The Ultimate Guide to Home Remodeling and Renovation

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Introduction

 

So you’ve decided that it’s about time that you remodeled your home, but you aren’t exactly sure where to start?

Well, fret no further; you’ve come to the right place. Throughout this guide, we will go through everything related to home renovations, be it what to look for in a contractor before hiring them or the tiniest details you should pay attention to in your kids’ room.

The guide can be split up into two major parts: the first part consists of three chapters, each dealing with a different phase of preparing for your renovation and laying the groundwork for the rest of the house. The second phase of the guide is made up of 7 chapters, each focusing on a different room and detailing all the renovations you could do in said room. Let’s do a quick rundown of all the chapters in this guide.

  • Chapter 1: Preparation Makes Perfect - The first chapter of this guide starts with the most essential question of all: why are you doing the renovation in the first place? Once your motivations are clear to you, we move on to discussing how you can plan and budget for the project as well as pick a contractor whom you trust to do a good job. At the end of the chapter, we will look at some of the required documents that you will need to turn your house into a palace.
  • Chapter 2: The Design - The second chapter deals with putting your plans on paper before hammering a single nail. This is the creative part of the job, and you could elect to do the job yourself, or you could leave it to a professional. We will explore the merits and the drawbacks of both scenarios along with some of the basic design concepts you should know should you choose to go at it yourself.
  • Chapter 3: The Groundwork - Probably our longest and most varied chapter - here we talk about all the necessary work you’ll have to do before and during your renovation. This includes working on the roof, the foundations, the plumbing, and the flooring. We will also look at how you can change the layout of your place and end the chapter on how you can make your house more eco-friendly.
  • Chapter 4: The Kitchen and Dining Room - We will look into the different kitchen styles and layouts along with the appliances you might want to try out. Additionally, we will discuss the possible ways you could renovate your dining room.
  • Chapter 5: The Bathroom - When discussing bathrooms, we will look into the different trends that have flooded the scene in the past two years. We will also investigate how you can create shared bathrooms for you and your loved ones and talk about different aspects as well, such as figuring out whether you’re better off with a shower or a tub.
  • Chapter 6: The Living Room Seeing as the living room is usually the most frequented room in the entire house, it is important to settle on a focal point for it. Other than that, you should strive to make it as comfortable and accommodating as possible. This can happen through visual appeal, the decorations, or actual physical comfort, the furniture.
  • Chapter 7: The Bedroom This is the room where you spend the most amount of time when you’re at home even though you are asleep for most of it. Therefore, this is arguably the most important room in the entire house. With that in mind, we’ll look at the concept of feng shui and see how you can apply it to your own living space. We will also delve into how you can pick the perfect bed and mattress for you.
  • Chapter 8: The Children’s Room - Picking the right style for your children’s room can help create the perfect ambiance for them to develop and grow. We will also see how you can decorate the room depending on your child’s age group as well as look into how you can help create a harmonious shared room for your children.
  • Chapter 9: A Spare Room - Nearing the end of our guide, we will talk about how you can make a spare room suit your needs, whatever they may be: home office, guest room, gym, or even relaxation room.
  • Chapter 10: The Exterior - Creating a scenic surrounding for your house can increase your resale value, so we’ll dive into the different ways you can make your home’s exterior be just as special as the interior, be it through landscaping, outdoor hang-outs, or walkways and paths.

 

Now that we have made a quick overview of what this guide offers, let's move to the most important aspect: the preparation

  • Anja Logozar

The Exterior

Chapter 10: The Exterior

 

In this final chapter, we’ll look at what you can do to liven up your exterior. We’ll start with landscaping both your front and backyard, which follow very similar rules to room design, including creating a focal point.

 

Landscaping

Of all the things you could do to bump up your resale value, looking after your landscaping is right up there at the top of the list. Doing simple things, like installing a winding stone walkway or a few flowering shrubs, can make all the difference. Additionally, infusing color and texture into the right places or building a deck or patio is the sort of investment that will net a healthy return for you. So, with that in mind, let’s see a few basic principles regarding landscaping.

The first thing you need to do is to study the climate in your locality. You should be aware of the average temperatures in any given season, the mean annual rainfall, the directions of the wind, and so many other meteorological factors. This will prove instrumental when you make important decisions later down the road. For example, if you’re wondering whether your new patio can fit on the east side of your house, it is worth knowing that that side might be getting bombarded with sunlight all through the morning, making an early morning breakfast there an unattractive prospect. The fact that a cold breeze of wind can easily put out your fire pit is another perfect case in point displaying how important it is to factor in your local weather.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com, licensed under CC0 Public Domain.

An important meteorological element you should pay extra attention to is rain fall. You see, it doesn’t only affect your plants, but it also can have a detrimental effect on the rest of the landscape. A simple way to see this is to observe that some solid surfaces shed water instead of absorbing it like a sponge. As a result, rain water ends up finding its way to the ground, carrying along with it toxic chemicals such as preservatives and metals. Once inside the soil, it isn’t long before they can contaminate the nearest body of water. Because of all this, numerous landscaping techniques have been devised to collect and filter rain water before allowing it to infiltrate our soil.

Just as you would in a room, you need to set a focal point, around which the rest of the elements in your landscape will revolve. The objective of a focal point in your garden is the same as it is in a room: to lure the eye and be the first thing people see. Also, like in a room, a focal point in your garden can be anything so long as it captures the eye. For example, you could use a unique plant, an odd bush, an ornament, an enormous boulder, or even a miniature tree. What matters here is that the focal point you settle on isn’t seasonal and won’t wither away come winter. It is worth pointing out that the focal point should mesh easily with the style of the garden, Zen or otherwise.

Another thing to look out for is that some features are so prominent that they force themselves on the viewer, regardless of whether you mean for this to happen or not. A large tree occupying the middle of your garden establishes itself as the focal point of the space. The best thing you can do is to accentuate the unique features of this de facto focal point through the use of bird houses or flowering vines for example.

When considering where to situate your focal point within your garden, you’re best bet is to do like the photographers do and follow the third to two-thirds rule. Simply put, avoid centering your focal point and have it placed in either the left or the right third of the space. A little tip to remember is that the nearer you are to the garden, the less prominent your focal point has to be.

Apart from picking a focal point, you also want to settle on the plants that will populate your garden. When it comes to the plants, choose them based on their suitability for your local climate and soil. Otherwise, you’ll have to contend with one of two options: you can either keep maintaining your plants and spending boat loads of money on them or leave them to wither and die, leaving an ugly sight in their place.

We mentioned above the importance of managing rain water in order to prevent toxic chemicals from seeping into the ground. However, that was only half a solution. The other half is to steer away from materials that need to be repainted or chemically treated periodically. You should stick to durable materials that do not rot naturally.

