Create an Open, Airy Bedroom

Here's how to give your bedroom a light and airy feeling

Gray and White Light and Airy Bedroom
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The light and airy bedroom has a natural, casual charm, looks bigger than it really is and feels cheerful and relaxed. While “light and airy” might mean different things to different people, it generally implies:

  • Mostly light colors
  • Little to no clutter
  • Lightweight fabrics and furnishings
  • Natural elements in the décor

Keep It Light

Light and airy does not mean you are restricted to a palette of white, although white walls and bedding certainly look airy.  But if you like a little bit of color, turn to the softest whispers of blue, green, yellow or lavender on the walls, set off with white trim. Pale neutrals are another option: sand, creamy off-white, a light tint of gray.

When it comes to the bed, continue the soft color scheme. Choose white or light bedding, but feel free to add a few sparks of bright color with patterned sheets, throw pillows or shams. Remember that light and airy doesn’t mean devoid of color or contrast—it just means a primarily light palette.

Heavy, dark wooden furniture is out of place in the airy bedroom. Instead, use light painted pieces, or even better, materials that have a naturally lightweight feel to them, such as wicker. Metal with a brushed finish is another option, as long as it isn’t excessively heavy or ornate.

Clutter-Free Equals Airy

While knickknacks and extras might be fun, they need to be kept to a minimum in a bedroom decorated for airy effect. You want an open, uncluttered feeling, so put away the collectibles, books and unneeded accessories, or move them to another area of your home. Stick with just a few pieces you love, or that are useful. Show off your decorating tastes with just a few of the following:

  • A whimsical or old-fashioned-looking alarm clock on the nightstand
  • One or two pieces of artwork on the walls—stick with simple frames, and choose pieces that are large enough for their space without filling in the entire wall area
  • Just a few treasured collectibles on the dresser or nightstand
  • A potted plant
  • A small grouping of candles
  • Two or three glass apothecary jars filled with seashells, marbles, sea glass or other natural materials
  • A small chandelier or a ceiling fan with natural wicker or white blades
  • Two or three simply framed photographs
  • A couple of baskets, which are also useful for storage

Think Lightweight for Furnishings

Dark, heavy and imposing furnishings have their place in certain decorating schemes, but not in the light and airy bedroom. For the most natural light, keep the windows as uncovered as possible. Look to simple, white or natural shades that you can open during the day. If you like curtains, cover a roll-up blind with sheer, white fabric, or drapes with an open, unfussy pattern.

Wooden floors highlight the natural appearance of the room, but if you prefer the softness of carpet, select a color light enough to work with the theme, yet dark enough to hide dirt and stains. An area rug is another good way to soften and lighten up your floor while adding a dose of color and pattern.

Use just enough bedroom furniture for your needs. Although an upholstered, metal frame or wicker headboard works well to add balance to the space, do without a footboard to keep the room’s openness. If you have a choice between a short, wide dresser and a tall, thin dresser, go with the latter. This fools your eye into thinking the dresser takes up less space than it really does while giving you the same amount of storage space.

Light natural wood, painted wood or wicker in​ the country or traditional styles are all perfect in the airy bedroom. Stay away from contemporary styles and materials such as plastic, shiny metal, or contemporary glass or mirror finishes.

Go Natural

Open and airy decorating is all about letting the sunshine in. Even if your bedroom isn’t the brightest of spaces, you can still get that outdoor, fresh vibe through a few well-chosen decorating pieces. Potted plants, faux or fresh flowers, a decorative, small birdcage, and artwork with natural themes help bring the outdoor feeling inside. A handful of seashells in a basket or jar, a floral wreath decorated with faux nest and birds on the wall, or a mirror outlined in sea glass go even further to create the casual, light, cheerful style you’re looking for. Just remember that you want an uncluttered atmosphere, so keep your accessories to a minimum. All it takes is two or three touches to make a big impact.