5 Steps to Creating a Simple Bedroom – Slow Home Essentials

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I’ve stayed in some pretty terrible accommodation over the years.

There was the blood-spotted linen of a bedbug-infested hostel in Rome. The Thai bungalow where our toilet emptied directly onto the ground below the bed. Not to mention the leaky Dodge van named Esme that we slept in for a month in the Floridian summer. Rancid pillows. Mouldy floors. Amorous hostel room-mates. You name it, we’ve seen it, which is perfect for a life on the road.

But at home? Notsomuch.

The bedroom is supposed to be a haven of calm, a place to rest and relax, a space of comfort. Which is funny, because our bedroom is often all about piles of folded laundry, random toys, empty glasses and four in a bed.

Creating a simple bedroom is one of the essentials of having a slow home, as it provides you with room to relax, space to disconnect and the quiet to rest.

Here’s 5 ways you can turn your bedroom into the haven you need:

1. Declutter.

Again with the decluttering? Yes! It’s the single best way to promote calm, clear out dust and give a breath of fresh air to your space.

2. Go Small

The smaller the space, the better your chances of really simplifying. If you have a large bedroom with tonnes of furniture, shelving and wardrobe space, you’re simply likely to fill it with stuff. Sparky and I now share one small wardrobe. We know it’s time to organise and cull when that space gets cramped.

If your bedroom is large, consider moving to a smaller room or designating half the space for chilling out. No furniture aside from a couch or chair to encourage reading, quiet time or early-morning meditation.

3. Get Rid of the Gadgets

No TV, no phones, no laptops and no smartphones. No kidding. (I admit I have been guilty of the phone-next-to-the-bed sin. But I definitely sleep better and drift off faster with some tech-free time before I bed.)

While I do read Kindle books on my iPad at night, I find it sometimes impacts on my ability to get to sleep. Ideally a (real!) book is the best option, but there are also e-readers that don’t use the blue backlight of an iPad. These are a better option for night-reading, but so not in our budget right now. (So I try to limit the amount of screen reading I do in bed, to various levels of success.)

4. Light and Airy

You want good natural light, fresh air, effective window coverings that keep the room private but allow the daylight in, as well a lamp next to the bed. Reading, dressing, loving – you want the room to be comfortable for all its intended purposes.

5. Somewhere to Sit (other than the bed)

A bench at the end of the bed is your best option – it gives you somewhere to sit while putting on your shoes and somewhere to lay out the clothes for the next day. Avoid using it as a dumping ground for laundry, dirty clothes and handbags – this will just return the clutter you’re trying to clear out. And if you don’t think you can avoid it, then consider a smaller chair instead.

simple bedroom - via sothebys

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Obviously, everyone’s idea of a dream bedroom is different and what works for me may not work for you. But if you’re looking to slow down and simplify and are low on time, creating a simple bedroom gives you a big return on your investment.

These tips also work for kids rooms, although the ages of your kids will impact how much of it they actually apply. Start with your own room first and show them how nice it is to have a private space where you can chill out, and who knows, maybe they will follow your lead? (Or maybe not.)

Not Convinced? Give it a Trial Run

  • Leave the technology out of the bedroom for a week and see how it makes you feel.
  • Clear everything off your bedside tables – with the exception of a book, lamp and glass of water. See the serenity some empty space brings.
  • Make an effort to open the curtains and windows every morning.
  • Try making your bed every morning – first thing. Sounds silly, but it starts your day with a small achievement and makes your bedroom into the haven you deserve.

Try these changes for one week and take note of any differences you feel. Do you feel less stressed? Is it easier to get to sleep at night? Is your quality of sleep improving?

While creating a simple bedroom won’t fix all your stresses and worries, it will give you a safe, relaxed space to return to every evening. Why not try it out and let us know how you feel?


14 Responses to 5 Steps to Creating a Simple Bedroom – Slow Home Essentials

  1. Our bedroom always seems to be the place where things get dumped when we don’t know what to do with it. I’m ruthless in chucking and organising the rest of our house. I think this weekend is the weekend to get the bedroom done. Thanks for the inspiration!!

    • Pleasure, Jo! How did you go this weekend?

      Our bedroom used to be the dumping ground too, but I found once we had culled it back to ground zero it was much easier to keep clean and clear, as any clutter was immediately obvious. Let me know if you have any questions about the process.

  2. I am often gratefulthat our bedroom is on the second floor–it is just too far to carry the laundry from the basement. I love my bedroom: it is the one room I do my best tokeep tidy and picked up–even when the rest of the house is a disaster.

    • And I think that’s perfect, Alana! Having that one space you can always return to, knowing it will be a haven in amidst the craziness – that’s gotta make for restful nights!

  3. That’s great that you’re encouraging people to not have electronics in the bedroom. My experience is they are stimulating machines. They don’t encourage me getting rest. I help people let go of clutter for a living. I tell them that whatever is in their bedroom, they take with them into their sleep.

    • It’s a tough one to beat, undoubtedly. I do read on my iPad, but am learning how to avoid any other gadgets (still find myself checking emails first thing some mornings though) and also to recognise when the backlit devices are starting to impact my brain. Sounds weird, but I get all jittery in my legs, and that’s when I know it’s time to shut down.

  4. Thanks for the post Brooke!

    When I moved house recently and I didn’t have a nice bedroom lamp it was so frustrating!

    Not having the right level of light to read is a real annoyance for me.

    Interesting how you mentioned fittings that allow at least some light in. I love waking up to some hazy daylight in my room, glad to see others agree! No blackout blinds here!

  5. I am currently moving to a new flat and since we have like one million useless (in my opinion, unfortunately not in my husband’s) things, I was wondering how to use the space more effectively and then found my way to the minimalism in housing by this short summary. As I check different blogs, I see that it all works together: minimalism and northern style. We’ve always had a pretty messy bedroom full of laundry and basically all the things we wanted to hide from the possible guests. Now I see that it wasn’t the right attitude for creating a perfect place to relax…To have a possibility to sit beside the bed is another essential new point I’ve learned from your article.

  6. Great article! Very effective steps to follow. I agree that making your room light and airy would bring undefined relaxation.