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5 ways to make your room an ambient haven of relaxation

Are you feeling stressed? Take a look at your bedroom, it could be part of the problem. Nowadays our bedrooms serve far too many purposes. Far more than simply a place to rest our heads at the end of the day, our bedrooms have become offices, movie rooms, study dens and even dining rooms.
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Eating food in bed

While we can appreciate the idea of Sunday morning breakfast in bed (who can’t?) we’re not so sure about watching TV in bed with a dinner tray every evening. And as for working the night away – hunched over a laptop on one side of our bedroom, with the bed nothing but a distant dream on the other – surely we must draw the line somewhere? Our bedrooms should, ideally, be havens of relaxation. Where we can switch off from the day around us and transition into full chill-out mode. That means not continuing to stress about work, and not confusing our sleeping spot with a place to eat our dinner. Easier said than done, we know!

The not-so-easy art of switching off

We all know that feeling of getting into bed only to find ourselves wide awake thanks to a buzzing mind, which simply won’t switch off from the day’s events. This is far less likely to happen, though, if we associate our bedrooms with switching off and relaxation. The minute we walk through our bedroom door we should cease to be worried professionals with impossible schedules, and instead become cosy book-readers, committed yawners, and seriously satisfied snoozers. So how do we achieve this effect asides from simply ridding our rooms of desks and laptops? Read on to find out…

Sleeping

1. Lighting

As a rule of thumb all rooms should have three different layers of lighting to achieve the perfect mix of practicality and ambience. These include general background or ambient lighting, task lighting for activities like reading, and feature lighting – which should be about three times as bright as ambient lighting. So, if you still haven’t got around to investing in good, layered lighting in your bedroom, the chances are it’s erring on the stark side of things. To rectify this, be sure to invest in some statement lamps that both look great and provide soft, relaxing lighting (provided you choose warm/white bulbs). If you want to take things a step further and achieve a truly ambient look, you could explore the world of LED lighting. A couple of strips by the bed or on the walls will give your bedroom an instant soothing glow.

2. Bedding

Bedding is more important than you think when it comes to creating an atmosphere of cosiness and comfort in a room, with texture playing an important role. Make your bed a place you can’t resist with layered blankets and cushions. If you have a divan bed base like this, opt for an oversized throw that flows to the ground, softening the bed’s appearance and blending it in with the room. While divan beds with drawers are fantastic for storing all of those little floor-bound knick-knacks that can make a room feel chaotic, they can look clunky when not dressed properly. Play with fabrics like silk and velvet – mixing and matching to create a textured, eclectic feel. And why not string some fairy lights over the headboard to create a twinkling den evoking magical rather than stressful thoughts? It’s all about layering, layering and then layering some more. That way you can build up a feeling of warmth and tranquillity that will set your room apart from the rest of the house.

Beautiful bed

3. Soft furnishings and additional touches

Soft furnishings don’t have to be limited to bedding alone. Additional touches such as flowers, rugs and wall hangings create a cosy, homely environment. Opt for pale curtains that pool on the floor instead of blinds. Fill corners with green house plants, bright bouquets or something funkier – we love cacti and succulent plants. Bringing a little of the outdoors in is a great way to calm the mind.

4. Wall colour

While it may be tempting to go for deep colours to achieve an ambient and luxurious look, darker tones can lead to a room that feels more oppressive than opulent. Opt instead for cooler blues and greens, proven to have calming effects (source). Dusty shades can also be soothing, making off-pinks, lilacs and greys fantastic options too. If you want to make a statement, there’s no harm in one wall of block colour in something like a deep aubergine. Offsetting this against three cream walls is a great way to bring character a room while ensuring it retains a calming and spacious ambience.

5. Candles

Candles should be reserved for blackouts and romantic dinners, right? Wrong! Candles have incredibly relaxing properties and can provide an extra dimension to your bedroom’s lighting. There’s a mesmerising quality to candlelight, which offers soft illumination and can genuinely help you to unwind at the end of a long day. Many believe the gentle flickering of a flame to be restorative, calming the mind into a relaxed state and setting you up for a good night’s sleep. If a naked flame feels like too much of a fire hazard, there are very realistic imitation candles on the market too. Whether you struggle to switch off from work or are guilty of ruining your room’s tranquillity with clutter or worse, you’ll be sure to benefit from these simple tips. Creating a space that’s peaceful and ambient has boundless benefits for both your body and mind. So, don’t delay any longer – go back to basics and turn your room into the relaxing, restorative and ultimately restful place it’s supposed to be.

Bedroom

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