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12 (Affordable) Ways To Make Your Bedroom More Tranquil & Beautiful

How about a bit of a bedroom upgrade?

Home Improvement

What inspired me to write this piece is very simple. Most of us spend at least 6-8 hours in our bedroom, so I personally think that it should be the most invested room, décor-wise, in the entire house. Like me? I've worked from home since 2000 and I spend a ton of time in my living room. It's pretty warm and cozy, no doubt. However, the time I've slowly put into making my bedroom the way it is now? Whether it's a catnap or retiring for the evening, I'm literally thrilled whenever it's time to go into that space. And that's because of how I've decorated it.

Spring is the time of year when a lot of us do some cleaning and adjusting to our surroundings. If your bedroom is "cool" yet you know, deep down, that it really could be much better, here are some inexpensive ways (like literally under $50 a pop except for the wake-up light which is around $150) to make your bedroom the one room in the house that evokes so much calm, peace and beauty that you almost, quite literally, can't stand it.

1. Buy Yourself a Wake-Up Light

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Unlike a lot of people I know, I actually like it when daylight savings time causes us to "fall back". That's because I enjoy the fall and winter seasons, including the fact that it stays darker longer. Which is why I have blackout curtains hanging up in my bedroom; to me, the darker it is when I retire for the evening (or try and catch a nap), the better. Yet regardless of the time of year that you prefer, something that you might want to invest in is a wake-up light. The long short of it is, it mimics sunrise in order to ease you into light instead of "jar" you with it. Some come with alarm clocks and lighting settings that makes it easier on your eyes to read before turning in. If this is something you'd like to add to your bedroom, there is a list of some really great ones right here.

2. Install Some Color-Changing Light Bulbs

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Speaking of lighting, overhead lighting is pretty much the worst when it comes to your bedroom. In the daytime, go with natural light (if you don't want anyone looking into your bedroom from the outside in, you can always get your bedroom windows professionally tinted, so that you can see out and others can't see inside). At night, how about some LED (LED ones last longer and are better for the environment) color-changing light bulbs? Some also mimic the sun by being warmer in the morning and evening and cooler in the middle of the day. However, a more dramatic spin is to get the kind of bulbs that literally change to a variety of colors. Some are even remote- or voice-activated (I know, right?). You can read up on some of the best of the best by checking out The Spruce's "The 7 Best Color-Changing LED Bulbs of 2021".

3. Get Bedding That’s in Calming Colors

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Color psychology is very much so a real thing. So when it comes to creating a warmer and cozier space in your bedroom, adding colors that are proven to calm you is your best bet.

Lavender symbolizes serenity, grace and silence. Blue-grey is all about sophistication and elegance. Dusty pink evokes femininity and beauty. Sage green is rooted in wisdom, peace and growth. Beige promotes internal peace of mind, simplicity and warmth. Taupe represents modesty, maturity and dignity. Sea blue is all about calm, inspiration and health. And pale orange represents creativity, happiness and encouragement.

These are just some of the colors that can help to calm your senses, even if you use them as merely accent colors to your overall bedroom décor.

4. Fill a Diffuser with Lavender, Bergamot or Vetiver

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It's one thing to have a room that is visually beautiful. You're taking it up a few notches to have one that smells absolutely amazing. As far as your bedroom goes, scented soy candles are one option. Only, if you're someone who doesn't open up your windows a lot (for continual air circulation's sake) or you forget to blow your candles out, well, you can see how problematic that could become.

The alternative? An essential oil diffuser. Not only is it safer but the overall benefits are numerous. Essential oil diffusers are able to help to relieve anxiety, boost your immunity, calm your senses, eliminate odors and improve the quality if your sleep—all things that you definitely want to transpire in your bedroom, right? As far as some of the best scents to use, lavender reduces your blood pressure and heart rate and helps you to sleep better, bergamot eases the feelings that are associated with anxiety and stress and, vetiver calms nervousness, helps with anxiety and is even an oil that has a reputation of helping with healing that is associated with emotional trauma.

5. Put a Faux Tree in Your Bedroom (or Hang Some Ceiling Plants)

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Without question, one of the best additions to my bedroom is this tall faux plant that I have in one of my corners. There's something about it that makes me feel really peace-filled and relaxed. And just why is it fake? Although I did grow up with quite a few plants in my home, I don't really like the upkeep that they require. And since a lot of stores have some pretty impressive fake ones these days (lots of arts and crafts stores have them, for instance), I decided to take the low-maintenance route.

