When I was full-time traveling around the world, jet-setting from Quebec to Key West to Australia in just February alone, I obviously got to spend a lot of time in hotel rooms. Since then, though, I’ve spent more time in my bedroom than just about anywhere else. Sure, while social distancing and protesting, I was out on the streets in Brooklyn, but mostly, I’ve been watching Netflix and reading and meditating—all in my hipster Brooklyn bedroom.
Because of all the time I’ve spent in my apartment, I’ve done what so many others are doing right now: re-decorate. I’ve been shopping online all the home decor websites, the budget art sites, and buying new furniture and design items. It’s been an enjoyable activity in an increasingly stressful time—and given me a bit of purpose while mostly unemployed.
Here are a few of the things I’ve put front and center in my Brooklyn apartment bedroom design.
Hipster Brooklyn Bedroom Design Tips
10 Hip & Cool Decorating Tips for Small Bedrooms
Bedroom Decor & Style
1. Install voice-activated lights
Smart lights are aan efficient way to decorate an apartment bedroom, especially small ones with limited floor space. I found some relatively cheap wireless LED lights on Amazon. The lights (from HitLights) are on a sticky tape so you can mount them on just about any wall or surface.
I installed my smart lights on the back of my floor mirror. Instead of another bedside lamp or a floor lamp, the strip lights are a great option to illuminate my room at night. Plus, they’re voice-activated through my Google Home, so I don’t need to fumble to turn them on when stumbling home after a night out. They add a lot of easy style and with customizable colors, hues, and saturations, it’s easy to change up the mood of my room with a few words (or clicks on the app on my phone).
2. Add plants for fresh oxygen & greenery
These past few months have been hard; the anxiety we’re all feeling is palpable. One of the things I’ve done to help manage that stress is to start looking after some new plants. Rather than adopting a dog, I’ve taken in some plants and taking care of them has helped bring purpose to my day-to-day grind.
Living things in your bedroom really can have a huge impact. And plants provide fresh oxygen, that sweet smell of life, and a shape that can grow and change with the weather, the season, even the time of day. Fresh flowers are great, but with their short lifespans, it’s plants that really bring a lot of life to the bedroom.
3. Put your favorite souvenirs on display
For the longest time, I hated the idea of buying souvenirs. First of all, they were difficult to carry and pack when traveling light and on a budget, but also—they just take up so much space. For years, especially while living abroad, I was a part of the minimalist camp—preferring simplicity over clutter.
Then I moved to New York City, and suddenly in the heart of American capitalism and consumerism, I started collecting things. Having souvenirs from my trips and little knick-knacks and bric-a-brac from life are great little reminders of important memories. Put your favorite souvenirs on display and start conversations with your hookups, dates, and friends—everyone loves a little bit of story.
4. Have your favorite books readily available
Books are a little window into ourselves and what’s on your shelf can provide a little glimpse into who you are and where your interests are. So, sure, books are great for showing off—but make sure your favorite books are readily available because you never know when you might need a little pick-me-up.
I like keeping my most favorite books, many of them art or inspirational books, easy to grab from my desk. If I’m feeling down or unable to focus, I can pick up one of my favorite books and flip through it for a bit of inspiration and calm.
5. Weighted blankets provide the best comfort for body & soul
Early in the pandemic, I was gifted a Gravity Blanket which, in those cold and lonely spring months was a bit of a lifesaver. Curling up in a weighted blanket feels like being enveloped in a hug—without the stress of a partner. Weighted blankets are heavy blankets (usually engineered to be about 10% of your body weight) to naturally reduce stress and increase relaxation.
They really do feel like a hug, and keeping my Gravity Blanket at the foot of bed for those lonely nights when I need extra support, is wonderful.
6. Keep a portable speaker handy
Every home needs a bit of music. I have a JBL Flip 5 Speaker (gifted) which I use both in my home and when going out. The portability of it, and the fact it’s waterproof, make it really useful no matter where I am. Bluetooth speakers are a home essential because of their portability—especially so for hipster Brooklyn-style apartments.
7. Good pillows & bedlinen are the key to the best bed
I am of the opinion that your bed should be your sanctuary—created in the coziest way for you to enjoy and impress guests. For those of us on a budget and living in rental apartments, oftentimes your bed or mattress are the hardest part to move from rental to rental, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own.
Owning a comfortable bedlinen set and pillows (and clean sheets every week, or two weeks if you have to stretch) is the quintessential sign of adulthood in my opinion. It’s why I always make my bed each morning—because my bed is my sanctuary and if it’s cluttered and messy, then how can I expect my life to not be?
I own a bedlinen and pillow set gifted from Brooklinen—the most hipster Brooklyn apartment essential and one so many Brooklynites own. I love my comforter set from them and the sheets are cool and cozy for me each and every night. Soft to the touch and refreshing.
Bedroom Zen & Peace
8. Moisturize before bed; keep it in your nightstand
Moisturizers and lotions are a simple and easy way to make sure you’re staying healthy, fresh, and clean. When using a moisturizer, especially nicer ones that make your skin feel hydrated and alive, it’s easy to feel like you’ve escaped to a spa.
Part of my daily nighttime routine includes moisturizing; it’s how I keep my skin healthy and help to wind down at night. Keeping a small moisturizer in my bedroom helps make sure I always moisturize before bed.
9. Wind down with Scented Candles
I’m a sucker for scented candles in the evening. Usually when I’m alone, but especially when I’ve got company. By turning off the overhead light and using lamps, candles, and my voice-activated wireless LED lights, it’s easier to wind down in the evening. Soft, nighttime lighting makes it easier to fall asleep. (Just make sure to blow out the candles before bed!).
10. Keep CBD & Melatonin in the Nightstand
I’m still not completely sold on the actual benefits of CBD, but for the moment, it certainly doesn’t hurt to give it a try. I’ve got CBD oils, soaps, candles, gummies, lube even, and if ingesting it on occasion has the potential to improve my mood or keep me calm, I might as well give it a shot. So I keep CBD in my nightstand.
Melatonin is another vitamin gummy I keep handy in my nightstand. I’ve found taking melatonin makes me have nightmares, but if I’m having a particularly rough night trying to fall asleep, it’s better than nothing. A small emergency supply sits in my nightstand for those nights I really just need to calm the f&ck down and fall asleep fast.
Hipster-style apartments are as much about the decor, the aesthetic, and the design as they are the items you own and showcase. My millennial hipster aesthetic has always been about the betterment of myself through meaningful objects and purposeful design.