Trudy Dujardin: Start a New Relationship (with your bedroom)

February 11, 2015

We all deserve a sanctuary, a private world, whether it’s ours alone, or a room we share with a partner. For most of us, that place is our bedroom, and too often it’s the last place we think of when redecorating.  In a month that celebrates love, I’d like to tell you why it should be the first.

1.     Begin with Loving Yourself:  There should be a place where you can withdraw from the world. Where you can shut the door, and have a ceremony for two, or even just for you. One of my signature design elements is to add a sitting area in your most private place. Whether you begin your day with a cup of tea, a puddle of sunlight, and your beloved, or end the day with a glass of wine, the ritual of connection shouldn’t be sacrificed to the busy lives we lead. 

dujardin bedroom

Photograph by Terry Pommett 

2.     Quiet Your Mind: Clutter is a distraction in any space, but especially in the bedroom.  The eye needs a place to rest, and it’s more important in the room where you go to rest. Baskets of clean laundry shouldn’t find their way here; one book by the bedside is comforting, a stack of them is distracting.

Photograph by Jeff Allen

3.     Make it Green: While we sleep, our bodies rejuvenate, and our livers do the hard work of cleaning our systems of any toxins we encountered during the day. Create a pristine space for the third of your life you spend asleep. Paint with No-VOC paints. Take up carpets that can harbor mold and dust mites, and finish your hardwood floors with waterborne Basic Coatings Streetshoe. Area rugs provide softness underfoot, but can be easily cleaned. Add a room air filter and wake refreshed and revitalized.

Photograph by Erik Rank

4.      Sleep Clean:  Choose a mattress made without fire retardants. Organic wool filling is your healthiest choice, and more manufacturers are catering to the need to sleep clean, without breathing in potentially dangerous fumes off-gassing from your mattress and pillows.

Photograph by Durston Saylor

5.     Love a Little Luxury: Dress your bed with the same care you dress yourself, just as if you were going on a date. Sumptuous linens (organic cotton is your best choice), plump pillows, warm comforters, silky sheets. Make sliding into bed at night a delightful sensory experience.

luxurious bedroom

Photograph by Terry Pommett

6.     Me and You, and a Dog Named Boo: We love our pets, except to get a good night’s sleep, they don’t belong in the bedroom with us. This is where you need to do as I say, not as I do.  Our little Bichon Frise, G.G. complained so loudly about that rule as a puppy that—well, we made a special place just for her. Dogs are part of the family, after all.


7.     Lean on Lemons:  The best cleaning products are the ones you find in your kitchen. Lemon juice, vinegar, and baking soda are effective cleansers that won’t pollute your sweet sanctuary with harmful petrochemicals. If time is short and the pantry is bare, I like Seventh Generation and other non-toxic products that clean gently without harming you or the earth.

8.     Prepare for your day with pleasure: Spending a bit of time and money on your bath and closets can help you greet a new day gracefully. Ample space for clothing and a well-designed place to bathe can make your early morning hours a dream.

Photograph by Durston Saylor

Last, make your bedroom beautiful. Choose every single thing–your furniture, lamps, rugs and accessories– with great care. Beauty calms and uplifts, soothes and inspires. That’s exactly what your bedroom is for.

dujardin sitting room

Photograph by Jeff Allen

Trudy Dujardin, ASID, LEED AP + ID + C, is known for sophisticated style, award-winning interiors, and graceful, eco-elegant design. Her book Comfort Zone: Creating the Eco-Elegant Interior, shares her message that beautiful design and eco-conscious living can happily co-exist. Dujardin Design Associates creates interiors worldwide from offices in Westport, Connecticut and Nantucket, Massachusetts.

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