In the same vein of being environmentally conscious, you should maintain your landscape regularly as long as this maintenance is eco-friendly. If you’re wondering what that looks like, all you need is a broom and a brush and you can start dusting away.

Another important principle in landscape design is scale and pacing, and it might be the hardest one to master. It is responsible for making your garden appear cohesive without feeling drab. The trick is to use both repetition and variation simultaneously yet remain coherent.

One of the best ways to create boundaries in your landscape is through the use of retainers and rocks. This can help produce a clean, eloquent look, with well-defined path. You can also resort to evergreens such as boxwood shrubs in order to provide your garden with color regardless of the season.

Finally, should you decide to do this project on your own instead of hiring professional help, then be patient with yourself. This is a difficult project that is always dynamic and fighting against you, so to speak. After all, the soil beneath your feet is always moving, and the plants are growing at different rates. The best advice is to start small with a tiny patch of garden and go from there.

 

Patios

Your outdoor patio is considered by some to be a continuation of the living space inside your home. This view is further supported by the fact that patios are most often social hubs, bringing families and friends together.

The first thing to figure out is where you’d like to have this patio placed. You have countless options: trees could provide shelter for your patio, and housing a patio near a boulder could look great if done correctly. Deciding where to put your patio will be influenced to a great degree by your purpose for it. For instance, if you want to use the patio to host large parties, you need to find the requisite space for it. Conversely, building a patio just for you and the family means that a small intimate setting should be more than enough.

Once you’ve made up your mind about the location, you should begin to decide on the materials you want used. A patio close to the ground can benefit from recycled masonry, broken concrete, or pavers, depending on what you choose. You might also want to consider wood and recycled plastic and composite lumber. Here are a few important facts you should know about both wood and recycled plastic and composite lumber.

  • Wood - Wood used in landscaping applications is naturally rot-resistant, or it requires treatment from preservatives to prolong its life. Naturally, treated wood tends to pose an ecological threat to its surroundings, which is why you should seek naturally rot-resistant wood. Furthermore, untreated wood is recyclable and compostable. It is preferable to use wood in well lighted areas so as to dodge the problems posed by moss growth.
  • Recycled plastic and composite lumber - Recycled plastic is turned into decking, railings, and other elements. All the elements are produced in standard dimension. As for composite recycled products, they combine recycled plastic with sawdust and other products made from wood. Also, you can have pigments added to create colors in the material, hence cancelling any need for paint. Unfortunately, the plastic is weaker than wood, so you need to pay attention to the structural integrity of your patio when building and use more members.

The next thing to think about is the material you want to use for patio flooring. You have several options here but the most important thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need a material that is durable and weather resistant. Here are some of the options you can consider:

  • Natural stone - Stone is a great choice for patio flooring because it is hard wearing and resists the elements very well. It is available in many different varieties and doesn’t need special treatment once installed.
  • Wooden decking - When it comes to wooden decking, you have two options: composite and traditional. While real wood is to install, looks attractive and fits easily into the rest of your design, it can be quite expensive and requires regular maintenance. Composite wooden decking, on the other hand, doesn’t require as much maintenance and is cheaper in the long run.
  • Brick - Durable and easy to maintain, brick flooring is ideal for smaller patios as they are time consuming to lay because of their small size. They come in different colors and you can use them to create interesting patterns.

A critical element in any patio is its shading, which is largely contingent on the weather. The three main options you have to choose from are umbrellas, canopies, and gazebos.

  • Umbrellas - Available, yet variable in price, umbrellas can protect you from the blistering sun and the pouring rains, making your patio accessible to you all year-round. With umbrellas, what you pay for is what you get, so don’t be afraid to spend a little money to buy a durable umbrella. It will last you a lifetime if you look after it.
  • Canopies - Unfortunately, they are more suited for the summer than they are for the winter, which means that you’ll have to wrap them up come fall. The way it works is by being tied to the house or nearby trees and providing shade to the patio underneath it.
  • Gazebos - They are reminiscent of an umbrella but with a more fixed structure. You can build one yourself. All you need is four posts, a frame, and fabric that holds on to that frame. The beauty of gazebos lies in their ability to create an intimate setting, bordering on romantic. It’s a perfect option for families.

Another element you want to look into is your fireplace. Apart from where you’ll situate it, you want to figure out which materials you’ll use as well as what the final look will be. For example, you could have a fire pit that burns wood instead of a fire pit that’s gas powered.

 

Walkways and Paths

Image courtesy of pixabay.com, licensed under CC0 Public Domain.

If you put in the time and effort needed to design a walkway, you can produce a route that is both attractive and safe. Therefore, let’s see what you need to create this path.
Regarding materials, salvaged ones are usually the best option for patios as well as walkways. Here are a few materials you can look into.

  • Natural stone. Stone is one of the most popular materials used for walkways and fits perfectly into any type of landscape. Stone pavers come in different shapes, sizes, colors and finishes. They look very attractive when used for walkways and require very little maintenance. You can choose from different types of stone such as granite, slate, brownstone, limestone etc.
  • Poured concrete. It requires a lot of energy to produce, which generates plenty of carbon dioxide and other toxic gases into the atmosphere. Fortunately, the use of fly ash can mitigate against the negative effects of concrete, cement in particular. As for the finished product, it is very durable, and its surface is even, making it wheelchair accessible. Another drawback is that its impervious surface may allow rainwater to seep into the soil, and once the concrete sets, you can never alter its shape.
  • Broken concrete. Taken from demolition projects, it is available all through the year, and it is free. You can treat it the same way you’d treat stone or any other paver. Although it remains durable, the end product loses its even surface so coveted by wheelchair users. Fortunately, it is reusable and can absorb rain water.
  • Salvaged concrete. Similar to poured concrete, the impervious surface can lead to plenty of runoff water. The best way to remedy that is to look for concrete paving that interlocks while leaving enough space between the paves for water absorption. Its benefits are pretty much the same as those of broken concrete. The difference is that instead of producing an even surface, concrete paving is difficult to install on your own.
  • Recycled glass. They require much less energy than concrete, almost half. Over and above, they are very durable and made from nothing but recycled matter. They are also reusable and available. Unfortunately, they tend to produce an uneven surface.
  • Tumbled recycled glass. Taking recycled glass bottles, breaking them, and tumbling them creates beach style glass. They last till judgment day and are totally reusable. However, they do lose their aesthetic with time.
  • Salvaged clay. It can cause plenty of pollution during the manufacturing process, and removing the mortar off of the salvaged bricks can take up a lot of time. They are reusable though.
  • Wood chips. Making use of an urban waste source, you can have wood chips that are chipped on site. They are made from recycled content. Additionally, they can aid in weed control, plus they compost in the end. The fact that wood chips compost should indicate that they degrade over time.
  • Nutshells - Despite being used for fuel, they can be used for your pathway. The problems that arise here can be traced back to the availability of nuts and nut season.

