For those seeking a useful way to spend their time during social distancing—or anyone simply interested in forging a deeper connection with their homes—HB has launched Home Love, a series of daily tips and ideas to make every minute indoors more productive (and gratifying! Your bedroom is where you spend time regenerating, resetting, refreshing (really all the positive "re-words"). But there are definitely little ways to bring the magic back to our personal spaces, and who better to tap than interior designers who are upgrading their bedrooms as they navigate this new stressful lifestyle themselves?
I asked Los Angeles-based interior designer Jenn Feldman (who also happens to be a comforting presence even 3,000 miles away through the phone) and NYC-based decorator Shanti Crawford of Indigo & Ochre Design to learn how we can all update our own bedrooms to enhance rest and relaxation.
"This isn't about major overhauls; I just want to look back and say not only did I survive, but I thrived in the simplest ways that I could to maintain and appreciate the space that you worked so hard to create. We have to be realists about this and just be present and do the littlest things that make your environment feel like it's coming to life in a different way," she reminds us.
"None of us want be in this situation, but we're in it, so we can at least keep our spaces clean, which can it can make you feel like you're at least in control of your own room," Feldman says. Whether you feel like embarking on an actual DIY project and repainting the entire bedroom or you just want to touch up your white walls, a little freshening up can go a long way. Check out our favorite bedroom colors and how to decorate around them here, or simply touch up yoru dry wall with a Magic Eraser to get rid of smudges and marks.
"Even taking off a pillow case and running it in the dryer for ten minutes (or simply letting it air out if you don't have access to laundry machines and spraying it with a fabric refresher) can make it feel more fresh and help reset things a bit," Feldman explains. Things like a noise machine, charger, carafe of whatever, a eye mask, lip balm, etc. With that in mind, some good things to to keep in your bedroom could be "a stack of books that we’ve been meaning to read (or re-read) and now have the time to do so or a framed photograph of people and/or places we love," Crawford suggests.
It may sound simple, but she believes that having a living thing next to the bed can help us "remember the simplicity of being alive." Allowing yourself to have other sensory experiences that help you focus on physical comforts and bring you outside of your head can make such a difference inn your mindset and mood. Feldman tells us she keeps cycling between two cashmere sweaters she splurged on, and the same can done with soft, comforting throw blankets. I wanted to be able to look at photos that make me happy, so now that I'm spending more time inn the bedroom, I moved them in there" the designer says. If you're bedroom is suddenly moonlighting as a home office, there are a few things you can do to signal the change in use-case as the work day comes to a close. Whether it's dragging in a side table and stool to work to, installing a floating shelf as a little desk, actually getting out of bed will help maintain it as your relaxing sanctuary as opposed to associating it with stress and deadlines.
"During this incredibly stressful time, I think it is more important than ever to have a place to retreat to from the constant influx of (bad) news and worrisome statistics, so to the extent that we can at least keep laptops and phones elsewhere over night, I think that’s not a terrible choice. If that’s one habit I can carry over from self-isolation into the future, I’ll be delighted…looking for silver linings where I can," Crawford advises. "One of the things that comes up in every conversation is choosing the right light bulb, and whether or not that actually makes a difference," says Feldman. She always chooses LED soft white light bulbs for a gentle glow that's not too bright nor too dark.