Treat yo’ self and turn your bedroom into a retreat with these simple tweaks. Great for guest rooms too!
You know that feeling you get when you go on vacation, check into your hotel, and immediately feel a sense of luxury as you sink into the hotel bed? You start cancelling plans because you just want to lay on that bed and revel in the knowledge that you don’t have to do a thing.
Well, that’s what I do anyway. My kids, not so much. They could care less about the room, they just want to hit the pool and the snack machines. (What is it about hotel snack machines that’s so intriguing to kids? They don’t get half as excited about all the very same snacks in our pantry at home!)
I guess there are just some things about hotel rooms that can’t be replicated at home, like the housekeeping or room service (or those cute little coffee makers right there in the room!) but there are a few things you can do to make your own bedroom more like that luxury retreat.
And for less than the price of one night at a nice hotel, you can bring home that much-needed relaxation that you long for.
Here’s my secret step-by-step process to turn your bedroom into a retreat.
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Part of the sense of calm that you feel when walking into a hotel room is because everything is in its place. There are no piles of clothes in the corner, no magazines scattered on tabletops, no bills to open or socks to pick up.
Believe it or not, your brain is calmed by the sight of an empty table top or dresser top. It’s as if you can breathe a sigh of relief rather than think about all the things you should be doing, like pay that bill or fold the laundry or why, for the love, can your husband not ever seem to put his socks INTO the hamper, rather than on the floor next to it?
Decluttering at night before bed, or once a week, or whenever you will actually do it, will keep your room feeling less like a busy traffic lane, and more like a private oasis.
2. Use Closed Storage.
(not Clothes Storage, although you’ll need some of that too.)
Closed storage can be anything from a dresser or armoire with doors, to simple baskets or boxes. The idea is to put out of sight all those items that used to live on the top of your nightstand or dresser.
It’s a good idea to have a small tray or drawer to corral the keys and pens and change that you might empty out of your pockets when you get home, but everything else should be put away, out of sight.
Spend a little time getting organized so that you can use that drawer in the nightstand that’s currently filled with who-knows-what. Or spend a few dollars on a pretty basket with a lid so that you can keep your odds and ends in it instead of scattered across your dresser top.
You’ll feel instantly more relaxed when you put “Out of sight, out of mind” to work in your bedroom. If you have something that needs to be done, like a bill, keep it in another part of the house. Your bedroom should be for relaxing and resting only, not working.
3. Make your bed.
I mean this in two senses. First, making your bed before you leave every morning really does help your bedroom seem like a retreat. When you get home at night, your mind will rest easier at the sight of a lovely, orderly bed than at a mess of covers that need to be reorganized before you can get into them again.
Secondly, it’s a really nice idea to make your bed beautiful. Your bed is the whole point of your bedroom, so it just makes sense to make it special. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on bedding in order to get a really luxurious looking (and feeling) bed.
But whatever you do spend pays dividends, not only in how it feels when you lay down, but also how you feel about the whole room. Check out my suggestions at the end of this post for lovely bedding at affordable prices.
4. Have a seat.
If you have room, it’s a great idea to have an extra chair or bench in your bedroom. This way, you can sit to put your shoes on without messing up the great job you just did making your bed.
Plus, it just feels more homey when you can carve out a little bit of sitting area, such as a reading corner by a window or lamp.
5. Lots of lighting.
This is not the same as lots of light. What you really need for lighting in a bedroom is options.
Ideally, you should have three light sources in your bedroom: one that’s on a switch so you can easily flick on the lights when you come in, one for task lighting such as a lamp on your desk or dresser so you can see whether your socks match, and one for reading in bed that you can turn off without getting out of bed.
If you don’t have the space or the need for task lighting, that’s OK, but you definitely need the other two. There’s nothing more annoying than walking into a dark room and having to search for a light source, unless it’s getting all snuggled up in bed and then realizing you have to get out to turn off the light.
Speaking of lighting, you’ve probably heard by now that the blueish light from TV’s, computers, and phones can really mess with your sleep rhythms, so ideally you would not have any of these items on in the bedroom at least an hour before going to sleep. (I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t follow this rule, but no tutorial like this would be complete without at least mentioning it.)
6. Keep it cool.
I’m always surprised at how cold hotel rooms feel when you first check in. The first thing I always do is find the air conditioning that’s blasting icy air at me and calm it down a bit. It seems to me like a waste of money on air conditioning, but I really think it’s a strategic move on their part. Hotels know that most people sleep better when the air is cool.
Consider ways you can cool down your bedroom even more than the rest of your house. That may mean insulated window coverings to keep the sun and warmth from coming in the windows. Or you could leave a window open if it’s safe. Or just crank up the air conditioning a little more at night before bed.
When your bedroom is clean, cool and inviting, you feel at home and relaxed. And hopefully you’ll sleep a little better too!
Do Try This at Home
Are you missing out on any of these steps? Try just tackling one at a time and see if you feel better about your bedroom.
Also, if you’re setting up a guest space, be sure to check out my series on setting up an AirBNB home. You may not be hosting a whole home, but you’ll find some great tips on making your guests feel right at home in your house.