In our hustling world, your home should be a refuge from the stresses of workaday life. Your furnishings and décor can be key to relaxing at home, and you don’t have to spend a fortune. “In a busy family household, the bedroom, especially, can be a sanctuary space for harried wives and mothers,” says interior designer Jo Carmen. “One tends to think of bedrooms as a female domain, and certainly the glossies show the feminine influence, irrespective of same sex or heterosexual couples! Check out the late American decorator Mario Buatta, known as the ‘Prince of Chintz,’ and his bedroom for Mariah Carey. Lush, floral, pink-accented printed fabrics were his signature!”
Here are Carmen’s decorating tips for a relaxing bedroom:
- A comfortable mattress and bedding. Mattresses are said to last 10 years, but many keep them for much longer, so get a good one!
- A good back support for reading.
- A low light source without the source exposed.
- Muted natural light without total blackout — lace curtains, for example. It is more soothing in the awakened state and it is good for the soul to watch the dawn arrive.
- Enjoy music, but avoid TV in the bedroom, as lit screens are too stimulating before sleep.
- Choose soothing colors. The bedroom is not the place for jazzy accents.
- If possible, a room with a view of nature is always preferred. Add a window bird feeder to attract feathered friends.
- If space is available, it’s easier to relax in a larger bedroom.
Sounds can be jarring or soothing, so take a moment to sit on your bed and just listen. Do you hear traffic, barking dogs, or other irritating sounds coming from outside? Cover them up and replace them with soothing sounds instead; wind chimes can be helpful. As a child lying in bed at night, trying to fall asleep, I used to hear crickets outside, and they scared me. I imagined them crawling all over me in the bed.
When my parents bought a 10-gallon aquarium for my desk, the constant low sound of the air pump, along with the soothing bubbles in the tank, blocked out the crickets, and my fears melted away. If you travel a lot and don’t want to worry about fish, a soothing-sound machine can provide an array of relaxing sounds, from gentle ocean waves to whale songs, rain, music, and more. Replacing single-pane windows with double-pane windows will block sound while reducing energy costs.
Go a Little Country
Feel stressed-out working in the big city? For some, the antidote is putting a little “country style” into their home. As a professional lifestyle blogger and Instagram influencer (@littlefarmstead), Julie Thomas provides inspiring ideas. She shares many of them in her new book, “Little Farmstead Living: Creating a Country Life Just Past the City Limits.” Thomas enjoys rotating her décor with the seasons. She prefers to change décor gradually, adding and subtracting elements throughout the year. This way, decorating never feels like a chore; instead, it becomes a wonderful way to both relax and be creative at home.
“Some people feel really opinionated that you don’t bring out Christmas until Thanksgiving is over,” she said. “I used to follow that rule, but I decorate for fall the first day of September, and I love to get Christmas ready and out and be able to enjoy it.”
To minimize the need for storage, she often looks to the outdoors for ideas, like fresh pine branches or tall, dried standing grasses, instead of faux garlands that must be boxed and stored each year. On the other hand, certain items are best stored away to be brought out only for Christmas, Easter, or other holidays. This prevents your home from becoming too cluttered, with the added benefit of providing small moments of joy as you unpack and set out those items each year. They become like old friends to reconnect with after a long absence. Try some of these tips and make your home your refuge!
Shop for your home:
- Low light source
- Soft bedding
- Lace curtains
- Reading pillow
- Window bird feeder
- Wind chimes
- 10-gallon aquarium
- Soothing sound machine
- Double-pane windows
- “Little Farmstead Living: Creating a Country Life Just Past the City Limits”
- Country-Style “Farmstead” Décor
- Décor storage boxes
Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
Crista Worthy writes about aviation, travel, wildlife, and more from her home in Idaho.