Having wrapped up the materials used for your pathway, let’s see the types of pathways available.

  • Flagstone walkway - Flagstones add a sense of natural beauty to the walkway they are used on.
  • Gravel walkway - It is cheap and casual. Moreover, it gives you the versatility to make any path your heart can desire.
  • Paver walkway - As opposed to the gravel walkway, the paver walkway results in clean, handsome route.

Finally, whatever you do, be sure to light the pathway. The light will add a romantic feel to it as well as keep everyone safe at night.

 

By finishing this chapter, you have finished the guide too. We hope that you managed to benefit from its pages and found what you are looking for. The next part is the conclusion, which will briefly summarize all the main points of the guide along with leaving you with parting tips.

 

Conclusion


Throughout this guide we have seen how you can prepare for your home renovation, after which we considered the different rooms and saw what you can do in each one. For the sake of thoroughness, we discussed every room imaginable: the kitchen, the bathroom, the living room, the dining room, the bedroom, and any spare rooms as well.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com, licensed under CC0 Public Domain.

Nevertheless, some advice stood out above others, and it is our job to reiterate some of the more important ones.

  • Always keep in mind the reasons you’re doing your renovations. When you’re in the thick of it, it’s easy for you to lose sight of why you started in the first place and get lost in the details. The bottom line is that you should always stay focused on the bigger picture.
  • Another issue that plenty of homeowners fall prey to is the matter of scope. They listen to whoever tells them those four fatal words: “while you’re at it…,” and pretty soon a project that should have involved only the kitchen has morphed and transformed into a behemoth engulfing your entire house.
  • The importance of planning ahead cannot be overstated. Not only does it help you reduce costs, but it also helps you anticipate how these renovations will affect you and your family. Additionally, a good plan is one that gets your entire family involved from the very beginning by making sure that your renovations take their wishes and needs into consideration.
  • A big part of renovating a house is giving it a certain style, dramatic flair if you choose. Therefore, you should make sure that this style is reflective of your personality and speaks of your character. Otherwise, your home might feel a bit alien to you.
  • It is worth remembering that you don’t have to remodel your house all at once. Instead, you can take it piece by piece and remodel different parts at different times. This can ease the strain caused by the renovation on your cash flow and lessen the disruption caused by tearing down walls.
  • Choosing a contractor is a critical activity that you don’t want to get wrong. After all, this is going to be an individual who will share your living space for the foreseeable future. Also, there has to be complete trust between the both of you for the sake of the job.
  • Speaking of professionals, don’t be afraid to hire them. You might think that by doing a job yourself you’ll save yourself some money, but some jobs will prove too difficult for you, meaning that the amount of time you waste trying to learn a new skill is time better spent doing something else. Moreover, you may do more harm than good, which will inevitably result in you paying more than if you had just hired the professional in the first place.

This guide is filled with many more pieces of practical advice that can save you a bundle when the time comes for you to renovate your place. Given that remodeling your house is an enormous investment, you want two main things: to lower the cost as much as possible and to increase your return on investment as much as possible. In this case, your return on investment will come in the form of enjoyment of the renovations plus the increase in your house’s resale value. The entire objective of this guide has been to help you achieve both these aims.

You now have a clearer idea of what to do and where to start. Everything should be downhill from there, and once you start your renovations, you’ll be done with it before you know it. So, roll up your sleeves and get to work because your dream home is well within your reach.

For a full list of chapters, click here.

 

  • Anja Logozar

A Spare Room

Chapter 9: A Spare Room

 

Hopefully, you now know how to best remodel every room in your house, whether it is the kitchen or the children’s room. Yet, what about those of you out there who have already finished installing all the bathrooms, bedrooms, and other rooms but still have a room or two to spare? Worry not, we’ve got you covered.

In this chapter, we’ll discuss some of the alternatives you can take when it comes to your spare room. We’ll begin by looking at your home office and all of its prerequisites.

 

Home Office

For anyone who works from home, a home office can make all the difference with regards to productivity: It helps separate your work life from your personal life and provides you with a secluded space within which you can work without any interruptions. If you’re a freelancer or telecommuter and you’re still unconvinced of the importance of a home office, you should know that, according to Jo Heinz the president of Dallas interior architecture and design firms, the number one problem facing most people who work from home is that, at some point, the invisible line between their private and professional life fades away.

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Additionally, another common error is to presume that it is easy to tune out the distractions from the rest of your household. It is for these reasons and more that designing a home office makes a ton of sense.

Assuming that you’re sold, let’s see how you can transform your spare room into a home office. The first thing is to look for any sources of natural lighting and to check whether any of the windows have any views or not. The best case scenario is for you to find a fantastic view and to realize that the room is flooded with natural light all through the day. In this case, position your desk in front of the window so as to let the view be the thing you see whenever you look up from your desk. On the other hand, if none of the windows have an interesting view or your room is windowless to begin with, then use good lighting to compensate for the lack of natural lighting and hang a beautiful picture in front of your desk to replace the lack of scenery.

Achieving good lighting, as we’ve just mentioned in the previous paragraph, can come about through several different means. For starters, you will need a mixture of general and task lighting. As the name implies, general lighting is more purpose free; it’s only purpose is to light up the room. Through using an overhead ceiling light or a couple of open-top floor lamps placed in the corners, you can bathe the room in good general light. Moreover, you can check out daylight replicating light sources. Conversely, task lighting is used for particular tasks that require that kind of light. For instance, a high quality desk light can be the perfect instrument to provide you with shadow-free task lighting.

As for the furniture itself, you need something that will fulfill your needs rather than just look pretty. So, you should begin by figuring out what you need and which furnishings will serve these needs best. Afterwards, you can start looking for items that meet your criteria but are also beautiful. After all, you don’t want your home office to stand out too much from the rest of your home and be the odd man out. The design principle of unity still holds here.

Regardless of what you might need, there are basics that must be present in any home office, starting with the desk and chair. With that said, you should be willing to splurge on these pieces of furniture, seeing as you’ll be spending several hours using them every day. Hence, a chair that is comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and ergonomically-correct is a solid investment on your part. The desk ought to be wide enough to accommodate your computer as well as all your other necessities.

It should come as no surprise by now, but the number one enemy that you will have to face in every room is a lack of storage space. To combat this foe, you can use a bare wall as an ally. You can install floating shelves and stack them up vertically, and the beautiful thing about floating shelves is that they are very conservative space wise. However, if you have the space for it, you should go ahead and install filing cabinets and cupboards, all of which help you stay organized and have everything you need to work as close to you as possible.

