In the spirit of Valentines Day let’s focus on the bedroom, a space that should be as soothing to look at as it is enjoyable to spend time in.

Whether you share your bedroom with a loved one or sleep alone, this room needs to be functional. With some forethought, this private space can also be perfect for retreat, rest and romance.

Function refers to practicality, ease and comfort, and is realized by good design. As with any space, first ask yourself: What is the main purpose of this room? What elements do these activities require? What might I add (or subtract) to increase my enjoyment?

A bedroom is predominantly for sleeping, and a good mattress can greatly affect the quality of your sleep, as well as your overall health. Clean, smooth sheets are another consideration, as well as soft blankets and pillows. For added decadence, non-essentials include thick mattress pads, featherbeds, duvets and down pillows. (Some of these items can be expensive, so if funds are limited keep your eyes open for white sales and create an extravagantly comfortable bed one item at a time.) Consider additional pillows to support the back or prop the legs while reading, as well as to add a bit of decorative style.

If you read in bed, you will need sufficient task lighting. Wall mounted reading lamps offer options for direct light while keeping bedside tables uncluttered, but traditional table lamps work well too. Match the bulb wattage to the lamp, and use 3-way and high wattage compact fluorescent or LED bulbs whenever possible. For optimal illumination, the bottom of the lampshades should be about shoulder height as you recline in bed. Candles or a portable fireplace can be introduced for a softer, more diffused and romantic light.

Side tables provide space for necessities like an alarm clock, reading glasses, cup of water, or picture of a loved one. Tables with drawers or doors store things like books, toiletries, and other personal necessities. For the inevitable overflow, tuck a basket, bin or other container beneath. A small vase of fresh flowers adds a simple yet elegant touch.

The ideal bedroom is streamlined and minimalistic. Consider removing extra furnishings to create a more spacious and uncluttered feeling. If there is room in your closet, relocate the dresser there, for example. Minimize unnecessary pieces and find another place to store accumulated things.

Your bedroom is never the optimal place for a home office, but if it is your only option, place the desk in the least conspicuous area of the room. As a result, bills, obligations, and work are not the first things you see as you open your eyes each morning.

If you are fortunate enough to have a large bedroom, use the square footage to create a personal area. Whether a slipper chair to aid in dressing, a reading corner in which to relax, or a seating area to share with your significant other, use this additional space to further promote the feeling of refuse, privacy and sanctuary.

You may fall madly in love with your bedroom once it truly serves your needs … happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Linda Lawrence is the owner of HouseCalls for Redesign. Contact her at housecalls4redesign@comcast.net or 728-2732, or visit housecalls4redesign.com.