We spend a third of our lives in bed!
So it stands to reason that our bedrooms should be luxurious sanctuaries in which to let the stresses of the day melt away. A relaxing bedroom space is a must for busy lives and that sense of tranquility doesn’t just come from the decor.
Whilst the overall design of the room is tremendously important for creating a relaxing atmosphere with color schemes, lighting and furnishings all essential factors to think about when designing your sleeping space, there are a few basic fundamentals to decide on first.
The most important starting point for relaxing bedrooms is of course the mattress.
A good night’s sleep is vital for mental and physical health, so the key starting point to any bedroom transformation is picking the perfect mattress for you. Especially if your mattress takes up most of your bedroom like in the case of an Alaskan King Bed.
Once the mattress has been chosen, it’s time to move onto the bed frame and then finally bedding which will form the core of your relaxing bedroom. With these elements out of the way, the fun parts of interior design can begin and it’s time for you to create your own personalized haven away from the outside world.
” ‘A haven.’ ‘A sanctuary.’ ‘An escape.’ When I ask my interior design clients what they want their redesigned bedrooms to feel like, these are the words they use. But how do you achieve this ideal bedroom, where your shoulders relax as soon as you walk through the door?
There are many things you can do, from painting the room a restful colour (think calm light blues, greens, or neutrals); ensuring you have a good window treatment that allows fresh air flow while blocking out light, particularly from street lighting; banning electronic equipment from the room (yes, that means TVs and mobile phones); having multiple levels of light on dimmer switches which are accessible from both the doorway and both sides of the bed; and making the bed with fresh, ironed Egyptian cotton sheets and good quality pillows and duvets (bliss!).
But my Number One tip is: de-clutter! There’s no point doing all these other things if your bedroom has heaps of shoes in the corners, stacks of books and magazines by the bed, paperwork stacked the chest of drawers, and clothes thrown over furniture. Clear out the junk, especially the stuff you’ve stashed underneath the bed, and you’ll find that the air clears, the room breathes, and you will have taken the most important step to creating a perfect, relaxing bedroom.”
Adrienne Chinn, adriennechinn.co.uk
“Color is everything! Choosing the right shade for the bedroom walls is the most important thing. You can prefer paint or wallpaper but choose it in a soft shade: pink, grey and blue are my favorite at the moment. If you are looking for a sophisticated look, add a sparkling touch with some copper detail”
Alessandra Barlassina, Gucki
“I like a dark bedroom, I have to sleep well! My bedroom is a cave really. I like to read in bed so I need plenty of cushions.
Bedding should be soft and natural. It does not have to be white, I usually choose dark grey or taupe, I find it softer and more soothing than crisp white. And do not forget artwork – for the bedroom – the edgier the better – no one else will see it so you can choose anything you like!”
Alison Gibb, Great Scottish Indoors
“The most important element of any bedroom is the bed. We spend 1/3 of our life lying in bed, so this is not where you want to safe those cash. When choosing bed linen, the first thing to think about is what other colours and textures are already in the room. You don’t want your bed linen to clash with the existing interior such as the wall colour or floor texture. If you’re unsure then keep your bed linen minimal and layer up neutral colours.”
Allan Torp, Bungalow5
“My number 1 decorating tip would be to add a large, handmade wool blanket – either knitted or crocheted and in soft natural colours – to your bedding. That provides instantly a cozy and relaxing atmosphere to the room and it just looks fantastic and unique with its textures. Plus it keeps you literally warm. But pure wool has even more wonderful properties: It is an amazing, sustainable natural product with outstanding climatic properties.
Wool reduces and neutralises harmful pollutants in the air and can bind too much moisture to help with healthy room climate. It is also sound-absorbing, non flammable and naturally dirt resistent because of its lanolin content. Some also say, pure wool has healing properties because of the favourable ion exchange.”
