muted palette restful bedroom with built-ins and orchid

the secret to a restful bedroom might not be what you think! elledecor asked me for my advice on designing a bedroom to help get a better night’s sleep. the design of your bedroom should be helping you sleep (definitely read this article from cnn, life changing) here is how i approach crafting a serene, sleep-inducing, insomnia-curing bedroom.


1. create boundaries

stress is the biggest enemy of a good night’s sleep. for workaholics like me, not having your phone in the room creates boundaries, and it means you have no choice but to unplug and unwind. i never bring my phone into my bedroom, and it’s the best habit i’ve ever created. instead, keep a tray or basket by the bed for a book or notebook, and keep your space clean, simple, and decluttered.

dark and serene bedroom with wood paneling, muted palette, and soft lighting

central park west

2. lighting

lighting creates the mood, so the best way to keep your bedroom serene is by controlling the light. stray light from outside will keep you awake, so i like to use blackout shades as a simple way to block it out. i recommend pairing a high-end blackout roller shade with luxurious drapery panels to create an elegant and functional window dressing.

during the daytime, you need a good overhead light, but when winding down at night it’s important to have soft, warm light. sconces and recessed lighting that creates a soft wash along the wall will help you feel serene and relaxed.

overhead and sconce lighting in the bedroom

left: fifth ave. right: park ave south.

3. simplicity

i like to keep my color palettes in the bedroom soft and neutral, and dark walls can help create a calming atmosphere. steer clear of too many trinkets or clutter and keep the decor simple. i prefer soft textures, and steer clear of busy patterns or bright colors. choose minimal and refined linens and draperies. i love a beautiful cashmere throw!

neutral color palettes in the bedroom

left: bridgehampton. right: central park west.

4. seating

it’s important to have a secondary space to read or put on your shoes. i like having somewhere i can relax and unwind with a book and a scented candle.

bedroom seating areas

left: central park west. center: fifth ave. right: park ave

5. serenity

i always keep fresh cut flowers on my bedside table and dresser. they add a little bit of light and life into the room, while still being calming and serene. i also like to keep a scented candle or a room spray in a soothing scent like lavender close at hand.

fresh flowers on bedside tables to add life to the bedroom

left: sutton place. right: park ave.

ready for a good night’s sleep? here are some of my favorite serene bedroom essentials.

get the look... serene bedroom decor

a. duvet // b. tray // c. carafe // d. candle // e. pillow // f. throw // g. sconce // h. vase // i. table lamp


sweet dreams!


cheers ~ darci


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