An Interior Designer Explains How to Create Your Own Introvert Bedroom Sanctuary

Sometimes it feels impossible to get away from it all. That’s where your introvert bedroom sanctuary comes in.

Life is crazy. Sometimes it’s “crazy” in a good way — for example, when you hard work at your job and earn a bonus — and sometimes it’s “everyday crazy,” like when you have only two hours to bring the cat to the vet, grab a birthday card for your friend, and get a haircut. Then there’s the craziness of the world today, something 2020 has brought to a whole new level. For introverts, who reflect deeply on what we experience, it can feel overwhelming.

As a card-carrying introvert myself, I’ve thankfully found a way to combat the stress and fatigue: regular alone time in what I call my “introvert bedroom sanctuary.”

First, let’s take a look at the benefits of the introvert bedroom sanctuary, then I’ll share my tips as an interior designer to help you create your own.

Why All Introverts Need a Bedroom Sanctuary

There are three major benefits of an introvert bedroom sanctuary:

1. It makes your limited sleep time count.

As a mom and a busy self-employed interior designer, I can’t even remember the last time I slept in. On top of that, it’s not like my partner and I go to bed early. No, we try to squeeze in just one more episode of Game of Thrones, this is the one where Joffrey…. and the next time we look up, it’s 11:15.

Evenings are the only time when my partner and I are finally free of childcare obligations, and free to relax. Unfortunately, it often comes at the expense of sleep/recharging/sanity. I know I’m not the only introvert who does this.

That’s where our introvert bedroom sanctuaries come in. Having a peaceful, soothing retreat can help us make our precious sleep time count — which may be even more important for us introverts, who need to feel fully energized to tackle each day.

2. It’s a total retreat from the loud, busy world.

Think of it like this: Your introvert bedroom sanctuary is an entire room where you can (for a time) shut and lock the metaphorical (and literal) door. Leave the dishes, the car troubles, and the current political climate on the other side, and give yourself space to recharge, mentally and physically. Introverts’ brains are wired to need that alone time.

3. It’s a place to store your introvert creature comforts.

Whether you share your bedroom with your partner or live alone, you deserve a place where you can store just your things. Your special I can’t believe I spent this much on a little bottle of hand cream but it’s oh so nice lotions, or the photo of you and your mom on a beach smiling into the wind — all the little things that mean a lot to you. Whether it’s the entire room or just a portion of it, your introvert bedroom sanctuary should be a place of comfort and intimacy for you.

At this point, if you’re shouting, “Yes, great, I want this! So what’s the plan?”, read on.

How to Create Your Own Introvert Bedroom Sanctuary

Color palette

As introverts, we need our bedrooms to be relaxing. As much as you may love bright, punchy colors, this room is probably not the place for them. Lots of spaces in our homes are perfect for a big ol’ dose of color. But the bedroom? Ain’t one of them.

So, start with a color you love and take it down forty notches. For example, is green your go-to? Lovely. Slow that down to a muted, light sage. Add in lots of creams.

Speaking of neutrals… consider them here. You can always add throw pillows or a picture on the wall that feature colors you love, but remember, you can’t as easily take color off the wall.

Ultimately, your introvert bedroom sanctuary shouldn’t be a “rev up your engine” room. There’s a time and a place for that, but not here. Most of the time, your bedroom should be a “chill and relax” type of place. Surrounding yourself with soothing colors will help.

Bedding

There are lots of specifics about thread counts and different fabrics to consider. Here’s my handy bedding cheat sheet with all the details. But to generalize:

  • Invest in texture over pattern
  • Choose simple over busy
  • Above all, make it washable. I mean, c’mon. A dry-clean only duvet cover?! That’s probably not realistic for most of us. Create less stress, not more!

Windows

I’m not going to get all designer-y here; there are curtain rod lengths and puddling/non-puddling debates. Really, it boils down to one thing: light filtering.

As introverts, we need a way to calm our senses. To shut out some of the light and just chiiilllll. Will you wake up at the crack of dawn anyway? If you’re like me, quite possibly. But on the rare occasion that you get a few more zzzzz’s… enjoy.

Just like with bedding, you want a calming effect, rather than an energizing one. Introverts may enjoy fabrics with a comforting texture, so opt for a good nubby texture over a busy pattern. And again, make them washable. The dust. Shudder.

One more thing is to layer. The typical light-filtering curtain is usually a boring solid color, but you can get the same effect with a set of light gauzy curtains and blinds underneath. Plus it gives you more mix and match lighting options between just open or closed.

Lighting

That pesky overhead light? Just don’t use it. Maybe when it’s the darkest day in December and you need to get into the back of your closet, sure, turn it on. But on the whole, ban it.

Instead choose table lamps and sconces. Heck, throw in some fairy lights for atmosphere. Just stay away from a light that makes you instinctively squint your eyes. That’s not relaxing.

Organization and Storage

Before I lose you here, give me a chance. Yes, there are ways to be uber organized and have your closet look pristine. But that in itself is a project, and sometimes you just don’t have time for projects.

In bedrooms, the key is out of sight, out of stressed-out mind. Make it look great at the same time! Think nightstands with drawers, baskets, and end of bed trunks.

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What to Do If You Don’t Have a Bedroom

This is all well and good, but what if you don’t have the luxury of a room to yourself — or a partner who’s willing to take the “introvert sanctuary” plunge? There’s still a solution. The ideas touched on above can be applied to any space, such as a home office, a bathroom, a she/he shed, or even your car. Whether your space is large or small, the key is to find an area that you can call your own — and make it meet your needs. Here are some tips to still create an introvert sanctuary, even if it’s not a bedroom:

  • Tackle the color palette! This can be as small as adding a pillow or coffee mug in your favorite color.
  • Bedding/textures: You know how kiddos have their favorite blankies? Bring your version of Linus’ blanket into your sanctuary for when you need a good cuddle.
  • Lighting: Use what you’ve got, change what you can. Bring in candles, tap lights, tealights, and others to give yourself a break from the overhead light.
  • Organization: If nothing else, get a box that you can hide away everything that you don’t need to see. This is your chill space — no clutter welcome!

Introverts, these aren’t just “tips” — they’re life preservers, and you deserve one in this crazy world! So go for it. You’re totally worth it.

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Mama. Designer. Seattlite. Introvert. Not necessarily in that order. I’ve got two, erm, energetic boys and I was a preschool teacher before that. Designing for kids and their mamas came naturally! When I’m not designing, you'll most likely find me listening to music, squeezing in a short run, or binge-watching old Trading Spaces re-runs. Basically getting a little “solo” time when I can. That’s hard to find for us Mama Introverts! I'm a foodie when I can be but can't deny the excellence of french fries dipped in a Frosty. I have bits of my heart in Kansas City (where I grew up), Seattle (where I live now), and San Francisco (where I go to get away from it all).