How can I make my bedroom look more modern?

Make your bedroom look more modern with these expert tips from interior designers

How can I make my bedroom look more modern?
(Image credit: Future)

If you're wondering 'how can I make my bedroom look more modern?' then you've come to the right place. From choosing the perfect colors for your walls to deciding on your furniture style and accessories, we've rounded up the best modern bedroom ideas and expert advice to help your achieve your dream interior design.

How can I make my bedroom look more modern

Whether you are looking for main bedroom ideas or are simply hoping to modernize your guest bedroom. When it comes to making a bedroom more modern, your color schemes and furniture choices will go a long way to creating a contemporary look in your bedroom. 

‘There are two areas I consider when I want a bedroom to look modern: colors and patterns,' says interior designer  Nadia Watts of Nadia Watts Design. 'I find the best way to approach this is by updating the fabrics in the decor of the room. New fabrics create a fresh feel to the bedroom and are a great way to incorporate those elements. Try a newly covered headboard or adding a pair of patterned chairs in the corner of the room.' 

1. Opt for a neutral color palette and architectural furniture

neutral bedroom with textural headboard, patterned throw cushions and two black wall lights

(Image credit: Girls at Flourish/Urban Revival Phoenix)

Before you start creating your modern bedroom aesthetic, begin by establishing a color scheme – calming neutrals or monochrome are both popular choices, though don't be afraid of a bold pop of color either. Once you have your color scheme in place, you can then use this as the backbone of your design. From here, you can then build up the space with different architectural pieces of furniture and textures. 

'Modern is all about clean straight lines and not a lot of fuss. To make this bedroom feel modern, our designer stuck with a neutral color palette and created visual interest with shapes like triangular wall sconces, abstract lines on the lumbar pillow, and boxy end tables,' says Brittany and Ava, co-founders of Girls at Flourish (opens in new tab). 'Natural materials like wood, leather, and natural fibers also lend themselves to modern design and they show up all over this bedroom in the headboard, bedding, decorative details and flooring.'

2. Wallpaper the ceiling

modern bedroom with netural color scheme and white bedlinen with abstract patterned wallpaper on ceiling

(Image credit: Adri + Dahlman Interiors)

Embracing bedroom wallpaper trends offers a great way to bring a modern edge to your bedroom design. 'An accent wallpaper can transform a bedroom by adding an interesting focal point,' says Oshri Adri & Jillian Dahlman, co founders of Adri + Dahlman Interiors (opens in new tab). 'The wallpaper will also modernize the bedroom as long as the  chosen design is contemporary – abstract prints are a great choice. Two great locations to install contemporary wallpaper are behind a minimalist headboard or on the ceiling.'

The ceiling is an often overlooked part of interior design, with the majority of homeowner's gravitating towards white or cream. Decorating the bedroom ceiling brings a contemporary dimension to a room's look – drawing the eye upwards and adding a new textural element to the scheme. 

3. Trade the pendant light for sconces and floor lights

Bedroom with blue wall, patterned bedlinen and wall light

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lee)

Lighting is an essential for any room or style. It has the power to control the tone of the room – whether making it feel bright and welcoming or cozy and intimate. 

Grace Baena, interior designer at Kaiyo (opens in new tab), explains that you can use bedroom lighting ideas to give your space a modern feel too.  'Overhead light tends to date rooms, and is generally not a great fit for the relaxing atmosphere you want to curate in the bedroom. Instead, I would recommend installing some sconce lights over the bed, or investing in a stylish floor lamp to provide softer lighting.'

4. Embrace a monochrome bedroom scheme

bedroom with black, white and grey interior and glass partion wall

(Image credit: Future/August Management)

The most impactful way to give your bedroom a modern edge is with your color palette. 'One way to modernize a bedroom is to design a bedroom that is based on monochrome room ideas. To make sure this is done successfully, use materials with various textures such as velvet and linen. Not only are monochromatic bedrooms contemporary, but they are serene and inviting as well,' says designers Oshri Adri & Jillian Dahlman.

If you are hoping to channel black and white bedroom ideas be sure to play with tones and shades as well as incorporating a wide variety of textures to prevent your scheme from feeling flat and lifeless.

5. Hardwood flooring over carpets

four poster bed in dark grey bedroom

(Image credit: Future Plc)

While bedroom carpet ideas can make a room feel warm and cozy, they can also stand at odds with contemporary design. Instead, consider wood flooring to give your room a more modern edge.

If you are looking to channel Scandi-style then opt for light, blonde woods. 'Light oak doesn’t go out of fashion as it works within lots of different styles and brings light into a room and  is great for creating a contemporary interior style or making smaller rooms appear bigger,' says Jon Ashbrook, head of product development at Ted Todd (opens in new tab).

Alternatively, 'dark brown floors are beginning to come back into style due to the comforting and dramatic look it provides,' says Jon. 'Dark floors provide a great contrast when paired with light colored cabinets, walls and features which makes it a good choice for bathrooms and bedrooms. We have noticed a much higher interest in darker floors this year and even black is beginning to come into style.'

