How to Decorate a Bedroom: 13 Steps & Ideas

Updated May 14, 2022 08:06 PM

Your bedroom is an extremely important space in your home. After all, it's where you spend about one third of your life! Since bedrooms are a highly personal space, they should be customized, beautiful, and relaxing. However, the reality is that bedrooms can be particularly difficult to decorate if you don't have an interior design background.

Whether you're looking to beautify the primary bedroom in your home, a guest room, or rooms for kids or teenagers, let's dive into the steps and ideas to decorate your bedroom.

Stuccco online interior design, traditional bedroom example

Traditional bedroom design from Stuccco

If designing your bedroom is overwhelming, you can work with a professional designer to create a bedroom design that fits your style, needs, and budget. With Stuccco online interior design, you can meet with a professional designer and get a customized plan back in a matter of weeks--saving you weeks of time and energy. Get started with a free consultation!

5 Steps to Decorate a Bedroom

There are some limitations and obstacles to bedroom decorating that can make the process difficult. In general, many bedrooms are relatively small, and there's one necessary item that takes up the majority of the room's space--the bed.

Plus, bedroom designs and styles can vary significantly depending on who the room is for. Bedrooms can function as the primary or master bedroom, kid's bedroom, guest room, home offices, craft rooms, kid's playroom, etc. Decorating a nursery is extremely different from decorating a guest room, so when you compare this process to decorating a living room, it can be more overwhelming.

No matter what purpose or vision you have for your bedroom, you can follow these five steps to make the room look and feel beautiful.

1. Define Your Design Style

The first step with any space is defining the room's overall style. This is key whether you're focused on a small bedroom, kitchen, or even an outdoor space.

If you don't already know what your personal design style is, start with the interior design style quiz, and choose the color scheme you want. When you start with a clear definition of the room's style and overall feel, it will make every part of the process easier and allow the finished space to look perfect.

Unfortunately, this is the opposite of what most people actually do. Anyone can go to a home decor store and pick out individual pieces they like. However, when you try to create a room design around individual pieces, the result ends up feeling disjointed.

Of course, design styles are subjective, and they can naturally blend together. If you choose to design a bohemian-style bedroom, it doesn't mean that every single piece has to have a "bohemian" description. You might be able to find a modern table lamp or accent piece that perfectly works in your unique space--the key is to establish a clear vision for the room so that all the pieces work together.

For more details about each different design style, read our full guide to the top interior design styles.

2. Determine the Room's Purpose(s)

It's common for bedrooms to be used for multiple purposes. You might combine your kid's bedroom with their toys, or dedicate one bedroom as the playroom or toy room. On the other hand, you might combine a home office with a guest room, or your primary bedroom with an exercise space.

Although the process discussed in this article focuses primarily on decorating rooms with a bed, the process is similar for every use of the space.

To start defining the room's purpose and clearly identify how the space will actually be used, ask these two questions:

  • What will the room be used for?
  • What needs to be included in the room?

Now, if you live in a large, luxury home, you may have an extremely spacious bedroom. In these cases, decorating a bedroom is similar to decorating a living room because there are so many different furniture layouts and design options.

However, most bedrooms have a relatively small amount of space once the bed is in the room. In order to make these small bedrooms both beautiful and functional, you need to be specific about your needs for the space.

For example, most people need to use their bedroom for some type of storage. It may be as simple as adding a bookshelf, or you may need to include some kind of solution for storing your clothes.

With a clear understanding of what needs to be included in the room and how it will be used, you can take the next step to start planning the space.

3. Measure & Plan

Because of the obstacles of designing bedrooms, it's especially important to take measurements and plan a layout before actually shopping and choosing pieces. Start by measuring the size of the walls and ceiling, and take note of any windows, closets, or doors.

Finally, take note of your mattress size and dimensions. The single most important part of any bedroom design is comfortably fitting the bed in the space.

Depending on your room's size and layout, there may be only one possible place for the bed. Either way, once you have the bed's placement done, you can start planning for the other bedroom furniture, including the bed frame, bedside tables, floor lamp, dresser, or bookshelves.

Planning bedroom design floor plan layout

Source: Stuccco online interior design

Bedroom Decorating Tip: Use Oddly Shaped Rooms to Your Advantage

The average bedroom size for US bedrooms is 14 feet by 16 feet. However, it's extremely common for bedrooms to have anything but a simple rectangular footprint.

For example, many cape cod homes have an attic bedroom with a severely sloped ceiling. If this describes your room, don't approach your design the same as a typical rectangular space. Instead, use the odd shapes and sizes to create unique nooks and crannies.