Speaking of greenery, another awesome option is to hang some plants from your ceiling. You can put up some literal ones (you can check out a MasterClass on how to do that here) or you can find some fake greenery vines (also at arts and crafts stores) and come up with creative ways to hang them. If you want to do something like a vine wall, a sistah broke down how she did it on YouTube. Check it out here.

6. Design a Floral Accent Wall

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Speaking of stuff on your walls, if flowers are more your thing, another great idea would be to DIY a variation of your own floral accent wall. You could go to the same arts and crafts store that you would get a faux tree or some fake greenery from for some of your favorite blooms. I actually checked out a video from a sistah who made one for her wedding out of fake flowers from The Dollar Tree, chile. If you want to see how she pulled it off, all you need to do is click right here. Another sistah did one in under 20 minutes (I know, right?). You can see how she did it by going here.

7. Add a Window Treatment That Includes Fairy Lights

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Again, I'm someone who prefers to sleep in pitch darkness. However, I do find something really inviting and beautiful about bedrooms that have fairy or twinkle lights somewhere in it. If you're either over the way your bedroom window currently looks or you've been trying to figure out how not use the starkness of your overhead lighting so much, a cool idea can be to add some fairy lights to your curtains. If you adore that idea yet, at the same time, it seems like it might be a bit of a fire hazard, no worries—there are window curtain lights that exist. They're pretty affordable too. You can read more about them by checking out Penlight's article, "12 Best Window Curtain Lights (Buyer's Guide)".

8. Put Down a Faux Fur Rug

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Something that I semi-recently purchased for my own bedroom is a big ole' faux fur rug. It's honestly one of the best investments I've made for my home in a hot minute because it definitely makes my bedroom space look and feel cozier. Plus, since it's right beside my bed, I like the way it feels on my feet when I wake up. I found mine for around 40 bucks. Everywhere from Walmart and Overstock to Wayfair and even Etsy carries them.

9. Purchase a Cable Knit Throw

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Pretty much, in every room of my house, there are throw blankets. I like how they can help to bring a pop of color to any room. Plus, it doesn't matter what the weather is like outdoors, I'm the kind of person who likes to snuggle up underneath one while I'm listening to music or watching television. Well, the kind of throw that looks really beautiful in a bedroom is a large cable knit one. If you're someone who likes to knit on your down time, you can start now and probably have a nice-sized-non-rushed one ready by fall (some step-by step instructions are listed here). Or, if you'd rather have one right here and now, Walmart, Target and home improvement stores sell them. I'm gonna be honest, though. Some of the best ones I've seen are on Etsy's site. Just go there and put "cable knit throw" in the search field.

10. Hang Up a Self-Love Mission Statement

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Something that will easily—and instantly—make any room more aesthetically appealing is artwork…or at least something on the walls. Let me tell it, bare walls are the absolute worst. And while mission statements are traditionally reserved for places like home offices, I want to encourage you to consider creating one that you can design, blow up and frame to hang either above your bedroom or on the wall across from it (so that you can look at it, every morning that you wake up). The theme should be self-love. A literal mission statement about why you deserve to love yourself and how you will go about doing it on a daily basis. It is time and effort well-spent.

11. Put Some Throw Pillows (on the Floor)

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I don't know about you, but I used to have corners of my room that were barer than I would like for them to be. The dilemma is, I didn't want to put any furniture there because it would take up too much space and I already had things that I needed like a lamp. For me, the solution has been big throw pillows.

It's another wonderful way to add a pop of color that you might like without going to overboard. And it's another easy way to make your room feel warm and peace-filled without spending a lot of cash in order to do it.

12. Create a Reading Nook

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Reading in bed is great. Still, if you'd prefer to use that space solely for sex and sleep, how about making yourself a little reading nook? All you need is a small table, a comfy chair and little things that will personalize the space like perhaps a plant or some flowers; a footstool; some candles; a mug (so that you have something to put your favorite drink in); a reading lamp and anything else that will encourage you to go over and make time for (at least) a chapter a day. I've even seen someone turn a closet into a nook (you can see it for yourself here). It's the perfect final touch to making your bedroom tranquil and beautiful.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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