How to Design and Decorate Your Bedroom (12 Tips)

Designing a bedroom doesn't have to be difficult - simple steps to a room you'll love

Many times our bedrooms get the short end of the stick when it comes to design because we’re so focused on the more public rooms of the house that people see.

It’s unfortunate, because our bedroom is the place that we count on at the end of the day to bring us some rest and relaxation, so it should be a cozy and welcoming retreat.

Here are our tips for creating a comfortable, functional and relaxing bedroom that looks great!

1. Define your decorating style.

Bedrooms styles vary from casual to formal, neutral to colorful, and modern to traditional – be sure to decide which look is yours before making any purchases for your space.

That way, as you build the room, you can be confident that each piece you add will move your design in the right direction and the end result will be exactly what you had envisioned!

{related post: Defining Your Design Style: 3 Simple Steps}

Decorating the bedroom. White walls contrasted with dark wood bedroom furniture.

2. Decide on a color scheme.

Many find that a neutral or more muted color scheme is restful and calming in the master bedroom but if you’re a fan of color, go for it and create a cozy, cheerful space that suits your style!

A compromise would be to have a neutral background with pops of color that can be changed out by season or as your design tastes change.

3. Choose a bed that reflects the style you’ve defined.

The bed is the focal point of the bedroom, and will set the tone for everything to follow, so be sure to choose one that reflects your design style and is the right size to suit your needs for a while.

4. Do you have the right mattress and pillow?

The right bed and a well-designed room are two elements that help create a relaxing space, but they won’t guarantee a good night’s sleep!

In that sense, the mattress is the most important element in the room, so take your time when choosing it.

Sealy Optimum Radiance Gold mattress at Schneidermans Furniture

{quick tip:}

Lay on the mattress you’re considering, in the sleep position (use a pillow),
for at least 10 minutes before deciding if it’s an option.
{shop for the perfect mattress}

5.  It’s time for bedding.

After you’ve chosen the perfect mattress, sheets are the next step in creating a bed you can’t wait to sleep in at the end of the day, and Real Simple has tips for you on how to choose the best bed sheets here.

Next is the fun part!  Choose a comforter set or duvet that compliments your style, then layer the bedding for a fuller, cozier look that also allows for flexibility when the temperatures fluctuate.

Accent pillows help finish off the bed by adding another layer of texture (and possibly pattern and color, depending on your choices).

Decorating the bedroom. Layers of bedding ups the cozy factor.

 6. Add bedside surfaces.

Bedside surfaces give us a place to set lighting and various necessities.  Night stands are typically the go-to choice for this, and rightly so.   They’re designed specifically for that purpose, so they work well and look great.  (Some of our nightstands even come with outlets for device charging.  Convenient!)

Don’t be afraid to mix it up for a more collected look, though, by using an accent chest or a small desk or console table on one side of the bed.

Decorating the bedroom. A fun, rustic red accent chest adds some personality to this bedroom.
Williamsburg Accent Chest

{quick tip:}

When mixing and matching nighstands, match the height of the pieces, if possible.
Or use accessories and lamps to make things appear evenly matched
(for example, set one of the lamps on books or buy one taller lamp).

7. Consider storage.

An organized space creates a sense of calm, so the less clutter in the bedroom the better.

Because many closets just don’t meet all of our storage needs, dressers and chests are a great way to add additional storage, and many night stands come with drawers.

If you’re limited on space, a bed with built-in storage is an excellent, space-saving, way to add storage.

Decorating the bedroom. Light and airy, yet cozy, bedroom with storage bed.

8.  Make your feet happy.

There’s nothing worse than hopping out of bed in the morning and planting your feet on a cold floor.

If you have hardwood or tile floors, consider adding an area rug to give some warmth and cozy texture underfoot.  It’s also a great way to add another layer of interest to your room’s design!

bed | dresser | stool | rug

9. Have a seat.

It’s always nice to have at least one other place in the room to sit besides the bed.

Accent chairs, ottomans, benches or a chaise are some options to consider, and what you choose will ultimately depend on your room’s size, layout, and your personal preference.

Decorating the bedroom. An accent chair in the bedroom creates a cozy space to relax
chair | rug

 10. Illuminate your space.

Lighting is a necessary element of any successfully designed space, both for function and ambiance.  Elle Decor has some great tips for planning bedroom lighting in this Lighting Guide.

NumberFourEleven Bedroom Vignette

11. Dress the windows.

Decorating a space is really about layers, and window treatments add one more layer of visual interest to a room.

While many treatments are strictly decorative, there are times when they also function to keep a room warmer, filter the light or, in the case of a bedroom, darken a space for sleeping.

botanical fabric + greek key trim - matches the pillows on one of the sofas in our showroom right now.

12. Accessorize!

Accessories are the perfect way to finish off the space and show some of your personality.

Add artwork, accessories and meaningful pieces that suit your style, bring a sense of calm and relaxation, and maybe a little touch of whimsy somewhere in the room to make you smile.

Decorating the bedroom. Pop dark woods with white accessories.

More inspiration and ideas.

Browse our How To Decorate page for more design tips, decorating ideas, room inspiration and more!

Updated 7/13/16

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6 Responses to How to Design and Decorate Your Bedroom (12 Tips)

  1. Regina Aitken May 23, 2017 at 10:45 pm #

    Would you let me know if it’s okay to place my bed in front of the sliding doors. And also if it’s the only window? My bed just can’t fit any other way. Thanks

    • PK May 24, 2017 at 8:36 am #

      Hi Regina. I know it can be frustrating when a room only offers one option for bed placement. Do you need to use the door at all? If so, that may be a potential issue.

      But, if that’s your only option you can make it work. One idea to help make the look more cohesive would be to add curtain panels on either side of the sliding door. It will soften the look and make the look seem more planned, rather than a “have-to”.

      We also talk about this dilemma more in depth, and offer some good tips in this post: Design Dilemma: Can I Put A Bed In Front Of A Window?)


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