How to Decorate a Bedroom

Often overlooked when initially decorating our living spaces are our bedrooms.  Whether moving into a new home or doing some revamping, the bedroom seems to take a backseat, especially small bedrooms and guest bedrooms.  Considering we spend the most time in our bedrooms (even though much of that time is sleeping), bedroom decorating should be at the top of our interior design list right alongside the living room and dining room, even if it is just a guest room. 

Our bedrooms are our personal space havens.  They should feel safe, inviting, and relaxing.  Above all, our master bedroom should lend to a style all our own, whether it's a color palette that is a reflection of your personality, or if your bedroom ideas have a luxe duvet that just comforts your soul.  Upon entering a bedroom, the body should breathe a sigh of relief, but it’s hard to have space feel this way when the bedroom consists of mismatched table lamps collected throughout your early adulthood and a bed frame you've been lugging around since college.

If you’re ready to design the bedroom of your dreams, here are the four “A’s” of bedroom design to help you plan a bedroom makeover that is truly magazine-worthy. 


The basis for your decorative design process will be to determine some basics about the room.  The two most important basic design elements you’ll want to focus on are layout and color scheme. 

  •         Layout. The layout means two things: the size and shape of the room, and how you’ll place the major pieces of furniture within the room.  While the most common bedroom shapes are squares and rectangles, recognize that you must be careful to take notice of things like window placement, closet doors, en suite bathroom entrances, and wall outlets. 

You can best obtain a clear picture of your room’s layout by measuring the room and creating a sketch on paper.  You don’t need to be an interior designer to create a simple visual representation of what your room looks like and how you plan to arrange it.  Seeing your room on paper can help you determine how to avoid easily made design mistakes, like placing large pieces of non-media furniture or decor like wall coverings or a bookcase in front of the only wall with media outlets. 

It’s also important to take note of how light flows through the room.  Although window treatments and drapes will have some effect on the filtration of light in your space, noting that the afternoon sun shines directly into a particular corner of the room may help you realize the corner lends itself as a reading nook, or special spot for a beloved pet’s bed. 

  •         Color scheme. Bedroom color scheme matters.  According to leading psychologists, color plays a huge role in how we perceive our surroundings.  Carl Jung even suggested that the way in which we perceive color is primeval and instinctual.  As such, it’s important that the colors we see when we enter our bedroom evoke the feelings we most want to feel when we enter that most sacred space. 

Neutral color earth tones like mahogany, ember, and teak can center and ground areas of a room.  These are great choices for furniture finishes and flooring but can be overwhelming as a wall color, especially in a small space. 

Greens and blues signify renewal, rebirth, awakening, and tranquility.  These colors are vastly popular within a variety of bedroom decorating ideas.  Even an accent wall painted in a beautiful shade of pale ice blue can elicit feelings of relaxation and calm. 

When deciding on a color scheme, especially paint colors, pick two to three colors and build your entire pallet around them.  This doesn’t mean you can’t add a pop of yellow if your entire color scheme consists of neutrals, it just means your yellow should come in the form of an accent, not a major player. 

Anchor Away

You’ve outlined your room and have a general idea of colors and layout--now it’s time to do the heavy lifting.  Deciding where your anchor pieces will be placed will determine the remainder of the room.  Don’t let this become overwhelming because it really doesn't have to be! 

  •         Bed.  Begin by determining the size you need.  If you’re unsure, consider your layout.  If you’ve got an average 10’X13’ bedroom, you may want to reconsider a California king bed.  A better,  more efficient use of the space would be a queen.  Allowing your bed to be the central focal point for your room takes a lot of the guesswork out of bedroom design.  A simplistic, yet powerful piece like the Maximalist features an upholstered, oversized headboard that dramatically anchors any room. 
  •         Dressers. Likely the second largest piece of furniture you’ll have in your bedroom is a dresser.  If your closet accommodates all your clothing storage needs, you can skip a dresser and opt to use your space for a reading nook, media console, or as an open space to practice yoga--it’s your space, after all!


Now that you’ve determined the locations of the largest pieces of furniture in your space, it’s time to accent your room with additional, smaller pieces of furniture like an area rug, bedside lamp, or the nightstand that the bedside lamp sits on.  These accent pieces should complement, not overpower the space.  When selecting accent pieces for your bedroom, think size and usability. 

  •         Size.  Unless you are working with a very large space, the bedroom is probably not the best location for a recliner or coffee table.  Pieces this large are not only unnecessary, but they draw attention away from your anchor piece and cause your space to feel cluttered.  The idea is to keep the bedroom free of clutter, and create a space that feels clean and unobstructed. 
  •         Usability. We’re big believers in things being usable.  An accent chair in your bedroom might look visually appealing, but if it’s small and uncomfortable it has little chance of seeing anyone’s bottom and will likely end up becoming nothing more than a dustible.  

Instead of approaching your space from a purely aesthetic standpoint, consider what you will actually use in your space.  For instance, you can certainly guarantee the usage of a bedside table, and a beautifully designed table like the Devotee can add surprising lines and create flow from your squared sleeping space to the surrounding area.


Your bedroom is possibly the most personally designed space in your home.  No other room commands your style more, and as such, your decorative accents here should speak to your story and your tastes--we find that less is always more.  Bold pieces command attention without adding clutter.  Smooth lines create symmetry and balance that instantaneously elicit feelings of zen.  Simplistic designs that are rich in color fill space comfortably and easily.  Here are some easy ways to accent your bedroom without overfilling it. 

  •         Artwork. A bold painting or picture that has the power to captivate your attention is a great addition to a bedroom.  Instead of creating a gallery wall, consider one large piece with colors that tie the room together and create a visual focal point upon entering the room.
  •         Pillows.  The ultimate in form and function, adding throw pillows to your bed, a window seat, or a quiet corner of your space can create an inviting area that begs you to sit and stay awhile.
  •         Trays and organization stations.  Bedrooms can be easy spaces to dump things like phones, chargers, ear pods, loose change, and other miscellaneous pocket items at the end of the day.  The effect of having these items strewn about can cause your bedroom to seem messy and uninviting.  Consider using wood trays or small boxes to corral these items and add a touch of beauty to the top of a dresser or night table. 

Your bedroom design should be a product that reflects your innermost favorite things.  Your favorite colors, the textures that feel most inviting to your skin, and the special pieces that bring you the most joy all find their place in your private sleeping quarters.  Keeping your design ideas organized and simple will help you create a perfect space in which you crave to spend your time. 


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