A Top Designer's Tips for Creating the Perfect Bedroom

Cathy Hobbs of Design Recipes shares her nine steps to a beautiful bedroom.

Here's how to decorate a gorgeous bedroom.
Make your bed the star of your bedroom. Photo courtesy of Cathy Hobbs

Are you finally ready to create the bedroom of your dreams? Is it time to give your boudoir that much-needed makeover? You’ll find inspiration and ideas galore on Pinterest or in the glossy pages of decorating magazines, but sometimes it helps to get advice from an expert. Cathy Hobbs of Design Recipes is a 5-time Emmy award winner, hosts her own TV show and was the interior design expert for Oprah Winfrey’s “The Life You Want” tour.

You might think such an elite designer would recommend only the most expensive updates, but in fact, Hobbs says, “When it comes to creating the perfect décor for your bedroom, it doesn’t have to be about spending lots of money. Instead, create a soothing and calming atmosphere that reflects your personality.” Read on for her nine steps to decorating a luxuriously welcoming bedroom.

1. It all starts with your bed. After all, they don’t call it a BEDroom for nothing. Start off by purchasing the best mattress you can afford; one that provides excellent support and keeps your spine aligned properly. You can skimp on other bedroom furnishings, but not on your mattress – it’s where you spend a third of your life.

2. Once you have the right mattress, consider adding a mattress topper for protection and a touch of luxury. You’ll find many types of toppers, but Hobbes especially loves the soft stuff; “There is nothing like sleeping on down!”

3. Invest in great sheets. Hobbes says, “I prefer cotton sateen with a 400 thread count. Look for creative embroidery or a decorative border pattern that looks beautiful when folded back on the made bed.”

4. Dress the top of bed with the bedding of your choice, whether that’s a duvet, quilt or comforter.

When choosing the pattern, Hobbes recommends fun, funky patterns for women and bold, rich colors for men, perhaps accented with an interesting graphic pattern. If you share a bedroom, you can go either way, but make sure both partners really like the bedding.

5. Now it’s time to add some fun color with toss pillows. Go all out; don’t be afraid to toss in some beaded pillows or ones that are furry or with a tassel or two. As Hobbs says, “Toss pillows provide you an affordable way to update the look of your bedroom quickly and easily. Think about swapping them out seasonally for a fresh new look!”

6. It might be the star, but your bed isn’t the only piece of furniture in your room. You also need the basics. At a minimum, that includes one – or even better, two – nightstands, a frame for your bed and a dresser with a large mirror hung above it.

7. For lighting, Hobbes likes wall sconces, and even more so if they have dimmers. Wall sconces save space on your nightstand, and if you choose designs with swing-arms, you can direct the light right where you want it -- perfect for those who enjoy before-bed reading. You’ll need at least another couple of light sources, as well, depending on the size of your room.

Those might include a ceiling light fixture, a floor lamp or smaller bedside lamps.

8. Add a touch of romance with a spritz of scent. You can make your own essential oil sleep/relaxation spray, and then use it to lightly fragrance your sheets before bed each night.

9. Finally, don’t forget your bedroom floor. As Hobbs says, “There is nothing more sensuous than a
warm, snuggling texture underfoot.” She especially likes a touch of natural comfort and cushioning; “Two of my favorites are cowhides and sheepskin!”