How to Design Your Bedroom for the Best Night's Sleep

Look, we know what happened. Your bedroom was firmly blah and you wanted to redecorate. You weren't sure what you wanted to do but you'd know it once you saw it. You were browsing around Pinterest, and then there it was: your dream bedroom! You decided to go big: you went out and bought everything in the picture.

In your excitement, you failed to do your due diligence. You didn't measure properly to make sure your dream bedroom was not only going to fit but function well in your real-life space. You didn't check that you'd have sufficient clearance to walk around the bed, open dresser drawers easily, and open closet doors without them crashing into your furniture. You didn't consider the size balance between pieces, so you have a nightstand that's too high. You paid no mind to the fact that the mattress you bought isn't the best mattress for stomach sleepers and lo and behold you're a stomach sleeper -- you should've gone with a foam and micro-coil mattress. You're bruised from banging your shins on the edge of your furniture, and said furniture is now chipping from the closet door bumping into it every time you try to get dressed! Your hand is constantly throbbing because you're bashing it into that night table every time you hit the alarm on your phone. You gut punch yourself every time you open your dresser drawers. You toss and turn all night because you can't sleep in a comfortable position.

You measured your windows in a hurry and now the foot of your curtains awkwardly hang off of the floor like high water pants, and the top of your curtains hang too low from the ceiling, making your windows look oddly short. You didn't consider the weight and fabric density of your curtains, and now you're realizing they're too thin to efficiently block the sunlight flooding in at the break of dawn, jarring you out of your slumber.

Given these circumstances, of course this bedroom offers no relaxation! You have a beautiful room but you're not getting the best night's sleep.

It's easy to be seduced by images featuring great interior design. These irresistible rooms look balanced, coordinated, and perfectly on trend. Consumers rush to buy--ignoring the details. Often, people don't understand that the room they saw online or in a store looks great because it was specifically created by a professional designer for the space being photographed and presented. Those items won't necessarily work for average person because of the limitations of their space.

Disordered item placement and size disproportions make a room incongruous, and in turn that creates chaos and anxiety. So, how do we solve this problem? Well, the first step is to practice intelligent design by correctly assessing your room. Measure and then measure again! Don't try to eyeball a space--that's a surefire way to end up with ill-fitting furniture and too-short curtains. Another thing to consider is how you want to use the room. Will this bedroom serve multiple purposes? Here are some guidelines you can follow:

  • Measure the room from the farthest points of one end to the other, considering decorative molding and any objects that obstruct the space like radiators, pillars, etc.
  • Measure your doorways and the swing out of the doors. There should be at least a 30" clearance between your bedroom door swing out and the closest furniture item next to it.
  • There should be at least a 36" clearance between your dresser and the opposing item in order to allow enough space to move between the pieces and to open and close the drawers easily.
  • Night stands should be high enough to reach easily but low enough so that you don't crack your hand on the edges when you swing your arm out to access them.
  • Feel free to mix your pieces--they just need to complement each other in color, size, and heft. Overly matched bedroom furniture can end up looking tacky.
  • Allow for at least 30" clearance between your closet door swing out and the nearest item next to it.
  • If you're adding an area rug to your bedroom, allow for the rug to extend out at least 2' around each side of the bed. That gives you enough room to actually have rug to step on. It's also visually pleasing. A rug that is too small draws the eye to it and makes the whole room feel too small. The rug doesn't have reach the head of your bed.
  • Block light from the bedroom when you're trying to sleep with blackout shades or blackout drapes. As we all know, REM sleep cycles are essential for feeling fully rested. Too much light in the bedroom interrupts this critical process.
  • Hang your curtains as high as your walls will allow over your windows. This draws the eye up and makes your ceilings appear higher. Hang your curtains lower if you want to bring the eye down from a very high ceiling to create a cozier feel. Make sure the bottom of your curtains skim your floor.
  • Choose the best mattress and bedding for your best sleep. There are a variety of mattress options: foam, foam with micro-coils, latex, and hybrid among many others. There are options to suit back, stomach or side sleepers. There's organic cotton and mixed blend sheets, shams, blankets, and quilts; duvet and pillow options include down, down blend, synthetic and hypoallergenic. Questions to ask yourself: Do you have issues with your back and neck? Are you a back, side, or stomach sleeper? Do you have allergies? Do you live in a warm or cold climate?

Here's to having fun with your next interior design adventure for your bedroom! These tips will help you develop a process that leads you to create a great space that is relaxing, functional, and gorgeous. It's time to get your best night's sleep!

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