How to Decorate and Design a Bedroom

An all white attic bedroom

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A bedroom should be a sanctuary—a place of quiet retreat amidst a busy day; a spot to unwind while changing out of work clothes; or even a relaxing room in which to watch the evening news. Most of all, a bedroom should be the most comfortable and calming place to rest a weary body after the close of a long day.

However, many of us do not know how to decorate a bedroom. Many times our bedrooms receive our leftovers. We often focus on our living rooms or kitchens, places that the guests can see, and neglect the room where we will spend more than one-third of our lives!

Below you will find steps for decorating your bedroom along with tips on how to decorate a beautiful bedroom with style.

Lay a Foundation With Furnishings

  • A common problem in most bedrooms is too much furniture or furnishings that are too large for the space—or both. Give yourself room to breathe in your bedroom by carefully choosing bedroom furniture that fits the scale of your bedroom, and decluttering often.
  • A bedside table or two is a necessity for most. Consider your needs. If you love to read volumes in bed, a small bedside pedestal table probably won’t work.
  • Clothing storage should also be considered. Do you need extra hanging space, room for folded clothes, or both? Does your closet provide adequate shoe storage? There are many affordable wardrobe options available or add a faux closet by sectioning off part of your bedroom with drapes or a freestanding screen.
  • Consider the furniture arrangement, as well. If at all possible, beds should be placed far away from busy doorways or drafty windows. Most people feel most comfortable with the head of their bed facing toward the main doorway, though experiment to find what feels best to you. Consider the “traffic patterns” of your bedroom when placing your furniture.

Invest Wisely

  • You can skimp on your comforter, rug, and curtains, but don’t try to go cheap on your mattress, pillows or sheets. Paying a bit more for these foundational items will help you have a good night’s rest and may save you from neck and back pain, headaches and more.
  • Your sheets touch your body for eight hours a night, so they should be high quality. Look for 100-percent cotton sheets in a high thread count.
  • A good quality mattress and supportive pillows that are specific to your sleeping patterns will go a long way promoting rest and healing during the nighttime hours. Before you purchase a pillow or mattress, do your research and test out as many as possible since U.S. regulations prohibit most of these items from being returned after purchase.

Decide on Color

  • If you are a morning person, try choosing a lighter color scheme for your bedroom. The less you enjoy the early mornings, the darker and more sophisticated you can go with your color palette, which may feel oppressive to early risers.
  • If you would like to add color but prefer neutral walls or can’t paint the walls where you live, add color through the use of a painted piece of furniture, or choose a large, unique piece of furniture to add interest and serve as a focal point.
  • Fabrics and bedding are also great ways to add color. Rich, vibrantly colored curtains or an upholstered headboard are also great ways to add color and texture to a space.
  • Purchase your bedding before painting your walls. It is usually much easier to match paint to bedding than to find bedding to match your paint.

Layer Your Lighting

  • Lighting is a very important consideration in a bedroom. Overhead lighting in a bedroom is fine, but don’t forget to add bedside lamps and other task-specific lighting. If you work the daily crossword puzzle in bed or always put on makeup in your bedroom mirror, be sure to add specific lighting in those areas to suit your needs.
  • Dimmer switches make excellent additions to bedroom lighting. Lighting can be turned down to create a calm, restful feeling, yet can still be turned up for full lighting when needed.
  • Mirrored or glossy furnishings in light colors or woods are a great way to add light to a dark bedroom or tone down a too-bright bedroom with darker colors and furnishings and non-reflective surfaces.

Choose Soft Furnishings and Decor

  • Throw pillows and blankets are kind of like icing on a cake—not necessary but certainly a bonus if you have them! Don’t feel pressured to spend a lot of money on these items. Throw blankets usually need to be replaced every few years and pillows patterns often become passé.
  • If you have hardwood floors in your bedroom, consider adding a rug for comfort and warmth.
  • Light-blocking shades or blinds tend to cost more, so if you need them, be sure to factor this into your budget.

Add the Final Touches

Buying small decor and artwork is where most people tend to begin decorating, but it is actually where one should end the decorating process. Choose accessories to compliment your space, and be careful to not overdo it. One beautiful painting or a perfect scattering of small photos atop a dresser is often all one needs to add a finishing touch to a bedroom.