The Bedroom: The Nicest Room in Your Home

From feng shui to aromatherapy, these are best ways to create a peaceful bedroom.

| November/December 1999

  • Photography by Michael Shopenn

  • Photo by Photodisc

The bed, my friend, is our whole life. It is there that we are born, it is there that we love, it is there that we die.
—Guy de Maupassant

The bedroom is the keeper of the soul, the place where dreams are made and bodies refreshed in sweet, sound sleep. This most intimate of spaces should be the most healthy, hospitable room in your home.

Though other rooms can certainly accommodate physical and emotional closeness, this is the room intended for physical intimacy. Yet for all its potential for communion, the bedroom can also be a place of isolation. There’s no greater solitude than that suffered during sleepless nights, when our closest allies are fear, apprehension, doubt; in counsel with them, our psyches go into exile. This is genuine solitude, and it reaches into our dreams where our unconscious unreels itself.

The bedroom, then, is the province of contradiction. A place that serves intimacy as well as it does isolation, it accommodates the extremes of human experience. Because whether you call it dreams and sex, or solitude and intimacy, these are the experiences that the bedroom accommodates with the most grace, the walls that form both a narrow cloister for the soul and a gateway to a wider sphere of human exchange.
—From Geography of Home, by Akiko Busch (Princeton Architectural Press, 1999)

Safe Sleeping

Research on the health effects of electromagnetic fields is both controversial and inconclusive. Nonetheless, a growing number of builders and designers believe limiting exposure to EMFs should be an important consideration for anyone who wants to reside in a healthy environment. The Institute for Bau-biologie and Ecology in Clearwater, Florida, offers the following suggestions for creating a healthy bedroom.

- Remove as many electrical devices as ­possible. If you must have appliances in the bedroom, keep them at least 6 feet from your body and unplug them before sleeping. The TV is the most dangerous, even when unplugged. Place it a minimum of 3 yards from the bed.

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