How to Design Your Bedroom for Sweeter Dreams

Lauren Wicks
·5 min read
Photo credit: James Merrell
Photo credit: James Merrell

From Veranda

Considering the bedroom is typically one of the least trafficked spaces in the home, this room gets neglected when it comes to investing time and money into creating a true sanctuary. However, in light of the dramatic events happening across the country and world these last months, bedroom redesigns are in high-demand for designers like Cathy Kincaid and Mark D. Sikes, who are known for creating luxurious, inviting sleep spaces. They both say a restful bedroom is all about the details and making investments where it matters.

"The first thing people should do when trying to create a better bedroom is start with their mattress and window coverings," Kincaid says. "Some people don't need it dark to sleep, but I think it's really important to have drapery that works easily, and if you do need to block out light, you can. You don't want to have to pull them too carefully and perfectly re-stack them when you're first waking up."

Curating the Perfect Bed

Photo credit: Quentin Bacon
Photo credit: Quentin Bacon

Kincaid advises purchasing the best mattress you can afford (you do use it for eight hours a day, every day, after all) and trying a few out to make sure you've found the perfect one. A favorite of hers are the all-natural, custom mattresses from Charles H. Beckley, Inc. in New York, which she says are almost too beautiful to cover up. Kincaid also suggests being equally as mindful when choosing the right pillows for your bedroom. Her team often works with the Pillow Bar in her hometown of Dallas, where her clients can be part of the production process, deciding just how fluffy their pillows need to be while they are being stuffed. The Pillow Bar will even slip a lavender sachet into each pillow to induce tranquility at bedtime, which you can easily re-create at home by placing some lavender essential oils on your pillow or having it re-stuffed with a sachet of its own.

Once you have the perfect mattress, it's time to find a perfect home for it, and both Kincaid and Sikes say there is nothing like a bed that makes a big statement.

"I have a bed with hangings and a canopy, and it makes my bedroom a place to look forward to going each evening," Sikes says. Kincaid says canopy beds are a great solution for making a small room look bigger and can trick the eye to "raise" the look of the ceiling. Those who get hot while sleeping can opt for a partial canopy or just hang drapery on one side to keep the fantasy effect without disrupting comfort.

Naturally, a bed is only as good as its coverings, and hunting for the right linens is always worth the effort. Sikes has a penchant for Matouk linens and has a beautiful, East Coast-meets-West collection with Annie Selke. Kincaid especially loves Leontine Linens, D. Porthault, and Julia B. and encourages mixing your favorite patterns and fabrics for a layered and luxurious place to lay your head (she says there's nothing better than waking up in a garden with a set of floral sheets). Sikes also advises investing in bedside rugs to ensure the coziness begins before you hop into bed.

It's All in the Details

Photo credit: Amy Neunsinger
Photo credit: Amy Neunsinger

The designers also shared some important "what not to do's" when it comes to designing a serene bedroom. Kincaid says she's heard from clients that painting a bedroom a certain color, like a sunny yellow, can look beautiful and cheery but can turn the space more energizing than calming. Having a space that's energizing may be nice if you keep a desk in there, but the color of your walls may not be the best place for vibrance in a bedroom. She also says even though ceiling fans aren't as aesthetically pleasing as a light fixture, don't forgo them if they help you sleep. Just do some research to find one that matches your bedroom's style as best you can.

Sikes says to consider keeping electronics like smart phones and tablets charging in another room if you can, as there's nothing like a bright screen full of distractions to disrupt you from real rest, even in the most splendid sleeping space. Purchasing an old-school alarm clock (we love the ones that mimic the sunrise) will prevent you from the excuse of "needing" your phone at your bedside to wake you up. That being said, both designers stress the importance of good lighting in a bedroom to ensure you can achieve a warm glow at any time of day.

"Especially now with these stressful times, you need a cocoon to retreat into that makes you feel safe," Kincaid says. "The most important thing is the way that the details in a bedroom make it feel personal and conducive to relaxing."

Sikes agrees with this sentiment, that above all, creating a serene space that speaks to your personal narrative is the surest way to curate a haven in your home. While he says it's important to edit your bedroom and keep it free of clutter, too much furniture, and an overwhelming amount of pattern and color, that doesn't mean it needs to be all-white or sparse.

"Surround yourself with things that make you happy and you love," he says."While you don't want to have too much going on in the bedroom, it's important to have personal things around you that bring you joy, like a stack of books that are important to you, favorite photos...All of that stuff helps create a comfortable environment. Forget the notion of perfection or worrying about what other people are doing, and focus on what makes you happy. Real style and taste comes from mixing things to create a beautiful environment."

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