You might believe it’s pretty simple to put together a bedroom. What do you really need? A bed frame, a mattress, and a nightstand, right? You’ll be more than covered with those useful bedroom items.
In reality, it’s a bit more complicated than that. To set up a bedroom that feels truly cozy and addresses all your needs, you’ll need to also consider things like clothing storage, a reading nook where you can power down at night, and good lighting.
It can be overwhelming to think through these items needed for a bedroom and then purchase all of them, pondering what you absolutely need versus what you can skip. So we asked designer Kate Hume, director of Kate Hume Design, for her expert opinion on which pieces are worth the splurge and which ones you don’t have to spend a fortune on.
Bedroom items that are worth the splurge
The nice thing is that if you have a budget you’re keeping in mind, you can certainly go “high” and “low” with your bedroom purchases to even everything out. Just because you’re sticking to a budget doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on luxurious, comfortable pieces.
When it comes to must-have bedroom items that you should feel good about investing in, a mattress is at the top of the list, something that Hume agrees with. It’s the centerpiece of your bedroom, the place where you’ll lay your head down at the end of a long day—and it should cradle your body comfortably so you can get a good night’s sleep.
Hume says that if you consider your upcoming mattress purchase to be your “forever bed,” it’s wise to go “as high as possible” when buying your mattress since you will spend so much time lying on it. “It’s a central piece in everyone’s life,” she says.
Hume believes that it’s key to spend a little more on sheets “because they touch your body.” She prefers what she calls “crispy cotton sheets,” which are worth the splurge “because they feel so great.” Hume adds that she always goes with plain neutral sheets in the bedroom since they’ll be able to go with whichever comforter and additional linens you pick out in the future.
Lighting is important in every room of the home, but it’s even more important in the bedroom. You’ll need adequate lighting for bedroom activities like reading and generally winding down, but it shouldn’t be so much that it’s oppressive. After all, it’s beneficial to keep the lights low before bed to prepare your body for sleep. Since it’s such a careful balance, it makes sense to splurge on bedroom lighting.
Hume loves “good reading lights,” preferring directional lights that will illuminate only certain areas of the bedroom. She also considers “lovely lamps with shades on the nightstand” to be worthy of a splurge.
“We source vintage vases and have them converted into lamps,” she adds. “You can actually find great options on eBay.”
Is there anything more luxurious than settling down into a soft, comfy robe right before bed? According to Hume, it’s a splurge-worthy addition to be included in any bedroom.
For herself, Hume loves to splurge on something she calls “toweling robes,” made up of thick fabric typically reserved for luxe bath towels. “They are so big they can double as an overcoat if you need to let the dog out,” she says.
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Bedroom items you should save your money on
Then there are those bedroom items that won’t require you to break the bank. The moral of the story? Mostly, it’s wise to splurge on anything that touches your skin or can impact the quality of your sleep. Otherwise, for furnishings and decorative items, you can save your cash.
Textiles and throw pillows
Hume refers to bedcovers and decorative pillows as “soft furnishings,” otherwise known as items you don’t need to splurge on since you’ll want to give yourself the option to change them frequently according to your decor whims and preferences.
“Bedcovers can be an affordable way to provide a quick update,” she says. “I layer a couple of throws per bed and add matching pillows.”
For decorative pillows and bedcovers, Hume prefers to have a winter and summer set that will fit each seasonal color palette. “I love to switch, as the same old thing can get boring,” she says.
For this, you can be economical, purchasing budget-friendly throw pillows and comforters in darker colors and heavier textures for fall and winter and light-colored, breezy coverings for spring and summer.
Nightstands and other furniture
Since they won’t directly impact your sleep quality, surprisingly, furniture is an area where you can strive to save money, even though they seem like big-ticket items.
When it comes to nightstands, for example, good ones can be hard to find and might be too large for your space, notes Hume. Instead, turn to a budget-friendly option like a flat-topped stool, “which can double as a nightstand and you can find them at several price points,” she says. (Here’s how to choose the best bedroom furniture.)
How can you make sure your bedroom is set up for catching Z’s? Follow these tips for designing your bedroom for better sleep.