I’ve stayed in some pretty terrible accommodation over the years.
There was the blood-spotted linen of a bedbug-infested hostel in Rome. The Thai bungalow where our toilet emptied directly onto the ground below the bed. Not to mention the leaky Dodge van named Esme that we slept in for a month in the Floridian summer. Rancid pillows. Mouldy floors. Amorous hostel room-mates. You name it, we’ve seen it. And I haven’t regretted a moment.
Despite the potential pitfalls, people (myself definitely included) still love a getaway. So what makes a night or two in a hotel – a decent, non-bedbug-infested one – such an appealing prospect?
Is it the fact that it’s a break? A little luxury? An escape?
Or is it the fact that a hotel room has:
- clutter-free surfaces – an alarm clock, a phone, a magazine or two
- minimal decor – a print or two on the wall and some cushions on the bed
- everything in its place – even the dinky little mini-kettle
- storage space – luggage, clothes, toiletries, they all have a spot
- somewhere to sit and read – other than the bed
The drawcard is probably a combination of the two factors. Yes, it’s a getaway, but it also means we’re entering a space of relative calm, order and peace.
It’s this feeling of calm, order and peace that we need to create in our own homes. Particularly our bedrooms – the supposed haven of the home.
Because, let’s face it, a hotel room is an escape, but it’s also likely to be undistinguishable from hundreds of others, uniformly dull and devoid of life. You wouldn’t want to sleep in one for ever.
Your Home is Better Than a Hotel
Your home is better than a hotel, because you can have all these things – the clear surfaces, minimal decor, a place for everything, adequate storage – with added benefits.
In your bedroom in your home, you can:
- get rid of the gadgets and enjoy a tech-free haven
- open the windows and let fresh air in
- make the bed as soon as you get up
- inject some personality with your decor/furnishings
- choose the best window coverings for privacy and light
- use safe, green cleaners rather than dangerous commercial options
- create storage as required, rather than be stuck with an oversized wardrobe you don’t need
How to Create a Simple, Slow Bedroom
Again with the decluttering? Yes! It’s the single best way to promote calm, clear out dust and give a breath of fresh air.
2. Go Small
The smaller the space, the better your chances of really simplifying. If you have a large bedroom with tonnes of furniture, shelving and wardrobe space, you’re simply likely to fill it with stuff.
If your bedroom is large, consider moving to a smaller room or designating half the space for chilling out. No furniture aside from a couch or chair to encourage reading, quiet time or early-morning meditation.
3. Get Rid of the Gadgets
No TV, no phones, no laptops and no smartphones. No kidding. (I am guilty of the phone-next-to-the-bed sin. But I certainly sleep better and drift off faster with some tech-free time before bed.)
4. Light and Airy
You want good natural light, fresh air, effective window coverings that keep the room private but allow the daylight in, as well a lamp next to the bed. Reading, dressing, loving – you want the room to be comfortable for all its intended purposes.
5. Somewhere to Sit (Other than the bed.)
Aside from the bed, nightstand and wardrobe, the only other furniture to consider is a small bench or chair.
A bench at the end of the bed is a great option as it gives you somewhere to sit while putting on your shoes and somewhere to lay out clothes for the next day. Avoid using it as a dumping ground for laundry, dirty clothes and handbags – this will just return the clutter you’re trying to clear out. And if you don’t think you can avoid that, then consider a small chair instead.
An occasional weekend away is a delightful thing, but you may find that your stress levels subside, your sleep quality improves and your need to ‘escape’ lessens if you’re able to create a simple, slow bedroom at home.
Do you think a bedroom haven would help alleviate stress in your life? Or would you still take the weekend away?