If you haven’t updated your bedroom in a while, January is the ideal time to assess and refresh it, which in turn should refresh you. Redoing the bedroom according to current sensibilities will take into consideration not only decor, but health and perhaps even elements of feng shui, the ancient Chinese practice of harmonizing the elements of the environment.
Here are three key ways to re-feather your nest.
If your furniture is still serving you well but you want to “feel fresh and new, the best way you can do that is to change the headboard,” says Katie Small, design center manager at Ethan Allen’s store in Wichita, Kansas. “You don’t have to match.”
The vast majority of headboards sold these days are upholstered rather than made in plain wood, says Brenda Cody of the Ferguson-Phillips home goods store. Either way, a headboard adds the first layer of color or texture to what you’re creating visually on the bed. Small says it also adds much-needed height.
The bed is the No. 1 piece of furniture that makes the most impact on your life in terms of where it’s placed, and the headboard for sure. Robyn Stevens of Robyn Stevens Feng Shui
Freestanding headboards with a bed skirt are no longer in fashion, Cody says. Instead, beds either have head and footboards, or a headboard with a platform rather than a footboard.
Beyond design, if you’re one of those people who don’t have a headboard, you might consider one for another reason. Having a sturdy headboard is considered good support for your body during sleep, just as a chairback supports you when you’re seated, according to the principles of feng shui.
“As Americans, we’re focused on the mattress and getting a good night’s sleep,” Cody says. “If you don’t have the structure, you don’t have as much support. I think it makes a big difference.”
“The bed is the No. 1 piece of furniture that makes the most impact on your life in terms of where it’s placed, and the headboard for sure,” says Robyn Stevens of Robyn Stevens Feng Shui in Kansas City, Missouri. “When you’re lying down, the headboard needs to be above your head. You know, some of the modern ones are shorter.”
“Our subconscious needs to feel safe when we’re sleeping, and the best way is to make sure the head is protected,” Stevens adds. That also includes putting the bed in the proper place.
“Ideally you want your headboard against a wall. You want it facing the door. You don’t want it in the door, but you want to be able to see the door. … Think about Tony Soprano: Nobody is ever going to sneak up on that guy,” she says.
Storage under the bed is considered bad feng shui, because it hinders the movement of energy around the body. But it doesn’t take feng shui to know that too much stuff around us does not make for a restful feeling.
COOL AND EASY-CARE FABRIC
Many people are discovering that sleeping cool is one of the ingredients of sleeping better. Even while the dictates of design call for dressing the bed in layers — sheets, a light blanket or coverlet, then a duvet or other throw at the bottom of the bed — Cody says that most people sleep under only the sheet and coverlet.
Ferguson-Phillips no longer sells heavy down comforters. “A lot of our companies are doing much lighter-weight duvets,” Cody says. People also like the lighter down blankets, which also can be placed into duvet covers.
No matter what the weight of the coverings, Cody says, look for lots of texture in them, and in shams and throw pillows. In addition to natural fibers, look for new fabrics that are easier to care for.
“I think most companies now are taking into consideration the feel and the care of the fabric. … We’re even getting synthetic silks and polyester silks that are washable,” she says.
Because of allergy concerns, some people like to regularly wash bedding in hot water and dry it on a hot setting. Such people should stick with cotton, Cody says. As far as fabrics for sheets, high-end cottons are still the choice; microfiber is too hot.
PUTTING COLOR TO IT
Bedroom looks this year are romantic but also streamlined, Small says. A French provincial look at Ethan Allen, for example, has a Scandinavian sensibility that gives it cleaner, more modern lines. “It’s very light and fresh,” Small says. And while monochromatic looks have been big for a while, new ones are more elevated and gilded.
Bedroom looks this year are romantic but also streamlined.
Caramel is a big bedroom color, Small says. The more traditional blue and white never go out of style. Gray is still big, a neutral that accentuates a pop of color such as a soft celadon.
And if you want a calming feel as well? Add some pink to your bedroom, one of Pantone’s colors of the year (along with blue).
“Pink and tones of coral are the most soothing,” Small says. “It’s amazing how a little bit here and there elevates the calmness of a room.”
Mix patterns and pay attention to scale while building your layers. “The most crucial decor element is layers. It’s like dressing ourselves,” Small says.
And lest you feel like you can’t afford to always keep up with trends, they do transition cleanly from year to year so that you can build in new things, like a rug or bedding, without having to redo everything, Small says.