Any HGTV fan knows that your bedroom (or “master suite”) should be your sanctuary. And the reason for this, designer Jonathan Scott (of Property Brothers fame) tells mental_floss, is about more than keeping up appearances.
“The problem is, in design, everybody focuses on the areas that they can brag to their friends about—kitchens, entertaining spaces, bathrooms—and they put themselves in the back seat,” Scott says. “But that’s not how it should work. [The bedroom] is supposed to be your space to unwind and your space to decompress from a stressful day. So you have to invest in your quality of life and invest in a good sleep.”
Scott shared eight ways you can set the right mood in your bedroom without spending a fortune or tearing down any walls. After all, he says, “Design is not rocket science. Anyone can do it.”
1. INVEST IN A GOOD MATTRESS.
Scott, who proudly sleeps on a Stearns & Foster Reserve Collection mattress, tells us, “You will never understand the value of investing in a good mattress until you’ve slept in one.” And, according to Scott, people wait far too long to ditch their hand-me-down or discount mattresses for the real deal. “There are these milestones in your life where you decide to all of a sudden invest in your quality of life, like getting married. And that’s generally when people will realize they want to invest in their sleep, they want to invest in a mattress,” he says. “A mattress is your most-used piece of furniture in the entire house. I don’t know why most people don’t realize that.”
But if shelling out multiple thousands of dollars on anything feels laughable, you should know that good mattresses can be found at lower price points. Stearns & Foster has queen-sized beds starting at $1499, and internet-based mattress startups (like Casper, Tuft & Needle, or Leesa) sell quality products for under $1000.
2. ELIMINATE CLUTTER.
“Having chaos surrounding you—kids' toys, papers, stuff from work piled up—that has no place in the bedroom,” Scott says. His solution: lots and lots of storage. “Especially if you have a smaller place or an apartment, you need to have as much storage as possible,” Scott says. “So instead of having a bench at the end of the bed, have a trunk you can put things away in.” Maximize your space by elevating things off of the floor and adding shelves.
3. BANISH WORK FROM THE BEDROOM.
Sometimes it can be impossible to completely leave work (and work stress) at the office, but you can at least make an effort to keep it out of the bedroom. Having a desk in the bedroom can completely ruin a relaxing atmosphere, Scott says. “I don’t believe that you should have a work station in the bedroom.”
4. TO COOL DOWN, GO AU NATUREL.
To combat one of the most common sleep problems—overheating—Scott recommends outfitting your bed with natural fibers. “Stearns & Foster, they use a lot of natural fabrics in their materials, which breathe better. So if your mattress breathes, you don’t have a problem with it being too hot,” Scott says. “Better quality sheets also breathe a bit better, they’re not as scratchy, so all of that plays into getting that good sleep.”
Scott also recommends layering your bedding so that you can adjust your temperature over the course of the night. “I love to have the sheets, then a coverlet, then the duvet, then extra blankets, and you can sort of peel them back as you need,” he says.
5. TONE IT DOWN.
Designed by Jonathan Scott for Stearns & Foster
When decorating your bedroom for maximum zen, skip the Crayola colors. “You don’t want anything that’s too jarring or too crazy. So you would never paint a wall red or something like that, because then you wake up and are like, ‘Ah!’” Scott says. “I typically use muted colors in the bedroom. Even if they are beautiful bold colors, still I just do a little bit of a muted tone of it.”
6. STICK TO THESE SIMPLE RULES ABOUT COLOR.
Speaking of color, Scott says that if you keep two guidelines in mind when designing a room it will always look posh and polished. First, “you want to have color repeated at least two or three times throughout in a subtle way so it all blends.” So if you choose turquoise as your accent color, for example, make sure your throws, pillows, and area rug all have hints of turquoise.
Second, Scott says you should have a mix of solid colors and patterns in your design. “You never want to have everything solid, it would be too boring. And you never want to have everything patterned because then it would be too chaotic. So blending your patterns with your colors makes more sophisticated design.”
7. CHANGE WITH THE SEASONS.
Refreshing your room with each new season is not only fun, it can make you more comfortable. “In the winter you want to create a warmer environment, so I use warmer colors.” Scott says. He’ll swap out white and silver accent pieces for copper and brass details, and will change the curtains. “Put in heavier drapes instead of sheers or light curtains in the summer because in the wintertime, most of your heat loss is through the window, so closing drapes actually does help.”
8. MIX AND MATCH HIGH AND LOW.
“The main thing people notice in the bedroom is your bed,” Scott says. “Is it a quality bed? What does the bed frame look like? Is the headboard nice? That’s the main thing. The rest of it you can mix-and-match from more affordable pieces.”
Scott recommends making your own curtains, for instance, by buying material from a local fabric store. And IKEA is one of his go-to places for affordable shelving solutions. “You can even go to discount home stores and they might just have a random pillow or throw and it’s discounted—you can get it for $5 or $10 and it’s beautiful,” Scott says. “You can go to designer stores and you can pay a fortune for these things; nobody would know the difference between you going and finding something more affordable and blending it in.”