A bedroom should be a calming sanctuary: A place to relax and unwind at the end of a long day … a comfortable, worry-free zone … a place where stress is forgotten as you drift into peaceful slumber. If that isn't the case – perhaps it's time for a bedroom makeover.
Bedrooms – especially small bedrooms – can quickly become cluttered. As items spill over from the closet and onto tabletops, chairs, or even the floor, your bedroom can quickly become a chaotic jumble of shoes, clothing, discarded earrings, backpacks, purses, and whatever else finds its way into your space.
The rest of your apartment is likely decorated with appearances in mind – you want the living room, kitchen, and even the bathroom to be inviting to guests. Your bedroom, on the other hand, is a private space that should reflect your personality. So, first decide what your decorating style is: contemporary, traditional, French country, cottage, vintage, eclectic? (If you aren't sure, try taking this quiz to find out.)
Reclaim your space by getting rid of the clutter. Start with the bedroom closet – if things are finding their way out of the closet and into your space, chances are it's because the closet is so cluttered, there's just no place to put anything. Empty the closet and go through everything, putting it in three piles: Keep, Toss, and Donate.
Create more storage space in your closet by adding shelves, shoe racks, hooks, and a brightly-painted pegboard with "S" hooks for hanging purses, scarves, necklaces, ties, etc. Put everything in the "Keep" pile back into the closet. The "Toss" pile should be thrown out immediately and the "Donate" items should be placed in a bag and either stored in your car for delivery or set by the front door for pick-up.
Now that you've taken care of the clutter, survey your furniture. If it is too big for the space, or it is worn or outdated, get rid of it. The bed is the focal point of the room and the largest piece of furniture. You want to arrange the bed so you can move around it easily. Don't place the bed up against the wall or you'll have difficulty making it. When adding furniture to the bedroom, try to find items with storage – a chest for the foot of the bed or vintage suitcases stacked up for a side table, for example, will give you places to store extra blankets and out-of-season clothing, freeing up valuable closet space.
If you enjoy following trends, the must-have design elements right now include lots of brass, the color emerald green, mirrored surfaces, organic fabrics, big flowers, animal prints, and lots of sparkle and shine. While you probably won't want to add every fad to your décor, choose what works based on your personal decorating style. Don't be afraid to try different things – painting furniture, adding decals to the walls, making your own headboard – it's your space, after all. If you don't like how it turns out, you can always start over.
Remember to use one color in different elements throughout the room – especially if your bedroom is small. A bold color repeated in a vase on the table, in a throw pillow, and in a painting on the far wall, for example, will draw the eye into the room and will make your space seem larger. If you are able to paint, choose a wall color that you find soothing – whether it is emerald green, ocean blue, lavender – or even red. Consider a slightly lighter shade for small bedrooms to keep the room from feeling dark and cave-like.
Save money by shopping at thrift stores, garage sales, and antique stores for the furniture and splurge on a good mattress and pillow. Don't buy a cheap mattress and never, ever buy a used or reconditioned mattress. When shopping for a mattress, don't be shy – lie down and spend at least five minutes in your normal sleeping position and test out several mattresses in the same price range. Also – look for mattresses with a guarantee that will let you "try it out" for a month or so risk-free.
Finally, leave items that will interrupt sleep out of the room. A treadmill in the corner will make you think of exercise, not sleep, so keep it somewhere else. A television isn't very conducive to sleep, either, so if you must have one in the bedroom, choose a flat screen and keep it in an inconspicuous location. If sunlight wakes you up too early, be sure to get blackout curtains for your windows. Also, if your apartment complex tends to get noisy early, consider adding some type of white noise to your space – a humidifier, a fan, or download a white noise app.
There! No more lying awake and counting sheep. Your bedroom is finally a peaceful, relaxing space where you can unwind. Here's to getting some much-needed Zzzzs!