Your bedroom is your sanctuary—a comfortable, beautiful place where you can escape from the stress and noise. No wonder many people are willing to spend a lot of dollars on its design and décor. We want it to be perfect.
If you are currently redecorating your bedroom, or looking for ways to making it prettier and more comfortable, consider these tips. The bonus? Not only are these ideas super-practical, they also make your bedroom more environmentally friendly. You get a beautiful bedroom, and a more beautiful Earth—what’s not to love?
1. Invest in good insulation.
Talk to your contractor and interior designer about how to improve your bedroom’s insulation. This can be affected by the construction materials, or something as simple as filling in the cracks and gaps around the windows. Adding curtains made of special fabric can also help.
Good insulation leads to better energy conservation, which means lower energy bills and less strain on the environment’s resources.
2. Buy pretty blankets and beddings
Instead of getting a heater (which increases your electricity consumption) look for good, winter blankets that can trap your body heat and keep you warm and toasty under the covers. Many interior decorators recommend down and wool blankets. There are also hypo-allergenic options.
Plus, these beddings can act as a design statement. The bed is the biggest furniture in the room. Treat it like a blank canvas, where you can create a certain look just by changing the pattern and color of your beddings. Change your curtains, too, to unify the look and make your bedroom look put-together.
3. Let the air circulate.
If you’re building or remodeling your bedroom, talk to your architect about positioning the doors and windows to promote better air flow and circulation. You can also install a ceiling fan (these come in different designs and colors, and can act as a statement piece). During the hot months, when you are most likely to use the air conditioner, change your curtains into a material that blocks out the sun and heat.
4. Switch to CFL’s.
CFL, or compact fluorescent bulbs, are five times more energy efficient than other light bulbs. To get the pretty mood lighting, invest in beautiful lampshades and light fittings. Your interior designer can also help you position your lights in such a way that you only turn on the lights where you need it—for example, a smaller bulb directly over a study table or play area, rather than high-wattage lamp illuminating the entire room.
5. Buy Vintage Furniture
Save a tree! Instead of buying new furniture, look for vintage furniture and have it refurnished. Great if you can afford a beautiful antique, but you can get great buys for less than a hundred dollars by going to garage sales or auctions. Sometimes, all a drawer needs is a new coat of paint or small repairs by your neighborhood carpenter.
6. Buy an Eco-Friendly Mattress
Your bed should be the safest and most comfortable spot in your home, but actually it’s not! Many mattresses emit dangerous chemicals (like formaldehyde and PDBE’s) which are considered to be carcinogens. Studies also show that pregnant women who are exposed to these compounds have a higher risk of miscarriages or giving birth to children who have learning disabilities.
To avoid this, get a mattress that’s emission free mattress, or natural materials that are flame-retardant (like wool). Latex mattresses are also safe.
7. Buy Organic Linens
This is one of the prettiest and easiest ways to create an environmentally-friendly bedroom. For example, commercial cotton often uses a lot of pesticides and goes through many chemical processes during manufacturing, including being soaked in compounds so become softer and more pliable. (This leads to the irony that it’s gentle on your skin but destroys the environment in the process.) Instead, buy organic cotton, bamboo sheets or wool.
8. Pick low-VOC paint.
Some paints are made of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that emit dangerous fumes long after the ‘wet paint smell’ has gone away. These are bad for your environment and bad for your health, too. Examine the cans of paint for a Green Seal of approval and check the brand’s commitment to minimizing the amount of VOC’s.