Bedroom ideas – inspiration for decorating and furnishing your space

Bedroom decor in need of a re-think? Sometimes it’s the simplest ideas that have the biggest impact

More than any other space in the home, your bedroom is the one place where you want to feel completely relaxed, comfortable and rested. With fewer practical constraints than other areas of the house, once you’ve covered the basics – great clothes storage and a comfortable bed to sleep on – deciding on the décor is the easy part. Whether you’re after quick tricks that you can pull off in an afternoon or are in need of ideas and inspiration for a complete bedroom revamp, we’ve come up with a host of bright bedroom ideas that we think will inspire you.

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti)

WHAT COLOR IS BEST FOR A BEDROOM?

There is no right or wrong color for a bedroom. The primary consideration when deciding on color will be the available light coming in and secondly how you respond to it.

'For north-facing rooms, try a warm based color, a mid-beige, earthy shade which is easy to layer with other elements in your room such as fabrics and furniture,' advises Patrick O’ Donnell, Brand Ambassador at Farrow & Ball.

'For more drama, use darker colors – this sounds illogical, but if a space lacks natural light, darker colors can create a room that is both cocooning and elegant. Look too deep, rich blues for peace of mind (perfect for avoiding fingerprints and scuffs) and team with a crisp, off white for your woodwork.'

'South facing and to a degree, west-facing rooms are a joy to decorate as the natural light is more available. East-facing rooms are morning light, which can feel cooler so soft, pale mint and eau de nil colors work a treat in these rooms.'

For more bedroom ideas, see: Small bedroom ideas –to make the most of a compact space

BEDROOM IDEAS

1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT FLOORING

Bedroom ideas

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

It’s the first thing you step onto in the morning, so picking the perfect flooring is vital. Go for the luxury of carpet to enjoy a bedroom that’s soft and warm underfoot. It comes in a huge range of colours, so there’s a lot of choice, too.

2. MAKE YOUR BED THE STAR

Bedroom ideas

(Image credit: Jonathan Gooch)

Turn this key item of furniture into your bedroom’s focal point. Balance is an important design principle that creates a sense of structure and calmness. Use the bed as the central axis as its design is naturally symmetrical. It is also usually the largest piece of furniture, so is ideal to take centre-stage in the room’s layout. Throw in asymmetrical elements. The overriding look should be balanced, but one or two extra items will stop the room feeling too formal or traditional.

3. WOW WITH WALLPAPER

Bedroom ideas

(Image credit: Simon Bevan)

A wallpaper makeover could be just what your bedroom needs for a simple yet striking transformation and there are numerous different styles when it comes to choosing a look you’ll love. This season’s decorating is inspired by the global traveller’s expeditions, with a rich palette of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and ochre adding warmth and depth to interiors. The earthy ochre of the linen headboard and the pinch of ginger in the cushions, against a tropical pictorial wallpaper, evoke the memory of faraway shores.

4. INSTALL A BLACKOUT BLIND

Bedroom ideas

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

Even the smallest cracks of light can make it difficult to drift off, or wake you earlier than needed. A sleep mask comes in handy, but nothing beats a good-quality blackout blind or curtains to make your room as dark as possible.

For more bedroom ideas, take a look: Small bedroom storage ideas – for a practical, smart and versatile scheme

5. DESIGN WITH A SCANDINAVIAN EYE

Bedroom ideas

(Image credit: Emma Lee)

Anyone who has picked up an interiors magazine or gazed in the window of a furniture shop over the past couple of years can’t fail to have noticed that Scandinavian style is having something of a moment. Its crisp colour schemes and harmonious forms seem to attract homeowners like magpies to milk bottle tops.

'Scandinavian design is distinctive for several reasons: pared-back, unfussy, uncluttered spaces and a winning combination of form and function create aesthetically pleasing, yet practical interiors,' explains lifestyle expert at Contura, Catharina Björkman. The main purpose of Scandinavian design is to improve daily life. Furniture is therefore not only about stylish elegance, but also about functionality – it should serve a purpose and stand the test of time. Invest in simple, uninterrupted, handleless designs for an authentic Scandinavian appearance.

6. BANISH CLUTTER

Bedroom ideas

(Image credit: Alicia Taylor)

Minimising clutter is essential for a calm mood, but if you love to read in bed you’ll know that books eat up space. In this bedroom, they’re neatly arranged in a recessed niche – close at hand, but out of direct sight when it’s time to sleep.

7. KEEP IT SIMPLE WITH SHUTTERS

Bedroom ideas

(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

Shutters feel romantic, but also offer a neat window solution, as the adjustable slats allow you to control light and privacy levels. Perfect for traditional or contemporary homes, opt for a wood finish for a warm look, or go with white for a more modern aesthetic.

