The bedroom might be a sanctuary or haven away from a busy family life, little kids or a roommate. Even if you share your bedroom with a partner, sometimes you need a place to hide. The bedroom is one of the most private spaces in any home. No matter the size, improvements can always be made to have an even more special experience.
As Valentine's Day approaches, here are ideas that will allow you to lavish love on the room. Both men and women can benefit from a spending some time and energy on their own sleeping quarters, regardless of their relationship status. Start with a simple cleanup. Often, piles of laundry or mail accumulate. Put it all away. Imagine the appeal of a hotel room — the attractiveness lies partially in the fact that there is no clutter.
Next, change the theme to something comforting or romantic. This doesn't necessarily mean adding flowers and lace or purchasing a pink boudoir; a simple color change could make the room more nurturing or feminine. Instead of boring Navajo White, introduce pale sky blue or even a neutral khaki. Exercise extreme caution in selecting your new color. For example, Pantone's color of the year is "Greenery," a vibrant plant green. This particular green is tricky to work with because it is so bright. Over my years working in interior design, I have noticed that green is not often used for the dominant wall color in homes. Psychology studies say that a minority of people favors the color green. "Greenery" is said to signify beginnings, such as a fresh new year, a resolution to eat healthier food, the trend of becoming vegetarian, and grass and the outdoors during spring and summer. You can always turn to this fresh and organic color for bedding, accent pieces or accessories, which you can more easily work into your style. Do not become seduced by any color that is not attractive to you just because it is paraded as the color du jour.
Introduce art that has to do with the human form, such as women dancing in costume or mothers posing with children. It could be a classic nude with either male or female models, or a piece that reveals fashion in some way. One of my favorite artists is Spanish impressionist Joaquin Sorolla, whose light-filled work featured women in gossamer gowns on the shore or in gardens, as well as children on the beach in Valencia, Spain. Art that conjures up a mood transports you to another time. And art is an intensely personal choice. You can find a style that inspires you in the same way.
Finally, introduce some sort of romantic lighting. This might be as simple as battery-operated mini twinkle lights that sell for under $7 for about 9 feet. If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in your bedroom, you can position these lights in a plant or across a mantel. Or hang a wreath over your headboard and string lights through it. Look for some sort of ethnic lighting, such as a pierced metal Moroccan globe that projects dreamy patterns of light around the room. Check out Overstock, World Market and Pinterest. You might find a way to use lanterns that originate from China and Japan. They are made of paper or silk; they have frames of bamboo or wood; and they were originally lit by a candle placed inside. To control light levels, make sure that your table lamps come equipped with three-way bulbs so you can adjust the brightness. While candles are wonderful, it is dangerous to rely on them for light in a bedroom, and extreme caution should be exercised when using them.
Photo Credit: Boca do Lobo
Christine Brun, ASID, is a San Diego based interior designer and author of "Small Space Living." Send questions and comments to her by email at [email protected] To find out more about Christine Brun and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.