Most of the rooms in your home buzz with activity—the living room is always ready for a party or family gathering, the kitchen is the busy work center of the home, and the bathroom caters to your every basic need. There’s just one household space designated to calm and comfort you—the bedroom. Bring the peaceful feeling in and keep the hustle-and-bustle of the rest of your house out by following these tips to create a relaxing bedroom that will restore your energies.
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Nothing says relaxation like a luxurious, comfortable bed. This is one area of the bedroom where it doesn’t pay to scrimp—so start with a quality mattress that gives you proper support. Your mattress makes the difference between a good night of sleep and an unrestful eight hours of tossing and turning, so choose the best you can afford, and turn and maintain your mattress as recommended by the manufacturer to prevent sagging and wear.
If a new mattress isn’t in the budget, add support and comfort to your old one with a mattress topper. Soft sheets, a warm blanket, and a thick comforter come next. Finish with several accent pillows, shams, and a throw blanket, and you’ll have a bed that welcomes you into relaxation like the one shown here.
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Color It Calm
The most relaxing bedrooms are decorated in cool colors that bring to mind a peaceful day near calm waters. Look at the soft blue bedroom shown here—pure relaxation, yet not a bit boring because the white furniture, patterned sheets and ornate touches on the headboard add plenty of interest without shouting out for attention. When choosing the palette for a tranquil room, the best choices are shades of green and blue, followed by gray. You don’t want bright tones—stick with mid-tone or pastel shades that add plenty of color without working your eyes too hard. You can use dark accents of navy blue, hunter green or pewter gray as well, but for the most peaceful feel, decorate mostly in soft colors and white.
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You don’t need the greenest of thumbs to grow a plant or two in your bedroom. Living plants bring a sense of life, tranquility, and health that can’t be matched by other bedroom accents. Choose one large plant for the corner, or several smaller plants grouped on your dresser or nightstand—stick with easy choices like pothos, Chinese evergreen, syngonium or peace lily, water them weekly and open the curtains for daytime light, and you’ll have thriving bedroom greenery to soothe your mood.
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Light It Soft
Overly intense bedroom light isn’t relaxing—it’s reminiscent of an operating room. While you do need suitable lighting for reading in bed, dressing and nighttime routines, leave the brightest bulbs and the strongest overhead ceiling fixtures to other areas of your home. In the bedroom, stick with 3-way bulbs or lamps with dimmers so you can adjust the intensity to your needs. When it’s time to relax, turn the lights down low enough to take the edge off, but bright enough so your eyes don’t need to strain.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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Ditch the Electronics
It might be tempting to bring your laptop to bed, play a few games on your smartphone before lights-out or drift off to sleep with the television on, but all of these electronic devices have enough light to trick your brain into believing it’s time to wake up, not relax. Plus, electronic entertainment is often stimulating enough to ward off sleep. Make it bedroom policy that electronic devices go off at least an hour before bedtime, or keep them out of the room altogether. The exception is an e-reader that isn’t backlit, such as the Kindle.
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Clean of Clutter
There’s no way to relax in a messy bedroom. If you do nothing else, clear out clutter to make your bedroom more restful. Take a day or two to get rid of anything you don’t need or love, put anything that belongs elsewhere in the house back in its proper place and cut down collectibles and artwork to just a few meaningful pieces. That doesn’t mean your bedroom needs to be stark and without personality—use small touches of color and pattern to add interest, and display a few photographs or treasured pieces that make you feel good when you see them.
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Treat Your Senses
When you soothe your senses, your body and mind relax as well. Bring sensory delights into your bedroom to create a spa-like, peaceful environment. A few candles by the bed—make sure you blow them out before falling asleep—a bouquet of fresh flowers in a pretty vase, a reed diffusor wafting the delicate fragrance of vanilla, rose, lavender or jasmine; and a sound machine to block out traffic noise or household hubbub is all it takes to make your bedroom a relaxing retreat that you’ll look forward to entering all day long.