1. A COMFORTABLE RUG
Nothing ruins a happy morning (or makes a crabby one worse) like stepping out of the bed onto a cold, hard floor. Do yourself a favor and make sure your first step into the day is cushy and comforting. Already have carpet in the bedroom but it’s not enough? Consider layering a smaller rug by the bed.
2. A THEME
It’s the first thing a child will consider when putting together their first bedroom, but adults tend to shy away from a decorative theme when envisioning their bedroom. But even when it’s not Spiderman or Princess-powered, a theme can be not just a unifying device, but a calming one.
3. THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF THROW PILLOWS
How to figure out this number: It should be enough pillows so that your bed looks sumptuous and inviting when properly made…yet not enough that getting in bed requires 10 minutes of excavating. The sweet spot is usually between 1-6, depending on the size of your bed.
4. A PLACE TO SIT (THAT’S NOT THE BED)
A good spot to sit down will serve you well when you’re reading something you can’t afford to fall asleep during, or need to have a conversation with your partner that’s best not had in bed. It’s also great for putting on shoes, or if you are breaking the no-tech rule, you might as well check email from a chair so it at least stays out of your bed.
5. NO TECH IN SIGHT
“The bedroom is about sleeping. What do you need when you’re sleeping? Not a Blackberry,” says designer Aurélien Gallet. And that goes for a television as well: It will keep you up later than necessary and consequently keep your minding churning longer before you can drift off to sleep. It’s hard, especially in an increasingly-connected world, but if you leave your i-everything at the door you’ll be happier. Another perk? More room for furniture and accessories you love for their own sake: not how they keep you tied to the online world!
6. A COLLECTION OF THINGS YOU LOVE
It doesn’t have to be an entire étagère-full, but a cluster of pieces that make you smile will go a long way, especially in making a bedroom feel just right. Bonus: This is also a great way to incorporate pieces you’ve acquired over the years but can’t quite figure out where to put them. Make sure they’re in your line of sight upon waking up and their true purpose will be revealed: Making you happy.
7. WELL-STOCKED NIGHTSTANDS
Yes, a nightstand with all the necessities looks lovely but that’s not the only reason you see it so often in magazine spreads and on blogs: The combination of a carafe of water, a great book, a plant or flower, and is essentially a kit for pre-, post-, and interrupted-sleep comfort. So as you’re putting your own “kit” together, don’t feel like it has to be stunning to be perfect. The more idiosyncratic and “you” it feels, the better it will work and the more it wlll be a testament to your personal style.
8. A GREAT MATTRESS
You could have every item on this list but your bedroom wouldn’t be complete without a perfect mattress. After all, if you’re not getting enough quality sleep, you can’t fully appreciate a beautiful room. “You want a mattress that keeps you cool and gives you great lumbar support,” says Ron Rudzin, CEO of Saatva Mattress. And of course, one that looks great in your room. He recommends choosing a mattress- and foundation-height based not just on your bed frame and headboard, but also the height of your night tables and window sills. A low-profile headboard may call for an 11.5-inch model, while higher window sills make sense with something higher-up, like a 14.5-inch.
On the hunt for a new mattress? Rudzin says to look at objective measures of comparison when making the call: What type of steel is used? What type of foam? Are the coils individually-wrapped, making the bed responsive to your body? And if you’re hesitant to spend a lot on a new mattress, keep this in mind: A high-quality mattress should last 10-15 years. A cheap one? Half that.
You should have as many family photos as you wish in other rooms in the house but it’s best to keep the bedroom’s artwork less emotionally loaded. Elegant and calming photographs evoke good feelings much like family snaps do, without reminding you of specific people while you’re trying to fall asleep.
Even the brightest, most cheerful bedrooms need an element of dark, sexy glamour. From moody wall paint, theatrical chandelier, even an oversized gray headboard does the trick. But clean lines and touches of white keep it from looking like a bordello: That balance is key. Stick with one or two pieces and you’ll be golden.