Whether you've just gotten your first job out of college, buying your first house, or maybe it's your first time living on your own, there comes a time in every person's life when they have to redo their bedroom to feel more adult. Slough off the trappings of the dorm room and make your bedroom a sanctuary for rest and relaxation. Follow these simple steps for the sure-fire grown-up bedroom of your dreams.
Take a quick scan of your room – how much extra junk do you have sitting around? How much dirty laundry do you have sitting on the floor? Go through your closets, under your bed, on your desk, and give it all a good clean-out. Get rid of clothes you haven't worn in years. Maybe even read that best-seller about how tidying up is life-changing.
While you're at it, take those rock band posters off the walls and put them in your "man cave.” Get a laundry bin and actually put dirty clothes there. Wash your clothes and then put them away. Repeat the reassessment of your clutter and closet every season, and get rid of old things as you get new things. Prevent build-up, and it won't be nearly as bad next time.
Here's where some investment on your part can really pay off. Your tired college bed – the one that was passed off from your aunt and uncle's guest room when they got new furniture – has got to go. The same goes for those mismatched end tables and that waterfall-top dresser you never really liked anyway. Give them away or pass them down, and someone else will surely love them. Get a memory foam mattress because, after all, you're not a kid anymore, and neither is your back.
Think about your likes and dislikes – are you more of a shabby-chic country cottage type, or do you prefer that fake mid-century stuff that's made from particleboard? Do you like actual mid-century stuff with all the great Peggy legs that are made from actual wood? Are you one of those people who sees a stack of old suitcases in a corner and thinks table? What feels the most adult to you, and what resonates the most with your new adult self? Once you've honed in on a style or a mix of styles, you can invest in a piece here or there to complete the set, or you can buy them all at once, whatever fits your budget, timeframe, and patience.
Another thing to consider when shopping for new furniture is storage. Is your bedroom lacking storage? If you have a small closet that’s so tiny it’s almost invisible or you have more clothes and knick-knacks than you have drawers for, this is where furniture comes in handy. For example, instead of a regular end table, opt for a chest on each side of the bed that has more drawers for you to store your things. Another example would be an end-of-bed bench that has storage. This is where you can store an extra set of linens, pillows, throws, pajamas, and even the stack of books that you like to read at night.
Adults tend to buy things like quality bedding – and your new bedding can be an investment that lasts for years. What's more, people whose lives scream "adult" have different sheets for every season – how adult is that?! Flannel sheets are a classic for winter. Nothing beats their coziness and warmth. Lands' End flannel sheets are made in Portugal by a family-owned flannel mill, and we think they're pretty hard to beat.
Summer sheets with fun and satisfying textures include oxford bedding and linen bedding. Both are lighter and more breathable than flannel. Oxford sheets, just like oxford shirts, get softer and more comfortable every time you wash them, and our linen sheets are made from premium linen fibers that are strong and light.
Of course, all our sheets here at Lands' End can be custom-embroidered with your name or initials. Who lives in this room? A real-life adult who gets their sheet sets embroidered with their initials, that's who!
While you're considering bedding, you'll have to weigh the various bed toppers – and therefore engage in the long-standing debate between the duvet and the comforter. In general, duvet covers are more versatile and more easily washed, while comforters make more of a statement and have more texture from their quilted stitching. It's your choice, but we recommend looking at a couple of each and getting a feel for what works best for you and your bedroom.
Choose a soothing, neutral tone for your walls, with one accent wall to add a little color (adults love neutral tones and accent walls). Pick out some lamps you like. Add some timeless touches here and there – prints from local artists abound at art fairs and local markets, for example, and a few throw pillows in a chair and on your bed make great accents. Use color strategically. You don't want to get too crazy with it, just make it all feel calm and peaceful with occasional pieces to catch the eye. Hardwood floors are best paired with a textured rug that's both pleasing to the eye and a good defense against cold winter floors.
Add some peace to your space. Succulents are a great way to add some color and life that are also nice and hardy (because, hey, you're an adult, but that doesn't mean you're always on top of everything). Bedrooms in many older homes have alcoves that make great reading nooks. Add a comfy chair and a small bookcase, and you've made a full-on adult relaxation station.
Remember, all of this doesn't have to happen all at once. Adulthood can be overwhelming as it is, so you can take these steps one at a time. When it's all finished, though, you can look forward to cozying up in your reading nook with your morning coffee, a fleece throw blanket, and a good book.
Welcome to adulthood, friend. It looks great on you.