Besides relying on storage space, decluttering your workspace is another way to keep organized. To avoid all the wire tangles, you can start by using as many wireless appliances as possible, such as a wireless mouse, a wireless keyboard, a wireless printer, and a wireless router. With regards to the appliances that can’t go wireless, you can figure out a way to hide the wires, which can be achieved by having the wires go under your desk and grouping them inside a fabric cord or with any other cord tamer.

Finally, to give your home office that extra touch it needs, you can sprinkle a few plants here and there. In addition to making the place look nicer, adding plants to the room has several benefits. For one thing, it reduces stress and increases your level of comfort. For another, it can actually reduce ambient noise by up to 5 decibels and aids in keeping you healthy.

 

Guest Room

Perhaps you’re not the kind of individual who works from home but are the kind of individual who has guests over all the time, some of which end up sleeping over. In that case, you’re better off transforming your spare room into a guest room.

When it comes to the bed, two matching twin beds can serve you better than a single king or queen sized one. Think about it this way: if you have several guests sleeping over at the same time, then both beds will be able to accommodate more people than just the one. In a different scenario, if you have a couple crashing under your roof, they can just bring the twin beds together to create a bigger one.

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Along with the bed, the guest room should sport a desk, especially for the guests who’ll be staying for a while and will need a place to work from. Additionally, it would be a safe bet to say that more than 90% of guests sleeping over at your place have their laptop with them, and the desk offers them the perfect spot to place it on.

Leaving your guests an alarm clock on the night stand to help them wake up in the morning can be a very smart move on your part. It shows thoughtfulness on your part, especially if your guests have an important appointment early the next day. You can also place a bedside lamp on the nightstand for any night owls that enjoy reading well into the night.

When decorating the guest room, you should consider putting up a mirror on the wall, even if the mirror is small. Mirrors have the capability to make a room seem larger than it really is, and you don’t have to go bankrupt buying a big mirror to achieve this effect; small mirrors can attain a very similar result without the outrageous cost. Furthermore, mirrors can come in handy when your guests are getting ready and they need to put a touch of make-up or straighten their hair.

Naturally, you should provide your guests with a closet, and, again, a small one will suffice. Unless your guests are planning to move in, they don’t need a lot of storage space anyway. Alternatively, should the guest room already be equipped with a closet, you can afford to lose any other bulky storage units, such as a large wardrobe; it crowds the room unnecessarily.

The last thing worth saying about guest rooms is that you should try to apply the principles of feng shui to the best of your abilities. When it’s all said and done, any host cares that his guests get as good a night sleep as he does.

 

Home Gym

Exercise helps you maintain your health, reduces stress, and keeps you young. Therefore, if you have the necessary will power to motivate yourself to exercise regularly, then you should consider designing your very own home gym and putting in the investment. It won’t be cheap, but it will be worth it.

The heart and soul of any gym is the equipment. In the case of a home gym, you want equipment that can work out several muscle groups, equipment that is small and can fit inside a home, and that is above all safe to use and made of high quality material. The importance of the safety of your equipment cannot be overstated since you’ll most likely be working out alone. On the other hand, avoid stuffing too much machinery into your gym; you should be able to walk through your gym with ease.

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Other appliances that can prove helpful in a home gym are an accessory rack and a small fridge. The accessory rack can be a convenient spot for you to place all your devices and gadgets while working out so that they can always be within arm’s reach. The fridge, in turn, can store all your water and energy drinks in addition to keeping them cold.

One more item that belongs in your gym is a full length mirror that is placed on one of the walls. Not only does it make the room feel more expansive, it can also aid you in perfecting your form while exercising. After all, the best way to avoid injury is to maintain perfect form. Over and above, a mirror can help encourage you upon seeing all the progress you’ve made.

Regarding the color of the gym, you should stay away from any warm colors because they’ll fatigue you prematurely. Instead, you can paint your gym in a hue of white that can drive and egg you on. Alternatively, you can choose to use grey predominantly in your gym. The reason grey would be a good choice is due to its versatility: it can stand alone or it can be complemented by a bright accent or two. Furthermore, grey, in most of its shades, can act as a suitable base for a gym. In addition to all of this, grey can go with almost any decorating style that would suit a gym.

Speaking of accent walls, you can’t do better than using red. As we mentioned earlier in the guide, red is a powerful color that energizers the viewer. As a matter of fact, two professors at the University of Durham, named Russel Hill and Robert Barton, came to an interesting conclusion based on their research of the 2004 Summer Olympics: when two athletes of equal capability face off, the athlete wearing red was more likely to win. And the amount of times that this happened was too big for it to be a statistical anomaly.

Last but not least, a stylish finish has the capability to elevate your gym and make it stand out. Wooden slats are a trusted classic that never fail. They can even help a sauna fit in your space and mesh seamlessly.

 

Relaxation Room

Without getting into too much detail, a relaxation room is a space that is usually found at spas and into which you can walk and relax before or after a treatment. They tend to be riddled with chairs, lounges, bean bags, and every other type of furniture designed to help you lay back and chill. If you can afford one, it can make a nice addition to your household.
The lighting of a relaxation room should be subdued. Candles work best here thanks to their soft glow, flickering flame, and swaying shadow. As anyone who’s stared at a candle long enough will tell you, there is something hypnotic about the way they glow. However, should you wish, you can brighten the lights in your relaxation room at midday, when the sun is highest in the sky, so as to mimic what’s happening outside. This has been shown to make people feel better.

As for colors, you have a few options. You can go with yellow that is believed to invigorate the nerves and cleanse the system. Besides that, you have orange that can boost your energy levels and blue that calms illnesses and relaxes pain.

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If you’re thinking of the things that you should use to stock your relaxation room with, fresh water belongs at the top of that list, followed closely by fruits.

While sounds and scents haven’t been that big a factor in most of the previous rooms, they both play a pivotal role in your relaxation room. When figuring out what sounds you want to fill your room with, you have a few options to choose from: nature sounds, relaxing rhythmic beats, or white noise. Natural sounds can range from crickets to waves to bird songs. The sound itself isn’t that important so much as its monotony combined with its subtle progression. An individual who listens to this sound and responds to it is bound to relax, feel their heartbeat slow down, and realize that their breaths are getting deeper. Just as sound is used to create a soothing environment, so do scents play a very similar role. Try going with smells like lavender or vanilla for their serene effects. Avoid using citrus smell; it evokes a feeling of energy rather than relaxation.

With regards to color, the three most popular colors to use are blue, white, and grey that has hints of red in it. As we asserted earlier, blue is a soothing color, so it makes sense that it would dominate the number one spot. Anyhow, the use of light hues of greys should come as no surprise seeing as how they can be combined with pale aquas to give off a comforting feeling that can compete with the one given off by the blue and white combo.

