It’s funny how little thought we often give to spaces we spend so much time in. Outside of the place you work, chances are good that you’ll spend more time in your bedroom or home office than any place else. Even if you just sleep in your bedroom, that’s a third of your life.
Add in a home office and you can see time just slipping away in spaces that are usually not very well conceived. To make these areas of your home as inviting as possible, we’ve put together some proven design tips.
Focus on the base color. Your room should never be a circus act of colors, but at the same time, it shouldn’t be blasé either. Choose a single color that you like, and then play off of it. Build upon it with complementary colors, contrasting shades or fabrics that pick up the color in their weave.
Splurge on storage. Bedrooms and home offices require a lot of extra storage space, whether it’s for seasonal clothing or all the records you have to keep these days for taxes. Having the right kinds of storage will allow you to keep these spaces from being cluttered. Even a nightstand on each side of the bed with a couple of drawers can work wonders. If you have lots of office supplies, consider getting a cabinet with shelves, so you can hide your ink, paper, pens and other supplies until you need them.
Use warm flooring in the bedroom. If you live in the warmer south, tile or marble is fine. But if you live where the weather is seasonal, you won’t ever learn to enjoy getting out of bed in the middle of the night, only to set your feet on a cold floor. Better to go with carpet in your bedrooms. If you must have tile or marble, get an area rug for the floor next to your bed.
Keep it clean. Bedrooms or the home office are not storage areas. If they look like one, you won’t ever want to spend time in it. And if you do, you’ll always be distracted by the desire to clean up rather than get down to business, whether it’s paying the bills or a getting little extra shuteye.
Go green when possible. It’s easier than ever to add environmentally friendly touches to your bedrooms or home office. Not only can you get products made of jute, rattan, bamboos and rattan, but you can also buy products for the office or home that use recycled materials, such as old plastic milk bottles or aluminum.
Don’t cut corners. Remember that you’re spending a third of your life or more in these rooms in your home. This isn’t the place to buy cheap furniture. If you get a bargain basement mattress or inexpensive linens, you’ll pay for it with a poor night’s sleep. Same with the home office. If your office furniture isn’t comfortable, you won’t do your best work. Having an expensive dining room set is nice, but how often do you use it compared to your bed?
Consider your schedule. These days, people work around the clock. If you work swing or graveyard, you may want to go with darker shades or window treatments for the windows so your room stays dark when it’s light outside. If you work variable shifts, go with opaque shades or blinds instead so you can adjust the amount of light your bedroom receives.
Make it homey. Finally, make your bedroom or home office feel at home. Fill it with the things you love and the things that give you peace and serenity. Photos of family and friends, souvenirs, memories, artwork and other personal items are ideal for these two spaces. These are the private areas in your home, so make them uniquely yours. If you do, you’ll find you’ll spend more time there and get more done.