Bedroom Wall Decor: How to Style and What to Look For


Bedrooms with bare walls feel sterile and cold. Unless you’re Kim Kardashian, that’s probably not your preferred aesthetic. Your bedroom should be a warm, cozy place you want to relax in. It’s your space for quiet meditation. It’s your Netflix cave. It’s the place you go when you need some “you” time. That’s why your bedroom should be an accurate reflection of you. Decorated to your taste and adorned with things you love.

The trick is to decorate your bedroom walls to make the space feel more like an adult’s room and less like a dorm room. You probably don’t want to go tacking up posters to your walls and hanging string lights like you did when you were a teenager. Sophisticated wall decor seems complicated if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. As soon as you create a strategy, you’ll be surprised at how quickly and easily things come together. 

Consider the Map of Your Bedroom

It’s easy to go crazy with wall decorations, and it will happen faster than you think. Before you start hanging stuff up, think about how much space you actually have. You don’t want wall decorations to interfere with things you cannot move, like windows or heavy wall-mounted TVs. Decorating your walls is a far more involved process than merely hanging up a few pictures and calling it a day. 

Save your framed pieces and mirrors for last. Work with what will need to be fixed in a certain position first. Framed pieces can always be put up and taken down at your leisure. By the time you’re done dressing up your lighting, bed, walls, and windows, you may not even want any paintings or photos hung up. Wall decor happens in layers - start with the basics and work your way up.

Lighting as Decor

You’re probably not looking to get any chandeliers, recessed lights, or pendant lights for your bedroom. A simple ceiling fixture and some lamps will generally suffice. Wall sconces, on the other hand, make a beautiful piece of bedroom decor. If you’d rather save the surface of your nightstand, dresser, and vanity for more practical applications, you can always stick your light sources right on the wall.

Wall sconces are beautiful decorative touches. Add one to either side of the bed, right above the nightstands. Some wall sconces function like lamps on swivelling mounts. You can move the light towards you when you need it, like for reading in bed, and move the light away from you when you want to free up space on your nightstand. 

Fixed position wall sconces can be used to flank windows or doorways. Hang them on either side of a vanity mirror to illuminate your grooming space. The general rule is that wall sconces work best in pairs around a feature, decoration, or a piece of furniture you’d like to highlight. 

Putting your wall sconces on a dimmer switch will allow you to control the lighting mood of your bedroom. You might want the room brighter when you’re getting ready in the morning and dimmer when you’re slipping into your pajamas to curl up in bed. 

Headboards as Decor

Ornate wooden or upholstered headboards that rise high on the wall also count as wall decor. If your bed is on a standard metal frame, any headboard will work. Even if it doesn’t seem as though your desired headboard is compatible with your bedframe, you can easily circumvent the issue by mounting your headboard directly to the wall behind the bed.

Headboards are decorative objects, but they can also serve as comfort objects. Padded upholstered headboards provide a soft surface, making them the ideal choice for people who like to read or watch TV sitting up in bed. They’re far easier on your back and neck than wooden or metal headboards may be. If you use your bed for more than sleeping, you might want to go straight for an upholstered headboard.

When comfort isn’t a concern, wooden or metal headboards will work perfectly. Wooden headboards have a very traditional feel, and will perfectly complement bedrooms with wood floors and wooden furniture. Take the minimalist approach with a simple headboard with basic posts, or opt for something ornately carved and uniquely shaped to add interest to the bed portion of your bedroom.

Metal headboards can go one of two ways. A simple metal headboard is chic, minimalist, and industrial. If your bedroom is very modern, a simple metal headboard will tie together all your minimalist decor. Elaborate metal headboards have a gothic Victorian feel. If you want your bedroom to feel like a historical love dungeon, pick a headboard that looks similar to the gate on a wrought iron fence. 

Curtains as Decor

Window treatments are a part of your decor, but they can play a significant role if you choose to make them a point of interest. In small bedrooms without a lot of wall space, opting for highly decorative window treatments can help the room feel a little cozier without making it look cluttered or crowded. Patterned curtains that draw shapes and colors from your bedspread, throw pillows, or accent rugs can bring life to the walls and solidify your decorative theme.

Curtains work even better as wall decor when they’re hung several feet above the window. Choosing longer drapes and hanging them up high will call attention to the height of a room. These high, long drapes are more than just beautiful to look at. They’ll call attention to the height of a room, distracting from the width. If your bedroom is a little smaller than you’d like it to be, climbing the walls with your curtains might make it feel roomier. 

Accent Walls as Decor

Accent walls are the perfect solution for people who love the idea of wallpaper but don’t necessarily want to commit to it. Painting one wall a different color or papering it in a pattern that complements your decor or color scheme allows the entire wall to act as a decorative piece. Keep any wall hangings to a minimum on your accent wall - you don’t want to distract from the beautiful pattern. 

Nine times out of ten, the best place to put an accent wall is behind the bed. The bed is the focal point of the bedroom, so any elaborate decorative touches should be as close to the focal point as possible. Try wallpapering behind the bed and using a large headboard. The headboard will break up the pattern of the accent wall and soften the space around the bed, giving a clean slate for your comforter and throw pillows to shine by preventing them from getting lost in the pattern of your wallpaper. 

Well Placed Wall Art

Wall art is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of wall decor, but it’s the last thing you should do. You want to make sure every spot of wall space that might be needed for something else is accounted for before you begin hanging pictures, mirrors, and paintings. When everything else is done, it’s time to get to work.

The key to expertly placing wall art is symmetry. You want framed pieces to be the same size and perfectly balanced. The size and shape are more important than what is in the frame. Playing with scale by placing one large piece of art to one side of the bed and a smaller piece of art on the opposite side won’t look right - even if they’re very similar pieces. 

Try flanking your bed with two pieces of art in the exact same size frame. As long as the color scheme of these pieces of art generally match the decor of the room, the end result will be visually pleasing. The only other thing you’ll want to keep in mind is the frame. You’ll get the best results using simple frames for complicated pieces of art, and ornate frames for simple pieces of art. When in doubt, stick with a simple frame. 

Alternatively, you can hang one large rectangular piece or three small pieces in a row above your bed. Large standalone pieces should be placed close to the center of the wall, and can be accompanied by sconces to either side. This also applies to mirrors. Any large mirror looks best centered on a wall or centered between pieces of furniture, like dressers. Measure the wall, establish the center, and hang it up. 


Wall decor is an involved process - almost as involved as selecting and placing furniture. The most important things to remember are symmetry, harmony, and balance. Wall decor comes in many forms, and you want to make sure all aspects of your wall decor play well together, as well as melding with the other design choices throughout your bedroom. If you need a little inspiration to help you get started, Whom has plenty of strikingly beautiful wall decor!


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