How To Create the Most Relaxing Bedroom on a Budget

3 simple steps to creating a stress-free bedroom you can do right now for free: 1. Remove reminders of unfinished tasks 2.Remove electronic stress-triggers 3.Add happy things

POP QUIZ : What do the following people want at the end a long and tiring day: a caveman, Henry the VIth, Elon Musk, Oprah and you?

Any guesses?

To go back to their cave/ bedroom and have a good night’s sleep.

The primary function of the bedroom has not changed in a million years- to be a safe and deeply comforting space. A place to have – peace of mind.

Once you have taken care of the basics of a bedroom layout and all big furniture items are in their proper place and the ‘primal’ mind is at ease, let us focus on catering to the evolved part of the brain. The one that deals with finer design details.

Design psychology takes into account all those decorating details that trigger pain/pleasure signals in the brain. Things around you influence our judgment, attitude, and behaviors in ways that we are not aware of. This idea is based on what cognitive psychologist Daniel Kahneman calls ‘Priming’ in his book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’.

Every item in your room has an impact on your mental state. These objects lead to the subconscious and continuous priming- that is they constantly keep you in a certain state of mind- by triggering specific thoughts associated with them. Now, you can’t control those thoughts but you can make sure your bedroom triggers good thoughts and keeps you in a relaxed state of mind.

So how do you go about creating that?


How To Create the Most Relaxing Bedroom on a Budget

STEP 1- Remove anything that signifies an unfinished task.

Think of the last time you couldn’t help but finish someone’s incomplete sentence. Why is that? Our mind dislikes incomplete tasks. Things around the house are just that – incomplete tasks.  A bookcase with piles of unopened magazines and half-read books triggers remorse the moment you open your eyes first thing in the morning. An ignored treadmill triggers a sense of shame of not using it. A chair piled up of unwashed or unfolded laundry speaks for itself. Bills, credit card statements, legal documents remind you of your responsibilities. These items belong to the study, family room but not in the bedroom. Remove them all. The first step is to get rid of these stress triggers. Your bedroom will instantly start feeling lighter. Just have one book you are currently reading and your journal in your nightstand drawer. Also, if you read books and write in a journal, we should be friends!

How To Create the Most Relaxing Bedroom on a Budget

STEP 2- Remove electronics and work related materials.

The EMF from electronics like the phone, laptop, TV interferes with sleep patterns. The blue LED light that indicates if a device is charging has the most negative effect on the circadian rhythm. Screens of all kinds disturb your sleep pattern. That’s old news, you say? I know! But it is STILL true. Have you tried doing something about it?

If you have no choice and must keep them in the bedroom,(you are in a studio/dorm/bachelor pad) place the devices and charging cables at least 3 feet away from you (so NOT on your nightstand). Get an extension cord to eliminate constraints due to the location of the bedside electric outlet.

We are living in a time when technology is taking over everything and we haven’t set boundaries yet. Once more 10yr studies come out and prove how addictive and harmful it is, we will bracket it with cigarettes or sugar or carbs (take your pick) and be more open about labeling it as an addiction. Maybe, just maybe, your laziness will win over the urge to walk to the other room to pick up the phone and help you reduce the late-night mindless scrolling.

How To Create the Most Relaxing Bedroom on a Budget

STEP 3 – Add happy things.


The good news is that eliminating a lot of stuff (stress triggers) creates space for new things. If you removed the TV from the bedroom, I would like to meet you in person to congratulate you and give you a high-five. Get a cork board or fabric covered board. Hang it on the wall facing the bed. Fill it with happy images that make you feel grateful and inspired. Choose these images carefully. Recalling happy times in the past is a mood booster. But avoid having family photos in the bedroom. This should be the one place just for you (and your partner) without having the feeling of being watched or being reminded of family obligations.

It is easy to find melancholy images like a solitary woman, drooping flowers, somber still-life or art that depicts restless energy like running horses, waterfalls, etc. Neither of these is ideal for the bedroom. The art in the room should depict happy (whatever makes YOU happy) or abstract images. Flowers, serene landscapes, reclining Buddha are great options. If you like certain colors, just frame colored sheets of paper, like I did for this bedroom here. Don’t go for crazy busy patterns. The theme here is restful and calm. Think ZEN.

The ideal location of art depends on the height of the headboard. If it is too high (as is the case in the featured bedroom), hang frames just above the nightstands on either side. For a medium high headboard, hang art in landscape orientation above it.

  1. Removing stress triggers – anything that reminds you of pending work, neglected hobbies, incomplete projects, future responsibilities,
  2. Remove electronics. It may be hard to do initially. You can thank me later.
  3. Add happy images, objects, and artwork.

If you like the idea but have no time/energy to take on the project and would like my help, reach out to me directly on

This 3 step method is the quickest way of creating the most relaxing bedroom without spending any real money. Win win.

About The Author

Richa brings you only the most practical, to-the-point, no-nonsense information that helps turn your house into your dream home. She has a passion for simplifying design concepts that you can actually put to use. She has a degree in Architecture, over thirty published articles, a life blog and has co-authored the bestseller 'My First Home' with Shashank Shekhar.


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