Unusual elements in your space don't have to be a negative thing--with the right planning and expertise, they can actually elevate the whole room. Here are just a few ideas to make the best use of unique bedroom layouts.

1. Cozy Nook for Bed and Built-In Storage

2. Hanging Storage in a Nursery

3. Sloped Shelves and Double Beds

Once you have the right placement for the bed, an understanding of the room's purpose, and a clear list of everything that needs to be included in the room, it should be relatively easy to create your layout and plan. If you need the help of an interior designer, schedule a free consultation call with a Stuccco designer.

4. Carefully Choose Bedding Furniture, Colors, and Linens

With a complete plan in hand, including your color palette, your first concrete design decisions should have everything to do with the bed.

In most cases, the bed will be the room's centerpiece. You'll need to decide on the right:

  • Bed frame
  • Headboard and/or footboard
  • Bedding (including throws)
  • Pillows

Remember to choose a bed frame and headboard according to the size and scale of the room. For example, you wouldn't put a large four poster bed in a small bedroom with a low ceiling.

However, it works well in this traditionally-styled space with high ceilings and a spacious floor plan.

Bedroom decor for the scale and style of space, example of Stuccco design

Transitional bedroom design from Stuccco

Shop for your bedding and pillows with your color scheme in mind. The bedding you choose can take up about 60% of the room, so take your time finding and choosing the right one. Before choosing a comforter or quilt with a particularly bold or colorful pattern, think about how it will impact the room as a whole.

Refer back to the 60/30/10 design rule. This says that your primary color should be in about 60% of the room, secondary color or pattern should be in 30% of the room, and the remaining 10% should be an accent color.

Don't forget about your linens! Your pillows and sheets add softness and make a big impact on how luxurious and inviting the bed and room design feels.

Bedding and wallpaper in Stuccco online interior design bedroom

Contemporary bedroom design from Stuccco

Finally, add throw pillows that complement the colors of your space and add texture or pattern. You'll find that accent pillows are fun to shop for since they come in practically every color, style, and material. They add significant visual interest to your space, so they're worth paying attention to.

5. Add Remaining Bedroom Decor

With the most important elements of the room nailed down, it's time to add the rest of the items and design to complete your beautiful bedroom.

This is where each bedroom's specific steps and items will differ drastically, depending on the size, shape, and purpose of your room. In general, make sure you consider these pieces:

  • Dressers or built-in storage
  • Bookshelves
  • Wall art
  • Wallpaper or accent wall
  • Bedside tables
  • Bedside lamp or reading lights
  • Window treatments (curtains, blinds, shades, etc)
  • Lighting (overhead light, table lamps, etc)
  • Finishes like crown molding or decorative trim

Bedroom Decor Tips & Ideas

There are millions of potential bedroom ideas all over the internet, and you can easily spend hours gathering different design ideas for your space. For the sake of simplicity, let's discuss X of the best bedroom ideas and design tips that will help turn almost any room into your dream space.

1. Prioritize Your Headboard

Your headboard is one of the most important pieces of bedroom furniture because it's part of the room's focal point. There are an endless number of unique headboard ideas, so it's a great opportunity to add your own style to the space. Plus, headboards also help protect your walls from abrasion and give you support to sit in your bed and lean against it.

Many people choose an upholstered headboard to add softness to the bed and overall room. You can purchase or make a headboard with padding and fabric like the one above, or choose something much more unique.

2. Utilize Unique Bedroom Furniture for Multipurpose Bedrooms

Like we mentioned above, it's common for homeowners or renters to need one bedroom to function as multiple types of spaces. In fact, in our research about what buyers want in a home, the need for multi-purpose spaces continues to increase.

However, the size of bedrooms isn't increasing along with it. To turn a small bedroom into a space that could be used for multiple purposes, think about using space-saving bedroom furniture like trundle beds or murphy beds.

A murphy bed like the one picture above can be folded up to become part of the wall whenever it's not needed. Trundle beds, on the other hand, need to be set up all the time, but allow you to store and hide a second (or even third!) mattress in the room without taking up more space.

Another option is to use your mattress as a daybed. The photo above shows a room that functions as an office and a guest bedroom. By decorating the twin mattress with throw pillows and using beautiful under-bed storage, it can be used as a reading nook when it's not being used by a guest.

3. Express Your Personal Style

Unlike living rooms, dining rooms, or kitchens, your bedroom is a space that will almost exclusively be used by you and your spouse. It's a great opportunity to make the space highly personal to you through your style and even your specific interests.

