Decorating Your Bedroom

If your home is your castle, your bedroom is its inner sanctuary. No matter how chaotic things are at work, or how bad the traffic was, or how many dishes are piled up in your sink, when you walk into your bedroom, all your stress should melt away.

How do you bring the spirit of a Gregorian monk soundtrack to your bedroom décor? Not by getting medieval furnishings, obviously (unless you’re into that sort of thing!); the idea is just to create a space that is calm, beautiful, and inviting. A place that makes you look forward to rainy days so you have an excuse to stay home and read.

Your bedroom is your personal retreat; the one place in your home where it’s OK to hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door and camp out for as long as you like. Creating a space that rejuvenates your spirit and gives strength to your inner self doesn’t have to mean calling in a personal designer and signing over a year’s worth of wages.

No matter what you’ve got to work with, you can make your bedroom the best room in the house. The important thing is to make it comfortable, and to make it “you.” Anyone who sees it should get a sense of your personality right away – and whenever you walk in, it should feel like an extension of yourself, like a comfy pair of jeans.

So how do you build your sanctuary? First, start with your bed. Do you like to stretch out or cuddle up in a ball? Do you need a firm mattress, or do you prefer to sink into your bed? And before you decide on the size and shape, think about the layout of the room and where it will fit. Once you have an idea about what you would like to sleep on, start brainstorming on how you’ll want to dress it up …

As far as bed coverings go, the sky is the limit. You’ll be able to find everything from Garfield prints to pink polka dots, so let’s think about quality. Even if you sit on crates in your living room, you won’t want to skimp on your bedding – a good night’s sleep is priceless. Keep in mind when buying sheets that while a higher thread count usually ups the cost, it doesn’t always mean better quality. If you can, feel the fabric with your hands to judge the softness … and if at all possible, try to get a few different sets to complement the colors in the room. Also, play with throws and accent pillows – the variety in shapes, sizes and textures can really make a room come alive!

When it comes to covers, be creative but practical. Depending on the climate and whether you get hot or cold most easily, you’ll want to find the comforter or blanket that most suits your needs. Down-filled bedding can keep you warm while still allowing air to circulate, and cotton is cool, economical, and easy to wash. If you go with a comforter, it’s a good idea to select a few duvets to lengthen its life while giving you different moods to choose from when decorating your room.

Next comes furniture, which should be stylish yet functional. Since the bed is the star of the show, any tables or chairs you have really need to earn their keep. If you find yourself tripping over a piece of furniture, ask yourself if it wouldn’t work better in another room, especially if it serves mostly as a storage space. Any furnishings you have should be easy to maneuver around and free of clutter … think of it this way: the more stuff you have, the more there is to clean. And having to clean stuff is the last thing we want to do when we’re trying to relax!

Now comes the fun part: décor. Throws and decorative pillows can turn your functional bed into a work of art. A simple scarf thrown over a lamp adds a dash of color. A well-placed vase or candle can really fill the space, while a necklace hung on a window or dangled over a wall can catch the light as well as attention. Empty glass jars and little souvenirs and knick-knacks all add texture and personality to a space, and framing favorite photos is a great way to transform your favorite moments into works of art!

Everyday items can also be snazzed up; a lamp can be a simple device for emitting light, or it can be a fashion statement. Light switch plates, which usually go un-noticed, can be replaced with colorful or classy counterparts. Storage spaces, such as shelves, can be changed from strictly utilitarian WalMart specials to hand-crafted conversation pieces. Especially when square footage is limited in a room, you’ll want to make whatever happens to exist in your sacred space a reflection of your good taste.

Whatever your style, and however you decide to do it, the most important thing is to have fun. Done right, decorating your room is not a job, but a pleasure … it’s all about making the space resonate with your energy – the more you put into it, the more you’ll get back when it’s time to kick up your feet and relax!

In the following pages, we’ll take a look at some bedding choices, tips and advice that can help you create the space you’ve always wanted.