Ideally, any bedroom in your home should be a sanctuary. Given that you spend at least one-third of your life inside of one – provided you’re getting your requisite eight hours a night, of course – you want your home’s bedrooms to be as attractive and as comfortable as possible. That’s why bedrooms are one of the most talked about rooms in interior design.
If you’re currently working on a new home design, or if your current bedroom or bedrooms are in need of a massive facelift, you need to know the basic principles. This is exactly what we’re going to be covering in the following guide. The information is broad enough to apply to any bedroom you might be working on, from a child’s to your master bedroom, while at the same time practical and actionable.
Herein, we’ll cover everything from different mattresses you can select, right down to what makes solid color choices. We’ll even offer up some invaluable tips on how you can best layout your bedroom to maximum effect!
So read on to learn all of the basics you need to know about bedroom design. By the end of this guide, you should have all the tools you need to start crafting your dream bedroom!
Table of Contents
1. Getting Started
2. Beds and Mattresses
3. Other Furniture and Décor
5. Color and Style
6. Tips for Laying It Out
Before you begin the process of designing your bedroom, you need to determine what you’re hoping to accomplish. This will necessarily depend on what bedroom you’re working on, and who is going to be occupying the room. If, for example, you’re working on a bedroom design for one of your children, you’ll want to speak with him or her about what he or she wants. Is it a bigger bed? Does he or she need a place to do school work?
If you’re working on your master bedroom, then you’ll obviously want to sit down with your spouse or significant other. Is it that the room isn’t attractive or comfortable enough? Do you need a better bed, and want to redesign the room around that bed? Are you looking to add a home office or something of that nature? Once you’ve determined what your needs and wants are for your bedroom, you’re almost ready to get started.
Bedroom remodels and redesigns can be incredibly expensive depending upon what you’re trying to do, so you’ll want to make sure you nail down your budget first. If you’re tearing down walls, building bigger closets, and switching up the floors, you’re going to need a hefty budget. If it’s as simple as changing the furniture and décor, then things will be less expensive, but it will still prove to be a sizeable investment.
For larger scale remodels, we advise always hiring a reputable and licensed contractor to handle everything. The bedrooms in your home – their size, layout and design – are incredibly important to the value of your home. So, you want to make sure that you’re getting the best quality work and the best advice. In terms of finding someone how fits the bill, talk with any friends you know who’ve had renovations done recently. That is, without a doubt, the best way to find a contractor you can trust.
Otherwise, if you’re simply changing up the furniture, walls and floors, you may be able to go the DIY route. If this is the case, though, you need to do one thing before you break out the credit card. You’ve got to get some measurements! In addition to measuring the actual bedroom itself, you’ll also want to measure all of the doorways, hallways and entranceways that stand between the outside and your bedroom. Bedroom furniture, as you well know, is often quite bulky, and you want to make sure you’re able to get anything you purchase where it needs to go!
With all of this preliminary work done, you’re ready to start designing your dream bedroom. So, let’s start with the most important part: the place where you lay down to sleep every night.
It really shouldn’t be all that surprising that the bed is the most important part of your bedroom. Let’s start by taking a look at the different mattress sizes that are available.
Twin: A twin mattress measures 39 inches by 75 inches and is only designed to accommodate one person. These are ideal for children’s bedrooms or for small guest bedrooms. If length is a concern, you can go with a Twin-XL, which adds an extra five inches.
Full: In a larger children’s bedroom or guest bedroom, you can consider going with a full-size mattress. They measure 54 inches by 75 inches and can sleep one person comfortably and two people adequately. These are not ideal for master bedrooms that two people occupy.
Queen: This is the most common mattress size, and they measure 60 inches by 80 inches. They can sleep two people quite comfortably and are perfect for larger guest bedrooms as well as for master bedrooms where space may be somewhat at a premium.
