Candice Olson: An Expert’s Guide to Designing Your Dreamscape
Advocacy Looking to upgrade your zzz-routine? Start with your bedroom, and some simple advice from interior designer Candice Olson.
Having a good day starts with getting a good night’s rest—and the design of your bedroom can play a major role in that arena.
Feed your senses
Just ask Candice Olson, president of Candice Olson Design Inc. and a mother of two. Olson says designing any bedroom well involves careful consideration of the physical and the visual.
“Design choices made about color and pattern or even the most elaborate lighting schemes take a back seat when night falls and the senses are simultaneously simplified and amplified,” she explains. “Soft feels so much softer; silk is rendered silkier when texture is the only experience.”
HAVEN MAVEN: When the bedroom is a place to decompress, Olson stipulates that every element of its design should foster that peace.
Olson says light and sound control can help foster serenity in the bedroom. She advises taking advantage of blackout blinds or curtains to tend to the former, and “white noise” or “oceanscape” music to address the latter.
“Aromatherapy fragrances, such as lavender, ylang ylang and rose, relax the mind and help promote a good nights sleep,” she adds.
Find your zone
Bedroom design can change depending on a person’s specific needs and wants, Olson explains. For example, one of her favorite design projects was for a patient diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). She transformed his master bedroom into one with necessary amenities, minus a clinical feel, so he and his family could enjoy their last few months together.
“I believe that good design can make people live happier, more fulfilled lives in their homes—no matter how short that life may be,” Olson says. For her, personally, the bedroom is now a space where she and her husband can “decompress, debrief and reconnect at the end of a long, busy day.”
Creating that haven was essential, Olson says, as she and her spouse—who are both in the design in building industry—spend their days coordinating schedules, and dealing with tradesmen and craftsmen. Their bedroom is comprised of clean lines, low-contrast color and muted patterns.
“A king-sized bed makes it easier for Sunday morning family snuggles, but for the most part, it’s a room of solace, and the style and function of the space are conducive to that,” she says.
As for Olson’s rule of thumb when it comes to designing bedrooms? “Lighting,” she says. “Without the proper lighting it’s all time, energy and money wasted. The first, quick step would be to install dimmers on all permanent lighting fixtures in the room,” Olson allows. “The older I get, the more I appreciate them.”