My bedroom is my favorite space in our house. This is ironic because right now, I currently have my desk in our bedroom, which is a big no-no according to work-life balance experts. But we have a small house and we’re in the middle of a pandemic so here we are. But even though lines are a bit blurred at the moment, it’s still my haven because I’ve made intentional small steps toward turning my bedroom into the ultimate calming retreat. And if your life has been as crazy as mine as lately, you need it. We’re all about a healthy bedtime routine here, but let’s set the scene first.
Declutter, declutter, declutter
You’ll find most interior design and home décor experts will tell you that the very first step in creating a space you love is to get rid of the crap. You can’t feel calm in your bedroom if there is clutter everywhere. Think about it like this, when you’re alone in a hotel room, don’t you feel calm? Because when you’re there, it’s free of clutter. Everything is in its place. Our brains are calmed by the sight of a tidy dresser or a clutter-free nightstand, so this is a really important stepping stone.
Keep textures in mind
The sense of touch has a huge impact on our nervous system. A soft, plush rug is a great option for a bedroom because it signals comfort to your brain. The same with your bedding. I’m a firm believer that making your bed as inviting as possible makes all the difference. Pay attention to your bedding—crisp and comfortable fabrics like bamboo or linen not only look great, but feel great, too. Fold a plush coverlet or soft throw at the bottom of the bed and don’t skimp on the pillows! Your head spends around eight hours a night connected to it, so feel free to splurge a bit.
Always make your bed
I’ve always been someone who makes my bed each morning. I remember reading once that making your bed automatically cleans up 60 percent of your room, and it’s true. But there’s also a huge difference in the feeling of getting into an unkempt bed vs. one that has been neatly made in the morning. Pulling back the covers at night to climb in tells your brain that the day is done and it’s time to wind down.
Prep your bedside table
Make sure you have everything you need before bed and throughout the night within reach so you don’t have to get up leave your cozy bed. Things like glass of water, phone charger, an eye mask, lip balm, etc. I always keep everything on my nightstand that’s part of my winding down routine—lip balm, hand cream, vagus nerve oil, my journal and my favorite candle that I like to light while I read before bed.
Be intentional with your color story
Your favorite color might be red, but painting your bedroom in Crayola colors is far too jarring for our nervous system. Your bedroom is a space for soft and neutral colors, not anything that will harsh your mellow. You can still do bold colors if that’s your jam, just opt for a muted version if possible. I bought a soft lilac linen duvet and the first thing my husband told me was how calming it was. So don’t be scared to think outside the box!
Opt for soft, warm light
Bright, jarring light contributes to the visual noise in a room, and can even set your body clock to keep you awake long after you have turned the light off. Instead of a central ceiling light, try placing several smaller lamps around the room at varying heights, such as on your floor, on your dresser and nightstand. Turn on only those that you need at any given time. Three-way light bulbs are especially handy at allowing you to adjust the light level to just the right degree to set a peaceful mood. Instead of crisp, “cool” white bulbs, opt for ones that are soft and warm.
Image via our home tour with Dee Tang.