How to organize and style your master bedroom with Simply Spaced

Cohabitation & Compromise. Make life simpler by finding common ground at home.

I am a pretty organized person, but I live with a person who’s admittedly, not. To be clear, one way of being is not better than another. I often wish I was less obsessive and little more comfortable with chaos. People often ask me for tips on cohabitation because many of them know, it’s one thing to organize for yourself, but it’s an entirely different thing when you live with other people.   “How do you live with a person who’s a shopper when you’re a minimalist?” “How do you deal with someone who doesn’t use hangers when you can’t imagine a life without them?” The truth is, we talk a lot about how to create systems for people who like to be organized, but what do you do when you live with people who don’t have the same needs or habits?
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The thing is, relationships are all about compromise.  My relationship with my husband is no different. Did I want a big screen TV in my bedroom? No. Do I want one thousand pairs of size 13 sneakers creeping around every corner? No. Does he want to hear my complaining about the TV and shoes? I’m going out on a limb here, but no. Fortunately, there is one thing I have learned and know for sure as both an organizer and a wife: cohabitation means compromise.  Don’t get me wrong, I could binge on some Big Little Lies with the best of ’em and I have G.O.T on lockdown. On the other hand, if it were up to me, evenings would be spent by candlelight with a good book and conversation. That is why my husband nicknamed me “Romantic Notions.”
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You’ve probably heard the saying, “you get more done in the few hours before you have people over than you do in months,” well, I can say this for sure, you get more done in the weeks before you have a collaborative shoot in your bedroom than you do in years. Thankfully, when our new friends at Caavo approached us to talk about simplifying at home, they gave us the kick in the pants to kick into gear. We couldn’t be more grateful.
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Because compromise is the name of the game, this is the story of how Jeff and I came together to cultivate the warm and inviting bedroom we always wanted.
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First, we simplified.
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I’ll be honest, I was never totally invested in creating a pulled together bedroom because no one ever saw it but us. Then I heard pro organizer Peter Walsh speak last year, and he said that the master bedroom is the most important room in the house. Unfortunately, I found that my husband and I had totally different ideas about what a normal amount of clothes is and I had unrealistic expectations about winning this argument. While I kept a relatively tight ship, most days I wanted to throw Jeff and his travelling campsite overboard. He wanted a TV, and I didn’t. He wanted to keep all his shoes and I definitely didn’t. I wanted more pink, he begged me not to make the room look like a dollhouse.  The room felt unintentional and underwhelming, so we never changed it. But in an effort to maintain the peace I agreed to let my husband keep the TV (I even mounted it for him) and he let me downsize his clothes. This was the first step in compromise. It took a full day and we purged enough clothes to outfit an army, but god bless him, we did it. Compromise.
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“Disarray in the master bedroom has more impact on family life, on love and respect and on a relationship than it does in any other room.” – Peter Walsh
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Next, we streamlined.
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Downsizing was no easy task, but once we purged the excess, brought in some optimal storage solutions and agreed to a one-in, one-out policy we started to feel at peace in our bedroom.
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To take it to the next level, this project coincided with the offer to do a feature on a new technology, called Caavo. The company approached us to test out their new voice-activated remote. Of course, my husband, a TV producer and cinephile jumped at the chance. He’s the “I have a new iPhone before anyone on the planet” type. It was an easy sell for me too because I seek out things that make life simpler for a living.  What I didn’t know was that it would inspire such a big shift in our space, let alone be a catalyst for us to come together in such a fun way to find common ground.
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Because Caavo integrates all our devices into one easy to use remote (for us that’s an Apple TV, a PlayStation, and our Direct TV, plus apps), we ditched about 6 remotes and avoided about 60 arguments about how to operate them. Anyone? It’s voice activated so all I have to do is say, “watch Handmaid’s Tale,” and it turns it on Handmaid’s Tale. It’s so easy and streamlined, I can still hardly believe it.
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Caavo also challenged us to make a “playlists” of our favorite “binge-worthy” shows.
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When we compared our lists, we came to find out that despite the fact that we never have anything to watch, we actually have lots of common ground. Who knew?
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We pulled our lists together and created Jeff & Mon’s binge-worthy bedroom playlist.  Currently, Succession and Ozark for the win.
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Lastly, we styled
Since we got our simplifying and streamlining down, I wanted to make sure I brought in a few details to make the space feel cozy, calm and curated.
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“Your bedroom should be a space that reflects your relationship and fosters calm, warmth and love.”
– Peter Walsh
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Early on in our relationship, Jeff and I saw a relationship counselor. We’re imperfect you guys. She asked us a really interesting question. She said, “Close your eyes.  Imagine what you want your home to look like. Now do it again and tell me, how you want it to feel and smell?” I never forgot those questions and I think about them all the time when I work with clients. Envisioning your home the way you want it to be is the first step in making it happen. When I did this exercise many years later, I realized that I wanted my own bedroom to be a place that nurtured my relationship. It wasn’t just about sterility and clean lines, it needed to feel loving warm and affirming of our relationship. I bought some campfire candles and found a book called “Inside Utopia” (because Jeff always refers to our little home as Utopia). I brought some life into the space with plants, hung Jeff’s guitars to remind us to be more playful, and bought some cozy throws to make it feel like us. I finally installed some mood setting lights that a friend gave me months ago.  The transformation was amazing and we’ve been enjoying our time at home even more. We’re super grateful to our new friends at Caavo for inspiring us to come together on this. Now please excuse us while we cozy up with our Netflix dog to the new season of Ozark. If you don’t know, now you know.
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The Caavo Control Center remote is now available for $99.95 plus $1.99 per month at Caavo, Best Buy, or Amazon.
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