There are a lot of examples of personalized design styles that are considered "aesthetic rooms." Having an aesthetic room is typically defined by including plenty of greenery, unique lighting (like string lights), textured wall hangings, and muted colors. Although this is a trendy design style, it's also a great way to see how adding some unique touches can make any bedroom a personal oasis.

Another way to personalize your bedroom in a more subtle way is with wall art. You can enlarge individual family photos, or use a variety of photos and prints to create a gallery wall. This is a simple way to include multiple patterns, shapes, and colors in your space to add interest.

4. Add Creative Storage Solutions

It's fairly common for bedrooms to have a dresser or a bookshelf, and for residents to use the space under their bed for additional storage. However, some bedrooms don't have space for multiple pieces of large furniture and may not have spacious closets in the room. In these cases, you'll have to get creative about your storage solutions.

A simple way to do that is by ditching the plastic tupperware bins that most people hide under their bed and opt for a bed frame with visible storage. Not only is this easier to access, it's also unique and can add even more personality to the room.

You can even create additional storage spaces in unusual spots, like in your headboard. This particular idea was created with IKEA cabinets!

Related: Read our five best design tips for small spaces.

5. Multi-Functional Lighting

Bedrooms, like living rooms, need different kinds of lighting. Most of the time, a bedroom simply needs task lighting to brighten the space, which could be natural light or a single overhead light. As the day goes on, most people want softer lighting to unwind from the day and create a calming effect.

The first way to improve your bedroom lighting is by changing the light fixure or adding a dimmer switch. Think about adding a chandelier for the biggest impact--or use a fandelier for the look of a chandelier with the function of a ceiling fan.

Stuccco online interior design bedroom example, multipurpose bedroom with desk

Teenager's bedroom design from Stuccco

Another simple solution is to add small lamps to your bedside tables. By using the same lamp or different lamps at similar sizes, you can also add harmony and symmetry to the space. Or, instead of bedside lamps, you can add or update wall sconces.

Floor lamps are also especially useful for large or unusually shaped rooms. You can add a unique floor lamp near a reading nook to separate the space, or simply use it in place of a table lamp.

6. Add Visual Interest with a Rug

Most people without an interior design background believe that rugs are only necessary in bedrooms with hard floors. However, rugs can be an instrumental design element even in carpeted bedrooms.

The right rug can add beauty, texture, and luxury to a room. In a large bedroom, a rug can be the best way to define a space and anchor the room's largest piece of furniture.

Stuccco bedroom design example

Art deco & glam bedroom design from Stuccco

As with every piece in the room, you need to make sure to choose the right size rug for the scale of your space. When you're placing a rug under the bed, the rug's size should correspond with the bed's size:

  • Twin bed - 5 x 8 rug
  • Full bed - 6 x 9 rug
  • Queen bed - 8 x 10 rug
  • King bed - 9 x 12 rug

7. Add Drama with Your Ceiling

A simple way to add drama to your bedroom is to add a feature or color to the ceiling. Painting your ceiling is an extremely quick and affordable task, but it can transform the entire feel of the space.

Instead of creating an accent wall, you might choose to create an accent ceiling by painting it a different color than the walls. This should be done carefully, because dark colors can make a space feel smaller. When it's done right, however, accent ceilings can add a major wow factor.

If you don't want an accent ceiling, you may choose to paint the ceiling the same color as your walls. This draws the eyes up and makes the room feel larger, unless you use a particularly dark color.

Another option is adding trim or a wood accent to your ceiling. This is more subtle than painting your ceiling, but draws interest and can make the room feel larger and more grand.

8. Achieve a Zen Look with All White Bedding

Finally, a very different--yet extremely simple--idea is to create an all white bedroom. White bedding can make the space feel chic and luxurious. However, it can fall flat if there's no texture or interest in the space. Think about choosing a textured comforter and natural materials to make an all white bedroom feel complete.

Start Your Custom Bedroom Design

Bedroom decorating varies more than any other room because each space is unique and should be personalized. Use the steps and tips above to make the process of decorating your bedroom as easy as possible.

However, many bedrooms have challenging elements that require some design expertise. You can start working with a professional interior designer today to create a custom plan for your space. You'll get to have a one-on-one design call, see the room concept, and then receive a clear shopping list to create your perfect bedroom.

Book your free design consultation now!

masculine bedroom design from Stuccco online interior design

Contemporary & modern farmhouse Stuccco teenage bedroom design

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