“Dwellness 101”: Tips for Transforming Your Bedroom into a Tranquil Oasis
Apartment and shared living is something most Millennial’s have grown accustomed to. For me personally, while owning my own space sounds wonderful, it also provokes great anxiety. I mean, I JUST learned how to replace the battery in a smoke detector (thanks Yale), so I don’t think I am necessarily cut out for homeownership just yet. To keep my unnecessary anxiety to a minimum, we’re sticking to renting for the time being.
Renting often comes with sharing your space. However, it has always been crucial to me to have my own space that is exactly that: my own. I have made it my mission in my rental bedrooms, past and present, to transform them from drab empty spaces, to zen-provoking havens. Also, newsflash: you're probably not going to love every roommate you live with. That is OKAY! But this is why it's so important to have a space that is peaceful. These “dwellness” tips are some of those I use for turning my bedroom/sacred space/ quiet time hangout, etc. into a glorious wellness oasis.
My closest friends know that I am what is called an “extroverted introvert”. Meaning, while I love being social, it can be exhausting for me, and at the end of the day I like to unwind or recharge in my room with my door closed, undisturbed. I have always been this way. I was never the kid who enjoyed being the center of attention, or who liked hanging in large groups. Even today when in a social setting with my friends, I would rather be at a small bar or restaurant getting a drink, rather than at a loud, crowded club or something of the sort. I don’t just like quiet time, I thrive off it.
Ok, back to what you came here for: dwellness tips. At the end of the day, I believe you should enjoy spending time in your bedroom. It should be a place where you retreat to recharge for your next day, and where you feel at ease. I can’t say my tips are along the lines of “keeping your room orderly” or “eliminate clutter”, because that isn’t me. But these tips are easy takeaways that I believe anyone can incorporate into their living space (bedroom or not).
1. Include Artwork
To me, there is nothing worse than bare walls. When I’ve moved into a new house or apartment, one of the very first things I do upon unpacking is hang stuff on the walls. I find that wall art really sets the tone overall for your space. Currently, I have a mix of my own paintings on the walls, as well as mixed media pieces from independent artists (gorgeous woven wall hanging from here, reclaimed wood triangle from here, dragonfly painting from here). It may look a bit mismatched, but ultimately, the art on your walls doesn’t need to appeal to everyone, and doesn’t need to look perfect. This is your space (or for me, Yale’s and my space), so it should be art that you love and that speaks to you.
Prior to my boyfriend moving in, I lived in a basement bedroom with one very small window. This meant, minimal natural light. I am also the type of person who can stay in bed WAAAAY past my alarm, if my room is dark enough. Lighting is key for me, especially in the morning. Currently in our room, we have 4 lamps, overhead lights and windows). Thankfully, I no longer live in a basement, and have access to plenty of natural light. It has been well documented that access to natural light, or just bright lighting (hello Happy lights) have been tremendously beneficial in the treatment of mood disorders. So, here’s my tip, and it’s a pretty simple one: OPEN YOUR BLINDS, turn on your lights, expose yourself to LIGHT!
3. Plants (Duh)
I could go on and on (and likely will continue to post about my love of plants) about how plants can help transform a space, and boost mood in the process. Nylon actually just posted an article recently discussing why Millennial’s LOVE houseplants, and I 10000% fall into this category. Call me “basic”, I don’t care. Google the list of reasons why houseplants are beneficial for your health, and prepare to be amazed. Personally, I like the way they look. I also love feeling like I must CARE for these plants. Other than succulents that thrive off my forgetfulness, houseplants bring me back to my self-care routine. If I can’t take care of myself, bathe myself, exercise, eat well, sleep 6+ hours, HOW on Earth can I take care of these plants? Plus, I spent MONEY on them, so I definitely don’t want to let them die. Not on my watch! Here are my favorite “beginner” houseplants that are not too terribly difficult to care for: succulents and cacti, golden pothos, fiddle leaf fig trees, English ivy. I have them everywhere. I love my plants, they are my little green children.
4. Essential Oil Diffusers, Reed Diffusers or Candles
After a particularly stressful day, I TRULY look forward to coming home, changing into my ugly grey sweatpants that belonged to Yale in high school, and blasting my favorite oil blends in my essential oil diffusers (links here and here). Perhaps it’s mental, but having the scent of my favorite oil blends floating through my bedroom takes my daily relaxation routine to the next level. I am a creature of habit for sure, so I have found that now I sleep better with the diffusers going. The smells of lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus transport me to a spa, and I think the ultimate goal of my bedroom is to make it feel as spa-like as possible. If you are not a fan of essential oil diffusers, or want the scent to last longer, natural reed diffusers are a great option. I find most of mine at Homegoods. Candles are either a hit or a miss for me. I am SO picky about candle scents, especially since learning about how toxic candles can be. I try to stick to soy candles, or candles of the “natural” variety. While I am not a stickler and think I will be OK after burning a candle once or twice a week for an hour or two, I like to be aware. I also suffer from frequent headaches, so sometimes candles are not the best option. Please share if you have any favorite natural candle brands you love! Seriously let me know!!
I firmly believe that a plethora of pillows and blankets and sheepskin rugs (if you’re into that sort of thing) are the cherry on top of a perfectly cozy and inviting bedroom space. If you’re not into plants per se, add another pillow or super cozy blanket to the mix. Everyone is different, and it comes down to personal preference. I own an insane number of blankets, which are dispersed throughout my room. Coziness is key.
Dwellness Recap: Recognize whatever it is that makes your bedroom a place you long for at the end of the day, and keep doing that. If its plants, add plants on plants. If it’s cookbooks (another one of my vices), stack them high! Blankets and throw pillows your thing? Great! Whatever makes YOU happy. It’s your space after all, and you’re the only one who has to love it.