Your bedroom can say a lot about you. Unfortunately for me, I never put much thought behind the decor in my room. I’m quite unorganized, and my favorite activity is seeing how high I can stack my dirty clothes on a single chair. So I guess you could say my bedroom and I have one thing in common: We’re both kind of a mess.
My bedroom is by far my least favorite spot in the entire house, and I usually try to avoid it. After a long day at work — and an even longer commute in traffic — the last place I want to be is my cluttered, dreary room. I decided it was time for a change! I wanted to turn my bedroom into my go-to place to escape the chaos of the day, instead of being a place that reminds me of it.
So I partnered with Parachute to try a few simple design hacks in order to zen out my space and hopefully make my life a little less stressful. Their luxuriously soft bedding and clean, crisp aesthetic provided me with the inspiration I needed to finally upgrade my bedroom into the sanctuary of my dreams. Here’s how I did it!
The Problem: Since the bed is the centerpiece of any bedroom and the first eyesore in mine, that's where I started. While my neon pink sheets matched my bubbly and loud personality, they were the exact opposite of the serene, comfortable vibe I was hoping to achieve. They didn’t necessarily scream, “Welcome home! Take a load off!” They just screamed.
The Solution: I said goodbye to the stimulating colors, and Parachute hooked me up with some extra cozy gray and white bedding.
TBH, I felt bad tossing aside my ol' faithful sheets, but it was totally worth it! Not only did the new bedding make my bed look sophisticated, it was COMFY AS HECK! After rearranging some fluffy pillows and adding a dreamy quilt, it felt like I had checked into a hotel! A HOTEL, PEOPLE! What could be more relaxing than a place literally built for vacations?!
Snuggling up in the warmth of my linen cocoon quickly became my new favorite activity. And when I was forced to part ways with my bed in the morning, I felt well rested and ready for the day ahead!
Level of Difficulty: Getting the bedding was a breeze with Parachute's online ordering! Everything I needed was sent straight to my door! I love the internet.
The Problem: I know what most of you are thinking. What sort of child-monster doesn’t make their bed? Me. I am that child-monster.
I wake up every morning to a mess of blankets as a result of something I like to call "aggressive sleep thrashing." I never saw the point of making my bed since I was going to completely upheave everything during my next slumber.
Well, I was wrong, and it's totally worth it. I GET TO COME HOME TO THIS BEAUT EVERY DAY!
The Solution: Believe it or not, I actually had fun arranging the pillows and seeing a luxurious work of art come together before my eyes. By 8:00 a.m., I had already accomplished something — and it had only taken me a couple of minutes!
The best part was knowing I would come home to something that actually resembled a bed, instead of a mountain of sheets and chaos. While I was at work, I daydreamed about returning home, kicking of my shoes, and unwinding on my beautiful cloud-like masterpiece.
Level of Difficulty: Making your bed is BY FAR the easiest way to trick people into thinking you have your life together. Even if my room was a mess, making my bed neat n' tidy almost made the rest of my space seem organized too. Almost.
The Problem: When I first moved in, I used to be very mindful of tucking away mail and keeping surfaces clean, but after a while I gave up. I started shoving knickknacks wherever I could find room — which brought me to my next Everest: my dresser.
It was littered with an assortment of three-year-old birthday cards, a variety of perfume bottles, and a couple little vase things that I thought were "too cute to get rid of."
In order to create a stress-free environment, I needed to either part with my physical belongings or find another way to clear the clutter.
The Solution: LOL. If you thought I was going to part with my BELOVED STUFF, think again! I added some adorable yet efficient shelves!
Now, I did have to store away some of the birthday cards, but I chose a few of my favorites to leave out on display. The shelves also added some dimension and created a lovely, symmetrical look.
Level of Difficulty: I don't know if you guys know this, but shelves are tricky. It took me a good 15 minutes to get ONE screw in the wall and another 15 to slide the shelf along the wall until it locked into place. I looked like an idiot. BUT, I really do think they were worth the effort.
I learned two very important lessons that day: 1) shelves are awesome; and 2) everyone should own an electric drill.
