• Decent Mattress. Hands down the best investment you can make, and it doesn't even need to break the bank. Six years ago I bought a mattress that changed my life— not an exaggeration— and it cost $300. Being a student at the time, even that was a splurge, but I have never regretted it. The only downside is that it basically ruined hotels for me because none compare.
• Decent Pillows. If a mattress is the foundation of a happy sleep, a good pillow comes in close second. Even most big box stores carry pillows for your specific sleep habits (backsleepers, sidesleepers, etc). A good pillow will last for years, but others will wear out easily, so it's important to assess whether the crook in your neck is due to a worn out pillow.
• Bedside Lamp For Each Person. It took me a few years to realize how important this really is, but anyone who faces the acrobatic task of reaching over their snoozing significant other to turn off the light with any regularity knows the value of not having to share.
• Nightstand For Each Person. The same thing goes for each having a place to set night time necessities. Having to reach over or being reached over creates unnecessary tension that can wear on you or your significant other with time. This doesn't necessarily mean going out to buy matching bedside tables. Find what works for each of you and your space. It may mean one of you has a bedside bookshelf while the other has a simple surface. The key is each having a place to put your own things at the end of the day.
• Decent, Working Window Treatments. Is there anything more frustrating than being exhausted and longing for bed, and having to fight your shade to stay in place? As a decorator, I'm often asked to tackle this common bedroom problem, and as a homeowner who lived with broken bedroom blinds for more time than I care to admit, I understand the frustration. Nobody likes to begin or end their day wrestling a window treatment! Whether its drapes or shades or a combination of the two, your window treatment should open and close easily, offer privacy, and have the option of blocking out morning light.
• Airflow. Bedrooms, more than any other room, tend to get stuffy especially if they also house your laundry hamper. Air them out regularly, put in a fan, crack the door or a window, but let your bedroom get the air it needs.
What would you add to the list?
Images: Marie Claire Maison