A bedroom should be your favorite place to rest. A luxurious (whatever that means to you) place to tuck yourself away from the world. Below are a few tips to help you have a relaxing, stress free bedroom.
BED & BEDDING
It all starts with the bed and bedding. Chose a mattress that feels best to you and offers you enough support. If you aren't in the position to upgrade your mattress, try embellishing it by adding a feather bed or egg crate. For additional support, you could also try upgrading only your box spring. Try an assortment of pillows and stick to what you like. A combination of firm and soft are great for layering. Use pillow protectors for easy cleaning.
Keep it simple with 2 sets of 100% Egyptian cotton sheets, which get softer as you wash them. If money is no object, try ABC Carpet or Bloomingdale's. If bargain shopping is more your thing, HomeGoods usually has a nice selection. Sheets should always be 100% cotton, and over 200 thread count. Feel them with the back of your hand before buying them (are they really soft?) and always wash them before you put them on your bed. To get that crisp hotel feel, you can starch and iron your sheets too.
A down comforter is always my go to because you can easily switch out the duvet to change the look, plus it can easily be thrown in the washing machine to clean. Duvets should also always be 100% cotton.
Everything on your bed should be soft and comfortable. Avoid beaded pillows, stiff coverlets that are scratchy, or metal bed frames that may poke you when you walk by. The sturdier the bed frame, the better. The one pictured above is an antique, and while it looks pretty, it was the opposite of 'stress free', since the wood slats underneath constantly fell out and the entire thing squeaked.
One last note, don't buy the biggest bed you can fit simply because it can fit. Bedrooms are more charming if they aren't swallowed up by a giant bed.
You could go any way with color but whatever you chose, you should be in love with it. Going back to the picture above, I was not allowed to paint the white walls, so I added pops of my favorite colors using pillows, potted plants and a mobile. These colors are all very energizing. It is more difficult for me to wake up in the morning than to fall asleep at night, so a more vibrant, light-filled bedroom works to stimulate my senses and get me out of bed.
For those who have trouble sleeping, darker, more calming shades may be best.
Drapes that pool on the floor and can easily open and close to control the light are my personal favorite. Choose window treatments based on how much privacy and light you need.
Avoid overhead lighting, which is highly unflattering, and instead try several smaller, dim lamps around the room to highlight different areas. Bedside reading lamps are also a must, and add lovely touches of ambient light. Avoid florescent (blue or green toned) lighting in the bedroom and go for warm (yellow) light.
Limit yourself to only a few precious objects to keep your bedroom clutter free. A couple of chairs or a bench, a dresser, a large plant, and a few of your favorite pieces of art will do nicely.
Organization is key to having a stress free bedroom. If you take the time to make sure everything has a home and keep it there as often as possible, keeping your bedroom de-cluttered should be fairly simple.
Keep clothes hung in the closet or folded in a dresser, add under the bed storage if needed, and group like things like jewelry, handbags and shoes together and keep them in a designated spot. Buy pretty hooks and use them as part of the decor if it works. Bedside tables with drawers are always best so you can hide books, your ipod, a sleeping mask and personal items.
If you feel like stuff is popping up everywhere, then consider downsizing. You will feel better when your days are not spent managing your stuff. The rule of thumb is, if you haven't worn it for six months, pass it on. Move seasonal items to another space if possible.
Making your bed, putting away your clothes, vacuuming the floor, and a light dusting should make your bedroom sparkle. Generally, I vacuum the room and dust and wash my sheets every two weeks, put away my clothes a few times a week when I do laundry, and only make my bed when company is coming over. It's a fairly relaxed routine and it works for me!
(Image: Violet Marsh Photography)