Anette Grolle, Lebenslustiger
“The best way to create the most relaxing bedroom is to style the space seasonally. During nice warm days, I would get 400 thread cotton sheets that are crisps or use silk bedding finished up with floral & bright cushions with some cool colourful throw. During the winter I would swap for cotton flannel fabric sheets and choose fur or warm wool throw with knitted or fluffy cushions. I would, of course, swap my candles seasonally as well and match them to the temperature outside. During the summer, I would use fresh and revive candles and mix them with seductive so any grapefruit, lavender with hyacinth, jasmine etc. and during winter I would opt for oaky, amber and ginger. I would also ditch any electrical from our bedrooms. Charge your phone through out the day and swap for mantel clock (the quiet one) so you have a nice and peaceful night where you can fully charge your batteries.”
Anna Lysik, Don’t Cramp My Style
“My top decorating tip for creating a relaxing bedroom would be to consider the light. Do you like to sleep in total darkness or do you prefer a lighter bedroom?
Your bedroom should act as a sanctuary from the stress of everyday life, sleep and relaxation should come easily. Keep your decor simple and choose your colour palettes from the calmer tones.”
Ashley Cramp, Lazy Daisy Jones
“The right wall colour goes a long way to creating the perfect relaxing bedroom. My room is currently an off-black shade, but I’m considering changing it later in the year to a warm tan colour. Don’t forget that colour has a huge impact on mood, so choose one that you not only find visually pleasing, but makes you feel how you want to feel in your bedroom, be that calm and relaxed, or cosy and cocooned.
Consider painting the woodwork, and even the ceiling the same colour as the walls for full impact. Add plenty of lamps for atmospheric lighting, the best bed linen you can afford, and keep clutter to an absolute minimum. Et voila – the perfect relaxing bedroom!”
Bianca Hall, French for Pineapple
“I like to have adequate space on each side of my bed for essentials like my Kindle, phone, reading material, sound machine, etc. I have a sideboard on one side and a big dresser on the other that gives me lots of room to have what I need while I’m in bed.
I’ve never liked those small matching bedside tables people buy to match their headboard. I like to find unique pieces of furniture for my bedroom. The sideboard I recently painted orange and the dresser is a green one I found at a garage sale for $60.”
Brenda Kula-Pruitt, Cozy Little House
“Don’t let lighting be an afterthought! You’ve got your dream bed, closet, bedlinen and you’ve arranged where things will be in the room – so don’t forget the importance of lighting in your bedroom! You want to create a relaxing, soft feel to the room so don’t just think any lamp will do! Think about using dimmers in your room to control overhead lighting and use smaller bedside lamps for lovely mood glows. A mixture of both will ensure for a gorgeous relaxing space!”
Carla Jones, Carla Jones Design
“Personally I think that the number 1 tip when designing any room should be to display items and pieces of art that you really love and reflect who you are. When designing a room all too often people get caught up in making everything match and look a similar way, however when you turn the focus on elements you feel strongly about whether that be the perfect shade of pink, or an oversized portrait, and allow for these things to dictate the tone of the room, you are likely to end up with something that truly reflects who you are-and what could be more comfortable than that?”
Christine Dovey, Bijou & Boheme
“For a relaxing bedroom we’d recommend keeping the decor simple and then begin to layer with accessories and art which showcase your personality. We love big and bold, however if the bedroom is too wacky with bright colours and patterns then you’ll lose the calm.
A blank canvas is the place to start, but it’s not just plain white walls. Neutral shades are key. Layer with your favourite hue with throws and plush cushions, keep the lighting warm and low and you’re ready for a cosy nights sleep!
Be liberal with art. If you start with a blank canvas you can work this in around the room. Go as heavy or as light as you’d like with it – and remember you can always change it. It’s easier to swap a photo frame than a wall of bold wallpaper.”
