Your bedroom should be the place where you find peace. It's where you sleep, love, dream, and are oftentimes the most vulnerable. "You want the space to be a calming refuge," says Alexander Reid, a head stylist at . "You want to simply unplug and feel safe."
It can be tough to strike that right note, but it's worth trying. A bedroom that makes you feel good can do wonders for your state of mind. Here are some tips to get you there:
1. You're using bright, bold patterned bedding.
Image on the right provided by .
Getting a bed in a bag that screams personality might seem like the right move when you click "add to cart," but it's not helping to make your bedroom a serene oasis. Just say no to loud prints and go with white or neutral bedding instead, suggests Reid. Keep a neutral base and you can always add visual interest with a colorful pillow — that will be much easier to digest. "A pillow or throw can be soft and special, but it's also not too expensive to swap," Reid says.
Image provided by Athena Calderone of .
2. You're spending lots of money on an expensive bed frame.
Instead of shelling out $1,000 or more on a bulky sleigh bed, get a simple upholstered headboard. It's much cheaper, and you can get creative by layering a textile over it, like Reid did with the headboard pictured above. To go cheaper than that, you could skip the headboard altogether and use a folding screen, a vintage door, or even a DIY abstract painting that you paint yourself.
Novak Headboard, , from $219
3. You're leaving your walls bare.
Image on the right provided by Joel Barbitta of .
In order for your bedroom to reflect who you are, it needs to be personal. There's no better expression of you than art, whether it's something you picked up at a flea market, bought from a favorite artist on Etsy, or made yourself. "A fun gallery wall that's ever evolving can be a true reflection of who you are," Reid says. "For those people who you do allow in your space, it's a great conversation piece." Don't worry about buying the wrong things and simply buy what you love. If you don't have money to spend, frame a cocktail napkin that you saved from that amazing first date with your boyfriend, Reid suggests. "That in and of itself is art."
4. You're keeping your phone right attached to your hand.
Keep as many electronics out of your bedroom as possible — especially your phone. The blue light mimics daylight, which messes with your body and prevents you from falling asleep easily. The is also likely to get all over your face. And from a mood perspective, having your phone right next to your bed is bad news. "Nothing good happens after midnight anyway," Reid says. "Go to bed and text him in the morning."
5. You're making a mess and not tidying up.
Image on the right provided by Athena Calderone of .
When there's clutter in your space, your mind can often feel the same way. Who needs that? Have enough storage space for your things. Everything should have a place and be in its place, Reid says. Not only do you want daily peace of mind for yourself, you don't want to be panicking about the state of your bedroom mess when you have last-minute guests.
6. Your lighting situation is too limited.
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If the only lighting you have in your bedroom is the ceiling light that came with the house, you're doing it wrong. Lighting in the bedroom should be sexy and quiet, Reid says. Must-do: Install a dimmer for your overhead lighting. It's super easy and you don't need an electrician. Your bulbs should be 25 to 40 watts, no higher. And, you should have multiple sources of lighting.
7. You're using mini blinds (or you don't have window treatments at all).
Window treatments are key in the bedroom because they offer privacy, block light, and act as another layer of pretty decor, Reid says. So, unless you're into flashing your neighbors, you should have window treatments, first of all, but they should also be decent. Many people opt for mini blinds, which just plain suck most of the time. They don't fit, they gather dust easily, and they make that classic mini-blind racket when you're moving them up and down. You could do a Roman shade instead like the one pictured above. Or, you could really nail the window treatment thing with Reid's suggestion of two layers that go from the ceiling to the floor. One layer should be a sheer linen and the other should be a blackout layer that will let you sleep in when you really need to.
8. You're shelling out for expensive mattresses or settling from not-so-nice ones from big box stores.
For years, I thought that the only upgrade from a mattress from IKEA was a frighteningly expensive option from a place like Sleepy's, where you have to face aggressive salespeople and hand over your life savings for a thing to sleep on. But more recently, mattress e-commerce sites like and have cropped up, cutting out all that drama and offering consumers an easier way to get a quality mattress for less money. Casper offers free shipping and returns on its mattress, while Christeli has dedicated sleep experts to help you find the right mattress that you can then try out for 50 days to make sure it's really working for you.
9. You're not cleaning your bed enough.
Dust mites! They're everywhere — all over your bedroom, especially. That isn't as awful as it sounds, unless you're allergic to them. Most vacuums aren't capable of picking up the thousands (and up to millions) of dust mites in a mattress, but there's a new one from Dyson that promises to remove all those allergens ( pet hair, pillow feathers, and other icky things that end up on and around your bed). If a Dyson isn't for you, at the very least, you should wash or change your bed linens weekly so your bed stays fresh.
Dyson V6 Mattress, , $249.99
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