by Jen Pollard,
Life is crazy. I mean, there’s crazy-good (hard work earns you a bonus, yay!) and there’s everyday crazy (take the cat to the vet, grab a birthday card for your best friend, get your haircut somewhere in there) — and then there’s the world today. Sometimes it feels impossible to get away from it all.
And you know what? As introverts who reflect deeply on what we experience, we feel the weight of the “craziness” even more. I don’t want to get you down. It’s just what we “quiet ones” are up against.
But there is a way to combat the stress and negative energy. Along with regular alone time and self-care, having your own bedroom sanctuary can soothe your quiet soul. If you’re anything like me, you need a sanctuary to retreat to if you’re going to keep this crazy life going.
First, let’s take a look at the benefits of having your own introvert bedroom sanctuary. Then I’ll share with you my tips as an interior designer to help you get started.
Why You Need an Introvert Bedroom Sanctuary
There are three major benefits an introvert bedroom sanctuary provides:
As a mom and interior designer, I can’t even remember the last time I slept in. The last weekend I had to myself, I still woke up at 7 a.m., unable to get back to sleep. And it’s not like we go to bed early. No, we try to squeeze in just one more episode of Game of Thrones, this is where Joffrey…. and then we look up, and it’s 11:15.
Because really, evenings are the time when my partner and I get to be completely us. We are finally free of obligations. Free to relax. And who doesn’t want more of that? Unfortunately, it often comes at the expense of sleep/recharging/sanity. I know I’m not the only introvert who does this. So in our introvert bedroom sanctuaries, we have to make that precious sleep time count.
2. A retreat from the world
Think of it like this. Your introvert bedroom sanctuary is an entire room where you can (for a time) shut and lock the metaphorical door. Leave the dishes, the car troubles, and the current political climate on the other side — and give yourself space to recharge. Mentally and physically. At least for a little while. For us “quiet ones,” that solo recharge time is absolutely crucial for us to function at our best.
3. A place of comfort
Whether you share your bedroom with your partner or live on your own, you deserve a place where you can store just your things. Your special I can’t believe I spent this much on a little bottle of hand cream but it’s oh so nice lotion. The photo of you and your mom on a beach smiling into the wind. The little things that mean a lot to you. This entire room should be a place of comfort and intimacy for you.
At this point, if you’re shouting, “Yes, great, I want this! So what’s the plan?”, read on.
How to Create Your Own Introvert Bedroom Sanctuary
As introverts, we need our bedrooms to be relaxing and recharging. This is probably not the place to do bright, punchy colors. Lots of places in our homes are perfect for a big ol’ dose of color. But the bedroom? Ain’t one of them.
So, start with a color you love and take it down like forty notches. For example, is green your go-to? Lovely. Slow that down to a muted, light sage. And add in lots of creams.
Speaking of neutrals… consider them here. You can always add in throw pillows or a picture on the wall that feature colors you love. But you can’t as easily take the color off the wall. Just consider it.
Ultimately, your introvert bedroom sanctuary shouldn’t be a “rev up your engine” type of place. Well, there’s a time and a place for that. But most of the time, it should be a “chill and relax” type of place. Surrounding yourself with soothing colors will help with that.
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There are lots of specifics about thread counts and different fabrics to consider. Here’s my handy bedding cheat sheet with all the details. But to generalize:
- Invest in texture over pattern.
- Simple over busy.
- And above all, washable. I mean, c’mon. A dry-clean only duvet cover? That’s probably not realistic for most of us. Create less stress, not more!
I’m not going to get all technical and designer-y here. There are curtain rod lengths. And there are puddling/non-puddling debates. But really, it boils down to this: light filtering.
As introverts, we need a way to calm the senses. To shut out some of the light and just chiiilllll. Will you wake you up at the crack of dawn anyway? Quite possibly. But on the rare occasion that you get a few more zzzzz’s… enjoy.
Just like with bedding, you want a calming effect, rather than an energizing one. You know you crave a comforting texture, so go with a good nubby texture over a busy pattern. And make them washable while you’re at it. The dust. Shudder.
One more thing is to layer. The typical light-filtering curtain usually happens to be a boring solid color. But you can get the same effect with a set of super light gauzy curtains and a set of blinds underneath. Plus it gives you more mix and match lighting options between just open/closed.
The overhead light. Flat out don’t use it. I guess when it’s the darkest day in December and you need to get into the back of your closet, yeah, turn it on. But on the whole, ban it.
Table lamps for the win. And sconces. Heck, throw in some fairy lights for some atmosphere. Just stay away from a light that makes you instinctively squint your eyes. That’s not relaxing.
Organization and Storage
Before I lose you here, give me a chance. Yes, there are ways to be uber organized and have your closet look pristine. But that in itself is a project. And sometimes you don’t have time for projects.
In bedrooms, the key is out of sight, out of stressed-out mind. Make it look great at the same time! Think nightstands with drawers, baskets, and end of bed trunks.
What to Do If You Don’t Have a Bedroom
This is all well and good, but what if you don’t have the luxury of an entire room to yourself? There’s still a solution. The ideas touched on above can be applied to any space. That’s right, a home office, bathroom, she/he shed, or even a car. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Tackle the color palette! This can be as small as adding a pillow or coffee mug in your favorite color.
- Bedding/textures: You know how kiddos have their favorite blankies? Bring your version of Linus’ blanket into your sanctuary for when you need a good cuddle.
- Lighting: Use what you’ve got, change what you can. Bring in candles, tap lights, tealights, and others to give yourself a break from the overhead light.
- Organization: If nothing else, get a box that you can hide away everything that you don’t need to see. This is your chill space. No clutter welcome!
When it comes down to it, yes, I’m an interior designer, but first and foremost, I’m an introvert. Don’t get caught up in the buzz of everyone else’s “busy.” You’ll find yourself completely worn down. The key is to find a space (be it large or small) that you can call your own — and make it meet your needs as an introvert sanctuary.
These aren’t just “tips” — they’re life preservers, and you deserve one! So go for it. You’re totally worth it.