There is so much that you can do when it comes to decorating a bedroom. I’ve got a whole page that lists all of the posts on bedroom interior design ideas that you can find on this site (here). There is everything from different styles (vintage, minimalist), color schemes, to ideas for the ceiling, and window treatment ideas. That page is only going to get longer.
To help you figure out how you want to decorate your bedroom, I’ve created this post to point out the most important and essential design elements and principles for the bedroom. I’ve called them the 7 Rules.
1. The Rule of Clutter
If there is one room in the house that needs to be clutter free, that is the bedroom. Some people might not think much of the clutter. But it really does have an effect on us.
Imagine staying in a luxury hotel room. It is a peaceful and calming place. You only bring what you need with you. In the room you only have the essentials – a cozy bed, a desk/vanity mirror, a comfy seat, and a few decor pieces. See if you can recreate this clutter free, and relaxing feeling in your bedroom.
A few ways to get rid of bedroom clutter:
- Move it all out and into another room. This creates an instant clutter free space, and you can deal with the items later
- Hide it all away in the closet, or under the bed
- Hang up a curtain to hide a home office or gym equipment, if you have anything like that in your bedroom
- Use clutter trays. Look for problem areas around your bedroom. This might be on your bedside table. Where you have small items like remotes, watches, and a book. Use a tray to group these items together to create a cleaner look
Think back to that luxury hotel room. All you really need is a bed, a lamp, closed closet (no open shelving), and a few decor pieces to make it feel homely.
For a step by step plan, have a look at my post here: Stress Free Living: How To Declutter Your Bedroom
Getting rid of clutter is uber important, because it helps with the other 6 rules of bedroom interior design.
2. The Rule of Focus
In the bedroom, the main focal point is going to be the bed. It is the biggest item in the room, and everything is arranged around it. When you walk into the bedroom, your eyes are drawn to the bed. So when designing or decorating your room, the bed area needs to be the priority.
This means that the style of the bed, the style of headboard and bedding – will really set the style for the whole room. Some interior design elements and styling ideas for the bed area include adding an area rug under the bed, framing the bed with lights/lamps on both side, hanging a picture on the headboard wall, or having a feature wall behind the bed (talked about in the color section below).
3. The Rule of the Bed
So if the focal point in the bedroom is the bed, then the style of the bed will really set the style of the room. You’ve got quite a few choices when it comes to the bed style: from modern platform beds, to formal and romantic canopy beds that you can drape fabric over. There are sleigh beds or French style beds. For more ideas and pictures on all the bed types have a look at my post here.
If you are tight on storage space, then you will want a bed that doesn’t use a box spring (so you can store items under the bed).
4. The Rule of Bedding Decor
A simple way of decorating the bedroom is through the bedding. You’ve got the bed sheets, the blanket, pillows and the headboard that can all be done up to create a look for the bedroom. You can color block these items – mixing up solid colors, or using different shades of one color for the bedding vs the pillows and the headboard.
Scandinavian decor and interior designs tend to use neutral shades (white, black and grey). This is the same when it comes to the bedding. The reason this does not get boring, is because the focus shifts from color to using high quality fabrics that have elegant and subtle textures. Say you get a blanket that has a subtle ruffled texture. Or pillows with a subtle pattern. This is a simple and minimalist way of decorating a modern bedroom – focus on textures and quality vs color.
The headboard also adds to the decor and style of the bedroom. For ideas and inspiration, have a look at my mood board post here.
5. The Rule of Colors
The paint color you use on your bedroom walls will determine how the space feels. If you go with a light color, the bedroom will feel bright and spacious. While a darker color will create a cozy, intimate, and small bedroom design and feel. For a palette guide on bedroom colors, have a look at my post here.
There are three main ways you can go about painting your walls. 1) You can use a neutral color like white, grey or black. This creates a blank canvas in the bedroom. Because you are using a neutral color on the wall, you can add whatever color scheme you want to your room through the decor, bedding, area rugs and other pieces in the space. You can even change the color scheme whenever you want – without needing to paint the walls. If you have a color on the walls, the pieces you have in the room would need to blend well together.
2) The second option is to paint all of your walls in a color of your choice. 3) If having all of your walls painted in a color feels overwhelming to you, then look to paint a feature one. This is one wall, usually in the bedroom this will be the headboard wall, that you paint in a color. You then have all the other walls in the room painted in a neutral shade. Because the color is only on one wall, it stands out and becomes a focal point, a feature in the space.
6. The Rule of Lighting
Most of the time you will want your bedroom to be a cozy space. Other times, you’ll want it brightly lit so you can get change. Lighting can instantly transform a bedroom from a bright and spacious place to a cozy and romantic one.
To make a bedroom feel bright and spacious with lighting, you will want to use as much ceiling lighting as possible. Try and light up all the corners in the space. To create a more cozy and intimate setting, avoid ceiling lights and instead use table or floor lamps, or candles. For more ideas on turning a master bedroom into a romantic space, have a look at my post here.
Putting your ceiling lights on a dimmer switch helps in switching between bright to cozy. For a mood board on bedroom lighting ideas have a look here.
7. The Rule of Storage
For me the bedroom should be absolutely clutter free. So this means storing everything out of sight. Some simple ways of hiding everything you need to store include:
- Hanging hooks and railings to the inside of your closet doors
- Buy decorative storage containers that close. Like large wicker baskets or a wicker trunk
- If you have space in your bedroom, a bedroom ottoman bench (that flips open) not only adds storage, but gives you seating when you need to change your clothes
- If you do store items under your bed try and have them out of sight. Or if that is not possible – put the items in good looking storage containers – like wicker boxes or a rolling wooden box
image credit: Holley and Gill
More bedroom design posts:
- Design Tips: Small Bedroom Ideas
- Space Saving and Stylish Bedroom Storage Ideas
- Bedroom mood board collection page