Asking the question how do I make my bedroom cozy? The desire to create a space that feels warm and welcoming to retreat to is very instinctual – the bedroom is our ultimate sanctuary.
A cozy feel can be evoked by the sense of sight, but also by touch and even the sense of smell. Natural materials are key – from the more rustic to luxurious choices. And layering is also crucial with the elements of a cozy bedroom combining to make it feel intimate and cocooning.
How to achieve the magical combination? We’ve asked design experts to share the secrets of how make a bedroom cozy to inspire your own cozy room ideas.
How do I make my bedroom cozy?
Think color, texture, materials, furniture and lighting to create a warming retreat. All these factors contribute to the ambience, and the key is to consider each in order to create a successful room design. This is how to make a bedroom cozy.
1. Make a bedroom intimate
Meeting your individual needs is an important factor in making a bedroom cozy.
‘Something I always try to do in bedrooms is to create intimate spaces that feel personal – an antique bedside desk where you can pull out stationery and write a quick note; a comfortable sitting area,’ says Karen Pulaski, interior designer and owner of Tribute Goods (opens in new tab) in Houston, Texas. ‘Fresh flowers are a must,’ she adds.
2. Pay attention to wall decor
You might alternatively want to contemplate installing fabric walling. It was used historically to add insulation, but in today’s warm homes, wrapping it around the room creates a fabulously cocooning feel.
3. Select bed linen with care
Focus on the linens for the bed to boost the appeal of the room‘s centerpiece. ‘Good quality bedding makes a huge difference in a bedroom,’ says Amy Youngblood, principal designer of Amy Youngblood Interiors (opens in new tab).
‘Opt for a fluffy duvet and linen sheets for a hotel-like feel. Also find some soft drapery for windows that coordinates well with your bedding.’
4. Add subtle fragrance
An atmosphere of coziness can be evoked by the aromas along with both the colors and textures selected for the room.
Sarah Jane Nielsen, founder and lead designer at UK Lake District-based interior studio Nielsen House (opens in new tab) used cedar paneling for her headboard and a feature wall and spalted beech for bedside pendant lights.
‘The scent and feel from the cedar makes this a very sensory space that is instantly relaxing,’ says Sarah. ‘It’s an absolute joy to wake up to. Appealing to the senses on various levels is so important in creating a peaceful refuge.’
5. Go dark for a cozy bedroom
Dark walls are a great way to make a bedroom cozy. ‘I love to paint the walls dark and then use light rugs and furnishings to make the room feel intimate and cozy,’ says Emily Ruff, owner and principal designer of Cohesively Curated Interiors (opens in new tab).
‘The light furnishings provide great contrast while still making the space feel bright with the dark walls. Make sure you have various levels of lighting, too; overhead lighting combined with bedside lamps or sconces (all dimmable) allow you to have full control over how bright the room is.’
6. Opt for luxurious texture
Exploit the power of the sense of touch to make a bedroom cozy. ‘Texture is one of the key building blocks in creating a cozy space and is often the first thing our interior design studio (opens in new tab) considers when adding a warming layer to a room,’ says Jon Sharpe, chief creative officer at LuxDeco.
‘Luxurious textural fabrics like cashmere, wool and faux fur are synonymous with coziness and are easy to layer into a bedroom, from pillows and throws to curtains and rugs.
‘You can maintain balance by accenting cool leather upholstery or metal bed frames with knitted cushions or breezy linen bedding with woolen rugs or a cashmere throw. It’s important to think of a material’s composition, too. Plain and basket weave alpaca wool throws, for example, will offer completely different looks with the plain knit being much less textured than a thicker basket weave knit.’
7. Hang curtains around the bed
Make a warm center to a cozy room with your choice of bed. ‘A four-poster bed with heavy drapes in fabrics such as wool, velvet or damask makes a cozy “home within a home”,’ says BIID registered interior designer Sarah Wodehouse at Decibel Designs (opens in new tab). ‘The fabric can be light in color; as long as it looks thick, it will feel cozy.’
8. Soften the light
Lighting is an important ingredient in a cozy bedroom recipe, and as well as planning bedroom lighting from a variety of different sources rather than a single pendant, focus on materials.
‘Materials are just as important as style when choosing lighting for your home,’ says Charlie Bowles, director, Original BTC (opens in new tab). ‘Bone china is an ideal choice, bringing a lovely softness of finish and a beautifully translucent glow. This soft light is ideal for creating a cozy atmosphere that makes you feel instantly comfortable and relaxed.’
9. Warm with terracotta
Teracotta decor is a wonderful way to boost warmth in a bedroom – and it partners well with other relaxing hues.
‘When choosing a color palette to evoke warmth and a feeling of safety, consider the depth and richness of the shades as well as the tones themselves,’ says Lucy Ackroyd, head of design at Christy (opens in new tab).
‘The deeper and more opulent the shade you choose, the more of a cocoon-like effect it will create. Terracotta can bring this sense of depth and is perfectly paired with soothing colors such as peacock and softer colors like gentle pinks to create a cohesive palette, promoting comfort and warmth.
‘If you don’t want to start painting walls, adding in these shades in the form of accessories such as throws, pillows, or artwork and ceramics can have the same effect,’ she adds.
10. Layer rugs
Don’t neglect the floor when it comes to maximizing coziness in a bedroom. ‘Layering rugs on either a hard or carpeted floor is a wonderful way of bringing even more warmth, texture, and vibrancy into a space,’ says Jodie Hatton, designer at Brintons (opens in new tab).
‘To create a balanced scheme, it is important to consider the composition of the colors and patterns that you’re combining, as too many can easily overwhelm a scheme.
‘As a general rule, it is a good idea to pick out just a few colors and run them throughout the rug scheme or use a hue that works well as a backdrop such as gray or beige.’
Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator.
Homes & Gardens Awards 2022: The best in interior design
The annual Homes & Gardens Awards celebrates today's standout people, products and projects
By Jo Bailey • Published
This 11,000sq foot contemporary home will make you rethink log cabin living
Awesome in size, yet as homey and inviting as any log cabin, this Wisconsin vacation home has to be explored
By Vivienne Ayers • Published