King: Although a king-size mattress could be used in a guest bedroom, they’re really only for master bedrooms. They measure 76 inches by 80 inches, meaning that they can sleep two people in maximum comfort. That comfort, though, comes at the sacrifices of floor space, something you’ll need to consider.
California King: A California-king mattress is something you’ll only see in the largest of bedrooms. They measure a whopping 72 inches by 84 inches. If you have the space to allow for one, you may never want to switch back to a smaller mattress again!
Custom: If money is really no object, then you can go with a custom-sized mattress. Whatever you choose, though, will need to be in tandem with the bed itself, as they’ll be designed to fit together. For a truly unique and original look, this may be the way to go.
Once you know what kind of mattress size you’d like, you can go about selecting a bed style. As with any other piece of furniture, there is a wide range of bed styles to choose from, from sleek and contemporary to old-school and rustic. Let’s take a look at some truly stunning beds so that you can get an idea of the options available to you.
A simple platform bed with a low profile can be perfect for bedrooms done in the contemporary style.
You can raise the profile of the platform bed, though, in order to add extra storage.
A canopy bed is always a solid choice for a luxurious bedroom with high cielings.
With a canopy bed, you don’t necessarily have to have the canopy. The structure itself can provide enough visual appeal.
Though similar to the canopy bed, the four-post bed has a distinctive look that’s all it’s own.
If you’re looking for simplicity and elegance, a wrought-iron bed frame might be an excellent choice.
A simple frame combined with an attractive headboard can really make the look of a bedroom.
If space is at a premium in your guest bedroom, an attractive day bed can be just the thing to make the room.
As you can see in each of the above examples, the bed that you select goes a long way toward determining the “style” of your bedroom design. So, before you get overly attached to one bed or another, carefully consider what kind of style you want and whether or not the bed you’re eyeing plays into that. There’s nothing wrong with designing your bedroom around the bed you select, but you should know that you can approach this from multiple angles.
The bed is, ultimately, only one piece of the design puzzle, though. The rest of the bedroom will need to be filled out with other furniture. We’ll be going over what the furniture is, as well as the various decisions you can make with each.
Aside from the bed, this is the most basic piece of furniture that almost every bedroom will have. These will be waist-high and provide several drawers for storing clothing. In some cases, you may find drawers that are double-length, providing more storage. These can be excellent in larger bedrooms.
Generally, you should only need one dresser in a smaller bedroom, like a child’s bedroom or a guest bedroom. Don’t feel obligated to include a dresser in a guest bedroom, though. People tend to operate out of their suitcases when they’re visiting don’t they? The space the dresser would occupy could be better served providing something more functional.
In all but the smallest of bedrooms, you’ll want to incorporate bedside tables. These provide those sleeping with a place to set things down, as well as a place for a lamp, alarm clock, or pieces of attractive décor.
Whatever you choose for bedside tables, you’ll want to make sure that they complement the style of bed that you’ve chosen. They can be tied into another design element of the room, if you want, but this can make the bedroom appear unbalanced, so be careful!
If you want more drawer space in a bedroom, but you don’t want to occupy floor space by using more than one dresser, then you can go with a bureau. These will generally by eye-level in height and provide a number of drawers.
One reason you may want to consider incorporating a bureau into your bedroom design is that they add height. Bedroom furniture tends to have a lower profile, and a bureau can help to break things up visually. Further height can be added by placing something on top of the bureau, like a lamp or even a television.
Not every bedroom is blessed with a closet. For these bedrooms, the wardrobe exists. This piece of furniture will provide a large cabinet where clothing can be hung, with drawers underneath for storing things likes socks, underwear and folded t-shirts.
Like a bureau, a wardrobe can be used to add height to your bedroom design. More so than with a bureau, though, a wardrobe can become a design focal point within a room, as they’re generally taller and wider. There’s also another use they can have, which you should consider – they can double as an attractive “TV stand”.
Drapes are, of course, incredibly practical; they allow you to sleep in when the sun’s up, and they provide privacy. However, they play a valuable role in bedroom design, given that they can bring out the color of a room, and they can add height.
