Are you finding it hard to rest or a get a good night's sleep in your own bedroom? Chances are, two years of work from home has turned your sanctuary into an office, making it hard to condition your mind and body to take a break.
With more workers getting called back to their offices, it's time to reclaim your bedroom or your living space in general from pandemic WFH. Interior designers say what you put inside your room and how you arrange it matters.
“We have to consider a proper balance of work and rest even in the bedroom,” Lo said.
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Allocate separate spaces for work and rest
So how do you find rest in a space that has to have room for work?
“Definitely find a distinct function of the spaces where you can easily distinguish and at the same time see and feel a blend in the space,” Lo said.
“Other people have the luxury to have separate rooms,” she said. For those in condos or smaller spaces “You have to maximize function and layout for the space.”
In any case you don’t have the means to consult a designer for layout advice, “Separate the bed from the desk area. Studies show that with proper ventilation, lighting, views, and greenery, it will definitely induce your productivity.”
Lo suggested making the work area into a multi-purpose space. “You do have provision for work and office there in the room, but it doesn’t feel like work.”
Declutter your space
Spaces for rest are a product of good design and habits. As a designer, Lo is committed to giving her clients a beautiful space that serves their needs, but it’s up to the users of the space to maintain it.
Decluttering makes room for mental clarity and peace which fosters both productivity and well-rested nights.
“Make it a habit to organize it as you go with the day, because if you leave it there as clutter somewhere on the desk, you won’t notice the days pass by, the weeks, the months, it just piles, all your things on the table.”
If you really can’t throw things out, Lo recommended investing in storage solutions. “The less you see, the less cluttered it feels.”
Just don’t let it be an excuse to stay cluttered in secret.
Colors and decor matter
Each person is different and it’s really a matter of finding what’s comfortable for you. Here are Lo’s recommended textiles and colors for a more tranquil room.
For the casual feel and look, you can’t go wrong with cotton or linen in very light, neutral tones. Avoid harsh textures. Classic, elegant rooms will benefit from silkier materials and textiles.
“My go-to color scheme is really just a neutral color palette because it’s really easy to match and it’s timeless going forward,” Lo said. If the client decides to change the look, the color scheme is easy to complement.
For accent colors, she prefers muted tones over vibrant hues. “Earthy tones also give you a closer touch to nature. It helps you achieve a more serene and tranquil overall ambience as well.”
Serene blue, sea green, and even Pantone color of the year Very Peri can be used as accent colors to add some visual interest to your space.
For decor, soft, plush items invite relaxation. “Throw pillows, blankets, and maybe a change of blinds or curtains or drapes to make it softer,” she said.
For those who can’t commit to a full paint job, “You can upgrade your walls also with wall coverings.”
“The trend nowadays is organic, nature-driven design, you can add a few greenery whether it’s real or synthetic. I think it’s gonna be a big help for the space because you have some nature in your surroundings. It’s gonna make you more relaxed,” she said.
Invest in lighting
Workspaces usually utilize cool light, but cozier spaces like resting areas, hotel lounges, and bedrooms use warmer lights.
If your workspace is in the room, the clashing temperatures can disorient you, so smaller lamps with different bulbs can help zone the spaces.
Daylight, or the happy medium between cool and warm, mimics the regular light we get from the sun during the day, and can be used for all spaces if you’re tight on space and budget.
Candles also add warmth via muted light and a scent of your choice can set the mood for restful sleep.
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A little bit of feng shui
Mirrors in bedrooms are a no-no for feng shui, a Chinese traditional practice that aims at harnessing good energy from surroundings. Decluttering is number one, but also try to keep full body mirrors outside of the room. If you’re low on space, Lo recommends concealing in a sliding door wardrobe or in the cabinet.
You could still have one in your room and cover it up with a cloth or shawl when you’re sleeping, but Lo said it might be a hassle in the long run.
When it comes to layout, avoid positioning your bed in a way that puts your feet or head facing the door as it resembles the dead man’s position, or how bodies are carried out.
Work with a budget
Thanks to online shopping and IKEA, most of the stuff you need for a change “is readily available already. It won’t be such a challenge. Now I think we have improved, innovated items and solutions,” Lo said.
“It depends on the scale of renovation you want,” Lo said plenty of people are doing DIY projects for “facelifts” instead of full renovations, which are on the more affordable end, as small changes can be made over time as opposed to fully renovating a room.
“It will definitely rely on your resourcefulness,” she said.