This post is in conjunction with TEMPUR® but all thoughts are my own.
Life in lockdown had significant knock on effects. For many of us there was a huge desire to change things up whether that be learning a language, writing a book, getting fit or alternatively developing a new mind set or positive mental attitude. For me getting through lockdown with an active toddler was the number one goal but regular readers will know that I’m also just finishing off a huge project to totally redecorate my home which was a choice partly born out of lockdown.
I firmly believe that your living environment is not only important aesthetically but the design of a room can have a big impact on your mood and mental state. If you saw my home before photos you’ll see that our living area was filled with very bright pinks, orangey wood and harsh blacks – the total opposite of the relaxing sanctuary that your home should be. Needless to say that when I was stuck at home during lockdown it did my head in!
Our bedroom was a total state – it was botched by a previous interior designer and let’s be honest the multiple shades of grey, wires hanging out of the walls and plastic bedside tables was not good for my feng shui! Now our bedroom has been totally transformed during our refurb and I can honestly say it’s my dream bedroom, my haven and my sanctuary. As you know I love a hotel room, but I always genuinely look forward to coming back to my bed! I’ve never been a great sleeper but my room and sleeping space has been designed specifically to enhance my mood and optimise my sleep. Here’s how:
1. Colours that are conducive to a good night’s sleep
My previous bedroom was very grey and in colour psychology grey has negative associations for being cold and unwelcoming and giving feelings of depression and listlessness. We completely stripped the room of grey and focussed on bringing in neutral tones with hints of blush pink – a colour associated with being soothing.
We have lots of brown tones in the room via natural wood and bronzes and using this colour associated with nature evokes feelings of strength, safety and security. The brown coupled with very light walls gives the space a very relaxing and soothing feeling. Of course, too much white can feel sterile but we choose a very subtly off white tone to keep the warmth while at the same time making the room very light and bright.
For me, bedding is one of the most important elements of a good night sleep. Personally, I have to have really soft bedding and the right thread count is non-negotiable – yes it can be expensive but you spend so much of your life in your bed that I think it’s an important investment. Natural fibres are key because they help the skin to breathe and regulate temperature. I only ever have white bedsheets as I find them very simple, clean and calming, it’s no coincidence that hotel bedsheets are usually white too!
I enjoy making my bed everyday. I know for some people it can be a chore but it genuinely only takes about thirty seconds and it honestly sets me up for the day and I look forward to getting into my sheets every night.
As well having great bedding, a high quality pillow is vital for a good night sleep. Memory foam pillows are widely regarded as giving the best support and a pillow from Tempur is regarded as the best in the market. Tempur are actually the original creators of memory foam and they were invented by NASA in the 1970’s to cushion pilots during test flights! A memory foam mattress or pillow adapts to your body to reduce motion transfer and pressure and provide comfort by adapting to your body. You can even choose the the correct pillow to correspond to your sleeping position such as the side sleeper pillow or one that is adapted to your specific needs such as the neck pain pillow . Personally I think there’s nothing quite like climbing into a bed with the perfect bedding and perfect pillow – I feel like I’m on Cloud 9!
Lighting is an incredibly important factor for adding zen to your sleep space. I’m lucky to have floor to ceiling windows in my room to invite in all the natural light. When it comes to artificial lighting, this was carefully planned in the bedroom and through the rest of the flat. We eliminated the multiple spotlights in the ceiling and instead introduced a coffer to provide more subtle lighting.
We chose these pendant lights for the sides of the bed which are not only beautiful but provide a subtle glow that doesn’t jar with the vibes of the room. We actually replaced all our lights with LED which are better for the environment and for your health as they mimic natural light and promote a regular circadian rhythm.
We added these big antique mirrors which also help bounce the light around the room and enhance the experience of natural light.
Conversely it’s important to eliminate the light at night for a good night sleep. As someone who is a light sleeper, I need absolute darkness and of course that’s difficult to achieve with such large windows. With this in mind we used a heavy, lined curtain material and we included extra sheers behind the material. The curtains are operated by an electric track and very quick and easy to open.
4. Decluttering the Space
An important part of our home renovation was decluttering. We wanted to create a beautiful home from the outside in and part of this was get rid of all the bits and pieces that don’t ‘spark joy’. The famous Marie Kondo emphasises the positive effects of tidiness and creating a cleaner and happier home. Admittedly Mr S and I are terrible as we’re both quite nostalgic about things but we have taken lots of positive steps to decluttering our lives and keeping our beautiful rooms tidy. I’m actually in the process of getting the place professionally organised!
Getting rid a lot of our excess stuff has already reduced my stress and not being surrounded with so many random things in my room honestly helps me sleep better.
We also kept items of furniture to a minimum – it’s a big room anyway and feels even more spacious with less furniture and lots of open areas. We have also kept a level of symmetry with the headboard, lighting and bedside tables so that nothing is jarring to the eye.
We incorporated a sofa with a side table to add a secondary space or reading nook for that added element of personal luxury.
5. But Keep it Cosy
While it was important to us to keep the space minimalist, tidy and decluttered it was also important not to have it looking spartan. We achieved a cosy look by layering up lots of fabrics textures and natural material for example the plump cushions and soft throw. These textured materials also help absorb noise, plus we’ve had the room sound proofed which vital in a central London flat.
Carefully selected ornaments and faux flowers add just the right level of design whilst maintaining a sense of calm. Having photographs around are really important to me so I keep a couple on my bedside table and love these reminders of happy memories and it just adds to the happier environment that I’ve cultivated in this room.
We incorporated calming scents into the room – in fact anyone who enters the bedroom comments on how lovely it smells. Personally I love having diffusers around the home and I think it give the room a beautiful fragrance, calming atmosphere and it looks beautiful too. The relaxing scents almost feel like being in a spa!
Those are the six ways I’ve made my bedroom more conducive to a great night’s sleep. What are yours?