Every room in a house should be designed to support the room’s purpose. The kitchen should allow for traffic flow, lighting, and optimum use of space. Bathroom design can be used to create a luxurious home spa. When it comes to the bedroom, all design features from the bed and closet organization to artwork and accent pillows should create a calming atmosphere that supports the purpose of the room—sleep.
As the most important piece of furniture in the room, the bed deserves special consideration. A bedroom should be devoted to only two things, sleep and sex. Even when staging, the bedroom should create an atmosphere that subconsciously supports these two activities.
Key to a welcoming bedroom is comfortable, inviting bedding. Plush fabrics used on everything from the draperies to the rug and throws will create the cozy atmosphere every bedroom needs. For example, velvet and corduroy feel amazing against the skin, and when coupled with cotton or linen, they add much-needed texture.
Think of the quiet of a forest or warmth of the beach. Wood, rock, and plants are all natural elements that bring the mind and body to a place of calm. Using them in the bedroom creates this same feeling.
For staging purposes, the hint of nature can be as subtle as a few houseplants, but the psychological effects are anything but subtle. Photos of nature or artwork with organic designs have an earthiness that hard to replicated outside of nature. Plants in the bedroom clean the air while providing color and shape only found in the outdoors. A bedroom with natural decor can make potential buyers feel at home as soon as they enter the room.
Like natural elements, color choices can have a significant impact on the psychological effect of a room. Cool tones of blue, green, and gray have all been shown to calm the mind and help the body relax by reducing heart rate and lowering blood pressure.
Walls painted in pastel hues are easy on the senses and affect the mind upon entrance to the room. Other neutrals like white and beige also work well in the bedroom. They don’t overstimulate the eyes and create a blank canvas for other bedroom decorations.
A cluttered room stimulates the eyes and brain but not in a pleasant way. Chaos doesn’t feel welcoming or relaxing. Everything from the closet to under the bed should be cleared of unneeded clothing, shoes, and hobby equipment. For some, that may mean appropriate under-bed or in closet storage while for others that may mean sending a few things to storage during the staging process.
Electronics not only create unnecessary clutter, but they also interfere with sleep. The bright blue light from televisions, e-readers, laptops, and similar devices can actually suppress the release of sleep-inducing hormones like melatonin.
Cabinets built to hide electronics can help because as the saying goes “out of sight out of mind.” However, the best designs keep these devices out of the room altogether. Even charging a cell phone on a nightstand can get in the way of good sleep. It’s a temptation, and notifications could cause night awakenings.
Myra Campbell is a researcher for the sleep science and health organization Tuck.com. Her passion for art and design brought her into the field. She began by researching how to create a relaxing bedroom and learned that great design can help improve our health and well-being. Myra lives in southern California and shares her queen-sized bed with two rescue dogs.