David & Mark, Forward Features
“My number one decorating tip for creating the perfect relaxing bedroom has to be to ensure you have as much storage as possible. It is a well known fact that, for a good night’s sleep, a bedroom should be a haven from the rest of our busy lives. If it is full of clutter and clothes strewn all over the place, it will feel anything but. If you are stuck for ideas on how to create plenty of storage or have a small space, Pinterest is a great platform for inspiration and ingenious ideas.”
Emma Harris, A Quiet Style
“Bedrooms should create a comforting and serene atmosphere wherein one can feel safe. Thus, the designer needs to create an atmosphere of enclosure and security. This is accomplished in several ways through the color, shape, and detailing of a room’s architectural features. In terms of color, blues create a serene effect. Should budget allow, wall upholstering the room will provide an added dimension of warmth in the space, creating subtle soft surfaces instead of hard edges. To further enhance this feeling of security, run a chair rail around the room so that it lines up with the top of the bed height.
This will create a strong datum line encircling the bed and, thus, creating an even more delineated comfort zone. Think of how a baby sleeps or a young child or your pet; they love the feeling of boundaries and the closeness of the walls near them, against which they snuggle. Another tip is to paint the ceiling a soft pastel color, so that when looking up, which is what one does when lying in bed, the sleeper sees something soft on the eyes as opposed to glaring down lights. And, lastly fresh flowers always adds a cheerful note to your peaceful sleeping environment.”
Gail Green, Gail Green Interiors
“My number one decorating tip for the perfect relaxing bedroom: I prefer a minimalistic bedroom with soft colors schemes like tints of white and pastel. Use bed throws and lots of pillows to make the bed cosy. Brighten up the room with plants and decorate it with some of your favorite framed pictures of travel and family. Make sure to allow some fresh air in the room frequently. You can also use aromatherapy and soft music to relax after a busy day. My tip to make a relaxing and quiet room is to use soft color schemes and keep it minimal.”
Helga de Waal, Inspire and Create
“I love a white bedroom, there is just something so fresh and comforting about light colours when you sleep. It also helps with making every day look like a bright summers day, a must when you live in a less then sun drenched country 🙂
I use natural materials in my bedroom, reclaimed wood turned into a bed frame (tutorial for this on my website) french linen as curtains and cotton sheets on the bed. I do love a pop of colour though and wallpaper is perfect for this, one wall decorated with a fun print or pattern can really brighten a room. There are some great removable papers available online, if your fancy a change you can easily remove them and hang something new”
Hester van Overbeek, Hesters Handmade Home
“For maximum enjoyment of your bedroom, be sure to include a colorful work of art in your space! Colorful artwork will lift your mood when relaxing at home, and can transform a boring bedroom into a well-designed bedroom! Also during the warm summer months, one of the best ways to ensure your comfort and bedroom enjoyment is by changing out your heavier bedding for lighter weight cotton and linen.
You’ll find that linen bedding breathes better and will keep you from sweating at night. Lastly and most importantly, every relaxing bedroom needs luxurious candles to create a soothing ambiance. Take a look at my feature 5 Ways to Maximize Your Candles at Home for tips on integrating candles into your at home relaxation.”
Jacquin Milhouse-Headen, Interiors by Jacquin
“Colour is the simplest and most effective way to create a tranquil bedroom retreat. Harmonious schemes using some of the cooler colours that sit together on the colour wheel such as blues, greens, greys and lavender in muted tones work particularly well and surprisingly darker hues can be particularly calming. If your preference is for pale shades then keep these soft and add some colour accents. Dimmers and softly diffused shades for lamps will also help to create a soothing atmosphere”
Jenny Gibbs, KLC School of Design
“A colour scheme of soft neutrals will help to create sense of calm in your bedroom. Also try to eliminate any clutter for a stress free space”
Jessica Zoob, Jessica Zoob
“Creating the perfect relaxing bedroom is very subjective to personal taste – but there are some general strategies that our clients can use to achieve this goal. First off: modern, minimalist themes are out. The defined lines and strong contrasts typically associated with these design styles can be breath taking – but bold is rarely relaxing.