You should fill your room with plush furniture and other elements that promote an overall feeling of relaxation. For instance, placing a small Zen garden sand tray in the middle of the room can be a good idea. If you're wondering what a small Zen garden sand tray is, it's simply a tray containing sand, stones, and a tiny rake. Interestingly, plenty of people find it calming to rake patterns into the sand on the tray. You can also use art to help create a relaxing atmosphere; a picture or a drawing of a serene landscape is bound to leave a sensation of peace. Aside all of that, you can just use whatever calms you down when you are stressed.

You can also experiment with different plants in your relaxation room and see which ones put you at ease. Most potted plants and fresh cut flowers are bound to do the trick for you. As well as this, they purify your air.

At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is that the objective of the relaxation room is to create an environment of absolute comfort, the kind of environment where you can’t help but fall asleep. In accordance with this, make sure that every piece of furniture you buy is a small cloud taken from the heavens above: find armchairs in which you can sink in and lose yourself in a book, get yourself a hammock that juts oozes lethargy, or buy a bean bag that is big enough for you to get lost inside.

The last point to make is that your room should have an obvious and simple path to walk on. Otherwise, the room will seem cluttered, which will be anything but relaxing for you.

 

This chapter delved into several options you can explore when furnishing a spare room. The next chapter, the final one, will discuss how you can make the exterior of your home as impressive as the interior.

For a full list of chapters, click here.

  • Anja Logozar

Children's Room

Chapter 8: Children's Room

 

With the main bedroom behind us, it’s time for us to look at how you can create the perfect space for your children. Let’s start with how you can use colors to influence your children and bring out the best in them.

 

The Use of Color in Your Children’s Room

If you think that color selection isn’t a science, you’re mistaken. Just ask any of the marketing executives who have spent considerable sums of money trying to understand the effects colors can have on our psychology, and you’ll come to the realization that the décor at your gym, the wall at your day spa, and your favorite restaurant aren’t colored haphazardly; each color used is meant to evoke certain emotions. In the same manner, you can use the colors in your children’s bedroom to influence their mood and behavior.

Broadly speaking, warm colors create feelings of elatedness and relaxation. They can also foster a sense of intimacy by adding a touch of coziness to wide, open spaces. Furthermore, using striking hues of red, orange, and yellow can infuse your children with energy and get them engaging with the environment around them. Regardless, the drawback here is that too much stimulation can cause your kids to be hyperactive, especially when it’s time for them to go to sleep. Hence, the trick here lies in moderation. To achieve that, there are a couple of things you can do: you can paint an accent wall with a bright red or yellow color and complement it with accessories that match, rather than have the whole room painted in the striking warm color. Alternatively, you can try coupling the warm colors with cooler hues, hence balancing the room out and cancelling out any deleterious effects.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have your cool colors, which are known to have a soothing effect while giving off the impression that the room is larger than it really is. Unfortunately, dark cool colors, when used excessively, can create a sensation of despair, as if some catastrophe were about to take place. As a result, the rule here is moderation also. Moreover, even though cool colors can create a relaxed, chill ambience, they can cause people to feel alienated and distant. The best way to counter this effect is to combine the cool colors with creamy neutrals as well as adorn the room with gentle materials and plush furniture.

Having seen the broad strokes of color usage, let’s go one level deeper and investigate the various effects each color can have on us.

  • Red - Electrifying and passionate, the color red can up your heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration, making it perfect for little athletes in the making. Unfortunately, one of the cons here is that red can also increase aggression, reduce concentration, cause headaches, and may even harm academic performance. As a result, it is recommended to use red to accent wall but not to paint an entire room, which goes especially for hyperactive children.
  • Pink - Pink has the power to bring out the empathetic, feminine side of us while soothing us at the same time. Nevertheless, it can also get boring pretty quick, causing the people surrounded by it day in and day out to get distressed. Because of this, you should be aware that although your daughter might seem in love with her pink room now, she is probably going to grow out of it, sooner rather than later.
  • Yellow - This is definitely an uplifting color, and it has the power to bring joy to people. Over and above, subdued yellows make it easier to focus, whereas more striking yellows can help jog your memory and better your metabolism. Like every other color, there is a flipside here, which is that an over-abundance of yellow can cause irritability and agitation.
  • OrangeIf one word could describe the color orange, it would be social. It motivates communication and helps people relax. Similar to the color yellow, a lot of orange can cause people to get aggravated.
  • BlueThis color helps create a tranquil environment. Its effects are pretty much the opposite of those of the color red, in the sense that blue decreases the blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and general sentiments of aggression. Blue can produce a cool and refreshing environment as well, and that can come in handy in particularly hot places.
  • PurpleThe color of both wisdom and royalty, purple combines the best of both worlds: the tranquility of blue and the effusiveness of red. It can also lean towards the properties of blue or red, depending on its shade.
  • GreenStanding in for nature, green is a very peaceful and serene color. The fact that it is linked to health and physical rejuvenation only helps to accentuate its calming effects. In addition, green can increase focus and the ability to read.

 

Decorating for Every Age

Now that we’ve seen how color can affect us, let’s investigate how you can decorate your child’s room in a way that’s commensurate with their age.


Babies

Given that, at this stage in their lives, there is no direct way for your child to communicate their preferences to you, and neither is there a way to know what kind of person your child will grow up to be, you will have to be the one who decides which colors ought to adorn the baby’s walls. Despite the fact that science is very useful when it comes to abstractions, things tend to be a little bit more nuanced in practical life. After all, your child may have varying reactions to different colors, depending on his character and sensitivity. What’s more, as your child grows older, culture will play a big role in defining how he reacts to particular stimuli. Therefore, you should always bear in mind the effects colors have in psychology while painting the room, yet you should also take both the positives and negatives with a tiny pinch of salt and let your intuition do its thing. At the end of the day, should your child enjoy yellow, don’t fret over the negatives too much.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com, licensed under CC0 Public Domain.

Once you settle on a color for the room, you now have to decide on how many shades of said color you are going to use. A good rule of thumb is to utilize a minimum of three hues of the same color so as to produce a feeling of continuity and fluidity. Additionally, you shouldn’t shy away from using white space because it can add a dash of bold to your overall design.

Another rule of thumb is to pick the furniture and materials before a single brush stroke hits the wall. The reason for this is that it is considerably easier to find paint that matches the furniture rather than find furniture that matches the paint. This makes sense considering the enormous number of paint colors available commercially in contrast to the limited number of colors that a given set of furniture pieces come in.