8. RECREATE THE BEAUTY OF NATURE WITH A FEATURE WALL

(Image credit: Michael Sinclair)

Create a feature wall behind the bed using paint, wallpaper or wood panelling. If going for a patterned wallpaper, keep the bed simple to avoid clashes. According to color psychology, green shades are refreshing for mind and body – chiefly because they’re drawn directly from nature.

Using a botanical pattern on your bedroom walls is a simple way to capture the feeling of calm you experience when walking through the woods – this one is Beech in Document Green, by Lewis & Wood. ‘It was inspired by saplings in spring – that wonderful time when the leaves start opening and everything feels open and peaceful,’ says Magdalen Jebb, the brand’s creative director. ‘We created the design to bring that mood indoors.’

9. WORK IN WOOD

Bedroom ideas

(Image credit: Davide Lovati)

Where it’s a sleep finish or classic floorboards left natural or painted, wood can work in contemporary or traditional schemes. Lay a tactile rug for added warmth and coziness underfoot.

10. HIDE UNSIGHTLY BUMPS WITH A TEXTURED WALLPAPER

Bedroom ideas

(Image credit: Jake Curtis)

Adding a textured finish to your bedroom wall is easily achieved using wallpaper and is a great choice for hiding imperfections on an existing surface due to the thicker nature of the paper. Textured, or slightly raised, prints create an interesting focal point and can add a touch of luxury to your bedroom. As these papers can be a little pricier than flat designs, consider just going for a feature wall and using paint on the remaining areas to keep within budget.

11. DEFINE YOUR SPACE

Bedroom ideas

(Image credit: Richard Powers)

Create zones between different areas in a spacious bedroom with flooring. Use soft carpet or a rug around the bed, and wood flooring around a table, desk or living area.

12. UP THE ROOM’S TACTILE APPEAL

Bedroom ideas

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

Lush carpet underfoot gives a luxurious feel that’s perfect for a bedroom sanctuary. Layer textures – deep-pile carpet, rustic board-effect wallpaper and chunky knits – for a look that’s full of comfort, but keep it smart with contemporary furniture and lighting and sparkling fresh white bed linen.

13.ADD COMFORT WITH RUGS

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti)

From a small bedside design to a large-scale floor covering style, a rug will help to soften hard floors and add color and texture.

14. DRESS THE BED

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

Make your bed look as well-dressed as those done by professionals. Focus on layers of textiles (duvet, pillows, cushions, throw) to add a sense of comfort, and reveal a generous amount of each later to stop it looking too busy. Go for clean lines for a stylish look. Line pillows and cushions up at different heights to create smart visual interest without the effect being overly fussy.

15. USE SYMMETRY

(Image credit: Chris Everard)

Frame the bed with a bedside table on each side of it to create a mirror image on each side of the axis. The room should be centred symmetrically around the bed with an equal distribution of objects and furniture around it. Pair your items, but they don’t necessarily have to be identical – if they are of the same size and a similar color they’ll have the same visual weight.

16. INTRODUCE A DRESSING TABLE

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

Add luxury and create a dedicated space for pampering within your bedroom’s layout. Find the perfect spot for your table, whether it’s in a bay window or cleverly slotted into a small alcove. In a larger bedroom, consider dividing the space into an area for dressing and one for sleeping. A classic dressing table helps create a boudoir feel, but a simple bureau, console or desk could be perfect for a more modern scheme.

17. WORK YOUR WINDOWS

(Image credit: Mel Yates)

Achieve perfect levels of light and privacy with curtains or blinds for a good night’s sleep. Go for layers like they do in the best hotels to offer maximum flexibility when it comes to light levels. Combine heavy curtains or black-out blinds with sheer voiles. Set the style tone for the room – simple white Venetian blinds suit a contemporary, pared-back scheme, or heavy curtains add luxury in more lavish spaces.

18. USE SPARE SPACE

(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

Make the area at the end of the bed work harder with a piece of occasional furniture. Increase storage with a chest, trunk or ottoman with hidden storage beneath to create space for spare bedding or blankets. Alternatively, factor in seating. A bench, sofa, or chaise longue provides a great spot to perch, and adds a sense of boudoir luxury.

See more bedroom ideas:Bedroom lighting ideas –Create ambience in your sleep zone

19. SEEK SANCTUARY BY ADDING TEXTURE WITH TIMBER

(Image credit: Damian Russell)

The right colors, textures and planning are key to a blissfully peaceful bedroom. Borrowing nature’s palette is a sure way to create a soothing feel. This space makes use of multiple textures – the unfinished wooden boards on the walls, the patchwork throw, the tiled floor – to give the impression of almost being outdoors, but the subtle pairing of green and neutrals maintains a relaxed mood. In particular, the wood cladding works to add warmth. ‘Using real wood in this way feels comforting,’ says Robert Walsh, founder of Ted Todd Fine Wood Floors.