Instead we recommend a transitional approach: mix the old with the new. Hand scrapped hard wood floors with soft pattern-print rugs will add an old school, gentle feel. Bed coverings that compliment your rugs will give a deep, comfortable draw to your bed space.
Finish your room off with solid wood furnishings and wall hangings that match that your personal tastes – because after all – your bedroom should be all about you.”
Jessica Belanger, Designs With Jessica
“Use colours that make you feel relaxed. They don’t automatically have to be the prescribed colours that everybody else is talking about. You need to find out for yourself, which colours make you feel calm and relaxed. To some it may be neutrals but to others it may be more blue tones. Select 3 – 4 core colours in your colour scheme. To achieve a perfect relaxing bedroom, these colours need to work in harmony and balance.
You could start with a nice piece of art that speaks to you the most. From there pick your colours and inject them into your bedroom through cushions, rugs, soft furnishings and accessories. Let the colours flow naturally throughout the space. Tell the story of you rather than was is generally expected. After all, you are unique so as long as it feels right to you, that’s what matters the most.”
Karolina Barnes, Inside KB Studio
“When creating a relaxing bedroom atmosphere, focus on pale neutral colours that do not stimulate our senses too much when decorating the larger surfaces of the room. A soft pale grey or lavender for the walls will create an excellent backdrop, these softer shades will promote a good nights sleep. Window dressing is key for bedrooms and layering works best, hang a pretty soft voile panel behind a heavier curtain for extra privacy when needed.”
“What you choose to put on the walls of your bedroom will help create the room’s mood. Specifying the right color can make your bedroom feel like a retreat. Color can provide a soothing or dramatic backdrop, flowered wallcovering will help bring your garden indoors and painted stripes will lend a tailored look. Such attention to the details of your bedroom “backdrop” will quickly make the room your own.”
Kerrie Kelly, Kerrie Kelly Design Lab
“My number one tip would be to purchase beautiful bedding. Having bedding that you love getting into every night enhances your sleep and it increases the pleasurability of your all round sleep experience. Once you have slept on incredible bed sheets there is no turning back! Pure cotton or pure linen bed sheets or wherever your comfort may be at are worth the investment. Invest in you, your worth it!”
Laura Thomas, Laura Thomas Linens
“My best tip for creating the perfect relaxing bedroom is to avoid having a television set or work space in the bedroom. The bedroom should be a place of rest, calm and relationship with partners and family. Televisions and work spaces bring the “real world” into the oasis – and nobody needs that!”
Linda Merrill, Linda Merrill
“For creating the perfect relaxing bedroom it’s important to declutter your bedroom and keep the design clean en minimalist. Create a cosy atmosphere by adding candles, a plant, throw pillows and a warm blanket. On your night stand you can make room for a water glass, your alarm clock and a book. However don’t overdo it, because too many furniture and accessories will subconsciously keep your mind active.”
Louise de Miranda, 30s Magazine
“I always encourage my clients to design their Master Bedrooms in Phase I of any project. It’s important to have that comforting haven to escape to at the end of a busy day. I always start with a palette of soothing colors that have proven relaxation effects…creams, blues, greens and I treat the room as if it’s a hotel retreat. I always use upholstered headboards to allow ease of use when curling up with a book or watching TV under the covers.
I never scrimp on sheets or mattresses…using the most luxurious bedding and top of the bed coverings is supremely important in attaining a good night’s sleep, so I always budget more for those products. Everything I choose is based on comfort and touch for all senses…including planning for light and sound reducing window treatments, the softest rugs to sink your toes into, and beautiful fabrics and accessories that soothe your soul the moment you walk through the door to your own private getaway.”
Lynni Megginson, lynni.net
“For a perfect relaxing bedroom I always suggest quiet colours. I love the colours of water and sky – nature always provides us with the most peaceful colour palette. There is something very calming to the eye about watching the shifting light on water. That, to my mind is the perfect bedroom palette.
