How to Make Your Bedroom a Sanctuary
With a renewed interest in our own physical and mental well being these days, 8 hours sleep has become the new 10,000 steps a day, with our smartwatches tracking how well we do and reminding us of the importance of a good night’s sleep. On top of these 3,000 hours a year we (should) spend sleeping, our bedrooms are also a place we can relax and de-stress, after a long day. With that in mind, here are some design tips to turn your bedroom into a sanctuary where you will hopefully want to spend more than just 8 hours.
Bedroom Interior Design – Colour
Starting with the basics, to some extent this may depend on the décor throughout the rest of your house, but ideally in a bedroom you should aim for colours that calm you. Some people prefer the pure, serene vibe of whites and off-whites, while others need a darker, enveloping atmosphere to feel comfortable enough to sleep. It’s important to think about what works for you and makes you feel your calmest. Blues and greens are said to lower the heart rate, which if true for you, would be ideal sleep preparation.
Bedroom Interior Design – Textures
Incorporating different textures can add warmth, visual stimulus, and a touch of luxury. If you’re lucky enough to be able to incorporate any exposed brick or wooden beams, that’s great, but if not, consider some textured wallpaper on one or two walls, rather than four cold walls of paint. Then think about a mixture of fabrics, beyond your choice of bed linen. Rugs, throws, fabric lampshades or a linen window blind will all add a warm, luxe feel to a room where we want to indulge our senses.
Bedroom Interior Design – Lighting
When it’s dark, our circadian rhythms kick in and our bodies produce melatonin, telling us we need to sleep. It can be a tougher transition to get to sleep if we switch straight from a single, bright overhead light to lights out. Using multiple low-level light sources, such as bedside lamps with shades to diffuse the light, or a corner floor lamp, will help prepare us for sleep. Interior designers love symmetry and it’s also said to subconsciously soothe us, so we love a bedroom where we can place matching bedside tables and lamps. If you’re short on space or the tables are too small, you could equally install low-hanging pendants from the ceiling to the bedside, providing you avoid a bare bulb.
Talking of symmetry, earlier in the year I blogged about the current trend for nature in our homes, and the bedroom is a great place for bringing the outside in. Plants purify the air of course, but even imagery of nature or textiles with biophilic designs can have the same calming effect as nature itself. So, whether you’re green-fingered enough to go for full-on hanging or trailing plants from shelves; only brave enough for a cactus you can’t kill; or want to play it safe with wavy, natural patterns on a rug, try to incorporate some element of nature into your bedroom design.
Bedroom Interior Design – Your ‘stuff’
Tidying your bedroom (and possibly other rooms too!) is essential for creating a calming atmosphere as well as generating space and light. It’s time to decide what you actually need in that room, for example, is the armchair in the corner really used as a relaxing reading area or do you have three months of clothes piled on top of it? While it’s important for our eyes to wander across things we love, let’s make them carefully chosen pieces, such as art on the walls or beautiful objects, rather than shelves groaning with odd, mismatched items. You’ll be surprised how much more relaxing a pared-back, minimal bedroom can be!
Lastly, the star of the show
All of these ideas won’t have their intended impact on your bedroom if you don’t like your actual bed. While I don’t advise you spend your entire (interior design!) budget on a new one, there are a few things you can do to improve what you have. Going for the best mattress you can afford is a priority, followed by some serious hotel-quality bed linen. If you don’t want to get a new mattress, then try a mattress topper for a new experience and to breathe new life into your current one (I did this recently and it has made such a difference!). Accessorise with a faux fur throw or some luxurious cushions. If you are intending to buy a new bed, then get one as large as the space allows, placing the headboard against a solid wall, with your eye on the symmetry possibilities mentioned above. Space under the bed will visually makes the room feel bigger, but if you need to opt for a divan in the interests of decluttering, then do it. If your room size allows, a bench at the foot of the bed will help anchor its position in the room and adds an additional, hotel-style luxury touch.
The average person gets 6.4 hours sleep a night – let’s hope these tips get you nearer to the full 8!