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“Rules” of Bedroom Design That Were Made to be Broken

This guest post is courtesy of the Tuck Sleep Foundation

Design rules are there for a reason. They give direction when you don’t know where to begin, and they can help keep you from making design choices you’ll regret a year or two down the road. Sometimes it’s better to think of the rules as a gray area open to interpretation rather than a line that shouldn’t be crossed. Sometimes, breaking the rules creates designs that better express your personality and fit your lifestyle.

The Right Mattress Height

At one point in time, mattress heights were fairly standard but not anymore. With the rise of minimalism, many are taking their mattresses to the floor or barely above it. Low bed frames or platforms add interest and eliminate the impact of the bed, which is usually the focal point of the bedroom. Instead, you can opt for an oversized painting or art piece as a headboard. A low bed gives plenty of visual space to play with.

You don’t have to sacrifice comfort for a minimal bed look. Modern mattresses are designed to be used with only a platform. If you need a little bit of height, try a mattress topper that gives you an extra one to four inches and adds incredible comfort.

When in Doubt, Paint the Room White

True, white is a classic, but in some rooms and light, it can look dingy and stark. Many people jump right to white walls because it reduces visual noise, but it’s not the only color that keeps things streamlined. A bold wall color in a small bedroom with tall ceilings goes from boring to grand. The color draws attention to the high ceilings, and as long as you do pattern and texture right, it won’t feel visually cluttered.

If you don’t have high ceilings but want something dramatic, paint the walls and ceiling the same color so the eye doesn’t stop at the ceiling. If using a bold color makes you nervous, an accent wall might be all you need. Make sure it’s the same wall the bed will be up against to keep a central focal point.

Don’t Mix Patterns

This rule has been under fire for the last few years, but it’s definitely one to challenge. Patterns done right can make a room feel like a piece of art. The key—vary the scale. A small floral pattern on the wall paired with a small geometric pattern on an accent chair can overwhelm the eyes. Start with one central pattern, either large or small. From there, vary the size as you add pillows, curtains, and rugs.

Large patterns work best on large spaces like the walls. While small-scale patterns work best in nooks and small doses like pillows or an upholstered chair. Rather than cramped or busy, the right pattern pairings can make a bedroom feel cozy and inviting.

Use Mirrors to Expand Your Space

Mirrors used right can make a space feel bright and open as they reflect natural light or a stunning window view. However, sometimes reflections only leave you with boring reflections and too many mirrors. This is especially true in small spaces. Sometimes in an attempt to make a room feel bigger, we forget the character of the space. Artwork hung from floor to ceiling or a built-in corner bench bring a cozy feel without overwhelming the space or making it feel like a boring reflection.

Tuck Sleep Foundation is a community devoted to improving sleep hygiene, health and wellness through the creation and dissemination of comprehensive, unbiased, free web-based resources. Tuck has been featured on NPR, Lifehacker, Radiolab and is referenced by many colleges/universities and sleep organizations across the web.



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