The Problem: I find the morning to be the most stressful time of day. I usually spend 20 minutes getting ready and another 40 frantically searching for my keys in the black hole that is my room. If my keys weren't lost among the cluttered surface of my dresser, I somehow kicked them under the bed or left them in my jacket pocket from the day before. One thing's for sure: They were never where I thought they were.
The Solution: I decided to create a "to-go" station that would store all the things I needed to grab before leaving the house in the morning. My sunglasses, backpack, jacket, and, most importantly, MY KEYS would all be in one place.
With my shelf skills sharpened, I was fully equipped to install some wall hooks.
Gaze upon my success!
Level of Difficulty: With shelf-hanging experience, this was pretty simple. Without shelf-hanging experience, you will struggle for a few minutes — but your mornings will be a breeze! It also created a great space to come home to and allowed me to swap my jacket for my cozy robe in one easy move!
The Problem: One of the worst parts of my room, the blinds definitely created a bleak, dim atmosphere. Remember when I described my room as "dreary"? The blinds were the culprit.
Natural lighting is an important component of any soothing environment! Using sunlight to naturally wake up in the morning is also a trick my mom taught me, so those blinds HAD. TO. GO.
The Solution: I replaced my dumb blinds with some sheer, airy curtains that allowed natural light into the room. Not only did the curtains let the sun shine in, they also looked FANCY AF!
Level of Difficulty: While it still involved some measuring and drilling, the curtains were easier to install than the shelves since you can actually see what's being hooked onto the wall. The hardest part was attempting to tie a cute bow that would hold the curtains open.
The Problem: I have an unhealthy relationship with electronics. TVs, laptops, cell phones, tablets, you name it. I'll hop into bed with ANY ol' screen! Literally. I probably watch about two hours' worth of television in bed before tucking in.
I've been told this isn't a good habit, especially if you are trying to get a restful night's sleep, and that it's best to avoid anything that emits harsh light or stimulates your brain before bed. Oops!
The Solution: I challenged myself to put away the screens two hours before hitting the hay. I quickly realized that I depended on my phone for basically everything, including my alarm to get to work in the morning. "This is going to impact my career!" I thought. "I should probably just keep my phone in bed as an alarm...and also look up puppy photos since it's here." But I quickly shut down those excuses by getting myself an alarm clock with a very dim light setting. I felt like a kid again waking up to the nostalgic ring, and thanks to my new "no screen rule" I definitely started falling asleep earlier and sleeping better! I think there has even been a decrease in sleep thrashing!
Level of Difficulty: This was SUPER HARD at first since I had to give up some of my favorite bedtime activities, such as binge-watching old TV shows, looking up mesmerizing food-porn recipes, and late-night Candy Crush. Fortunately, it became easier as I started to realize that I was also letting go of distracting habits that would get me riled up before bed, such as obsessively checking work emails or stalking all my exes on social media.
The Problem: Now that my space was starting to look good, it needed to smell good, too! Not that it smelled bad — I'm not that gross. I just wanted to create a lovely, spa-like atmosphere. Is that so much to ask?
The Solution: I invested in a few candles with aromas that have calming properties. My favorite scent was a mix of sea salt and citrus that made me feel like I was on vacation in my very own beach-side cottage.
Level of Difficulty: EASY PEASY! The only real effort I put in was researching what scents I wanted.
The Problem: With the mess taken care of and my relaxation station almost complete, I was ready to decorate! But with what?! I didn't want to go overboard with decor and clutter everything up again, but I felt like my room needed something.
The Solution: PLANTS, Y'ALL! Plants are seriously my new favorite thing. They add the perfect pop of color, come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and even help purify the air in your home so you can breathe easily!
I was a little worried that having to take care of living things would add to my stress levels, but I specifically chose plants that were low maintenance. Now, they are my babies (including Big Bubba, the larger plant in the corner), and I love them!
Level Of Difficulty: This required a bit of DIY with the shelf and painted pots, but most of the work included going to the nursery in order to buy the plants and pot 'em. If you're like me and don't have a green thumb, there are a bunch of awesome indoor plants that are super easy to take care of!
After making these simple changes, I've been sleeping better, feeling less stressed in the mornings, and I actually want to kick back and relax in my bedroom at the end of the day! My next mission: chillify the whole house!
Photos by Lauren Zaser. Design by Lyla Ribot/BuzzFeed.