The bedroom as a separate area, designed as a quiet sanctuary from the stresses of life, is a relatively modern concept.
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In olden times – and even now in the economically backward sections of the world – there was no separate sleeping area. Life was lived out, so to speak, in one compartment. Now that most people have compartmentalized their homes, we come to the question of decorating bedrooms.
Before you begin, consider your requirements. Apart from an area for sleeping, you may want an area for sitting or reading, for writing or working, to install a coffee machine or small refrigerator for when you feel like snacking, for grooming and dressing, and perhaps for an attached bathroom. And, of course, you will need enough storage space for all your things. You must also have adequate lighting and good ventilation to allow plenty of fresh air to circulate in your bedroom.
Once you know your requirements, you can then decide what furniture and accessories you want and plan out how you are going to best utilize your available bedroom space.
Keep the proportions of your bedroom in mind when choosing the furniture. The furniture shouldn’t be too big or too small for the room. Ideally, make a scale drawing of your bedroom and scaled-down cutouts of the furniture you want, and see how everything fits within. To avoid a clutter, choose only the furniture you can’t do without – a bed, a night-table, a cushy armchair, an ottoman, a vanity table, or a writing-table, for example – and, wherever possible, choose furniture that can be put to multipurpose uses and will provide enough storage space. Get matching furniture or pieces that complement one another well in style, color and texture.
When selecting a bed, consider a bed that is interesting to look at, comfortable to sleep in and a good fit to the general theme of your room. If you have the space and the inclination, you can go for an antique-style four-poster or a broad double-bed. Lack of area may limit your choice to a narrower bed or a folding sofa-cum-bed. Getting a bed you can store bed-clothes in or a bed with built-in shelves in the headboard can help if you have a space problem. You can also use a chest of drawers in place of a bedside table.
Instead of cupboards, go for space-saving, built-in closets. Putting in window-seats is another way of freeing up space in your bedroom. You have a place for sitting and you can use the part under the window-seat for storage.
Use good-quality cotton or linen bed-clothes. Avoid the use of synthetic fabrics in your bed. Go for plush and colorful pillows and cozy bed-covers. Mix and match and coordinate the bedspreads, pillows and curtains with your overall decor.
Choose from a variety of fabrics for your curtains. Use sheer silk or gauzy transparent that let in the sunlight, thicker fabric curtains that keep the light out or a combination of both. Or go for roller blinds.
Install soft plush or natural fiber carpeting on the floor. You can upholster walls with fabrics or textured wall-paper.
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Use subdued or light colors when painting your bedroom walls to create a soothing, restful atmosphere. Pale greens, blues, creams and various pastel shades are ideal for a bedroom. Normally it is advisable not to go for bold vibrant colors in a bedroom, but if you find those restful, don’t let anything stop you.
If you are tired of having a plain white ceiling, try applying various eye-catching effects with painting techniques like sponging, ragging and faux painting. You can paint the ceiling with a lighter shade of the wall-color, which can help balance the space if you have a very high ceiling. You can add architectural elements like crown moldings or beams. Papering the ceiling is another way to make it look interesting.
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First of all, tries to make optimum use of natural lighting. Plan your artificial lighting with care. Instead of just a couple of overhead lights, install layered lighting in your bedroom. For best results, illuminate the entire room with central ceiling-mounted ambient lighting. Provide focused light for reading, applying make-up and searching inside closets by installing task lighting light on your vanity table, work table and inside of closets. Add accent lighting to add a dramatic touch to an artwork or a showcase of treasured objects. Use dimmer so you can adjust the intensity of the lights. If you like, you can add touches like a closet light that automatically switches on upon opening the door.
If you want a really restful oasis for a bedroom, leave out the television, computer and exercise equipment. Put up some good artwork, a bookcase and keep bowls of real flowers.
Bedroom Design Ideas
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