20. LET THERE BE LIGHT

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

Everything in this serene neutral bedroom from interior designer and homeowner Louise Bradley is designed to enhance natural light and a sense of space. Keeping the floor uncluttered all around the bed creates a sense of movement and freedom, while the discreet curtain rails are a curved shape, which gives added depth to the translucent drapes. Up the comfort factor in winter by adding soft rugs and a heavier set of curtain on top of sheers.

21. DECORATE WITH MOOD-ENHANCING COLORS

(Image credit: Simon Brown)

This bedroom features plenty of tranquil green, but adds unexpected yellow accents. ‘Waking up with such a mood-enhancing shade is a great start to the day,’ says Ruth Mottershed, creative director at Little Greene. ‘Softer tones like primrose work well, too – just painting the skirting gives instant joy.’

22. LAYER MATERIALS

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti)

The palette in this room is ultra simple, yet it feels anything but plain – instead, a sense of texture and softness is created by expertly combining grey tones. ‘The trick is to later materials for subtle contrast,’ says Bernie de Le Cuona, founder of textiles brand de Le Cuona. ‘It’s all about mixing natural textures to create depth and a sense of cocooning. Everything should be a joy to touch – even with plain designs, the result will then be a flow of “pattern”.’ You could combine silk sheets and pillowcases with more rustic linen throws, for example, or try taffeta curtains in place of the white linen here – its volume gives a romantic look. Lastly, a pale wood floor adds vital warmth to the otherwise cool color scheme.

23. PAUSE AND REFLECT

(Image credit: Jan Baldwin)

Setting up a corner in your bedroom for sitting will instantly create a relaxing atmosphere – it’s a visual cue that puts you at ease. ‘I find armchairs incredibly pleasing in bedrooms – they create curves and give a feeling or roundness,’ says Deborah Bass, creative director of Base Interior.

24. KEEP IT RUSTIC WITH NATURAL FLOORS

(Image credit: Catherine Gratwick)

Natural floor coverings such as sisal, seagrass and coir bridge the gap between carpet and wood, giving a natural look, but with the texture of carpet. Use with striped wood and earthy, neutral tones for a modern take on a rustic bedroom scheme.

For more bedroom ideas, see:How to decorate a guest bedroom – make your spare room feel special

HOW DO YOU STYLE A BEDROOM?

It is the most private room in the house, so your decorating approach can be the most personal, but there are still some key considerations when planning a bedroom revamp. Take note of our design rules to help you create a bedroom sanctuary to escape to at the end of a long day.

Before your start, think about how you will use the room. It’s unusual for a bedroom to be only about sleep – there are often other functions to consider, such as dressing, applying makeup or even a work space. Look at your belongings to assess how much storage you require. Which items of furniture are key to your room and must be included? Pare back as much as possible. Do you want a calm and tranquil retreat that’s designed as a quiet and soothing space, or a room that feels invigorating and refreshing first thing in the morning?

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti)

WHAT SHOULD EVERY BEDROOM HAVE?

Every bedroom should have practical, functional storage. It is important to keep your bedroom clear so you can relax and unwind at the beginning and end of the day. Write a list of everything you need to store in the bedroom so that you can work out how much drawer and hanging space you require. Look at fitted versus freestanding for choices. Fitted will answer the problem of awkward corners and uneven walls, and freestanding pieces act as focal points. Combine both styles for a more relaxed look.

Think tall and use the vertical space your room has to offer. Consider deep shelves high on the wall for things that aren’t used frequently, and make the most of tall cupboards and wardrobes. Make it dual-purpose so that furniture works harder. Use the top of a chest of drawers as a dressing table, or build a window seat with hidden storage underneath.

Choose a statement bed and position it so that it’s the first thing to grab your attention as you enter the room. Opt for a design that will immediately define the style of the rest of the space, whether it’s a glamorous bateau or a glossy platform.Add a headboard or hand a piece of striking art above the bed to draw the eye. To make the headboard a real feature, go for something super-sized, or upholster it in a bold color or print.Use lighting to make sure your bed takes centre stage. Consider an oversized pendant light above the bed, or hang a pair on either side to visually frame it.

Make a statement with curtains and blinds. Use color, pattern and texture to turn them into an integral feature of the bedroom’s overall design. Invest in quality for the best finish and performance. High-quality, heavy curtain material offers greater light, heart and noise insulation, and will last longer.

Invest in anti-allergy bed linen. Choose bedding that is specially designed for allergy sufferers to reduce irritation while you sleep. Of course, remember to change your bedding regularly to get rid of dust mites and allergens, too.