How to make a cozy bedroom in 6 easy steps
Tara Leaver, artist and owner of the barn conversion that we are currently renovating, asked me how to make a cozy bedroom. Having worked together to produce her ideal design, I would like to share the 6 easy steps that we took to achieve it, as well as the designs themselves. (Before and After photos available soon!)
Building a soulful home takes careful consideration and self reflection. It's a very personal process and that is why I decided to spend these Soulful Home series posts, taking you behind-the-scenes of Taras interior design renovation.
As we follow the renovation step by step I will be sharing all the room designs and shopping lists as downloadable pdfs. If you want to recreate the bedroom style that we have put together just click the link at the bottom of this post for the cozy bedroom giveaway!
Bedrooms, by their very nature have one very important function: to promote rest and relaxation. They therefore need to be pre-programmed with the right characteristics in order to do their job properly.
A cozy bedroom by definition needs to be comforting, soft and warm. We need our bedrooms to help us feel intimate, snug, safe, restful, secure and sheltered.
Bedrooms that we find uncomfortable, depressing, irritating, awkward, cramped and wearisome can actually have a profoundly negative affect on our ability to relax and rejuvenate.
How to make a cozy bedroom in 6 easy steps.
In order to create our own personal slices of heaven it's imperative to start with a bit of preparation.
I'm talking PRE decoration stage. The first three steps call for organisation and a good bit of Pinterest inspiration - (heres mine)!
Aside from the obvious culling of excess belongings, it's important to take a look at how our storage needs are met (or not, should the case may be?) We are often so busy at 'life' that our homes can play tricks on our senses and we lose the ability to see things objectively. I have seen cases where whole wardrobes are used to store a few boxes of miscellaneous items and yet drawers overflow with clothes.
Once effective storage needs have been met, we then have a clean slate to work with and this is where the magic can start to happen.
(The next blog series will include posts on Decluttering and Organisation - if this sounds like you, add your details at the end of this post and I will email you the links as soon as they are available)
From an efficiency perspective (I'm all about the efficiency) we need to make sure there is enough space to manoeuvre around the bed (ideally each side). It is important to be able to reach the curtains or blinds, and that nothing is blocking their ability to open and close. We also need to be able to open each draw and cupboard without obstacles getting in the way.
These logistical and ergonomic factors are crucial in avoiding us feeling irritated, awkward and cramped.
The most familiar (but often immensely successful) interior layout is to position the bed centrally against the back wall of the bedroom. This creates an opportunity to place two very useful bedside tables symmetrically either side of the bed, which then offer surfaces for bedside lamps.
This step is the first stage of the design process and works most affectively when the previous 2 steps have already been completed. With a streamlined and clutter-free canvas, we can begin to imagine our personalised design scheme.
Focal points are designed to channel our attention to a particular view of the room. I try to create my focal points on the wall opposite or adjascent to the open door so that they are easy to see upon entering. This has the added advantage of providing a calm, soothing view, even when you are just passing by.
The best example of a focal point is behind the bed. This can be anything from a painted or papered wall to a tall headboard with matching bedside lamps drawing your eye to a centred piece of artwork. In the header image above, there is a break in the wall panelling to allow for a slimline shelf. This widens the focal point and provides a great baseline to add interesting objects to. A wide focal point, such as this shelf, also offers the opportunity to play with asymmetry and balance when displaying your treasured pieces, and is a trick we are using in Taras design.
Here are some great examples of other focal points to consider for your bedroom design.
Textures and Textiles
Once you have organised your bedroom storage, created a layout with good flow and installed your favourite focal point feature, its time to add some texture!
Adding textiles to your streamlined design, has a big impact on the success of your 'cozy'. The more you layer up the look, the cozier the room will feel. If you live in a warm climate or it's summertime, think about layering soft cottons and linens. If it's a cold or stormy season, there is nothing like woollens or (fake) fur to stoke the look.
Doubling up the layers with blinds inside the window reveal and curtains on the outside (with an exterior window box if you want to go ALL IN) add to the cocoon affect.
Cushions with added textures, tassels, pom-poms or exposed stitching, as well as a throw (or two!) can transform sleep into hibernation.
Finally, slide a rug underneath the bed. Choose one that is large enough to soften your tread underfoot as you creep out of bed, but not too large that it trips you up as you navigate around the room.
Lighting has super powers over interiors and can cast powerful spells when used in the right way. Depending on the size of your room I would advise at least two bedside lamps with low wattage bulbs, just light enough to read comfortably by. If your bedroom is large enough for a chest of drawers, I would add another lamp here.
Lastly, and possibly the most powerful of all 6 techniques in 'how to make a cozy bedroom' is personalisation. Comfort comes in many forms, from a soft woollen throw to a big warm hug, and so including heartfelt objects and favourite colours or patterns in our designs can add to our sense of belonging.
Finding the 'cozy' that embraces our souls, rejuvenates our minds and offers the rest and relaxation we need to nourish our bodies is what home is all about.
If you would like to access my FREE printable bedroom design, or to simply keep in touch, just click the button below!
If you missed the previous design giveaways they are still available to download via the following posts: