• Design your bedroom to make you feel that "you're important in your own home," she said. "A lot of people put off doing their bedroom [in favor of] the public areas of their home. The truth is, the bedroom is where you live. It should be finished."
• Create "a sense of a haven, whatever that means to you," with soft, calming colors (greens, earthtones), soft fabrics, a piece of artwork "that transports you." This probably isn't the place for edgy or challenging artwork.
• "I see so many night stands piled with stuff because they don't have drawers. Think about what you want to keep bedside and make sure you're accommodating those things in a way that's lovely."
• If you use your bedroom to read, watch TV, meditate or write in a journal, create comfortable places for those activities.
• Separate his and hers lighting, with switches accessible from the bed, are great for nighttime reading.
• For people who don't like air conditioning, ceiling fans are a good alternative.
• Keep it serene -- a soft color palette, possibly monochromatic.
• Accessorize with things that you love and that make you happy: books, personal photos, collections and keepsakes. "Your bedroom is the first room you see upon waking and the one where you spend the last part of your day."
• Consider painting or lightening the finish on darker wood furniture that feels heavy or dated. Upgrade hardware.
• In choosing colors, consider how you'll use the room. Red can incite passion, but maybe too much -- you may fight. Green will put you to sleep. Yellow will keep you awake. Peach is a good compromise.
• Anchor the room with something solid behind the bed. This is the color you'll see when you enter the room, but won't be visible when you're lying down. "Browns, deep orange and richer reds are OK here."
• Keep beds six to seven inches away from windows to avoid drafts that could disturb sleep. Or use smaller windows, close to the ceiling.
• Position the bed to afford some privacy from the door, as well as a sense of security and coziness. "If the room is large enough for a small partition wall to further separate the entry, all the better."
• Recessed book shelves reduce clutter and keep the floor clear, while looking stylish.
• As in most rooms, sconce lighting is ideal. Avoid recessed can lights. "The last thing you want is to have to look up at lightbulbs from your bed," he said. Dimmers are also essential. "No one wants to be blinded at 6:30 a.m. on a Minnesota winter morning."
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