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Sweet Dreams

Summer is the time to take stock of that hidden oasis in which you spend at least
one-third of your life.

Is your bedroom a “make-do eyesore” where you collapse at the end of a busy day?
Or is it a serene sanctuary, the cure for frazzled nerves, a desired destination any hour of the day or night?

Anybody can create a tranquil haven for sleeping, reading, listening to music, dreaming, dressing and meditating.  Your bedroom should and can be your ashram away from the collective stresses of the outside world.

  • Peace and quiet
  • Safe escape
  • A place to plan and dream uninterrupted
  • No other room in your home can make these claims!

In the case of your bedroom, size truly doesn’t matter.  Yours may be spacious, zoned for various activities such as resting, writing, exercising, bathing, and dressing.

Or it might be tiny and tight, with barely room for the bed and a dresser.

Either way, this room is a precious link to your sanity and to your quality of life; and, large or small, it can be simply gorgeous.

Here are some tips to move you in that direction:

  • Most rooms - perhaps the exception is the ultra-contemporary home - will benefit by the addition of crown moldings.  Moldings can be installed with relative ease and low cost.  But they re-pay you generously in great looks and re-sale value.
  • Think COLOR.  The most quiescent rooms, the ones that soothe your nerves and soul, feature pale, calming color themes: ivory and robin’s egg, or petal pink, lilac and mauve, or soft willow, ivory and chamois, or pale violet, spring green and chalk white.  Think about the walls, floors, bedcoverings.  Keep it light, gentle, breezy, simple.
  • If there is a beautiful view from one or more windows, showcase that view by arranging furniture, if possible, to face it.   A cozy reading chair can be positioned to allow you to take in the view of the beach/forest/mountains, etc.  Conversely, if the view is not optimal, install frosted glass windows or translucent shades to allow light in, but not the unwanted view.
  • If you are planning to expand your small-ish bedroom by “stealing” space from an adjoining room to create a multi-zoned retreat, consider installing slim french doors from your master bedroom into the dressing room/spa area.
  • Pay special attention to lighting, which can make or break a tranquil mood.  Plan electrical circuitry to allow all lighting (including overhead) to switch off from the bed.  Wall-mounted swing-hinge reading lamps will help reduce nightstand clutter.  Be sure there is a dimmer-switch on all lighting, to control mood.  Make use of some of the wonderful bulbs available now, which simulate full-spectrum daylight.  These lights are actually healthier for you, as they act as mood enhancers... who doesn’t thrive in daylight?
  • If street noises pose a potential problem, plan your strategy at the start of the project.  Double or even triple-glazed windows may need to be installed.  If the problem is less severe, perhaps fabric-lined walls are the answer.  Honeycomb shades, such as Hunter Douglas’ Duettes, and even lined draperies will help muffle outside interference.
  • Pipe in music.  Install ceiling or wall speakers to evenly distribute your favorite calming sounds, from Mozart to tropical rainfall.
  • Find a professional.  If you are considering expansion, an architect or interior designer can help you to scope out your present floor plan and find the best opportunities for expanding your bedroom into a master suite.
  • Celebrate the tiny bedroom.  If you have no interest in expansion but would like to transform your small-sized bedroom from a ho-hum heap into a tiny paradise, don’t shrink away from the “WOW factor”.    You may wish to maintain a gentle color palette to arrive at a soft, restful atmosphere.  But your impact, in this case, can come in the form of a simple canopy bed, a floor mirror (a tall mirror which sits on the floor and rests against one wall - great for opening up a small space, and very handy when dressing), and perhaps a contrasting color on the ceiling.
    A hint: Keep it simple.  No fabric draped on the canopy... keep it linear and un-cluttered.
  • As often as possible, bring a small bouquet of fresh flowers or herbs into your private space.  Soak in their beauty and fragrance.  Let them elevate your mood.  Change them often. 


Things not to (ever) bring into your sanctum sanctorum:

  • Bills
  • Newspapers
  • TV
  • Work (unless you are writing the great American novel, which is allowed.)
  • Negative thoughts

Creating a special space for yourself is a wonderful summer project.  Get started now!

-Karen Saloomey
© 2010 SHOPSICLE
® All Rights Reserved


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