6. Opt for a storage bed

Pink bedroom with pink textured wall and coral bedding

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

Modern style comes hand in hand with the minimalist aesthetic. Take inspiration from minimalist home staging tips to create a bedroom that always has that perfect appearance and will let your decor shine. 

'A huge portion to making a room look modern is remove clutter and minimize.
This is absolutely the first step before designing anything more,' says Jared, co-founder of Expand Furniture Inc (opens in new tab).

There are plenty of decluttering tips and storage ideas that will get you started but Jared says that a new bed can be transformative. 'If you are looking for new bed ideas, then changing your bed to an under-storage bed option will offer valuable storage and enable you to get rid of any bulky or ugly old dressers by moving the items stored in them into your under bed storage – keeping them out of sight. You can then you can focus on adding modern elements to your bedroom design.' 

It is also a great way to bring modern charm to your attic bedroom ideas, where their sloped ceilings can make installing wardrobes and other dressers difficult.

7. Mix bold patterns

Twin single beds in bedroom black and gray headboard, gold and black check duvets

(Image credit: Future/Pearson Lyle Management Ltd)

If you want to make a statement with your modern bedroom design, then mixing and matching bold patterns is a great way to create an eye-catching interior. 

'An eclectic bedroom with a mixture of patterns can be simultaneously bold and modern. For something a bit more classic you can go with a monochromatic theme,' says Lance Thomas of Thomas Guy Interiors (opens in new tab).

When mixing patterns be sure to stick to one color scheme to prevent the room feeling too busy – here gold, black and gray create a sophisticated combination and, despite using eight different patterns in close proximity, feels very cohesive.

8. Add a touch of neon

bedroom with bed dressed in linen bedsheets and rattan pendant light and white neon sign

(Image credit: Custom Neon Zsofii Pall)

Combining art and lighting, a word or phrase illuminated in neon is a great way to make your bedroom more modern. There are lots of ready made neon pieces that are perfect for adding a contemporary edge to your scheme, but for something more personal why not make a bespoke sign. Start by picking a quote that means something to you or a favorite song lyric – three or four words works best – or a single word that relates to the purpose of the room – 'relax' or 'sleep tight' are great choices for bedrooms . 

'An LED neon sign isn't just aesthetically pleasing as they are practical too. The perfect night light, they can be dimmed to suit the mood, the added bonus of the remote means no arguments on who turns the light out! If you are prone to getting sucked into a good book, you can even set the timer for lights out after 30 minutes!' says Clare Jones from Custom Neon (opens in new tab). 'Plus, they take up no floor or desk space and are really easy to hang – you can either use the acrylic backboard and attached or, if you're not the DIY type use some weight appropriate adhesive strips and take your bedroom from drab to fab in minutes!'

9. Try a tiled wall

bedroom with blue and gray tiled featured wall behind the bed a rattan lampshade hangs in teh center of the image

(Image credit: Bert & May)

When you think of a tiled wall, you'll probably be imagining a kitchen or bathroom, but why not try a tiled bedroom wall for a modern edge. Creating a feature tiled wall behind the headboard offers a modern way to add color and introduce a different texture to your bedroom design. We love this Arch Fennel Tile design from Bert & May (opens in new tab).

If planning on creating a tiled feature wall, the be sure you have researched tile layout patterns and ideas to make sure you've chosen the right fit for your bedroom and also that you know how to lay wall tiles to ensure a professional look.

What makes a room look modern?

Your color palette – namely a minimalist or monochrome scheme – is a great way to make a room look modern.  'I love using high contrast and loads of black to modernize a bedroom.  It adds an edginess and is usually easy to find modern furniture pieces in a black stain or finish.  This also allows you to go "all white" with the walls and window treatments - definitely another staple for a clean modern look.  Don't forget to bring the room full circle by using strong artwork and a little bit of softness through rugs and bedding,' says Amy Peltier, founder of Amy Peltier Interior Design (opens in new tab).

How do you make an old room look new?

You can make an old room look new by introducing refreshing colors and fabrics. 'One of the key elements in many modern designs is the reliance on texture to add depth and interest to a space. I love layering white linens with a fabric or leather headboard, a rug in a natural material like wool or sisal, and then adding some softness with a throw or pillows. Think about how you can make the space interesting in the absence of bold colors!' says Carol Lang, founder of Carol Lang Interiors (opens in new tab)

'Even if you’re not making big bedroom changes beyond paint and linen, changing out your art with something scaled for the space can add a modern twist. My first recommendation is always that you find local artists. Take your time and do your research rather than rushing into it. Find a piece in your favorite colors or that really speaks to you – opt for more shape based or gestural paintings rather than literal scenes. If you aren’t in the market for commissioned art, look at sites like Art Star (opens in new tab) for modern options - their photography in particular is so much fun!'

Holly Reaney
Content Editor and Sub-editor

Having graduated with a first class degree in English Literature four years ago, 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.