Your bedroom is one of the most intimate areas of your home. Not only is it the place you retreat to and recharge every night, but it’s also the first space you see when you wake up in the morning. That’s why it’s so important to design a bedroom setup that helps you unwind at the end of the day — and that you actually enjoy spending time in.
As we continue to hunker down safely at home during the pandemic, there’s no better time than now to transform your bedroom into the serene sanctuary it deserves to be. From soothing color palettes to feng shui-friendly furniture arrangements, here are eight zen bedroom ideas to help create a more tranquil space.
Ask any holistic interior designer and they’ll say the same: Good lighting is essential in any space. Along with elevating the ambiance of a bedroom, studies suggest that rooms with carefully considered lighting can lower stress levels, improve the quality of sleep you’re getting, and boost your mood.
To create a more calming bedroom scene, outfit the windows in drapes or shades that allow as much natural sunlight to stream in as possible during the day. No south-facing windows in your bedroom? No problem. Ambient accent lighting, such as wall sconces, and even string or fairy lights can help cast a warm, soothing glow throughout your bedroom — even when it’s dark outside.
Aromatherapy is a many-splendored thing. Not only can certain fragrances make your bedroom smell amazing, but studies also show that specific scents, including lavender, eucalyptus, and sandalwood, have the ability to alleviate stress and anxiety.
To enjoy the perks of aromatherapy while relaxing in your bedroom, consider investing in an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser for your nightstand. Surprisingly stylish and simple-to-use, ultrasonic diffusers, like the Stone Diffuser at Vitruvi, disperse essential oils into the air as an aromatic mist. Or, try a plug-in essential oil diffuser, such as the Bamboo Pluggable Diffuser at Airomé, for a small space-friendly alternative that won’t take up any bedside surface space.
A little greenery goes a long way when you’re trying to make your bedroom more zen. Not only do houseplants naturally release oxygen (improving the airflow in your home), research shows that simply looking at a leafy green plant can help lower stress levels and lift your spirits.
Style your windowsill with a couple of high oxygen-releasing houseplants, such as snake plants or heartleaf philodendron, to keep the air fresh and clean in your bedroom. Or, for a low-light tolerating plant that will thrive in a bedroom that doesn’t receive a lot of sunlight, place a ZZ plant or Pothos on your bedside table.
Soothing Color Palette
Make no mistake about it: Interior color isn’t just decorative — it can affect your mood and quality of life. Certain colors, like bright red and yellow, can promote productivity and creativity, while others, including whites, grays, and blues, can help quell anxiety and create a more soothing atmosphere.
To keep the vibe calm and peaceful in your bedroom, stick to a soothing color palette of neutral tones, such as Horizon OC-53 (pale grey) or White Dove OC-17 (a warm white) by Benjamin Moore, Gray Screen by Sherwin-Williams (light gray), or Greige by Clare (grayish beige). If you can’t bear the thought of colorless walls, consider a laidback earth tone, like Sage Green by Behr (a grayish-green) or Skylight by Farrow & Ball (a pale blue with gray undertones), to bring a pop of personality to your bedroom that still feels peaceful.
View this post on Instagram
Creating visual harmony is key when designing a zen bedroom. Along with maximizing the airflow of a room, holistic designers, including Anjie Cho in her book Holistic Spaces: 108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home, say that decorating with feng shui — the Chinese art of arranging spaces to promote positive energy—in mind can help usher good vibes into your bedroom.
To create a visually balanced bedroom that draws from principles of feng shui, start by centering your bed as close to the middle of the room as possible to ensure it is equally accessible on both sides. Also, make sure that the foot of your bed doesn’t face the door because it is believed that this will draw good energy out of your bedroom while you sleep. Finally, feng shui enthusiasts recommend employing a pair of nightstands, one on either side of the bed, to achieve symmetry and visual balance in your bedroom.
Reduce Visual Clutter
Nothing ruins a zen bedroom vibe faster than too much visual clutter. This doesn’t mean that you have to go full-on minimalist when designing your bedroom, however, you should do your best to keep impractical items — think bulky furniture pieces and flashy décor accessories — to a minimum to create a more calm and tranquil space.
To minimize visual distractions in your bedroom, stick to the bare bone essentials, such as a bed, bedside light and nightstands, when outfitting the space. If your bedroom currently doubles as a work-from-home station, consider sectioning off your desk area with a ceiling-mounted curtain or folding screen to carve out a designated WFH nook. Ensure that all storage is hidden from plain sight, either in a closet, dresser, or concealed container, and opt for simple, neutral artwork and wall décor, like clean-lined mirrors and floating planters, to infuse some personality into a bedroom without overpowering the space.
Your bedroom is where you rest and recharge every night. To forge a serene bedroom set up, take care to dress your bed in sumptuous fabrics, such as buttery soft long-staple cotton and breathable Belgian flax linen, to ensure you get the best possible sleep at night.
Invest in bedsheets and comforters composed of plush, single-ply thread counts and blankets with smooth finishes and weaves, like crisp percale and satiny sateen, so that you can drift off to dreamville faster when you get into bed at night. As a rule of thumb, the finer the fabric, the higher the thread count, so look for a thread count of at least 250 cotton when shopping for bedding. For example, Egyptian cotton, which is composed of softer, finer yarns than regular cotton, typically boasts a thread count of 400 to 700.
If you have a hard time falling asleep, consider a weighted comforter, with built-in beads that provide deep pressure therapy (DPT), to naturally relax your nervous system and create a more restful sleeping environment.
Less noise makes for a more relaxing bedroom environment. Whether it’s a noisy roommate, loud neighbors, or the sound of traffic outside your window, there are simple ways you can decorate your bedroom to keep annoying sounds at bay.
To score a more soundproof bedroom space, start by hanging blackout-lined drapes or shades to insulate your windows and block out unwanted outdoor noise. Additionally, a thick soundproofing rug pad, can help absorb sound and reduce external noise when placed under a bedroom rug. If that doesn’t do the trick, consider a naturally noise-reducing wallcovering, like cork wallpaper, to help soften loud sounds and vibrations.
We only recommend products we have independently researched, tested, and loved. If you purchase a product found through our links, Sunday Edit may earn an affiliate commission.