Perhaps you are more leaning towards using striking patterns to complement bright colors, in which case, as long as you avoid overdoing it, the final look should be great. Go with large-scale patterns that contain a lot of neutral space. Aside from being judicious on when you can use the pattern, it would be a good idea to set a solid slab of color adjacent to the pattern in order to ground it, hence demarcating where a pattern begins and where it ends and making it stand out.

Now that you’ve set your mind on the basics, you’re ready to go out and buy all the necessities. You should start with buying the big bulky items first, such as the crib, changing tables, and rocker. This will aid you in seeing the finished room before you cross the finish line, and the instant all the big furniture is installed, you’ll be able to judge the amount of space you have left and what can be done with it. Plus, putting all the big furniture in the room will help you define the focal point along with making other decorating decisions.

Speaking of decorations, you shouldn’t try to flood the room with different ornaments. Instead, you should aim at focusing on a few instrumental areas. You see, when plenty of accessories are bunched together, they catch the eye of anyone using the space. Taking this into account, you can begin by adorning your focal point with a few accessories, followed by settling on multiple other minor focal points throughout the space.

A recurring theme throughout this guide is how storage space is a rare commodity and that you should create some whenever you can. Toys, blankets, and bibs are all things you need to figure out where to put at the end of the day. So, without further ado, let’s see how you can create some extra storage space using creative ideas for when your child is a baby as well as when they get older.

  • In the event that your child enjoys playing with plenty of toy cars, then you’re probably no stranger to the feeling of stepping on these toy cars all the time. However, using a magnetic knife rack, you can store all of the toy cars in a very simple way that is accessible to your child.
  • If you have any old suitcases lying around the house, rather than throw them away, why not repurpose them and use them as under bed storage baskets? All it takes is a coat of paint and a cheap set of wheels.
  • Remember those old wagons kids used to drag around all day? You could use them as a moving book cart, particularly if your kid is the kind of person to spend hours getting lost with Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, and C.S. Lewis.


Toddlers

At this stage in their lives, children begin to make friendships, making the room layout one of the most important factors to look out for. For example, designing a tight confined space may push kids to cooperate, yet it can also cause aggression and agitation. Thankfully, minimizing the amount of clutter and using malleable furnishings can alleviate that a bit and allow for more usage of each space.

Conversely, a surplus of space can lead to uneasy children who have difficulty concentrating and avoid their peers. The best remedy for spaces that are too wide is to use dividers and break up the space into different zones, each dedicated for a specific activity. This solution can increase the kids’ focus and encourage interaction once again.


T(w)eens

By that age, they have a clear idea regarding what they do and don’t like. Consequently, you should let them take the reins on this one but under your watchful eye and guidance. For instance, if your child wants to paint their entire room black, maybe you should try to talk them out of it.

 

Dividing the Room into Activity Zones

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Ideally, a child’s bedroom should supply them with the required space for any activity they could possibly want to perform. With that said, there are four main activities that must be accommodated by the room: sleeping, dressing, playing, and studying. Let’s take a look at each one of them.

  • Sleeping - The first thing we all, adults and children alike, associate with our beds is a feeling of safety and coziness. Consequently, you want to maximize this feeling for your child and a headboard can help you achieve that. Moreover, beds that are nestled against a wall can afford to have a headboard that runs by one of its sides. This is perfect for children who want to stay up at night reading a bit before sleeping or for children who tend to have plenty of play dates and use the bed as a sofa.
  • Dressing - To provide a space for your kid to change clothes comfortably, a room has to have a few things. Naturally, a closet or wardrobe is at the top of that list. Also, you want to make sure that your kid has privacy in their room, which could be accomplished by using a translucent window instead of having to close the curtains every time they want to get dressed.
  • PlayingAs your children grow older, the way they play changes. Therefore, you should aim for a room that can handle their ever changing demands, starting by offering them space and plenty of storage. To start with, try to put a lot of seating space in their room, giving them the opportunity to socialize with others. This can be accomplished with the help of a sofa bed and bean bags. Another way to create more space, especially in shared rooms, is through the use of bunk beds. Furthermore, you can install a few strong hooks into the wall or ceiling and use them to fashion a makeshift hammock, den, shelf, or even a swing. As for the storage, make sure that it is the proper height for your children and is accessible to them.
  • StudyingThe best study areas are the ones that help your child focus and isolate him from any distractions. Try to put the desk up against a wall or room divider so as to give your child room for shelves. Along with the desk, you’ll have to get your child a chair. Make sure that there is room for the chair and that it isn’t going to become an obstruction for a swinging door.

 

Shared Rooms

Occasionally, some families will find themselves in the position where they have more children than there are rooms in the house, in which case some of the children will have to share a room. Nevertheless, sharing can be a fun experience if correctly planned for.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com, licensed under CC0 Public Domain.

The first thing to do is to get both children who’ll be using the room involved in on the process, assuming that they are at an age where they are capable of voicing their own opinion. More importantly, you should bear in mind that you don’t have to find a compromise between what they both want, which might end up pleasing neither. Instead, you can easily decorate each child’s half of the room exactly the way they want. What matters here is equity; each child should feel that they are getting the same exact deal as their sibling.

As we mentioned earlier, an excellent way to save space in shared rooms is through the use of bunk beds. This becomes even more pertinent in small rooms. Despite what you might think, using bunk beds doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice each child’s privacy completely; you can still make each bed a haven for the child using it, where they can read and relax. To accomplish this, you can install lights, shelves and drapes on both levels of the bed.

Another clever way to conserve space is to situate a bedside table in a corner, and have both beds facing this bedside table from either side. The end result should be two beds lying perpendicularly to one another with a small table sitting at both their heads. The only possible drawback from this arrangement is that it entices your children to indulge in late night conversations.

“But wait”, I hear you say, “what if I have a boy and a girl?” To which the reply is that it is still easy to have them share a room as long as they are still children and not teenagers. Just be sure to emphasize each child’s right to privacy, either through the use of curtains or makeshift walls, such as room dividers and bookshelves. However, when they do enter their teen years, you’ll probably have to provide each with their own personal space away from the other.

A point discussed earlier was the importance of providing your children with space to study. When sharing a room, this is no less important. You can make this happen by giving your children a wide desk or floating shelf that is spacious enough to accommodate two people working with their laptops. Extra storage space can be acquired through the use of floating shelves.

 

Unusual Decorating Ideas

Image courtesy of pixabay.com, licensed under CC0 Public Domain.

If you really want to turn your kid’s room into a special space that expresses their personality, then you can try to do a theme based room. This has the potential of being a fun project that will bring you closer to your child, though it may be a bit costly. But, you can still a few simple things with your kid of the DIY variety that won’t break your bank.
What matters here is to get the kid involved as much as possible; after all, it’s their room, and they should feel proud of it. Another mistake you might want to avoid is to go overboard and end up with a room that lacks cohesion or any aesthetic sensibility; try to find something that strikes the perfect balance between what your kid wants and what constitutes good design. And, whatever you do, make sure to have loads of fun with your kid.

