Given the year everyone’s just had, it’s unlikely you need anyone to tell you that sleep has taken on a renewed importance. As BBC recently reported, insomnia rates were up worldwide in 2020, and in the same year the word “insomnia” was Googled more than ever before. That’s almost undoubtedly why Pinterest named “investing in rest” as one of the top trends of 2021: “Sleep care is the new self-care,” it wrote in its predictions. And of course, that’s also why creating a peaceful bedroom space — if you haven’t already — should be on your immediate to-do list.
That’s easier said than done, however. There are so many factors that go into designing a room, and one wrong addition can be a serious disruption to the serenity of your space. That said, no one knows this better than interior designers, which is why TZR reached out to a few to get their expertise on how to set up a peaceful bedroom of your own.
More specifically, we got the scoop on how they’ve created their own oasis at home — because if something’s good enough for them, you can rest assured it’s good enough for you, too. Don’t worry, though — nothing they shared was complicated or over-the-top, which you might expect with someone who designs for a living. Rather, their solutions and go-to tips are simple and easy to carry out, so you won’t be losing any sleep over how to implement them in your own space. Rather, you can rest easy knowing that following their leads will be a breeze — and start catching those Z’s again in no time.
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Stick To Soothing Colors
“I believe that the bedroom should act as a sanctuary, a peaceful escape from a hectic day,” Cara Fox, owner and lead designer of The Fox Group, tells TZR. “To achieve a calming effect, I love to incorporate soothing colors. Neutrals such as creams, grays, and taupes are all staples in the color palettes of the bedrooms that I design, and in my own bedroom.”
Mary Maydan, founder and principal of Maydan Architects, shares a similar sentiment — because, as she explains, no one needs drama when they go to sleep. “The bedroom is the place in the house where we want to forget our busy day, relax, and unwind,” she says. “I selected for the walls and ceiling a white color with a subtle touch of grayish-blue. It created a very peaceful atmosphere. The artwork in the bedroom, which is one color of dark blue-gray in different textures, also achieves the same calming effect.”
Skip The Busy Patterns
You may be tempted to indulge in those clashing checkered sheets you saw on Instagram, but as Shawna Percival of Styleberry Creative explains, high-contrast patterns can actually contribute to a feeling of chaos. “Too many patterns may feel overwhelming, and be disruptive of the serenity we seek to find at home.”
Instead, Fox says she likes to add interest in a subtler way. “Minimal, quiet patterns and textures help create a peaceful environment within the bedroom.” And Andi Morse, founder and principal designer of Morse Design, concurs. “Avoiding certain patterns in my bedroom helps to give me a sense of calm,” she says. “I might mix in just one, using it throughout, or simply stick with solid colors that are soft yet feature plenty of texture. This creates a peaceful retreat that doesn't make my mind busy.”
Sure, it’s possible that an office in your bedroom just makes sense. But as Fox says, she likes to avoid it if possible. “I often see bedrooms equipped with desks and bookshelves, which detract from the sense of calm that a bedroom should provide,” she says. “I also always avoid including built-ins and unnecessary storage. Maintaining a minimal, cozy and clutter-free environment is essential to creating a peaceful environment to decompress in.”
It’s not just visual clutter that you should minimize, though. Maydan also explains that she skipped having a TV in her bedroom, as the mental noise it creates can contribute to feelings of stress. “Everyone wants a good night's sleep, but we feel that in recent years our clients, without exception, tend to ask for elements that do exactly the opposite,” she recalls. “They all want to make sure that we specify outlets near their beds to plug in their cell phones. Blue screens and constant updates are not the most relaxing atmosphere.”
Keep Nature In View
In addition to keeping the color scheme simple, Maydan also says she prioritized nature in her space — in more ways than one. “I designed a balcony with seating and planters that provide privacy and a view of greenery,” she shares. “We have solar and blackout shades which enables the room to be kept dark when needed, but being able to look at the stars in the sky at night and see beautiful nature in the morning greatly contributes to a feeling of peacefulness.”
Focus On Texture
Few patterns and muted colors? Yes, it does sound a little boring. But according to the designers TZR spoke to, the right mix of textures can make up for that while also adding a sense of comfort. To do this, Fox says she likes to add a layer of coziness through “plush fur elements, overstuffed pillows, and silks.” Maydan echoes that, saying she included an upholstered bed frame, soft fabrics, and fluffy pillows to give the same effect.