Vicki Moore Pacifica Realtor
If your bedroom is merely a place to sleep and to store your clothing — if it isn’t a sanctuary to help buffer you from the effects of a hectic day, it’s time to make some changes. Not only will these tips help you to sleep more soundly, but they’ll help you look forward to that moment when you switch off the TV and pad down the hallway to shake off the world.
1. Use your senses to help you plan
Psychologists have written volumes about the psychology of color, even when it comes to residential wall paint. “Room color, particularly in your home, can dramatically affect moods, feelings and emotions,” psychiatrist Dr. Julia Shugar of Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in New York tells foxnews.com.
Professional decorators, on the other hand, suggest that you choose paint colors that appeal to you the most. In fact, the experts at HGTV suggest that since the bedroom is “the most personal space in your home,” you should “let the colors you love be your guide.” When looking at paint swatches, ask yourself how the color makes you feel. If it evokes a sense of calmness and relaxation, it may just be the ideal color for your bedroom walls.
Paint is the starting point for your room. Choosing the right shade is a difficult decision and everything you do after you choose that color will be based on that decision. Design Seed is a really helpful site to find the colors that light you up when you think of designing your new bedroom. You can swoon through hundreds of color combinations dreaming of the perfect design without dipping your brush into a paint can.
Enlist your sense of smell when considering how to decorate your bedroom. What type of feeling are you looking for with your fragrances? Something to put you to sleep? A beautiful aroma to breath in deeply while you meditate? Or a crisp, fresh bouquet to bring you out of your slumber in the morning?
There are myriad ways to bring fragrance into your room. You’ll need to decide which is your preference: fresh flowers, scented room sprays, incense, essential oil diffusers, candles? Maybe you just prefer to open the windows and let the sea breeze waft in.
You might also like the 8-minute long “Weightless,” by Marconi Union (believe it or not, there is also a 10-hour version). The British Academy of Sound has dubbed it “the most relaxing song in the world,” Apparently, the song’s 80 beats per minute will cause your heart to sync with it, lowering your blood pressure.
Binaural beats are all over YouTube. Research suggests that binaural beats can help working memory and long-term memory, and also strengthen connections among networks within the brain. I’ve found the music to be extremely relaxing. They can be used to induce or expand all sorts of feelings from relaxation to help you sleep to motivation to get you up in the morning.
Another mood enhancer is lighting. There are so many options to choose from. You may want to start with the result you’re looking for and research from there. Ceiling fixtures and chandeliers, floor and table lamps, sconces, pendant lighting, can all bring a different feeling and degree of light into your space. Maybe a combination of lighting is something to consider.
2. Make it an electronics-free zone
Neuroscientists claim that blue light – which is emitted by electronic devices, such as a TV – disrupts our sleep cycles. “Changes in sleep patterns can in turn shift the body’s natural clock, known as its circadian rhythm,” Scientific American’s Jessica Schmerler says. She concludes that “shifts in this clock can have devastating health effects because it controls not only our wakefulness but also individual clocks that dictate function in the body’s organs. In other words, stressors that affect our circadian clocks, such as blue-light exposure, can have much more serious consequences than originally thought.”
Not only that, but studies also show that Americans with a TV in the bedroom tend to stay up later than those who don’t have a TV in the room. So, get that TV out of the bedroom and consider also evicting the Kindle, smartphone, iPad, laptop and even the digital alarm clock.
Working in your bedroom can also cause problems sleeping. If your desk is in your bedroom, it could be the reason you can’t fall asleep or stay asleep. Your bedroom becomes a place to think instead of a respite from the world where you can leave all the stress outside the door.
3. Slip between the sheets
Now that you’ve painted the walls, camouflaged unwanted noises and 86’d the blue-light-emitting perpetrators, it’s time to slip into something a bit more comfortable – a bed that is fit for dreaming.
What you slip between when you crawl into bed at the end of the day can make or break your relaxation level. Sheets lay the foundation for everything else. A lot of fuss is made over thread count whenever bed sheets are discussed, but that isn’t the end-all, be-all when it comes to determining whether or not a sheet will be comfortable. “Despite the notion that more is better, in our past sheet tests we confirmed that a higher thread count doesn’t guarantee better sheets,” suggests Consumer Reports. Ply and weave are also important considerations, according to Vogue’s Zoe Taubman.
Top the sheets with a cozy quilt, bedspread or comforter and then a pile of pillows. To get the fluffy Pottery Barn look for your bed stuff two comforters into the duvet. Not the best for the summer season but in winter your bed will be a place that dreams are made.
4. Plants enhance air quality and visual beauty and aid in sleep
Yes, there is more you can do to create that sanctuary bedroom. Consider adding live plants to help cleanse the air in the room and add a pop of color and texture. There are particular plants like aloe vera which releases oxygen at night, that purifies the air and helps us breathe easier while we sleep
The areca palm releases oxygen at night, that purifies the air and helps us breathe easier while we sleep.
If you’re looking for a fragrant option, try one of my favorite sweet smelling flowers, gardenia. These flowers emit a fresh smell that reduces stress and induces sleep – things we can all use help with sometimes.
Find all 18 plants at ProFlowers.com.
5. Add additional texture with rugs
A rug is literally the foundation to any room. It should be chosen first and then the design built around it. Fluffy, thick rugs are wonderful to step on as you get out of bed. You can even layer rugs throughout the room for a Bohemian look.
Overstock.com has a guide to choosing just the right rug. They remind us that a rug isn’t a filler — it’s a focal point, which reinforces my idea that the rug should be chosen first – especially since the furniture will go on top of it.
Whether you have a very simple pattern, no pattern or very ornate design with bright colors, a rug will change the entire look of your bedroom.
6. Dramatic drapery continues the feeling you’re going for
Like rugs, drapes can be an expensive decor selection. They can add texture, color and movement when you open the windows; they may allow light to filter through or block the entire day out with blackout curtains.
Layering window treatments such as blinds with curtains adds style and functionality by providing better insulation.
Hanging the curtain rod just below the ceiling can give the illusion of a higher ceiling.
Choosing the right window coverings is a process. West Elm guides you through the decision making process by having you choose the length first; then the fabric type, and then determining which hardware will look the best with your choice.
7. Calming accessories and artwork
Now that you’ve made it through all the hard work, we get to the best part! Shopping for accessories. Again mentioning color and texture, you can layer your bed with warm blankets and fluffy pillows. Have you seen all the pillows they have at Home Goods?!
I love having a large nightstand to hold all my bedroom things like a pretty lamp, books, kleenex, my phone, some lotion – because that’s the only time I remember to put lotion on my hands – a lovely smelling candle. Nightstands can be a bistro table like I have or a dresser. And they don’t have to match.