Most busy people have trouble getting enough sleep these days, so I like to use blackout in the curtains to make a dark quiet atmosphere for the night.”
Mally Skok, Mally Skok Design
“My number 1 tip would be don’t neglect the planning and preparation, prep,prep and prep, it will be worth it in the end.
So get as many samples together as possible for the paint, the flooring, fixtures and fittings,lighting and of course the furniture and make sure they all work together and complement each other.
What is really popular with our gorgeous reclaimed wood furniture is to use warm neutral colours, not your magnolias but more chalky colours like Farrow and Ball’s shaded white or stony ground as a backdrop because the reclaimed wood exudes calm and character so let it shine through. This will create a warm,calming and relaxing bedroom.”
Mark Godsell-Fletcher, Eat Sleep Live
“Many designers will talk about creating a harmonious atmosphere, a calming environment or even worse, a sanctuary or retreat. Few will mention the word comfort. Your bed is the unofficial status symbol of your home. Large screen TV’s, designer kitchens and luxury carpeting may be the showstoppers but its the humble bed that really is the jewel in the crown.
When creating your perfect bedroom, there are timeless rules that never change.
1. First and top of the priority list is buying the best possible mattress your budget will allow. There are excellent options at various price points so be sure to shop smart. Take the time to get the comfort level right. You should sink into that bed at night glowing with pride and comfort knowing you made the right choice.
2. Second and hugely important is to buy the highest quality sheets you can afford. Although there is a bit of controversy around the subject, thread count is still the best indicator of quality. 100% cotton is a must. I always buy white sheets for my clients and for my own home. It gives a feeling of crisp coolness and is always in style.
3. Buy good quality pillows and change twice a year.
4. Black out curtains or blinds are hugely beneficial to your health and can not only block out early sun but also street light glare.
5. Lastly, keep decoration to a minimum. A clean and neatly organised bedroom is automatically a stress free environment. Tidy everything away in drawers and cupboards.
Remember that the bedroom should be all about your senses, First your eyes, clutter free equals calm. Keep the colour scheme neutral and unfussy. Your room should smell clean and can be lightly scented with fresh flowers. Use as many natural materials as possible. Enhance your mattress and pillows with high count cotton sheets and introduce as many tactile textures such as a knitted throw or quilt as possible. By adding an upholstered headboard, area rug or thick curtains you can create sound absorbing qualities that provide a feeling of cocooning. Follow these timeless tips for a perfect night’s sleep.”
Monica Lenore, Monica Lenore Designs
“I love simple bedrooms with only a few pieces of furniture and decoration. Playing with white and blue paint is a really working tip to decorate the walls in a relaxing way. Wood and fibers (bamboo, rattan) can complete the styling with a natural touch.”
Nora Santonastaso, Design Outfit
“My tip for creating a perfect relaxing bedroom is to layer the bedding in soft natural fabrics so my clients can sleep comfortably whether it is cold or hot outside. I am a big fan of high thread count sheets and coverlets in addition to layering a comforter or duvet for a sumptuous looking bed in addition to being functional in any weather.”
Ramona Griffin, G&G Interior Design
“My number 1 decorating tip for a beautiful and relaxing bedroom is by creating a focal point in the room. You can do so by highlighting a piece of furniture like your bed or headboard or a feature wall/wallpaper or artwork. A focal point draws in the eye and creates interest and is an integral part of the room design. For example if the bed is the focal point in your room, then think of ways to highlight it by keeping the bedside tables simple and uncluttered, the bed linen fresh and neutral and using complementary mood lighting to create unity and make your bedroom a relaxing, harmonious and restful space.
If you have a simple bed, you can create a focal point by using wallpaper in a different colour or pattern on the wall behind it. Again, keep the lighting simple and complementary and bedside tables elegantly dressed.
If you want the lighting in the room to be the focal point, then think of investing in a pair of stunning pendant lights suspended above the bedside tables. Use Led vintage globes to cut back on costs as well as look beautiful. Add artwork that enhances the calm, relaxing vibe and some greenery to add to the décor.
