Bedroom Makeovers

Discover how to inexpensively turn your bedroom into a soul-soothing refuge.

colors

White is the ideal color

for a relaxing bedroom; it gives off an aura of peace and purity and defuses visual tension. An all-white or neutral color scheme also makes a room look bigger.

Other soothing shades

are buff, beige, biscuit, or soft shades of blue, green, yellow, gray and pink. If you suffer from insomnia, choose light violet or blue—colors said to induce calm and lower blood pressure.

Contrast sheets in calming colors with unusual textures

to prevent your sleeping space from appearing too bland. Throw a sumptuous satin comforter over stark white sheets or combine delicately detailed fabrics such as lace and eyelet with more robust ones like piqué and wool.

Create a haven of romance

around a dove-white bed by adding floaty drapes falling from a ceiling-attached corona.

bed & bedding

Invest in a decent mattress

every ten years. A supportive, well-cushioned mattress is essential to a good night’s rest. Also, buy the best pillows to support your head and neck.

Choose high-quality bed linens

in natural fibers and colors. For allergy-free nights, stay clear of permanent press sheets (treated with formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals) and choose 100 percent organically grown, 100 percent cotton or cotton kapok, a resilient lightweight fiber harvested from silk. Egyptian cotton is a less expensive alternative to pure linen. For a soft silky feel, look for the highest thread count.

Contrast alpaca, burlap, and linen tones

with wooden beds to promote a reassuring, grounded feel. Pick from brushed cotton, cashmere, suede, angora, or mohair.

Experiment with flashes of color and unexpected style

by layering bedding with shawls, antique linens, tablecloths, saris, etc.

lighting

Maximize natural light

and get energized by the morning sun by situating your bedroom to face east, if possible. Supplement with artificial lighting such as gently glowing bedside lamps.

Opt for blinds and curtains

made from light-filtering fabric such as voile to avoid harsh glare.

Mix specific-task and ambient lighting

to create an intimate, relaxing glow. Add dimmer switches to existing fixtures, table lamps for direct illumination and a small book light for reading in bed. Lamps with colored shades cast a therapeutic glow; try basking in blue-tinged light to ease insomnia.

Experiment with indirect lighting

that has a two-tone effect—creating pools of warmth on walls and ceilings while leaving other areas mysteriously shadowy.

storage

Clear out all clutter

and do everything you can to separate your work space from your sleeping area. If you must have a desk in your bedroom, separate by using screens or tall ficus plants.

Investigate unused storage space:

under your bed; in a corner surrounded by a screen; or build floor-to-ceiling storage with push-catch doors for the look of custom cabinetry. Don’t forget the back of closet doors– nylon or canvas shoe organizers can be used for all sorts of things, from doll clothes to hats and mittens.

Invest in an antique trunk

(search flea markets) to store linens and other sundries at the base of your bed.

For an inventive clothes rack,

hang a painted broomstick on two lengths of sturdy string from ceiling hooks and use as a clothes rod.

feng shui

Locate the master bedroom

as far away from the front door as possible.

Avoid placing your bed

under a window: this disrupts the energies around you and can cause disturbed sleep. Also, make sure you can easily see the door when seated in bed.

Do not place a mirror

on a wall that reflects the door as this dissipates energy.

Balance straight lines

with curves to soften the technological edge.

Place furnishings

in an octagonal arrangement with the bed at one corner.

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