Having said all that, let’s take a look at a couple of ideas out there.

  • Should your child be a little architect in the making (or maybe they just like Legos), you can give the room with a Lego theme. For instance, you can cover an entire wall with Lego boards. Even the pillows can have small cube shapes, emulating Lego blocks. In this room, the environment is ever changing, with the primary architect of this change being your child themselves.
  • If your child has had the pleasure of reading C.S. Lewis’s “The Chronicles of Narnia”, or at least seen the movie adaptation, then you can provide them with something very similar in their room. For example, you can build them a small play room that is hidden beneath a secret door inside of a closet. The playroom itself can be colored in any way to mimic the mystical land of Narnia.

 

This chapter was devoted to your children and how you can provide them with the perfect space to grow and develop. The next chapter will look at any spare rooms you might have and all the things you could do with it. Instead of cluttering it, you can turn it into a useful room that you and your family will enjoy.

For a full list of chapters, click here.

  • Anja Logozar

The Bedroom

Chapter 7: The Bedroom

 

Your bedroom is your safe haven; it is where you go to after a long day. Not only that, this is where you sleep, making it the place where you spend more than a third of your life.

Besides the fact that you probably spend more time in your bedroom than all of the other rooms in your home combined, the quality of your sleep itself is critical for the rest of your day. A few of the many benefits of sleep include aiding your brain in functioning properly, helping in the process of heart and blood vessels repair, and allowing you to function at your best during the rest of your day.

Because of all this, we will take an in-depth look at your bedroom and how you can make the most out of it.

 

Organizing the Room Feng Shui Style

Feng shui is the practice of placing the furniture and other aspects inside a room in a way that manipulates the energy within it to the benefit of your health. The main tenet here is to allow the chi to continue to flow by balancing yin (female) and yang (male) energies. This becomes even more understandable when you appreciate that every object has its own energy, be it a piece of wood or an intimate locket, and feng shui tries to direct this energy in a manner reflective of the processes that are happening inside of us, mirroring who we are and where we are headed.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com, licensed under CC0 Public Domain.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how feng shui attempts to achieve just that in your bedroom.

 

Bedroom location

The best place for you to situate your bedroom in the first place is in the most secluded area within the entire house. Basically, you want to isolate your bedroom from the outside world as much as possible, which means placing it as far as possible from any doors that lead to concrete pavements and asphalt roads.

 

Clutter

Assuming that clutter can be a major road block to everything good, feng shui encourages to get rid of anything that doesn’t make you serene and calm. Naturally, this might be difficult for most of us, so , here are a few ideas that can help.
  • Keep a maximum of two books per individual. After all, it’s a bedroom, not a library.
  • Avoid having any laundry or hampers anywhere around you when you are sleeping.
  • Anything that might be distracting to you while relaxing should be covered, closed, or removed.
For instance, if you can make do without a TV in your bedroom, then, by all means, do that. The same goes for your computer, exercise equipment, dog kennel, and so on. Nevertheless, if you must have one of these things present, the least you could do is to find a way to block it out while you sleep; whether it’s through the use of a lightweight folding screen, a fabric that drops from the ceiling, an armoire that closes and hides its inhabitants, or through any other means is entirely up to you. Keep your room clean at all times as dust and dirt can result in static chi, which can be deleterious.

 

Bed position

According to feng shui, there are several factors to take into consideration when trying to figure where to place your bed, the first of which is being familiar with the commanding position in your room, also known as the power position. The commanding position is the spot that is situated diagonally across from the entrance to your bedroom. This position permits you to see who is coming through the door without letting you be too exposed. It is important to emphasize that the bed should be diagonally across as opposed to directly in front of the bedroom door. Laying your bed in alignment with your bedroom door and having your feet pointing towards that exit is a feng shui no no; it is dubbed as the coffin position. However, if your room is forcing you to place your bed in the coffin position, the best thing for you to do is to place a piece of furniture, like a high bench, between you and the exit.

 

Another factor to take into consideration is the position of your bed relative to the windows of your bedroom. For example, you should avoid situating your bed beneath windows given that windows are some of the primary escape hatches for the chi energy in your bedroom, and during its escape, the chi energy is bound to cause you an uneasy sleep. Also, you want to make sure that the wall supporting your bed from behind is not shares with a bathroom.

 

Use of mirrors

It is highly advisable to get rid of, or at least cover, any mirrors in your room while you sleep, especially as mirrors reflect chi. However, if you’re insistent on having a mirror in your room, then just don’t place it at the foot of your bed because this is seen as enabling third parties to enter the bed between you and your significant other, which, some say, may lead to infidelity.

 

Arts and photos

The artwork hanging in your bedroom ought to be calming, relaxing, and beautiful. With this in mind, steer away from any energetic pictures, including ones about racing and others with plenty of water in them. Instead, try hanging your favorite piece of art straight across from your bed so that you wake up to something beautiful.
Alternatively, you can hang up artwork that demonstrates what you hope to achieve in life, which could be more success, romance, or serenity.
Conversely, you should shy away from photos that are family related. The bedroom is supposed to be about you and your significant other; you have the rest of the house to put up pictures of that vacation you all went on last year.

 

Desks and electronics

In the same vein that you want to avoid sleeping beneath a window due to the disruptive chi energy that will flow over you, you don’t want any energy buzzing and whirring around you, including electric energy. Therefore, not only should you minimize the amount of electricity coursing through your bedroom, you should also avoid having electricity surging behind your bed as much as you can. For example, rather than using an electric alarm clock, you can rely on one powered by batteries.
A big part of applying feng shui to your bedroom is making it exclusively for sleep. Consequently, turning your bedroom into a work station is one of the fastest ways to injecting the wrong kind of energy into your sanctuary. With that said, don’t place any work desks in your bedroom as long as it can be avoided. Worst case scenario, if you have to have a workstation in your bedroom, you can resort to desks which you can fold and hide away the minute you’re done working.

 

Other bedroom furniture

When considering where to place the furniture inside your room, take these couple of points into account.
Along with energy pathways, don’t obstruct your own physical pathways or doorways.
Make sure that none of your furniture is creating poison arrows towards your bed. In feng shui, poison arrows are the result of the sharp edge or a corner of a piece of furniture aiming directly for something.

