Beyond Sleep I

By nora bouz - Wellbeing Design Consultant


One of the most complex spaces in a home, the master bedroom, is a true multifunctional room that is mostly under-designed and undervalued. The considerations are complex enough to warrant two blog posts, so Part I will look at light and pattern, while Part II will delve into furnishings and impact.

The master bedroom is not only where we sleep and store our clothes, but also where the kids join us on a Sunday morning, where we enjoy a book, dress and groom, rejuvenate, make love, and nurture intimate relations. For some, the bedroom is also the place for exercise, yoga or meditation.

Colour and Light
Although the primary function of a bedroom is sleep, choosing calming and soothing colours with no consideration for functions like rejuvenating and lovemaking that are supported by lively and stimulating colours, will transform the bedroom into an uninspiring space that negatively impacts mood and intimate relationships.

Colour is significantly affected by light. When choosing a colour scheme, put some thought into the colour of your lightbulbs – even whether you choose a cool or warm white – and the use of filters and diffusers. Filters and diffusers can subtly change the colour of your light source, and therefore change the mood, eliciting the emotion you want, whether restful or exciting.

Multiple sources of lighting are essential for this multi-functional room. Think about how you combine general lighting – whether in the form of hidden or pendant fixtures – with table lamps, reading lamps (which differ from table lamps in function, aesthetic, and beam focus), candles, and lanterns. Dimmers will allow you to significantly change the mood when you need to.

It is important to our psychological health to stay aligned as much as possible with the natural rhythms of nature. However, north of the 50th parallel we experience significant differences in day length between the summer and winter. This can impact our sleep patterns.

To manage your sleep/wake cycle, use two layers of curtains: sheer, and thick whiteout. In spring and fall, unless you have a strong street light outside your window, allow the whiteout to remain partially open and use the sheer to let the first rays of the sun come into your bedroom to wake you up naturally. In the summer when the sun rises too early, make sure the whiteout is tightly closed so you can get the sleep you need. In the winter, think about getting a light alarm that imitates dawn to wake you naturally.

Pattern, Texture and Symbols
Patterns and textures represent movement. A good pattern or combination of patterns should coordinate and compliment your colour choices, as well as compliment the scale of the textured object within the room. Don't be afraid to use different patterns and scales. The key is to feel good about them. Try them out. Using objects or patterns that convey a significant meaning is also impactful. Perhaps a wedding veil that belonged to your grandmother, a fertility symbol, a peace symbol, a play symbol...

Designing the room's ambience is only half of the fun. Check out Part II of Step Into My Bedroom next month, when we take a look at furnishings, alternate activities and integrating nature. And, as always, if you have questions about how to design your ideal bedroom we'd love to help you make it happen