How can I decorate my bedroom? 10 tricks to turn this space into a sanctuary

Find out the best ways to decorate your bedroom with these interior design tips

Three bedrooms: one white, one beige, one wallpapered
(Image credit: Veere Grenney / Lucas Allen / Oakley Moore / Future)

Wondering how you can decorate your bedroom without a misstep? There are countless schemes and ideas to influence your interior design, but all of them should be focussed on creating a restful space. 

So whether you love light and bright interiors, or are searching for inspiration to create a cozy and cocooning space, these bedroom ideas, matched with our step-by-step advice, are sure to inspire your scheme. 

We asked decor experts how they go about decorating a bedroom so you can make yours just perfect.

How can I decorate my bedroom?

You can decorate your bedroom by accessorizing, adding storage and updating your furniture or you can go a step further and completely reinvigorate your space with new wall paint, flooring and window treatments – how far you go is utterly up to you. 

1. Pick a theme

bedroom with patterned green and cream wallpaper with white four poster bed and dark wood furniture

(Image credit: Jen Burner)

It might seem like an unusual idea but decorating your bedroom around a theme can go a long way to create a harmonious design. Of course, your theme doesn't have to be orientated around an object or a color. Good themes for bedrooms include those that take inspiration from eras and broader interior design movements – try embracing traditional bedroom ideas or perhaps incorporate Art Deco decor in the bedroom. 

This stunning elegant bedroom, for instance, adopts a traditional inspired theme. 'Traditional bedrooms are grounded in European influence, incorporating antiques, rich colors, and regal furniture. For this room we specifically chose a french influence and incorporated antiques we sourced from Paris,' says Lance Thomas, interior designer at Thomas Guy Interiors.

2. Go bold with wallpaper

Bedroom with green floral wallpaper

(Image credit: Future)

Your bedroom is a private sanctuary and as such you have the freedom to create a space that you truly love. While the main rooms of your home, like your living room, kitchen and dining areas are defined by convention, the privacy of your bedroom gives you the opportunity to have a little more fun with your interior design.

Bedroom wallpaper is a great way to totally transform the look and feel of your space.  Following the latest bedroom wallpaper trends will ensure that your bedroom's style is up to date. Nature inspired prints are very of the moment, especially in the bedroom as they are renowned for evoking peace and aiding a good night's sleep. If leaves and trees aren't your style, then there are plenty of floral room decor ideas that are sure to inspire, too.

3. Choose a restful color

Orange and white stripped bedsheet, blue cushions and lamp

(Image credit: Oakley Moore)

'While blue is generally thought to be most restful for bedrooms, I like my space to feel a little warmer, so I tend to use earthy, spicy bedroom colors that I find both inviting and warm, and restful,' says Lucy Searle, Editor in Chief, Homes & Gardens.

'The caveat to choosing restful shades for bedrooms is to ensure you check them under both morning light, with drapes fully open, and at night, with drapes shut and artificial lighting on. The color will change dramatically in different conditions and you need to be happy with it in both.'

Lucy Searle
Lucy Searle

Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens for over 30 years, starting within the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-1990s. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she has also taken on the editorship of the magazine, which is the UK's oldest interiors magazine at 103 years old. Lucy is a serial renovator and also owns rental properties in the UK and Europe, so brings first-hand knowledge to the subjects she oversees.

4. Or opt for white

White bedroom corner with bespoke closet and white rug and curtains with lounger

(Image credit: Veere Grenney / Lucas Allen)

There is a reason why white is timeless – not only does it go with every color and every pattern but it also reflects light, making your room feel bright and airy. White bedroom ideas will inspire you to create a peaceful scheme that is perfect for relaxing after a long day. 

When decorating with white, it is important that you incorporate multiple textures into the space in order to prevent your room feeling cold and clinical. In this elegant bedroom, multiple textures of wood – from bedside tables and bed frames through to the flooring, beams and wall panelling – ensures plenty of warmth in this nearly all-white scheme. 

5. Make room for fitted storage

dressing room with wall of closet doors, patterned rug, footstool, two armchairs, side table, shirt hanging up, 2 doors open, retro ceiling lights

(Image credit: Mendelson Group/Tim Lenz)

'Bedroom storage has to be minutely planned to be streamlined, and the best way to achieve that is with fitted furniture,' says Lucy Searle. 'That's because you are never going to enjoy a space where you can see a ton of clutter, and you also need to ensure that floor space is well-used, since bedrooms aren't always as big as we'd like them to be.

'If you don't have the budget for fitted furniture, or are renting and can't install it, it's worth investing in a good-size closet then hiding away out-of-season clothing where it can't be seen, such as in underbed storage.'

As for the decorating side of this practical addition, consider the finish of the doors carefully. 'I love to introduce texture with natural materials on non-glazed doors,' continues Lucy Searle, 'but do be aware that bedrooms tend to harbor a lot of dust and that can be captured in non-flat finishes.'

6. Incorporate mirrors into your scheme

Bedroom mirror with antique finish

(Image credit: Future)

You should never underestimate the power of decorating with mirrors. While it is obviously an important tool to help you get ready in the morning and check your outfit, mirrors are also essential for making your bedroom light, bright and welcoming.

Firstly think about positioning. Opposite a window is the best place to bounce natural light back into the space. However, it is best to avoid placing your mirror anywhere it can be seen while lying in bed, as its reflective properties will bring to life every shape and shadow once the lights are off.

Once you've selected your site, this will dictate the size of your mirror. Choose the largest design you can afford, both in terms of cost and space. There are lots of bedroom mirror ideas to help inspire your scheme. 