 

Colors

No one can deny that colors have a visceral effect on all of us, particularly when we spend an extended amount of time in them. Hence, you need to be selective when it comes to the color that will adorn the walls of your bedroom. On the one hand, you can choose to go with something that is warm and soothing, such as cream, peach, or earth. Alternatively, you could decide that you want a cool, chill color like light blue and greens; these are colors that help create a tranquil mood. In case you’re trying to inject more romance into your relationship, then perhaps pinks and dark reds are more for you. Regardless of what you choose, just make sure to stay away from bright colors as they tend to be too energetic and cause a restless environment.

 

Lighting

The basic rule is this: in the morning, you want plenty of natural light to flood your bedroom; in the evening, you should aim for softer lighting to caress the elements in your bedroom, which where candles can come in handy; and at night, you want to be enveloped by complete darkness for a good relaxing sleep.

 

 

Picking the Bed and Mattress

Image courtesy of pixabay.com, licensed under CC0 Public Domain.

Out of all the things in your bedroom, the bed is the most important, hands down. As a result, let’s dive into what makes a good one and how you can identify it, followed by a close inspection of how you can pick the perfect mattress for you.

 

The Bed

  • Before talking about your bed’s comfort, let’s get its look out of the way. A potent style statement can be made with the use of a headboard, particularly a solid wooden one. Besides, they provide you with good energy as they offer support for the top of your body. On the other hand, footboards shouldn’t be your go to preference, unless your bed is lying in the coffin position.
  • Having discussed the look of the bed, let’s talk about how it feels. To start with, whenever you buy a bed, you should always take into consideration the mattress that will go with it. For instance, spring mattresses work best with spring beds, whereas foam mattresses are used more often with slat beds. Because of all of this, you should aim at buying the mattress and bed simultaneously.
  • For those of us with back problems, our best choices tend to come down to either slat or spring beds.
  • Although an item’s price is usually a good indicator of its quality, this is only partially true when it comes to beds. Apart from the price, you should assess each bed on its own merits. A case in point would be judging a slat bed based on the quality of the slats. So, the next time you’re buying a slat bed, check and make sure that the slats are supported in the middle as well as on the edges. Otherwise, they can move apart or collapse.
  • While figuring out how big or small you want your bed to be, you have to take two factors into account. Firstly, you need to consider the size of the room and how the bed will fit inside. It would not be a good idea for you to buy a bed so big that it crowds your room and makes it difficult to traverse the room. Secondly, you shouldn’t be too thrifty with the size of your bed either. Not only do you want a big bed in which you can toss and turn, but you are also looking for something that a significant other can do the same within, be it now or in the future.
  • Assuming that you’re running out of storage space in your bedroom, you can always buy a bed with storage space underneath it, or a storage bed for short.

 

The Mattress

Unlike the bed, where you could afford to save a few dollars as long as you maintained good quality, you shouldn’t shy away from spending a considerable sum on your mattress. At the end of the day, it’s going to be the main support for your back when you’re tired and fatigued.

There are numerous types of mattresses out there, and the type you eventually settle on will largely depend on your own preferences, weight, and sleeping style. Nevertheless, here are the main qualities of mattresses and what you should look for in each quality.

  1. Mattress firmness. This term indicates how much your mattress either gives away under your weight or resists it. Despite what you might think, soft mattresses are not good for your back and can exacerbate your back pain: they don’t offer the necessary support that your back needs. Conversely, an extremely firm mattress may keep your spine in alignment, yet it also exerts a significant amount of pressure onto your hips, shoulders, heels, and head. Consequently, you want to find a mattress that falls squarely in the Goldilocks zone for you.
  2. Mattress supportiveness. A supportive mattress is one that’ll keep your spine in alignment. Ideally, such a mattress will prevent any part of your body sagging or sinking while making sure that none of your joints are stressed. Innerspring mattresses may be supportive at the beginning of their lifetime, but as they age, they lose that quality. Fortunately, there are other options that can give you the sort of support you’re looking for: memory foam, latex, and airbed.
  3. Mattress conformability. As the name might suggest, this quality describes to what degree a mattress molds itself to take the shape of your body. This is the best way for your body to be full supported without having any pressure exerted on your joints. Again, memory foam is one the best types of mattresses when it comes to conformability. You can also check out waterbeds and innerspring mattresses with memory foam overlays.

 

Closets and Storage Space

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Regardless of how much storage space you have, there is never enough. The best case scenario is for you to be able to install a closet in your bedroom, yet this may not always be feasible. Therefore, let’s explore some of the options you can try out.

  • Garment racks. A sleek, slim, and cost-effective solution for your clothes, garment racks offer you a trendy way to get organized while contending with limited space.
  • Under bed storage. As we mentioned earlier, you can purchase storage beds and stuff them with your blankets, comforters, sweaters, and other essentials. It might not be the best thing for you chi, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
  • B Bookshelves don’t have to be used for books only; they can come in handy when you are looking for a place to stash your shoes, shirts, and other everyday items. Additionally, they’re cheap cost and simple set-up make them all the more attractive.
  • Floating shelves. Floating shelves are a God send for anyone looking for an easy storage solution in an already cramped room. The fact that you can set them up anywhere you want is enough to explain their appeal.
  • Upside-down shelf brackets. They are cheap, and by installing them upside down, you can create a large expanse of storage area for your clothes.
  • Drawer units. Instead of buying heavy dressers, why not use small drawers and storage chests? It’s cheaper and gives you more customizability.
  • Hanging hooks. One of the oldest tricks in the book, coat hooks can be used to store anything from your coats to your umbrella to that shirt you’re planning to wear tomorrow anyway.
  • Trunks + storage benches. Just as you can purchase a storage bed, there is plenty of other furniture out there that hides layers of storage space beneath its façade. You can use it as extra storage space and as an actual bench/ piece of furniture at the same time.


Walk-in Closets vs. Wardrobes

Now that we’ve discussed some of the more unorthodox storage ideas out there, it’s time for us to wrap up this chapter by looking at a quick comparison between the two primary forms of storage: walk-in closets and wardrobes.

We can begin by seeing what wardrobes have to offer. To begin with, wardrobes are nothing more than exterior closets that you buy separate from your house and can take with you when you leave. Unlike a clothing rack for example, wardrobes offer you the capability to hide your clothes yet avoid any clutter. Their versatility and portability makes them an attractive option to some, especially those who are on the move a lot.

Our second contender, walk-in closets, gives you more open space to play with. They are built with space that is already present in your home, and their open layout makes it easier for you to find what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, since they come with the house, they stay with the house.

Whichever option you decide to go for is up to you and your house’s available space.

 

Throughout this chapter, we’ve seen what you can do to make your bedroom a sanctuary for relaxation. In the next chapter, we’ll see how you can do the same for your children’s room, bearing in mind that their needs are different than yours. Whether your kids are still infants or they’re teenagers finishing high school, we’ll see how you can decorate their room and make it nurture their development.

For a full list of chapters, click here.

  • Anja Logozar