There is a range of options available when considering drapes, from sheer fabric to those that will black out light. Likewise, you’ll have a range of options to consider when hanging the drapes. Some can hang loose when open or closed, and others can be tied off at the sides of the windows.
Attractive light fixtures can really make or break a bedroom design. It’s advisable to have at least one lamp next to the bed, but preferably two (one on each bedside table), especially with anything larger than a full-size mattress.
You won’t just want to consider table lamps, though. Look into attractive floor lamps that can be incorporated into the room. They may not be necessary if you’re going with recessed lights, but they can be a useful way to draw focus and arrange things visually within the room.
Having a desk may not be practical for every bedroom, as space can be limited. However, one should absolutely be included in a children’s bedroom in order to provide a place for homework. They’re also excellent things to include in guest bedrooms, as they offer those staying over a place to keep documents, computers and things of that nature.
In a large master bedroom, you may want to consider including a desk, as well. It’s important that such spaces be filled out, and having an attractive work area can really do the trick. As with dressers, bureaus and wardrobes, you’ll want to consider how the desk’s design plays into the choices made elsewhere.
In all but the very smallest bedrooms, you’ll want to provide a place to sit. In smaller bedrooms, a chair placed in a corner with an adjoining table can be a solid design and layout choice. In a larger bedroom that allows for it, you may wish to include two chairs.
When choosing a chair, consider that many enjoy lounging in a bedroom, reading, using the computer, or even checking their phone. A comfortable chair with an ottoman, or even a fainting chair, can be an incredible addition to a bedroom, increasing its functionality and visual appeal.
For those looking to create the ultimate master bedroom, consider including a couch or loveseat in your design. Adding one can really increase the coziness of the room, adding functionality beyond sleeping and getting dressed.
Later on, we’ll be showing you some amazing master bedroom designs that incorporate a couch and chairs. As you’ll see, adding a full-sized seating area to a large master bedroom can really fill up the space and transform the room into something exceptional and unique.
General Furniture Advice
As you can see, the sky is really the limit when it comes to what you can put in your bedroom. As we discussed earlier, make sure that anything you select can actually make it into the bedroom you’re designing. This is especially the case with any bedrooms that are located on the second floor or above in a home.
As far as selecting the furniture itself, take your time. You’re looking for pieces that can work in the floor space available and that can work with each other. In order for your bedroom to become the sanctuary you want it to be, you’ll need to achieve harmony between the different pieces that make it up. This is easier said than done. So keep pictures of the furniture you like, and consider different combinations side by side.
When it comes to flooring, you’ll generally want what you select to offer some level of contrast from your furniture pieces. For example, if you’ve chosen dark wood furniture, you’ll likely want to avoid dark hardwood floors. This isn’t a rule, mind you, more of a suggestion. If, ultimately, you’re looking to create a dark bedroom, then matching in this manner could be beneficial.
The style you ultimately select will ultimately dictate the color of the flooring you choose. What’s more important is the material. There are a number of common flooring materials used in bedrooms. We’ll be reviewing what they are, their pros and cons, and showing you examples of how they’ve been used. Let’s take a look.
When it comes to bedrooms, carpet is incredibly common. It’s easy on the feet, and it provides natural sound muffling, which is good for having a quiet place to sleep. Naturally, carpet comes in all kinds of patterns and styles, so there’s plenty of room for finding something that will work with your design and style concept.
One important thing to note is that not all carpet is created equally. If you’re worried about carpet ruining the “luxury” of your design, know that there are silk-and wool-based carpets out there that really offer a touch of class along with the comfort. As always with carpet, though, it can be tough to keep clean!
Here are two examples of bedrooms with attractive carpeting:
The plush grey wall-to-wall carpeting in this contemporary bedroom adds an excellent level of comfort.
Here, dark wall-to-wall carpeting is matched beautifully by the drapes covering the French doors.
