Spring Cleaning: Begin Where You Dream


Why not start your ritual day where you spend the most time – in your bedroom?

All those layers of comforters, quilts and blankets suddenly look cumbersome. Darker tones and rich colors that felt cozy during chilly winter nights can seem heavy now. It also makes sense to “green” the bedroom while you refresh it.

The Basics: Your Mattress

If yours is more than 10 years old, consider a replacement. Options abound, and as the most functional and used piece of furniture you own, it’s well worth it to make this step a green one. Aside from the environmental issues related to the source of their materials, off gassing from conventional mattresses has been cited as a cause of allergies and illness. Polyester fiberfill in many mattresses tends to hold moisture, creating high humidity while you sleep. And most mattress cushioning is polyurethane or memory foam – filled with chemicals.

I replaced my conventional mattress last year, and went all the way with an FSC-certified wood frame, carbon steel coils, natural latex foam, Oeko-tex certified pure wool, and organic cotton covers and bed pad. I have to tell you, I have never slept more peacefully.


It may also be time to renew your linen closet with organic cotton or bamboo sheets, cases, duvet covers, and shams. And then the fun begins. You can keep it simple and outfit your bed in the purest ivory so it becomes a serene nest, or you can combine colors that please you. Lavender and gray or ivory work well together, as do pale aqua and dusty cocoa. Mix and match tones and patterns as you please. Play!

The Layered Bed
Collecting textiles from various cultures around the world when I travel, I tend toward a neutral color for bedding and a revolving palette of coverlets, throw, shawls, and runners. You can overlap sizes and shapes, add a fresh toss pillow or two, and the bed becomes a personal work of art.

Simple Seasonal Switches

Bedside rugs are another easy fix to a tired look. Store your shaggy wool 3 x 5 and try a flat kilim or aromatic vetiver. Or, take up the rugs completely and move toward a cleaner, edited look.

Consider changing out the shades on your bedside lamp for linen or silk, or put them aside and opt for discreet wall-mounted reading lamps.

The Inexpensive Makeover

Finally, turn to paint – always the most dramatic and least costly décor change. One pop of wall color transforms a beige boudoir into a designer’s vision. Blue, lavender (yes, I said lavender), or sage green are restful hues. Bright yellow, magenta, and persimmon can add a liveliness that cheer you as you open your eyes to a new spring morning.

As with any room, any one of these elements may be enough to renew your bedroom or it just might encourage you to try other easy fixes to create your spring update.

Note: This post is part of my March series featuring simple ways to transition into spring. Be sure to read last week’s post: From Dreaded Chore to Refreshing Ritual: How to Reinvent Spring Cleaning.

Image: Jeff Kubina