The Bedroom: Make It Beautiful and Light It Right

Before you drift off to sleep each night, your bedroom is the last thing you see and when you wake in the morning, guess what?  There you are in the same room and it's just the way you left it.  People tend to worry more about the public spaces in their homes, but the bedroom, where you rest your head every night, deserves some special treatment.  Make your space a visual treat, so when you open your eyes each morning, you're inspired to start the day.  Try this design, with one chocolate brown focal wall behind the bed and a mix of modern textiles, and my tips on creating the right atmosphere with lighting.

Clockwise from top left: West Elm Slatted Rocker (new!) , John Robshaw Jala Khaki Duvet Cover and Shams ,  Twenty2 'Silt' Pillow, Twenty2 'Afterglow' Pillow,  Kartell 'Cindy' Lamp, Brave Space Design 'Planar' Amoire , Dunn-Edwards Paint in DE6063 Black Walnut, Vers iPod Alarm , Inhabit Living Stretched Wall Art , MVOS 'Heavy Guy' Chandelier , CB2 Alpine Bed , The Shade Store 'Float' Roman Blind from Maharam , Angela Adams Peony Rug

Light It Right! No matter how luxurious the textiles or how comfortable your mattress might be, the right lighting in the bedroom is crucial.  Follow these tips to get it right:

1.) General lighting is important, but one ceiling-mounted fixture in the middle of the room won't cut it.  Layer in mood and task lamps to achieve a relaxing atmosphere and reduce eye strain.

2.) Good general lighting will bounce off the ceiling and wash the walls with light.  A fixture with a glass or fabric diffuser(s) over the bulbs is the best option, so that you don't get glare while lying in bed.  Otherwise, just be sure to put the light the light on a dimmer, which brings me to tip #3...

3.)  Put all fixtures on a dimmer!  It's important to be able to adjust the light level as needed.  Who wants to turn on a bright light if you have you get  up in the middle of the night?  Dimmers are generally easy to install, but I love these dimmers (available in black and white) cause they're a bargain and effortless to add.  

4.) If you like to read in bed, you need the right light to reduce eye strain.  Choose a table lamp that has a diffused white shade.  Something with an adjustable arm is ideal because you can direct the light right at the page, no matter what position you're lying in bed.  For a space-saving solution, opt for a swing-arm, wall-mounted fixture.

5.) Add one lamp, like the Kartell 'Cindy' above, that's sole purpose is to set the mood with a soft glow and a fixture that you'll admire as much as your favorite artwork.  I'm going to have an eco-unfriendly moment here (please forgive me earth) and advise that a mood light is a good time to use an incandescent bulb.  I know there have been many improvements with CFL bulbs, even some that can be put on a dimmer, but the warmth you get from an incandescent is unmatched and when you're trying to set a mood, quality of the bulb is oh-so-important.

Hope these tips help and that the design above provides some inspiration for your bedroom.  Here's to a good night's sleep!