When it comes to interior design for the home, hardwood floors are all the rage; it doesn’t matter what room you’re talking about. So, it should come as no surprise that hardwood floors can be an incredibly attractive option for your bedroom design, as well.
Sound can become a problem with hardwood floors, though, so you’ll definitely want to look into area rugs that can help with that (as well as protect the floors themselves). Also, you may not normally think of hardwood floors for a child’s bedroom, but you should think again. It’s much easier to clean than carpet, and kids are messy!
Here are two examples of bedrooms with attractive hardwood floors:
In this beautiful bedroom design, light hardwood floors allow the other design elements to really sing.
The powder-blue bed works beautifully with the hardwood floors in this striking bedroom design.
Hardwood can be quite expensive, which is why more and more people are looking into bamboo floors for their bedrooms. You essentially get the same look with all of the durability, but at a cheaper price point.
As with hardwood floors, you’ll want to consider area rugs to protect the floors themselves and provide sound muffling. Also consider that bamboo (and hardwood) floors will be colder than carpet – something your toes might not appreciate in the morning!
Here are two examples of bedrooms with attractive bamboo floors:
As you can see, bamboo has almost the exact same look and feel as hardwood floors.
With stains, you can achieve almost any look you want with bamboo floors for your bedroom design.
Cork is becoming an increasingly popular flooring choice with homeowners. There may be no better room to use it in your home than in the bedroom. That’s because cork, while offering the same attractiveness as hardwoods, is also a bit softer and tends to stay a bit warmer.
There’s one thing to be wary of with cork, though: prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause the cork to discolor. If you’re attempting to achieve a rustic or country look, this might not be a bad thing, but if you’re trying to keep things neat and uniform, then this fact might be a deal breaker!
Here are two examples of bedrooms with attractive cork floors:
Cork floors can come in a number of different patterns. Here you see an example of “solar ripple”.
Given how much time children spend on the ground, cork floors can be an excellent choice for their bedrooms!
While not the most common flooring option for bedrooms, there are a number of reasons that you might wish to consider tile floors for your bedroom. For one, tile is incredibly easy to keep clean – something could make it a nice choice for an older child’s bedroom. Also, it’s perfect for those looking to create a Mediterranean style.
In terms of customization, the limit is your imagination. But all of this does come at a cost. For one, tiling a master bedroom can be an expensive proposition, and tile will be cold on your feet. Also, consider the sound element, as a tiled bedroom will need area rugs and other fabric to keep cavernous echoes to a minimum.
Here are two examples of bedrooms with attractive tile floors:
With a contemporary bedroom, large tiles can be a really attractive design choice.
Dark tiles like the ones you see here can really allow the other design elements of your bedroom to stand out.
Even less common than tile is concrete. Generally, you’ll only see concrete floors in a bedroom that’s adopting a modern or contemporary style. However, there are reasons you might wish to consider concrete for your bedroom design!
For one, it can create a uniform look, which will allow other design choices you make to really stand out. Epoxies and stamps can also be used to add interesting detail and patterns to concrete floors. Also, concrete is incredibly durable and easy to clean. As with many of the options we’ve considered, though, concrete will be cold and it could make sound an issue.
Here are two examples of bedrooms with attractive concrete floors:
Polished concrete has a very unique look and feel, making it perfect for contemporary bedrooms like this one.
Concrete floors can also work quite beautifully in more traditional bedroom designs; so, don’t write it off!
Given that you’re trying to create as relaxing an environment as possible in your bedroom, color is going to play an incredibly important role. Below, we’re going to provide some general tips for selecting the appropriate color for your bedroom, and then we’re going to explore a number of style options that are available for your overall design.
- The safest choice you can make in your bedroom is to go for neutral colors. These can include light beiges and cream colors. These work especially well with bedrooms that use darker flooring.
- White is another color you can use in your bedroom, but you need to be careful. It’s a very “active” color, which can ruin the relaxing vibe you’re going for. If you use it, try to mollify that activity with darker colors elsewhere.
