These “rules” of bedroom design were made to be broken
Bend the Rules of Bedroom Design to Create a Restful Retreat
Furniture, artwork, or lamps that don’t work in other rooms somehow make their way to the bedroom, creating a catch-all space of the house. But, the bedroom should be your sleep sanctuary from a stressful world.
While design rules are there for a reason, sometimes they limit your creativity and ability to make your bedroom uniquely you. Using a little DIY ingenuity, you can use the rules as a guide but bend them to create your home retreat.
Before we jump into the design, remember the primary purpose of the bedroom—sleep. Everything about the room should support getting a full seven to eight hours of sleep.
A supportive mattress needs to either be on a solid foundation or box spring to bring it to a comfortable height. Couples should also take care to choose a mattress that is appropriate for both partners. The design should allow the bedroom to be kept cool, dark, and quiet at night.
Color It Right: Paint Choices
Whether you know it or not, color has a psychological impact. Therefore, when it comes to decorating, it should be used wisely. Cool neutrals are a classic favorite as they create a blank canvas. Accent pieces do the work of bringing color, texture, and life.
But, if a blank canvas doesn’t appeal to you, there are colors you can use that are relaxing. Cool tones like blue, green and lavender can help lower your heart rate and relieve anxiety. Pastels have the benefit of color with a feel that’s similar to a neutral. They also give you more freedom when bringing more color into the mix.
However, if you dream of a bolder hue, darker tones can be easier on your eyes and magnify any emotions the colors evoke. An accent wall in navy or a deep green provides a focal point that can help your mind wind down for the day.
Natural Elements: Bringing Nature Indoors
Nature has a way of bringing you back to your roots, to a place where technology and stress don’t exist. The serenity of a forest or open meadow can be recreated, or at least hinted at, with your bedroom decor. Bringing nature indoors also gives you a chance to try your hand at a few DIY projects.
Reclaimed or weathered wood can be used to make everything from a simple art piece to a nightstand. An accent wall covered in wood planks has rugged texture, natural scent, and rustic appeal that welcomes the serenity of the outdoors.
If you’re looking for something simpler, a wrapped canvas featuring your own photos has personal appeal and can bring the calm you seek.
Alive and Well: Houseplants
Traditionally, houseplants aren’t used in bedroom decor, though they should be. Plants improve the air quality in the room, which affects sleep quality. NASA conducted a study and discovered quite a few plants that significantly enhance the quality of air by removing toxins from the air and releasing oxygen.
While the list is fairly long and a few of the plants are poisonous to animals and humans, many are easy to care for and could make a big difference in the quality of your sleep.
The variegated snake plant, for example, releases oxygen at night, adding more oxygen when you need it most. A few other examples include the peace lily, flamingo lily, and English ivy. The study found that people who had plants in their bedroom perceived themselves as having better mental clarity and sleep.
Reclaimed wood can be used to create a rustic plant stand. The pots you use for the plants also have a significant impact on the room. Make or decorate your own with an eye for bringing a cohesive, calming presence to your bedroom.
Comfortably Dark: Lighting for Successful Sleep
Light, especially natural light, directly affects your sleep. The sleep-wake cycle is controlled by circadian rhythms, which are primarily influenced by exposure to sunlight. If you live in an area with light pollution, that extra light at night can confuse the brain into thinking it’s time to be awake. Use your bedroom design to create the dark conditions you need for better sleep.
Try making your own blackout curtains. Be sure to measure carefully, so they cover the entire window. A good rule of thumb is to measure the window and double its length, so the curtains drape and gather, effectively hiding the light.
If you don’t love the idea of darkness during the day, do a double layer of curtains with a sheer set underneath so you can let the light in during the day but block out light at night.
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