It is time to take a better look at the most prized room in our humble abode – the bedroom.
The centrepiece of a home, a bedroom is not merely a place to sleep; it is a place of rest and relaxation, a place we use to care for ourselves. Our personal haven. A space that is truly your own and only your own. And with an ongoing pandemic and a continued sense of social isolation, it is imperative we give serious thought to this single room.
Let’s begin with the main feature of this space: the bed. Often, the trouble with this huge piece of furniture is figuring out the optimal area to place it. Doriana Spadaro, an interior designer and decorator interviewed by OHLALA, suggests keeping it away from openings such as doors and windows. She highly recommends this, in line with the feng-shui style. “In a bedroom, the position of the bed is crucial for the enjoyment of a restful sleep. According to feng-shui, it is not recommended to place it near a door or window. This is because whilst we are unconscious, we do not feel safe when we stay next to an opening. Therefore, the best solution is to place the bed against a wall which also allows us to enjoy a beautiful view of the outside ambience,” she complements.
The question that beguiles people the most is how to make a bedroom personal. Doriana suggests we look at two key factors: comfort and balance. “A good rest before facing the day is vital, and hence, so is comfort. But a bedroom is not necessarily only for sleep, there are other functions, such as dressing up, relaxing, reading, watching television and many other things. Do not overdo it with trying to incorporate too many functions into one room. They key word is ‘balance’,” she adds.
Light is an important aspect of any room and is especially significant when it comes to the bedroom. When designing a bedroom, one has to take both natural light and electric light into account. Bigger windows give the room a brighter and fresher look, while smaller windows give the room a cosier feel. It all depends on personal taste, but Doriana recommends larger windows to “put us in contact with natural elements such as the sky and trees that are good for our mood”. For the evening, she advises soft light, bright enough to be able to see things such as clothes and accessories, as well as personal items on our bedside tables, but dim enough to induce a calm atmosphere for a good night’s sleep. The designer also suggests “lamps to illuminate desks and bedside tables to be able to read and write.”
Light and colour are intertwined, according to Doriana. With lighter coloured walls comes the reduced need for larger windows, but for anyone going for darker shades, such as red or navy, more natural light is needed to make sure one does not get depressed, especially in the winter when sunlight hours are reduced. Colour is also very important for sleep, “as more aggressive or exciting hues can compromise our ability to rest”, says the designer. She recommends subdued greens and calming blues.
Houseplants are an essential ingredient of the bedroom, according to Doriana, “plants are not only decorative, but also important for our well-being, a key antidote to stress, an aide to a calming sleep and a natural air-purifier. Even the simple fact of being in contact with nature helps improve our mood.” Despite this, she warns those considering welcoming this leafy friend into their bedrooms that “flowering plants in the bedroom could make one’s sleep last longer than they would like or wake them up in the middle of the night, especially for those who are allergic”. For those not sensitive to plants and flowers, the designer vouches for lavender, which can have a soothing effect. And for those who are sensitive, she suggests white roses or – for those who would prefer plants – snake plants, bamboo palms or flamingo plants.
One thing that can cause a bit of a tiff is catering to a partner as well as yourself. But a disagreement can always be avoided with a good attitude and a willingness to compromise. “We must listen to the needs of each other and find a middle ground,” says Doriana. “Once I was furnishing a couple’s room, the room was very large, and he absolutely wanted to put his exercise bike in; his wife disagreed. In the end I created an effective “room in the room” to host the exercise bike and the two were very happy.”
Things to Avoid
As we all know, designing a bedroom can prove to be a bit tricky, as it is a permanent space that you will have to live in for a long while. So, thinking ahead is crucial, and there are some things that you should absolutely avoid. Doriana stresses the importance of storage in this case, “your wardrobes must be organised very well with a planned space for bags and accessories. Opt for containers to compartmentalise your belongings and have everything tidy. This will improve your quality of sleep in a significant manner. When you open your eyes for the first time in the morning, you will feel ready for the day instead of feeling anxious and frustrated.” Another no-no, according to the designer, is overstuffing the room. “The primary function of your room is providing a space for sleep. Do not put overly big sofas, large desks, or make too much room for secondary activities.”