Use Color to Transform Your Bedroom Decor
Confession time. As much as I enjoy decorating my home and carefully choosing colors, sofas, and curtains, my bedroom is a disaster. It’s always, always, the last room that I beautify, if at all. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it’s because I know I can shut the door, and the general public is none the wiser to the decorating nightmare inside.
Think about it. After a truckload of moving boxes is delivered, the beds and the kitchen are the first to be installed. Eating and sleeping trumps all. So the days go by, and the house finally becomes a home, empty box by empty box. But because you only need a bed to sleep, not necessarily a pulled-together bedroom, your energy is depleted before you ever paint or add curtains. Getting the playroom unpacked for some peace and quiet is way more important.
How do you fix your bedroom decorating disaster?
If you're like me and need a decorating style update in the bedroom, start with color. It’s the easiest way to begin and greatly impacts the perception of the space.
Photo from iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz
The Science of Color
Did you know there is an entire science dedicated to color? Part chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, and psychology, color scientists research its effects, and their findings translate across many design fields like fashion, interior design, and digital imaging. As simple as the concept of color seems, it's anything but easy to describe.
Color’s scientific roots are based on how the eye physically perceives light and the messages that energy feeds your brain, but how we interpret color is as varied and personal as each individual on the planet. Add cultural norms, personal experiences, and eyeball capabilities to color “facts,” and the statement that the “sky is blue” becomes a little less factual to a color-blind person.
As you can see, pun intended, the color you pick for the bedroom is probably one of the more thoughtful choices you will make for a room, probably even more than the actual style. Because it is such a personal choice that can elicit intense feelings (or maybe not), taking some time to pore over paint samples on the wall in various stages of daylight is beneficial.
Take a look at these color options and their responses. I have a feeling some will appeal more than others.
Photo from iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz
Soothing and Comforting Colors
Pinks calm and soothe minds and might even help to relax muscles. That’s why, in addition to a salmon hue in bedrooms, you’ll see pink shades in hospitals and prisons.
Shades of blue are the majority’s favorite color because of its relaxing relationship with water and coolness in general. Schools use blue paint to mollify kids.
Greens are calming, reminiscent of new beginnings and Mother Nature, and are good choices for bedroom colors. They also have anti-anxiety properties that help relieve tension caused by the impulse to overeat. Hmm, that one sounds like a stretch, but hey, if it works!
Photo from iStock.com/FollowTheFlow
Vibrant and Energetic Colors
Red is vibrant, energetic, and passionate. The color gives off lots of energy. Because of its potency, about half of you will consider it an excellent idea for your bedroom, and the other half will have second thoughts.
Yellows are cheery and can stimulate your memory. They also can raise the blood pressure a little bit.
An orange hue might be one of the least used in a bedroom because it stimulates the brain to eat and reduces fatigue symptoms.
Remember, color science isn’t always exact! Your love for orange might outweigh any biological effects on your mind and not bother you at all. Color is very personal, so use a color that makes you happy.
Fun Color Facts from Around the World
Countries in Asia like China and Korea consider white a mourning or death color for funerals and would never consider wearing it on their wedding day.
Red is the best color in Asia, symbolizing good luck, prosperity, and joy. Brides wear red and receive gifts in red envelopes.
In Afghanistan, Turkey, and Greece, people wear blue, eye-shaped amulets to ward against evil eyes being cast upon them.
For many people in the Middle East, green symbolizes wealth, luck, and fertility, but in China, wearing a green hat means your wife has committed adultery. Good to know.
Photo from iStock.com/vadimguzhva
Bed and Mattress Shopping
A quick note about the bed—it typically becomes the focal point, so treat it like the star it is. Buy the best quality linens you can afford. Comfort is paramount, but save some cash on headboards and entire bed sets by surfing online stores like Overstock and the furniture clearance section on Target’s website. They have hundreds more options for bedroom furniture than their in-store shops allow.
Mattress shopping can be an ordeal, but Good Housekeeping did a good job compiling a mattress-buying guide. Plus, these are a couple of my own tips from my personal experience.
- Don’t shop for a mattress on weekends. You won’t get as much help and will feel rushed.
- Think long-term. If you might buy multiple mattresses in the future, use this as a haggling point. We spent some cash on a king-size mattress, returned for two twins a few months later, and bought them for a steal, plus free bed frames. I’ll return to the same vendor, remind them of my purchase history, and hope for savings on the full-size mattress we need.
- Free delivery is a great bonus, but a friend reminded me that the truck also picks up other people’s old mattresses for removal. So the possibility of cross-contamination of bugs and other terrifying things is there. Have the delivery team unwrap the mattress outside before the new mattress enters the house.
Once you've started your bedroom transformation, check out more from our home decorating series:
- How to Decorate Your Living Room
- Create Your Ideal Outdoor Summer Space
- How to Add Style to Your Small Bathroom
- Transform Your Spare Room: Decorating Ideas for Maximizing Space and Style
- 8 Decorating Tips for Awkward Spaces
I bet you didn’t know MBO has a decorating glossary. If you've ever wanted to know what the terms Art Nouveau or patina meant, check it out!