Be careful in your selection. Shop around. Try them out. Choose what works best for you and then buy good, quality sheets with a high thread count (400 or above). You spend a third of your life sleeping so a good mattress is essential! Dress the bed with a nice comforter or duvet cover, add toss pillows in different shapes and a bedskirt. A more contemporary bed may have legs and will not require a bedskirt or even heavy bedding. In this case, you may prefer a simpler, cleaner look.
Finally, add the details. If a chair and small side table will fit into the room, add them. They provide a spot to relax and also pull the room together. Remember to measure before you buy. Make sure any furniture, including the bed, will fit. Window treatments can be added based on the style of your room (long drapes vs. a pleated or Roman shade) and how much light you prefer coming into the room. A large rug can be placed on hardwood floors under the bed and artwork and accessories will personalize the space. When you’re done, you’ll have a comfortable bed in a beautiful room — now, that’s something to wake up to!