Bedroom Decorating Ideas

gray bedroom
Follow these bedroom decorating tips to create a dreamy space you'll love. Learn how to bring together color, pattern, decorations, furniture, and more to design a beautiful room.

Finely Furnish

Create a bedroom design that easily accommodates your morning-to-nighttime needs. Purchase stylish bedroom extras, such as storage trunks, garden seats, media centers, cushy reading chairs, nightstands, and dressing tables that meet your every need and make your routine run more smoothly. Forgo so-yesterday matchy-matchy pieces. Instead fuse new and old furnishings and rustic and refined flourishes to create bedroom designs that spillover with collected comfort.

Pretty bedroom decor doesn't have to be rocket science. These simple decorating updates will have your bedroom looking like new in no time.

Make Decorating Easy

Sometimes the simplest of updates can have the biggest impact. Watch and see how it's done.


Color and Pattern Tips

A soft pillow and comfy mattress may give the sheep an assist in sending you off to slumber, but bedding that glows with an invitation to snuggle in can be just as effective. Bring a bed into full bloom using a colorful combination of floral patterns. Vary the scale of the flowers for interest, and stick to a single palette for a unified look that's easy on the eye. The same principle applies to combining striped, floral, and geometric patterns: Make sure each pattern features the same primary hue to make mixing and matching a success. Select cool or neutral hues to create a room that exudes serenity and calm. Look to bright and warm colors to foster a sense of good cheer, energy, and coziness.

Color Scheme Formula

Variations within one color palette make it easy to properly choose and combine paint colors, bedding, and accessories when decorating a bedroom. Introduce two hues, such as turquoise and apricot, in a range of dark and light tones, rough and smooth textures, and solid and patterned fabrics to fashion noteworthy but serene bedroom scenes. Include area rugs, accent pillows, throw blankets, and window treatments that present both colors in different scaled patterns to boost the wow factor.

This bedroom designed by Nathan Turner is packed full of decorating ideas you can use. Hear how Nathan created the look and how you can get the look too.

Behind the Design

Designer Nathan Turner explains the features that make this bedroom so dreamy. Take a cue from his tips to create your own bedroom oasis.

Make the Headboard a Focal Point

Elevate a bedroom to new heights of fashion with an eye-catching headboard. Soft and cushy with no hard edges, an upholstered headboard is an ideal choice when sink-in comfort tops the boudoir wish list. If you crave privacy and a sense of enclosure, use canopies or bed curtains to wrap your bed in luxurious folds of fabric.

Bedroom Window Ideas

Bedroom windows generally need room-darkening window treatments that block light in the morning and provide privacy at night. In addition to such functional considerations, bedroom window treatments help set a room's overall style. Swagged and gathered draperies communicate romantic elegance, Roman shades speak of tailored sophistication, and shutters convey casual cottage style. Layer room-darkening shades with draperies to address both functional and decorative needs.

Bedding Tips

When shopping for linens, don't be fooled by high thread counts. While it's true a higher thread count -- the number of threads per square inch -- can mean better quality, the true test is actually what the sheets are made from. For top-notch sheets that are durable, mostly lint-free, and luxuriously soft, look for pima, Egyptian, or Supima cotton. A 250-thread-count sheet set made from these cottons can feel softer after washing than a 400- or 500-thread-count set made from a cotton-polyester blend.

Introduce Glamour with Mirrors

A room that sparkles and shimmers radiates soft romance and high-style luxury. Beyond beauty, however, mirrors can serve a practical purpose by reflecting outside views and light that can help small bedrooms feel larger. Hang an oversize mirror on a wall devoid of windows to create a view where none exists. Or lean a tall mirror against a wall to create an illusion of depth, as well as a handy spot for reviewing an outfit before you head out the door.

Fill in the Blank

Make the most of the mystifying space between a headboard and the ceiling with clever room accents. Deck the walls above a curved headboard with square picture frames or above a square headboard with round frames for dramatic visual contrast. Or follow the curve of a headboard with a staggered arrangement of decorative objects, such as plates. When grouping objects for display, harness the visual power of odd numbers for the most eye-pleasing results. Suspend artwork a foot or less above the highest point on a headboard to ensure that the two read as a single unit without an awkward river of space.