If the art is the focal point in the bedroom, then think of the scale and proportion of the artwork to the furniture in the room. Accessorise using colours from the artwork to add small accents throughout the bedroom like a lamp shade, a jewellery bowl or scatter cushions on fresh white bed linen to create a harmonious and inviting look.”
Rani Engineer, La Maison Jolie
“No 1 Tip for Creating a Relaxing Bedroom – I would have to say that my primary focus in the bedroom is the bed and your own style. It doesn’t have to be all soft and fluffy for it to be a space to relax in. Some people prefer a more minimal space, whereas others like to be surrounded by pillows. Keep to your own comfort level. Make sure the bed is suitable for the space, not to big/small or too high or low.
Just because you have high ceilings does not mean you need to source a really high bed to fill up the space. You may have floor to ceiling windows and prefer something lower to fully appreciate the view, dress the space to suit the environment rather than going with a style that doesn’t fit just because you like it in a magazine.”
Sarah Myall, Whitehouse Interiors
“I would say my tips for decorating a bedroom is to choose calm & relaxing colours you are drawn to; use textile layers to add warmth & texture such as blankets, furs & rugs; keep it as clutter free as possible; and add scented candles & flowers to create ambience.”
Sarah-Louise Kimber, Lapin Blu
“Your bedroom is supposed to be a tranquil, calming place to relax at the end of the day and to rest and rejuvenate for the day ahead. When decorating your bedroom, keep this at the forefront of your mind as your choose your colours and accessories.
Neutral tones are ideal for creating a sense of calm and ease but that doesn’t mean you can’t use colour. Choose accent shades carefully to compliment a tranquil setting rather than overpower it. Teal is a great shade that works with numerous neutral colours while even pastel yellows and deep moody blues when used sparingly can create the perfect look and feel.”
Stacey Corrin, Stacey Corrin
“Choose your colour scheme wisely! I love creating tranquil bedrooms where you can switch off from the day and unwind.
Layering bedsheets in neutrals such as soft greys and whites combined with pastels like turquoise or salmon pink for cushions and throws, are colours that help us to relax.”
Susie Miles, Susie Miles Design
“Lighting control is very important in a bedroom. Do you need room darkening shades to sleep well, enjoy filtered light or full sun when awake? Layers of artificial light such as overall room lighting and bedside lighting on dimmers work well.
-Color in a bedroom should be less intense overall–shoot for the mid-range or below in Light Reflection Value.
-Fabulous bedding is a must. Do not skimp on the quality of your sheets and pillow cases and the pillows and mattresses themselves need to be a good fit for you.
-Keep the television out! This is not necessarily the norm for a lot of people but watching the News before bed is not going to relax anyone!
-Try to keep clutter under control. There is nothing relaxing about a bedroom floor strewn with dirty clothes of shoes.”
Suzanne Lasky, S Interior Design
“The key to creating a relaxing bedroom is to focus on creating a stress-free environment. This means decluttering – take away knick knacks and items that don’t serve a purpose and try to clean off most surfaces. Never bring your work into the bedroom! The bedroom should be a sanctuary from the rest of the world so if you work from home, leave it in the living room or home office. And most importantly invest in a comfortable mattress and good sheets. This will ensure a good night’s sleep!”
Tina Ramchandani, Tina Ramchandani Creative
“If you want a relaxed bedroom the top decorating tip I would give is stick to neutral colours for walls and furniture, compliment this with rich textures and colour using silk cushions and throws, add finishing touches with plants, and some candles/incense for relaxing smells.”
Vicki Murdoch, Silken Favours
“Creating a relaxing bedroom is all in the finer details – light a candle on your bedside table, install a dimmer switch and add lamps to create mood lighting and spritz lavender on your pillow. Add throws and cushions on your bed for the ultimate in comfort when the sun goes down.”
Victoria Jackson, Apartment Number 4