The kitchen might be the heart of the home, but the bedroom is where we probably spend the most time, hopefully at least eight hours a day. While so much emphasis has been placed on home offices and outdoor space due to the pandemic, it might be surprising that a major bedroom refresh would probably be more life-changing.
“Your mental health is enhanced by feeling at ease in a space that is cultivated with intentionality and care. Whether that is through the choice of color, furniture setup, or ways through which the room is kept up [through] routine [and/or] rituals. The space for sleep is yet another expression of how the human mind desires control in one way or another, and this happens to be a healthy way to practice environmental control,” Sarah Bitar, MFT at renowned mental health clinic TMS And Brain Health tells me.
One of the best sources for sophisticated and unique bedroom furniture and accessories is Frontgate. Owned by the Qurate Retail Group, in addition to a booming online presence, the brand also has retail locations in Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Ohio, and Kentucky.
The Importance of Making Your Bedroom A Sanctuary
Designing a new bedroom or refreshing an old one shouldn’t merely be about finding what pieces fit. It’s about creating a place that simultaneously sparks joy and calm. “Through the opportunity to craft an environment to your liking, you are likely to cultivate the feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction, which are feelings that contribute to your mental health,” says Bitar.
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Frontgate’s Director of Merchandising, Karen Jones suggests starting a bedroom project by choosing the color palette. According to Bitar, lighter colors are best. “The psychology of colors, which is a lens that looks at how colors impact the human brain, suggests that calm tones such as shades of whites and pastel colors could promote a sense of serenity in comparison to bright or denser tones.”
While most of us likely associate white or light-colored bedrooms with sheets, blankets, and paint, Frontgate has several bedroom furniture lines in lighter hues including the Westerpark, Hugo, Marion, and Etienne collections.
How To Choose Bedroom Furniture
In recent years, the standard bedroom set with a matching dresser, bed, and nightstands has been deemed a bit boring. Still, choosing pieces from the same set is the most practical choice. Fortunately, Frontgate makes it very easy to find pieces that coordinate but don’t have that catalog or showroom look. For example, going with a coordinating accent table instead of a nightstand, as seen in the Marion collection can create a more hotel-inspired vibe.
“Unless you have a very clear vision, try to steer toward classic pieces that will stand the test of time. Fashion can be added and updated over time with bedding and accessories,” says Jones.
Then there’s the old saying that size matters. When it comes to bedroom furniture, this is certainly true. For example, if a bedroom is on the smaller side, having oversized, heavy pieces won’t do the space any favors. So, it’s important to consider the scale of the room. “To assist in determining furniture size, always start with a floor plan and first decide the placement of the bed. Typically, the largest piece in the room and the focal point.”
Those with less square footage should consider the Westpark collection because the nightstands have pullout trays ideal for charging phones or placing that book right before falling asleep.
How To Accessorize A Bedroom
Choosing the right linens is just as critical as choosing larger pieces. Bitar says that having, “soft bedding, appropriate mattress firmness, and fabric (cooling or organic cotton), [can] further contribute to one’s quality of sleep.”
Jones specifically recommends Egyptian cotton sheets because they have a soft hand feel, breathability, and high thread count. “There’s nothing that adds comfort to a bedroom like adding gorgeous linens. Get the most out of your shut-eye by investing in hotel-quality linens that will make you never want to leave your bed,” she says.
Then add layers with blankets. “Pile on the cozy down or down alternative duvet and pillows for a sleep that will make you feel like you’re in the clouds. Add other sensual feeling fabrics throughout the bedroom with a velvet pillow, a cashmere throw, and plush floor coverings.” The Cashmere Fringe Throw available in several colors is a great find that easily coordinates with most linens.
Accessorizing with lots of pillows is another way to make the bed feel as plush and as possible. Jones explains, “Decorative pillows are uniquely positioned to introduce color to the space, and even shift the overall mood and style. If your decor is feeling a little flat, pillows with embellishments and texture can add a layer of depth.”
Plants are another way to create an elevated space and mental state, says Bitar. “The presence of plants can add more life to the bedroom. Some plants that are appropriate for bedrooms are Peace Lily, Parlor Palm, Snake Plant. By purifying the air in the room, plants help clear toxins that contribute to lethargy and low energy.”
Light It Up
Lighting is an element of bedroom design that is integral yet often overlooked. Jones explains, “For shaping the mood (and function) of the room, it’s difficult to overstate the impact of lighting. Add floor lamps or table lamps for focused lighting in areas where you may read or work after dark. Light the whole room with a pendant or chandelier. For a simple, relaxed vibe, consider fixtures with natural materials like wood or wicker.”
A sconce is another option that makes a chic alternative to traditional lamps. The Axl Swing Arm Wall Sconce is a perfect example of this. Sconces also enhance wall spaces and free up nightstand space for accessories.
When The Bedroom Is Also The Home Office
While it’s ideal to only use the bedroom for sleeping, many of us need to use our bedrooms as home offices these days. “In order to prompt the mind to separate between the mental state of productivity/work and state of relaxation, routine and consistency are necessary. Morning and nighttime routines could include your hygiene routine in addition to a wellness practice of choice, prompting the mind to prepare for a transition,” says Bitar.
Another way to create this separation is by using a screen such as The Marion Cane French Room Screen. Not only is a screen a great way to physically section off a home office or to use as a stylish Zoom background, but it’s also an ideal way to help train your mind to get into productivity mode. “Adding a screen or room divider as a visual prompt for the mind to transition states in the bedroom,” says Bitar. “Train your mind to subconsciously engage in this transition over time, by engaging in the thought when I pull this screen, work time is… and relaxation time is…”
After all, a beautifully designed bedroom/home office can help us forward to working each day.