Moving Home N°4: Creating a calm, balanced bedroom

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What does your bedroom look like? And, more importantly, what does it feel like? In the past fourteen years, I’ve had so many different versions of a bedroom, from a single, closet-like space to an all-in-one studio-like setup— I even spent a few months renting space in someone’s living room, sleeping on a mattress. The last few years, however, I’ve had very decent options and I’ve noticed a pattern in my approach to designing and arranging my bedroom.

What’s very important to me is a sense of harmony: a feeling of calm and balance that helps me detach very quickly from the rest of the world and, sometimes, even the rest of the home. Here, more than most other rooms, I find texture and sensual stimuli play a very important role in creating a harmonious whole—for me, this is a space to relax, to re-charge, to be inspired and since I start and end my days here, a very key part of my life.

I like to keep the furniture very minimal and we currently have just a bed, an beautiful old secretary that’s been in F’s family for a few generations and a chair that gets carried out onto the balcony when we’re sitting there. Having so little means each object has a very defined presence and it takes time to create an arrangement that feels harmonious yet dynamic. I tend to stay away from too much symmetry and repetition and so things have to sit together for a while before I get a sense of whether they work together or not.

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Texture is a huge factor in our bedroom—I love layering it in all its different nuances. I recently came across this quote by Paul Klee and was so struck by it, because it’s exactly what I believe in and practise: “One eye sees, the other feels”. It emphasises how one object and texture is perceived so differently by our different senses and therefore how carefully one must combine or present things to create a certain atmosphere.

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We’re lucky to have beautiful wooden floors and a thick wooden beam in the wall, since both these give our room a really unique feel. I wanted to echo the warmth of the wood in the frames on the wall—I usually tend toward black or white frames and was very unsure when I tried these— and was so pleasantly surprised at how beautiful they are and how different the art in them feels as compared to in black or white. All the fabrics in the room are white—another uniting factor—but are very different from each other and I feel this helps keep the space from feeling too slick and shiny. The throw is one of my treasures—it’s a vintage piece I found on a trip to Rajasthan, packed into a huge stack of over a hundred other pieces. It was the only white one in the bundle and I love how the minimal coloured embroidery brings it to life. I found the rag rug in a store in Prague and lugged it back, it was a great find as well, with its soft, fluffy texture thats great for feet early in the morning as well for the eye!

I also love adding plants to every room—they’re an instant piece of living art and have such a beautiful aura of peace and calm. The aloe both organic in form yet quite linear  and sculptural and I love it occupies the space it’s in. The remaining few objects we have are books and a couple of sentimental pieces that were either gifts or souvenirs. Our art pieces were both gifts as well and therefore very special and being surrounded by these beautiful memories and them being the first and last things we look at is very moving and powerful.

Lighting is such an important part of a room and we’re still not quite there yet. We’re using the lamp I had in my last bedroom which I love for its quirky form and moveable head and it produces a beautiful, diffused light. Maybe sometime in the future I’ll swap it out with a paper lamp but for now, it’s staying!

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Here’s are a few rules we use to ensure our bedroom remains an oasis for calm and balance:

/ Make the bed every morning and leave the bedroom fresh and neat. It makes a huge difference to come back to a clean, airy space at the end of the day.

/ Have breakfast in bed together every few weeks to start off a day — usually a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

/ Be aware of the build-up of objects in the room—once we’re done reading a book, we try to put it away or give it away

/ Change the sheets every ten days or so—we use only very gently scented eco-friendly detergents to ensure we don't have harsh agents or smells in the bedroom.

I’d love to see what your bedroom looks like—do share in the comments below. Also, if you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear.

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