Growing up with my West Indian grandmother, my room technically was not my room. It was always her room. I never had any privacy until I occasionally locked the door and even that was frowned upon in her household. I would often find missing clothes and items‒ things I knew were long gone. With lost polaroids and straps from my favorite high-top Nikes turning up out of nowhere, I was furious; my space wasn’t being respected at all. My room was not mine, so therefore it did not feel like my sanctuary. My bedroom’s design was not consulted with me either; from the furniture, to the color of the walls and the bedding‒ it was all what my grandma wanted. I felt like my creativity was being constrained. However, over the years I found ways to enjoy my room without breaking her rules because at the end of the day, it still is her house and I knew that I had to respect that and her.
You should envision what you want your room to be; figure out what you like and dislike. Purging the items in your bedroom down to only the essentials can make it look and feel more relaxing. What kind of bedroom aesthetic do you envision? With a bigger picture in mind, think about nuances that make your bedroom feel like home. The quickest way to cozy up a bedroom is to choose a color to center the room around and stick to it. A unifying color helps to ground a bedroom and bring its look and vibe together. Google some room ideas that you’d like to emulate to follow a style and do not forget to create a budget for spending, especially if you’d like to invest in higher quality pieces. But remember, the DIY projects are endless, especially for bedrooms.
Begin by checking in with what’s going on in your sleep space and set a clear intention: do you want a room for winding down and sleeping? A space to read or exercise? Do you want a TV in the room? If you’ve kept your bedroom the same way for years, challenge yourself to try something new. I began to visualize my room with black decor and made it happen step by step. I did this by either buying black decor signs (from places like Amazon) or just painting pieces I already had black. I bought the necessities from Michael’s Arts and Craft Store and began painting everything I could. I painted a pink shadow box, an old mirror, furniture, a heart shaped glass bowl and even a jewelry box that was passed on from my grandma herself. If I didn’t use traditional painting methods with a brush, I spray painted some items. To solidify my theme of black, I spray painted synthetic white roses and purchased a black and white yin yang tapestry.
I purchased bedding from Amazon and Target to see what else I could do to change my bedroom into a true sanctuary. Even if everything could not be done cheaply, I was willing to splurge. I even found a star light installation to cover my ceiling since I couldn’t cover my walls with paint.
The goal is to make sure that your room never makes you feel trapped, stressed or drained. Having a place of sanctuary is important for one’s mental well-being, especially for college students. No matter what happens in the outside world, there needs to always be a place for you to balance out and recharge; a place you come to for peace. When it comes to decorating your bedroom, embrace the colors and things that you love by building a space that makes you feel the most at home. Resetting the room sets a positive tone for the time you spend in it.
Making sure your space is your own and somewhere you are comfortable in is especially important as we self-isolate for a few weeks. Try to recreate your space with things and tools you have around your house. Do not go out to recreate your room right now, and only order from online retailers if you have to. Give yourself the challenge of doing this with what you already have!