- Cooler, darker blues are another excellent color choice for the walls of your bedroom. They have a very natural soothing effect and work beautifully with lighter colored furniture as well as dark, wooden furniture.
- If you’d like to go bolder than blue, purple is becoming an increasingly popular color choice for bedrooms these days. It provides a bit of a darker touch (perfect for those who like to sleep in!) and it interacts well with many other colors.
- Likewise, green is another unconventional choice that’s increasing in popularity. This can be perfect for a bedroom that’s attempting a coastal vibe, as it balances beautifully with beige, yellow, and natural wood grains.
- Are you a morning person, or do you really what a cheerful bedroom environment? Then yellow might be the answer. Be careful about going too bright, though – a muted almost pastel yellow is invariably the best choice.
- Pink is a color to be wary of, as it has even more of an “active” feel than bright white. However, it can be used, especially if it’s balanced by darker colors from deeply stained woods or black and purple hues.
- When it comes to bedrooms, there’s one color that interior designers everywhere will tell you watch out for: red. It can work, but you’ll need to be extra careful in balancing it out to prevent it from becoming overpowering.
Possible Bedroom Style Choices
As with the rest of your home, you can go for virtually any “style” you wish with your bedrooms. With guest bedrooms, you’ll likely want to mirror the style of the rest of your home in order to create harmony for guests. With a master bedroom or child’s bedroom, however, you can let your imagination take you where it will. It’s your (or their) sanctuary, after all!
With that in mind, let’s take a look at various bedrooms that are done in different styles.
- This bedroom is a stunning example of the things that can be done with an attractive, rustic style.
- Muted blues and greys are absolutely essential for a bedroom adopting a coastal style.
- To balance the dark woods of the Craftsman style, you’ll need to make lighter color choices here and there.
- In a country bedroom design, opting for a four-post bed is always a solid choice!
- The modern bedroom style will generally make use of minimalism and low-profile furniture.
- For a child’s bedroom, simply let your imagination run free! Think like a kid again!
How you choose to layout your bedroom will be determined by how large the space is and what furniture you’ve decided to incorporate. Therefore, there are no hard-and-fast rules for bedroom layouts. However, there are some tips that we think you’ll find useful, depending upon what kind of bedroom you’re laying out.
- With a small guest bedroom or children’s room, you want to get as much out of the space as possible. Therefore, consider ways of only providing one nightstand, with a dresser doubling as a nightstand for the other side of the bed.
- Also, with small bedrooms, try to use as much light as possible and incorporate mirrors. The brightness and reflection will give your bedroom the illusion of appearing larger than it actually is.
- If the small bedroom is a pure guest bedroom, then you can consider doing away with a dresser altogether. Instead, you may wish to incorporate a small seating area, a desk, or even a fainting couch.
- Dressers can be used to add a certain level of functionality to your bedroom designs, especially if you place them at the foot of the bed. There are mirror can be used to increase the sense of space, or the dresser can double as a TV stand.
- We’ve already mentioned how a seating area can really make a bedroom cozy. If spaces allows for it, placing this seating area at the edge of the bed can be a real winning design, as you see up above.
- In a larger bedroom like a master, you’ll find designing more challenging. In order to combat the cavernous feel that such rooms can have, you’ll need to find ways of filling out the space.
- Taking a page out of the small-bedroom book, consider adding an elegant seating area to your large bedroom design. In many ways, you can go with a seating area that’s similarly designed to one you’d see in a living room.
- Of course, you don’t need to go that route if you don’t want to! Instead, you may wish to consider adding a desk area. This is perfect if you work from home, or simply want a private place to handle personal matters from time to time.
Get More Inspiration
With all of this information in hand, you should have all the tools you need to create the bedroom design you’ve been dreaming of. Of course, interior design is all about finding inspiration and then applying it to the project that’s at hand. For that reason, we’d like to encourage you to look through the following galleries. Each provides a number of stunning bedroom design examples from which you can draw valuable information!