It is imperative that when going through this difficult time, the divorced person gets a good night rest. Creating an aura of tranquility is essential.
As an interior designer, I am oftentimes asked to create environments that are conducive to a “good night rest.” Of course, there is no easy answer; would that there were! Having had to personally deal with insomnia during my divorce, I am always problem-solving and looking for solutions as to what constitutes the ideal physical and aesthetic conditions in which to sleep. So, what can you do to make your sleeping environment more welcoming, comfortable, and restful? There are actually several things you can do to make your home conducive to sleep at this difficult time. Below are some design suggestions that will help create a comfortable sleeping experience.
• COLOR has a strong pull on our emotional psyches. To sleep better, we need a very serene environment. Blue, tinged with a grey tone, is soft and inviting. It should be combined with off-whites. Best to stay away from bold, vibrant color combinations. Pastels are effective, but blue is the color of calm and serenity.
• DRAPERY has a strong effect on mitigating the light in a room. Always have your curtains lined and then interlined with a blackout liner. If the confines of your window will allow, place a blackout shade (this does not mean it is the color black) to cut out the initial layer of light that may penetrate your bedroom. In addition, the side panel draperies should be interlined with blackout fabric, as well.
• MIRRORS should be kept at a minimum, as both light and sound bounce off of them creating disturbance. Smaller and more decorative ones are best.
• CEILING HEIGHTS should be lowered and moderated over the bed, if possible. This is because if the ceiling is so high, it lacks a humanistic appeal to scale, proportion and ratio, making the sleeper feels lost sometimes. More enclosed spaces are more comforting to the individual.
• BEDS can be canopied or four-posted as a light inhibiting precaution. The fabric panels around the enclosed bed add yet another layer of darkness.
• WAINSCOTING is a highly effective tool in creating a comfortable bedroom. Create a chair rail close to even with the height of your bed, which will run around the perimeter of your room. Below the chair rail, either paper or upholster the wall. Wainscoting positioned around your bedroom will give you a sense of enclosure, thus evoking a comforting feeling and adding to a sense of well-being.
• WALL UPHOLSTERY is essential in sound absorption. At an optimum, the entire wall should be padded and upholstered with fabric. A second best option is wallpaper.
• WALLPAPER is a good choice if you decide not to upholster the walls. It is good to use an overall muted pattern, one that is recessive and doesn’t pop out.
• TELEVISIONS should not be in the bedroom, period. If one is present, don’t locate directly across from the bed; the temptation is too great to focus on watching it. Instead, an option is to place it to one side of the bed.
• SOUND comes across in various mediums. Soft sounding music, like those of a meditative nature, are great. The rhythmic patterns are similar to the rhythmic patterns of the decor in the room.
• MATTRESSES are vital in experiencing proper sleep. Make sure you purchase a good quality firm mattress that will ensure comfort and body contour. If you are uncomfortable during the night in your bed, you will stay awaken.
• CARPET your bedroom with plush, smooth wool or silk. These fibers are closely knit to be effective sound absorbents. Again, pay attention to the colors and patterns.
• PICTURES next to the bed should be of people you like to be around, and not disturbing in nature.
• BEDDING should be Egyptian cotton weave. Again, it is very tightly woven and sound absorbent in addition to feeling silky smooth. Great bed linens will make you feel all cozy and comforted.
• LIGHTING is best when ambient and local. This means that both an overhead light that disperses overall light set on a dimmer along with localized lights, like bedside table lamps, are most effective. Sconces are also great because the lighting is usually quite soft. All lighting should be on a dimmer, if possible.
• ARTWORK needs to be comfortable to the eye, no nightmarish disturbing images. Pastoral scenes, landscapes, beautiful vistas are good whether modern or representational.
• ACCESSORIES should be kept to a minimum. Just surround yourself with objects that make you feel good about yourself.
• CLEAR AND CLEAN is best, stay uncluttered. Too many objects for the eye to bounce off of is disruptive. It’s just more to think about at night, when you need to reduce your intake of thoughts.
In creating a comforting serene, peaceful environment, perhaps one can now hope “to sleep, perchance to dream”.
Gail Green is an interior designer whose firm Gail Green Interiors practices interior design, architecture and decorating. With a full understanding of the complex position a recently divorced person faces, Gail Green Interiors enables them to transition smoothly from one home to another, taking care of their decorating or renovation responsibilities.