More Art Tips

Cherished collections, exquisite artworks, and family photographs add personality and color. Happily, you'll find plenty of open wall space above dressers, dressing tables, and headboards for staging exhibits. Choose shelf and frame finishes that match the room's other wood finishes, and arrange the pieces so they mirror the shape of the furniture piece below. Measure the available area between furniture and ceiling, mark the center, and work outward from the center point when arranging your display. Suspend exhibits a foot or less above a headboard's top edge to ensure your exhibit and bedstead present a unified front.

Enhance Your Bedside Manner

Born of the need for a functional companion bedside, the night table has evolved from workhorse to fashionable sidekick. Use it as one more way to express your style while providing must-have storage. When symmetry matters, use matching side tables to bookend a bed. However, there's no rule that says tables must be copies of each other. If space allows, tuck a dresser bedside to provide roomy real estate for nighttime essentials and loads of storage underneath. Or, cozy a writing desk and chair up to the bed. If you're an avid reader, make sure your bedside table has shelves or drawers to help keep paper piles from stacking up.

Organize Your Closets

No matter whether you have a large walk-in closet or a small door-front closet, there are little steps you can take to eliminate stressful clutter. For example, organizing your clothing by color is an easy way to find things fast. Another simple strategy: Use a single type of hanger -- such as plastic or wood, which are kinder to your clothes than wire hangers -- to foster a streamlined look. If your closet features the traditional single rod with a shelf above it, upgrade the functionality by installing a T-divider. This separates a closet into two compartments -- one for long items and one with two rods for shorter items.

Employ Looks That Last in a Child's Room

For a room that's attractive and that will grow with your child, avoid clearly juvenile bedroom furnishings and invest in a bed, dresser, nightstand, and desk with more staying power. Use fabrics and accessories in themes and color schemes that can easily change as your child grows. For example, think texture, not prints. Denim, corduroy, or cotton twill are all sturdy fabrics perfect for upholstery. Liven up solid-color choices with easy-to-change accent pillows. Window treatments usually get the least wear and tear in a room, so invest in fabrics that will stand the test of time, then play up the fun factor with your bedding choices. Opt for a rug or carpet color and design that will go the distance and add bold splashes of color instead through lampshades and artwork.

Sound a Wake-Up Call

Whether you're a morning person or a sleepyhead, you'll benefit from a bedroom done up in a high-energy color scheme, such as red and blue or lime green and hot pink. Complementary-color partners stimulate movement, exude warmth, and promote good cheer. Add in neutral surfaces, fabric patterns of varying scales, and bed quilts and duvets with white backgrounds to keep chaos at bay. Use a color wheel to select an accent color neighboring one of the bedroom's primary hues and display it as throw pillows, shams, and accessories.

Must-Have Bedroom Furniture

Beds and bedrooms are meant to accommodate more than sleeping, so be sure to include furniture pieces that suit your display and storage needs. Move in stylish bedside tables that can hold reading lights, books, and clocks or frame your bedstead with nightstands, dressers, and bookcases that provide up-top display space and hidey holes for paperwork, books, and more below. Dressers, armoires, and even window seats are welcome additions for keeping clothing and extra bedding undercover but near at hand.

Add a Bench

Take advantage of the open space at the end of your bed by moving in a fashionable bench that underscores your bedroom decorating style. A cushy roost for watching TV, reading, or just putting on your shoes, footboard benches can be as simple as a wooden garden seat or as opulent as a tufted Regency-style settee. Other bench ideas? Align two oversize ottomans to create posh perches or top a cedar chest or trunk with a colorful cushion to increase a bedroom's seating and storage capacity.

Guest Room Ideas

Invite overnight visitors to stay awhile by outfitting the spare bedroom with little luxuries, everyday supplies, and indulgent trappings. Dress the bed in fresh-bleached sheets and then pile on pillows of varying firmness and layered blankets to give your guests plenty of bedtime comfort options. When possible, add a small television set or some type of music system. Fill a basket with tissues, toothbrushes, disposable shavers, pretty soaps, hotel-size shampoos, and hand lotions that guests can pull from as needed. Layout local guide books and maps that encourage your friends to go exploring.

Light It Right

No matter how you use your bedroom, you'll need to include layers of light. Use ceiling fixtures, chandeliers, fans, and recessed lights to provide general lighting; attach them to dimmer switches and remote controls so you can mute and operate the lights at the touch of the button. Place lamps dressed in pretty shades on both sides of the bed and set floor lamps near reading chairs. If nightstand space is tight, mount swing-arm lamps on each side of the bed. Or, fill in the space above your headboard with a pair of sconces or a cool wall fixture that direct light downward.

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