Back in 2016 I did my very first One Room Challenge. We had just moved into our current home the year before & had been super busy getting kids settled & workspaces setup.
Our youngest son was just starting public kindergarten after being in private preschool. Our oldest son was going into his 3rd year in college & 1st apartment of his own. Plus 2 in between & a new home.
Honestly, we were tired. And that led me straight to the bedroom, literally!
When I decided to do the One Room Challenge, it was originally meant to finish our Kids Media Room. But when I thought about it, that room wasn’t too bad off AND I’d been spending a lot of time unsuccessfully trying to rest with all we had going on.
All that time got me to thinking about how we can’t be helpful to our loved ones if we are completely depleted. We have to recharge. For ourselves & for everyone around us.
And that’s when I decided to work on our bedroom. That & because I felt we deserved it!
I wouldn’t call myself a rebel but I do consider myself a non-conformist. So it’s no surprise that at a time when all the design world was gushing over boldly patterned accent walls, beautifully bold color, statement ceilings & light fixtures, I was all about the calm.
ALL about the calm! That was then and still is now! I believe the bedroom should be a sanctuary. A place to escape the world and just be. Relax, recharge, reconnect. With self, with love, in body & soul.
This is how I approach client’s bedrooms and it’s how I approached ours.
How to create a soothing bedroom to recharge mind, body, & soul.
Make IT an electronic free zone
This is my number 1 rule when I design or makeover bedrooms. If at all possible, keep electronics out of the bedroom.
That includes phones, laptops, tablets, and TVs. Some people swear they need a TV to sleep, but I’ve never known a person to NOT be able to sleep without one.
And some of us are so tied to our phones & laptops because of FOMO I guess. The world will not come to an end if you miss a few social media posts, a phone call or 2, or a work email.
Even if you use your phone as an alarm, if you keep it outside the bedroom in a place where you can still hear it you’ll be forced to get up on time to turn it off (instead of just hitting snooze).
Setup a designated place for all your devices & when it’s time for bed put them to sleep too. If that designated place has to be in your bedroom – maybe your home office is in the bedroom – find a way to put them out of sight, like in a desk drawer or bin.
use color wisely
I love color – that is clear in every area of our home EXCEPT the bedroom.
The bedroom is calm, serene, relaxing. It’s like a big hug that’s soft & secure at the same time. The walls are SW7016 Mindful Gray – it’s gray that reads a taupe depending on how the light hits.
Pops of color come from the art & the tray ceiling which is painted in Rococco Violet by HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams & Velvet Sky by Behr.
Pay attention to pattern
While the design world is all abuzz over pattern, I was headed in the opposite direction. I love pattern just as much as I love color. But not too much in bedrooms.
It’s very important in bedrooms to create a space that makes it easy to unwind & relax. Even the most subtle pattern can keep you mind working overtime. So I like to keep it simple and off the walls by using textiles with more nuanced pattern & texture – think pillows, throws & upholstered accents.
Unless I need to create zones in a bedroom, pattern finds it’s way in small doses so we can keep the visual noise to a minimum.
That leads to my next tip…
disENGAGE THE SENSES
Filter the noise
White noise, pink noise, street noise, household noise. Honestly all of it can have an affect on how well we rest. Even though white & pink noise are supposed to help with sleep by drowning out other unwanted sounds, even they can be bothersome to some people. I am 1 of them.
Other sources of noise can be blocked out with window treatments that have added layers which help to dull sounds coming from outside the room – whether it’s from a window or door to the outside or to another room.
Filter the light
The same goes for light. I’ve heard so many people say they go to sleep to the TV because the light (and sound) is soothing. I would challenge anyone to try sleeping without it for a week or 2 and see what a difference it makes.
If you think you need some sort of light (or noise for that matter), try a salt lamp with a soft glow. Or an essential oil diffuser with ambient lighting.
CLEAR YOUR MIND
This is probably the hardest to do. One of the best ways to get there is to establish a bedtime routine that includes:
- A brain dump. Literally writing out your thoughts, to-do list for the next day, crossing off to-do’s for the week, or whatever else is on your mind helps to get it OFF your mind. I keep a small notebook at my bedside specifically for this. And for times when DON’T do it and end up awake in the middle of the night & need to dump what’s in my head.
- Meditate. Even if only for a minute or 2, sitting still & quiet can help bring a sense of calm. For me it’s an evening prayer. Nothing too long or drawn out, just a moment of gratitude & grace for the days ahead.
- Gratitude! (Had to know that was coming.) There’s tons of research that says finding something to be grateful for & expressing it does great things for our well being. I think that goes for our restful being too.
A FINAL NOTE ON DECOR – Keep it super simple
The bedroom is NOT the place to go all out with all the things or try all all the latest trends.
A few examples that come to mind are:
- Gallery walls – If you just have to have 1 in your bedroom, make it as simple as possible. 3-5 large scale pieces max – anything more (or smaller prints) will be too busy. And make sure to leave family members (other than your spouse/significant other) OUT. Nothing worse than having a sexy romantic moment only to look up at your MIL. Just NO.
- Candles – Let’s say that sexy romantic moment gets a little… feisty. The candle somehow gets knocked over and… At best, the mood is ruined & you have a mess on your hands. At worst.. FIRE! But, if you insist, make sure to keep candle on a safe surface far from anyplace you’d have such activity. 😉
- Plants – Great for your health & the air you breath but not if they can’t thrive in your space. The only thing worse than no plants is dead plants. So if you have low or no light, or can’t properly care for them in your bedroom, leave the plants out.
If you’re thinking of making changes to your bedroom, I hope this gave you a few things to think about & some ideas on how to get there!
As always have fun & enjoy the process of creating your soothing bedroom oasis!
Well written article! You made valid points about creating that oasis in the bedroom. I thought about adding more umph to our bedroom but after reading this, i think simple changes are far more better
Hi Sister Jamala! Thank you. This is the 1 time where simpler really is better. It’s fun to add more umph too though – I think it’s best done through deep rich color & texture. That’s a great way to turn up the heat in the romance department!