How to Design Your Best Bedroom yet
A great bedroom design is more than just what you put in it. It’s all about how you use every piece to create a relaxing retreat that’s all yours.
Written by Kelsey Kittle
Of all the rooms in the house, your bedroom is yours. -Dorothy Draper
Though it’s likely the room you’ll show off least to guests, the bedroom is nevertheless high on the priority list when thinking about interior design. Roughly a third of your life is spent asleep, so your bedroom should be nothing less than a sanctuary. It’s a place to let your personal style and imagination run wild, with consideration given only to your ultimate comfort and relaxation. These expert tips will ensure your sleeping space inspires sweet dreams.
Go with a theme.
A general theme, palette or “feel” is a great starting point for your bedroom design. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be a rigid, matchy-matchy arrangement (unless, of course, that kind of thing is relaxing and inviting to you). Instead, base your theme on the feelings you want to experience as you drift off to sleep and awaken each day. Choose a palette that is pleasing to your eye so that you are able to relax at bedtime and feel energized upon awakening.
For many people, lighter colors and tone-on-tone looks best accomplish this, allowing you to project your own feelings on the space. Favorite colors or trendy brights can be incorporated as accents in decor, bedding and artwork, and won’t overwhelm the overall feeling of quiet and comfort imparted by a neutral backdrop.
Have more than one source of light.
Layered lighting is of the utmost importance in bedroom design. An overhead light source is usually going to be too bright and impart too much glare for bedtime activities like reading. However, a beautiful chandelier or special flushmount can also be a focal point and serve both practical and decorative purposes. The best tool for overhead lighting in a bedroom is the dimmer switch, which allows you to take control of the light level from a distance.
Next, you should consider task lighting. Whether it’s a bedside lamp or a floor lamp for a separate reading nook in the master suite, your task lighting will ideally be dimmable as well, and may even feature adjustable color temperatures for ultimate day-to-night flexibility. Installing each layer of light on its own switch allows you to find the perfect combination for your needs. Natural light is another factor for a good morning, helping you awaken more fully and feel alert. Choose your lighting fixtures with your access to windows in mind.
When in doubt, seek symmetry.
A simple design principle that makes a big impact, symmetrical layouts can produce a calming effect on the viewer. Much like our eyes naturally appreciate symmetry in nature, we are put at ease when a room is predictable. Not to say predictable is boring! But we interpret symmetrical layouts as ordered, clean and visually quiet, which in turn leaves you with a relaxed, comfortable feeling upon entering the room.
Bear in mind that symmetrical designs will work best with simpler fixtures—too much pattern, decoration or color will have the opposite effect you’re going for, nevermind doubling that by trying to make the layout symmetrical. Another thing to keep in mind is not to make your symmetric layout too symmetric; if everything is too exact, you may tread into sterility, so leave a little room for variation.
Declutter to decompress.
One of the simpler but most important tips for a showpiece bedroom is getting a handle on your clutter. While you absolutely should feature your most favorite items, bear in mind that more stuff translates to more visual “noise” and this naturally makes us feel uneasy.
Curate your collection of favorite things for display atop your dresser or on shelves, leaving plenty of breathing room around items or clusters. Try to stay on theme, whether you’ve chosen a certain palette or era, because it will lend a more cohesive styling to your bits and bobs. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use a key piece or two that’s off-theme if it’s your absolute favorite thing—used sparingly, your off-theme items lend personality and quirky spirit without feeling like a hodgepodge.
Try different textures throughout.
Much of your bedroom time will be spent asleep, but getting there is ever so much more pleasurable with the right cozy, comfy accouterments. Playing with texture in the bedroom can be easier than other rooms, because you simply have so many opportunities to mix and match. For instance, you might pair crisp linen sheets with a quilted duvet, topped by a chunky throw. And don’t forget that nubby, snuggly rug under the bed to meet your feet in the morning.
Any textures that feel plush and luscious are a go in the bedroom—the key to keeping it from looking in disarray is paying attention to color. Use different shades of the same tones (that is, lighter or darker shades of the same color) to create depth and cohesion, and you can get away with mixing just about any textures you can imagine. Just make sure it feels fabulous to the touch.