'Opt for a larger mirror that covers the majority of the chosen wall. A grand horizontal or vertical mirror will invite our eyes to perceive the bouncing reflections as increased volume, making the room look bigger. Well placed table lamps, floor lamps and wall lights are also helpful tools for adding atmosphere and dimension into the space, so when coordinated with the right mirror; the two go hand in hand with giving the impression of a larger space,' says Mary Buchanan, creative director at Laura Ashley Lighting and Mirrors

7. Decorate with plants

plants in a bedroom

(Image credit: Bloomscape)

Be inspired by the trend of Biophillic interiors by decorating with plants. Not only do they add a welcome burst of life and color to your bedroom but they also purify the air, with some varieties even being reported to help you sleep. 

'Keeping plants in the bedroom can be hugely beneficial for both mental and physical health,' says Hannah Shore, sleep knowledge & researcher manager at Silentnight. 

However, with so many house plants from which to choose it can be hard to find the best bedroom plants. 'Patch Plants recommends the Snake Plant and the Kentia Plantas they conveniently store oxygen away throughout the day and release it during the night – purifying the air and therefore improving the quality of sleep,' says Hannah

'The Philodendron Scandens is also a great choice if your bedroom gets a variety of natural light throughout the day – the Philodendron Scandens prefers humid environments but requires a light watering every few days.'

If you're looking to channel positive energy into your bedroom design, consider adding one of these feng shui plants to your scheme.

8. Dress the bed

green painted four poster bed with yellow canopy fabric

(Image credit: Polly Wreford/Sally Denning)

Your bed takes up the greatest footprint of any piece of furniture and as such will set the tone for the space. When browsing bed ideas, firstly, think about the frame – do you want something bold and eye-catching, like a patterned upholstered design, or something more minimalist, like a wrought-iron or steel frame? When opting for a design, think about versatility. A bed is a significant purchase and therefore it needs to still work should you change your style or color scheme. From beds for small rooms through to headboard ideas, there are lots of bed designs to inspire you. 

Having decided on a style that you love, next think about your bedlinen. Opt for the best bed sheets you can afford – look for linen, cotton or even silk, and take inspiration from the best luxury bedding. This will not only give your room a luxury look but it will also ensure a superlative night's sleep. 

Bedlinen is also the best way to bring  color and texture to your bedroom design. Since bedlinen is relatively affordable and easy to change, you can use it as an opportunity to experiment with bolder prints or brighter colors as its much less permanent than wall colors or furniture. 

Finally, knowing how to style a bed is essential for creating an attractive centrepiece to your bedroom all year round. Opt for layers to create a cozy sanctuary, perfect for the winter, or embrace the rustic charm of linen during the warmer summer months. 

9. Don't forget the ceiling

Bedroom ideas

(Image credit: Gunter & Co/Mark Bolton Photography)

Known as the 'fifth wall', the ceiling is one of the most overlooked parts of interior design. Ceiling ideas are normally limited to white or cream, maybe with some cornicing. However, there are lots more exciting bedroom ceiling ideas that will bring color and texture to your bedroom decoration. Wallpaper is a great way to add both. 

There are plenty of ceiling wallpaper ideas from which to choose – whether you want something bright and colorful or something more intricate and elegant. In this bedroom, for example, Cole & Son's Nuvolette wallpaper in black and white creates an atmospheric indoors-outdoor feel.

10. Get bedroom lighting right

rattan lampshade in white bedrrom by window

(Image credit: Beaumonde)

Designing a bedroom includes getting bedroom lighting right in terms of light warmth and lighting levels. But how to skew it to decor?

Lampshades are a great opportunity to add color, pattern and natural materials to a room.

'Rattan can be used in so many ways when it comes to interior design and feeds into varying styles such as bohemian, mid-century modern coastal, classic French and more. Whether you want to create a farmhouse feel or a 70’s aesthetic,' says  interiors guru and founder of French Bedroom Georgia Metcalfe. 

'Oversized rattan lampshades look truly stunning hanging from the ceiling, especially if you are looking to embrace bohemian bedroom ideas. Leave walls white and accessorise with other natural materials such as bamboo and wood to add more texture and color to the room. This is also the perfect opportunity to introduce house plants, both real and artificial, for some pops of green and other earthy tones.'


How can I make my bedroom look nice?

You can make your bedroom look nice by updating your color scheme – repainting your walls will reinvigorate the feel of your room. For smaller updates to make your bedroom look nice, place a large mirror on the wall opposite the window to help reflect more light into the space and add more houseplants to bring a natural feel to the room. 

How can I make my room look nice without buying anything?

You can make your room look nice without buying anything by reducing clutter. Start by clearing out the clutter –  these decluttering tips are sure to be of use – and ensuring that everything in your room has a place. Having clear countertops – such as your desk; chest of drawers and bedside tables – will ensure that your room feels nice and organised. This will also give your carefully chosen decor space to shine. 

Decorating a bedroom is a very personal choice, and it's often easier to take the cue for the scheme from the period of your home, the style of your home, and the style of the decor in the rest of your home. However, it is a space you can afford to be braver in than you might downstairs, since it is just for you.

Holly Reaney
Content Editor and Sub-editor

Having graduated with a first class degree in English Literature, Holly started her career as a features writer and sub-editor at Period Living magazine, Homes & Gardens' sister title. Working on Period Living brought with it insight into the complexities of owning and caring for period homes, from interior decorating through to choosing the right windows and the challenges of extending. This has led to a passion for traditional interiors, particularly the country-look. Writing for the Homes & Gardens website as a content editor, alongside regular features for Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors magazines, has enabled her to broaden her writing to incorporate her interests in gardening, wildlife and nature.