Photography: Janis Nicolay | Story: A Traditional B.C. Home Is Made Modern With Black, White and Natural Elements
Counting sheep is passé — these design tips will help you fall asleep fast and have the best sleep possible.
Getting sufficient Zzzs at night is the only way to rise the next morning feeling relaxed and fresh. By now you know you shouldn't be on your phone right before bed and should be engaged in mindful exercises that help calm the mind — but for the best sleep, design professionals recommend taking a little time to create the bedroom of your dreams.
Whether it's offsetting street noise or blocking out ambient light, you want a room that's a sanctuary of calm. Creature comforts, such as warm (or cool) bedding, soft sheets and the right pillows along with easy-to-reach essentials are a must. And so are the pieces that make your room look as good as they make you feel.
Here, six tips to help you design a space that'll help you sleep tight.
1. Invest in super soft bedding
"Just because it's practical doesn't mean it can't be pretty," says Shirley Meisels, principal of Mhouse Inc. in Toronto. "I love soft, smooth sheets. They help me slip quickly into slumber, especially when they're a pillow-soft shade and print — like those from our Style at Home Collection bedding. An upholstered bedframe is another good idea. "It looks luxe, but just as importantly, it prevents bumped shins in the night when you get up." Denise Ashmore, principal of Project 22 Design suggests keeping a blanket at the bottom of the bed. "It's a nice touch for those times when you long for a quick nap," she says.
2. Make it cozy
"One aspect of bedroom design that often goes unaccounted for is room size," says designer Lisa Lev of Lisa Lev Design. "A smaller bedroom has a wonderful cozy factor. My own bedroom is an attic conversion, complete with sloped ceilings, and feels like a comforting cocoon." Large or small, however, all bedrooms benefit from layering. "Start with breathable linens and textured pillows, then add throws and rugs that suit your climate, or the season."
3. Have proper bedside tables
A bedside table is a must-have as it'll hold all your essentials, like a book, lamp and glass of water. "I like to keep a bottle of lavender spritz beside the bed, and a carafe with fresh water in easy reach," says Shirley. Neat freak? Opt for a bedside table that features drawers or cubbies, which are great for hiding clutter.
4. Fix house noises
"We've all been there—tip-toeing to bed, trying not to wake our snoozing partner when…squeak!" says contractor Nathan Armstrong-Whitworth of Grace Design Build in Toronto. "Whether you do it during construction or years later, it's a worthwhile investment to find and fix any squeaks in your floors." Another issue that most of us don't think of until it's too late? "Hardware choices for pocket doors," says Nathan. "Pocket doors may be great for an en-suite bathroom since they save space, but the rolling sound can seem loud at night. Investing in high-quality hardware, ideally with a soft-closing feature, reduces the noise significantly."
5. Address the light
Denise recommends layered window coverings for both light control and privacy. They lend visual warmth, even in the day. She also recommends dimmers for overhead lighting and bedside lamps that are directable. "That way, you don't wake up the other person if you want to stay up for a bit to read."
6. Have paper thin walls? Add tapestry
Rugs on the floor are a comfort, but hung on the wall, they dampen sound while lending the room worldly appeal. Opt for ones in dreamy hues to invite an evening softness into the space.