Sound bedroom design can help you sleep

August 26, 2006|by CHRISTINE BRUN/Copley News Service

Experts tell us that a lot of people suffer from insomnia and are operating on the roadways and at work with too little sleep, which can have serious consequences. That being the case, it's more important than ever to create a peaceful, inviting bedroom environment.

Considering that you spend a third of your life there, if any one room in your house deserves your attention, it should be the bedroom. And what better way to begin than by taking the aesthetic temperature of your bedroom. Even in small rooms, the personality, mood and ambience of the room in which you sleep are very important. Once you know that, you can go to work making a room that is calming, soothing and conducive to a good night's rest.

What is most appealing about the simple arrangement shown in the photograph here is the exotic essence of the Indonesian design. The bedpost is richly colored carved wood. The deep red sheets are paired with a traditional pattern that is rich and handsome to provide the degree of softness and comfort that every boudoir requires. The pile of plump pillows also lends a cozy feel to the bed.


You can almost see the magic flickers when each of the hanging lamps is lit. These fixtures will provide more mood than utility, but if you want your bedroom to whisk you away into another world, you may have to sacrifice a little practicality. Look in antique stores for the larger pierced-brass Moroccan hanging lamps that were popular in the 1920s. Import shops such as Pier One or Cost Plus might carry current versions of hanging candleholders in metal, glass and iron.

If you live alone, take your time to consider exactly how you would like to feel when you close the door to your sanctuary each night. If you share your bedroom with someone else, however, you'll need to agree on how you want the room to look. A motif that one person finds stunning can appear positively ugly to someone else, which wouldn't be a positive climate for sleep.

Analyze, compromise and improvise. What is most important to you - color, the feel of the fabric? Try to be flexible. Maybe your partner will be able to live with frilly fabrics as long as you don't paint the walls pink, or give in to the khaki wall color as long as the linens can be brightly colored. Harmony is also a must when sleep is the goal.

The plan shown here introduces some fun with ethnic drums used as accent tables. The carpet is sisal, a natural fiber that gives rugs an island character. But if the person with whom you share a bedroom thinks it is too harsh on the feet, then find a wool or synthetic fiber imitation of sisal instead.

Regardless of the design elements you select, the room where you sleep needs to be calm and devoid of clutter. There should be good ventilation and sound control. You need an adequate way to keep streetlights, car headlights, moonlight and the sun from interrupting your sleep. If street noises disturb you, maybe the gentle sound of a thunderstorm on CD will help lull you to dreamland.

Christine Brun, ASID, is a San Diego-based interior designer and the author of "Big Ideas for Small Spaces." Send questions and comments to her by e-mail at or to Copley News Service, P.O. Box 120190, San Diego, CA 92112.

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