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How to Design a Bedroom That Puts You to Sleep

NOVEMBER 14, 2020
Photo credit: Nickey Kehoe

As we all know, a restful night’s sleep is key to our health and wellness. But sleeping well isn’t only about getting to bed early. The interior design of your bedroom can have a great impact on your ability to get to sleep and to sleep soundly—for better or for worse. Thankfully, setting yourself up for a successful rest requires just a few things in place. Read on to learn how to design a bedroom that kicks you into REM mode.

Install Blackout Window Treatments

From Roman shades to drapes to wooden blinds, there are plenty of window treatments on the market, but when it comes to window dressings that keep the light out, not all are created equal. One option we highly recommend for a blissful night’s sleep is blackout shades. These insulating and room-darkening treatments not only block light to keep your room dark to help you sleep, but they also provide privacy and reduce heat loss/gain to save energy. Alternatively, blackout curtains act much the same way, except they’re curtains instead of shades. You can purchase readymade blackout curtains in many colors, or you can buy a blackout curtain liner which snaps into or hangs behind your existing curtains. If you’re having custom curtains made, ask your upholsterer to sew a blackout liner—it will cost extra, but will be worth every penny. Beyond buying darkening window treatments, you can also simply look for curtains or shades that are very thick and dark in color, as they will naturally keep the light out.


Photo credit: Katie Hodges Design


Invest in the Right Mattress—For You

Mattresses are like coffee beans—people have strong opinions about them and everyone loves theirs the most. What one person finds comfortable and supportive, another may find too stiff or too soft. The average mattress has a lifespan so seven to 12 years, so if your mattress is a decade or so old, and you’re having trouble getting comfortable, or having pains in the morning, it may be time to bid your mattress adieu. You should consider what position you sleep in (Side sleeper? Back sleeper?), how firm you like your mattress, and what material you prefer before you make any purchases—read this helpful guide to find the right mattress for you. Most mattress companies these days have an extended return policy: Be sure to test yours out before you commit.


Photo credit: Charlotte Lucas


Consider Dark Walls

Enveloping your walls in a dark color, whether with paint or wallpaper, can have a calming, sleep-inducing effect. We love dark bedrooms designed with the intention—and the only intention—of putting you to sleep. These days, especially in the COVID era, your bedroom may be working double-duty as an office or fitness room, so you may prefer lighter, brighter walls. But if you can swing it, you’ll sleep soundly in a dark moody space.


Photo credit: Lauren Nelson


Nix the Small Screen

Whether or not to install a television in the master bedroom is an age-old marital dilemma, and for good reason. Of course, nightly Netflix binges tend to suck the romance out of the bedroom, but they can also keep you up much later than you should be and are to blame for many dark circles in the morning! We highly advise keeping your television in a separate room in your home. If you must, keep yours concealed in an armoire where it’s less likely to tempt you—especially on weeknights. Take it a step further and make your bedroom a tech-free zone—no phones, no laptops! Set yourself up with an elegant battery-operated alarm clock and ban those flashing red lights from your serene space.


Photo credit: Will Wick


Stock Up on Soft, Breathable Linens

You don’t have to break the bank to own sheets that make you say “ooh.” There are plenty of affordable options on the market that will make getting under the covers all the more alluring. We love the Classic Percale from Brooklinen—it’s cool and crisp and starter set will set you back only $95. Parachute Home’s linen bedding is breezy, breathable, and timeless, and it only gets softer overtime. Wamsutta’s 350-Thread-Count Egyptian Cotton Sheets are also ultra soft and buttery—a fan favorite. Whatever you purchase, look for a long-staple cotton or linen, since they’re long-lasting and will be breathable, to help you sleep through the night.


Photo credit: Jenny Wolf


Moderate the Temperature

Dressing your bed is like dressing for fall—you need layers! We advise keeping an extra throw on top of your duvet or quilt at the foot of your bed, which will come in handy on chillier nights. Anthropologie sells lots of beautiful options in every color under the sun. If you live in a warmer climate, consider installing a ceiling fan to cool you down on sticky, restless nights.


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