Remember when you were a teenager and your bedroom was your castle, the haven you escaped to for respite when the world was too much. It was a museum of all your favorite things (hey fancy Barbie collection!), and a concert venue where Liam Gallagher was singing only to you. I would change up the lightbulbs in my lamps to put off a pink or green glow when I was in different moods, and one wall was covered in hand-written song lyrics and quotes from favorite authors. My bedroom was the world I created.
When did our bedrooms stop being such safe and sacred spaces?
When did it become the place to throw the day’s clothes on the floor before passing out? Probably when we became too busy. But would you even want to hang out in there anyway?
I’ve been integrating some zen qualities in my current bedroom so it’s a room I want to be in for not just sleeping. My husband and I have a small apartment and sometimes it’s the only place I can go to be alone, read, or take in a private yoga practice. We’ve taken a special interest in making that room a more cared for space, one where peace is easily achieved and sleeping is soooo easy.
Here are some ways to bring your bedroom back to zen status… in a more grown-up kind of way.
1 / Decorate with calming colors
The first step in bringing calm to a space is stripping it from any bright or stimulating colors. I mean, there’s a reason why insane asylums are all white, am I right? Whites, greys, and tans all have a calming effect when used in a space. If you’re more of a color person, mix in some powder blue and blush pink.
2 / Give yourself some lighting options
In order to spend more time in the bedroom, you’re going to need some options for lighting -- something for winding down and reading, to working out and wood-working (no judgements). Equip the room for two lighting moods -- one dim effect and another that is more bright for when you need it. This old lady can not fold laundry with only the bedside sconces on so I use our overhead lamp to illuminate my least favorite chore.
Also consider window treatments as lighting as well. Find a solution that will let the light in during the day, with some privacy of course, and allow the room to be dark enough for a peaceful sleep.
3 / Clear the air
If you do one thing, purify the air in your room. The air you’re breathing in your home could be up to five times dirtier than the air outside, resulting in allergies, asthma, headaches and other illness. Umm, gross. Air quality goes beyond opening the windows and lighting a candle.
Clear the air, quite literally, with a Himalayan salt lamp. When the bulb warms the salt rock from the inside, it produces negative ions, purifying the air, reducing odors, and giving off the softest glow. Plants will also help to purify the air, produce more oxygen, and create a more organic space that feels alive. Some plants are better at air purification than others so look for Boston Fern, Spider Plant, Snake Plant, Dragon Tree, and English Ivy.
Last but not least, invest in a good cold mist humidifier or natural oil diffuser -- something that sends moisture back in the air. Especially in colder, drier months, your skin needs the relief as well as your respiratory system. Plus, it gives your room that amazing spa-like vibe. I've been experimenting with different combinations of essential oils and have some favorite custom blends for day-time and bed-time.
4 / Clean your room!
Yes, mom. But seriously, having a tidy space is the best gift you can give yourself. As much as plopping into bed after a long day sounds amazing, taking fifteen minutes to clean up that pile of clothes from your morning wardrobe crisis will make future-self’s life a lot easier.
They say the first hour of your morning sets the pace for your entire day. Do you want the first thing you see to be a mess? You owe it to yourself to wake up ready to take on the day in the most beautiful room you have ever seen. Be an adult... make your bed.
5 / Noise control
I didn’t use to care about noise when I lived in the city -- it was inevitable, inescapable, and a welcome reminder that I lived amongst many different kinds of people. Maybe I’m getting old and salty, but nothing kills my vibe more than going to bed and hearing the kids next store watching football.
Protect your room from noise with some stylish sound-proofing. A beautiful weaving or macrame on a shared wall will help muffle sound coming through. I am also a huge fan of white noise lately. You can purchase a white noise machine to place near the wall or door where noise is coming from, or just download app. I recently downloaded White Noise which has a number of sound options, my current fave being ocean waves, and allows you to time when it will fade out, which is a lovely way to wake up. I can honestly say I notice that I sleep much deeper on nights when I use it (so why don't I use it every night?!).
Is your bedroom a respite from the chaos? How have you made it a sanctuary? Show us your room on Instagram with #newagenesting!