Episode Four – Bedrooms
I’m exceedingly particular about the room I sleep in. I think this stems from my childhood when I slumbered in a bedroom with depressing muddy pink walls, a crinkly and itchy rose-toned bedspread, stiff fussy pale pink lampshades and filmy thin salmon-colored curtains that failed miserably at blocking out the torrid Texas heat.
In looking back, my mother picked everything with the best of intentions, but I thought the room belonged to a dainty rosy cheeked coquette rather than me. But my saving grace was the wildly colorful and captivating array of stuffed animals that surrounded me in bed at night. Perhaps they were the incitement of my lifelong penchant for color.
When we moved out of Golden Gate to begin our remodel, I had slept encased by the same blue sheets, duvet and shams for what seemed like decades. Upon the move into our transitory apartment, I splurged on fresh yellow linens that feel like I am lounging in the same sunshine that pours over the lemon tree on the deck beside my bedroom.
The Yellow Bedroom
I think bedrooms should be sanctuaries with colors you positively love; soft floor coverings for padding barefoot to bed, lamps for reading or creating soft sensual light, window treatments to keep out the morning sun and furniture that is attractive yet functional for storage. Most importantly your bedroom should feel good as you spend one-third of your lifetime sleeping and dreaming there.
Art in the Bedroom
Placing favorite artwork in your bedroom can bring pleasure and delight like this whimsical watercolor I adore by Kirby Kendrick above my black bedside cabinet. Kirby is a long-time friend and gifted artist who paints professionally in several engaging styles using a range of materials that make her spirited creations sparkle and inspire (kirbykendrick.com).
I’ve encountered many diminutive bedside tables while visiting client’s homes. When redecorating sleeping quarters, I suggest substantial bedside furnishings with storage if space allows. Larger surfaces not only provide ample room for nighttime needs, but books, eyeglasses, water or a Kindle are more easily reached from a bedside surface that aligns near the top of the mattress.
I mentioned the various uses of altars in my last blog. This revered antique wood carving of Guanyin, the Buddhist bodhisattva associated with compassion, calms me at the beginning and end of the day. She has a compartment in her back where I put my intentions. Although I’m not Buddhist, I love what Guanyin stands for, especially in the current times.
The Serene Bedroom
To garnish the second 70’s era bedroom with white walls I invested in an aquamarine linen coverlet for the guest room that harmonizes with the color of an old Turkish Oushak rug and the clouds over the Bay. I feel the wide expanse of blue green on the bed imparts a serene sense of space.
I find that tall lamps with robust circular or rectangular lamp shades make it easier to read in bed. They also draw the eye up which helps rooms with low ceilings appear larger. Experience has taught me that projecting light through warm toned lamp shades make a room glow which creates a nurturing feeling.
Nighttime Health Benefits
Indoor plants not only add a pleasing aesthetic to a bedroom, but they also contribute extra oxygen, clean the air, increase humidity, and reduce airborne dust. What could be healthier than a plant on your bedside chest while you’re sleeping eight hours a night?
In addition, plants offer something to take care of that can be healing during challenging times like the pandemic. They certainly helped me when they produced blooms of beauty in different shapes, sizes, colors and textures. Caring for plants has indeed brought me joy in the past year.
Extra bedrooms that accommodate guests can also serve as office space. We set up Marshall’s desk in the guest room which has not accommodated one visitor this past year. He seems to thrive on the privacy and quiet of the space looking at art that he relishes above his computer and seeing the view of our small town through the window beside him.
Although both of our apartment bedrooms have single paned black aluminum sliding glass doors that howl and buckle with the wind, we love looking at nature. Most sleeping spaces have windows that not only let in light but offer views of the outdoors which fill our senses as the seasons and nature change before our very eyes.
The Mystery of Night
And what could be more enchanting than looking out your bedroom windows when the double-edged dusky light turns deep blue, porch lights blink on, windows light up and life suddenly becomes mysterious and magical.
Bedroom to Boudoir
I hope all of you have nurturing bed chambers you appreciate and look forward to sleeping in at night. If not, consider transforming your bedroom into a boudoir by hanging a few pieces of fanciful art, bringing in fragrant flowers or a luscious green plant, changing the color of your bedspread, or replacing your white lampshades with warm toned alternatives – all of which can make your bedroom feel more inviting.
Good luck, send pictures and stay tuned for my last episode of The Apartment series – The Deck.
For the love of sensual boudoirs,