A Woman's Intimate Space

Most women feel that their bedroom is their comfort zone, a place where a woman can find solace and nurturance in cozy surroundings at days end, or when ill. Every day begins and ends in this room, so it makes sense that your bedroom is, in many respects, the most important room in your home. Here are some tips that should help you give your bedroom its due:

Favorite Color

Paint--Use your favorite color, even if the magazines tell you the color is too stimulating. The main thing is waking up every day surrounded by something you love. You can always soften a wild color by painting the room in your favorite color's complement and then using the other color for accent. For instance, if you love purple, paint the room yellow, but then add some purple details: knickknacks, throw rugs, vases, lamps—these are all good vehicles for adding a spark of the color you adore. Or, use a lighter shade of the color as the base. For instance, continuing with the purple idea, use lavender on your walls but add lots of yellow accents with throw pillows, flowers, and linens.

If you're not sure what constitutes a complementary color, take a look at a color wheel. The complement of red is green. The complement for orange is blue. Purple's complement is yellow. As long as you work in some of the color you really love, your bedroom will reflect the real you.

Fabric--Fabric is a wonderful medium for designing a bedroom, but it's tricky to use it the right way. Start with one pattern as the basis, and then add two other fabrics in contrasting colors and patterns. A good plan is to take a bold stripe, a small all-over pattern like dots or little flowers, and a solid with some interesting texture. If the colors of the three fabrics work well together, you've got nice contrast with nothing overpowering anything else. If you're nervous about matching fabrics, stick to one fabric but have it pop up all over the room, for instance on an upholstered chair, in the curtains, and on the dust ruffle of your bed.

Add Texture

Make sure you weave some soft textures into your décor for interest and to make your room a cozy haven. Silk, chiffon, suede, and velvet can all add a feeling of luxurious calm. Throw pillows, rugs, and curtains are some of the mediums through which you can work in some texture.

Lighting--Lighting is one of the key elements of a feel-good bedroom. You need good light for coordinating your clothes in the morning, and for cleaning, reading, and for just hanging out. You should have a decent light focused where you need it for everyday tasks, and a calm, peaceful light for relaxing after a hard day. Try using wall sconces and floor lamps and buy candles in the color of your décor in a variety of shapes and heights for those times you want softness and romance.

Modesty--Make sure you don't neglect your bedroom window treatment. You want something peek-proof. A good window treatment gives you privacy, keeps out drafts, and helps keep the room dark until you're ready to greet the light.