home   |    learn   |    shop   |    help
Decorating Secrets  >  Learn  >  Bedrooms

Living rooms
Dining rooms
Home offices
Garden rooms


Modern bedrooms are a retreat for all hours of the day. Of course, you'll sleep there, but you may also read, watch television, set up a home office, even have a bite to eat. No matter what your style, the key to the perfect bedroom is comfort. There are no end of pampering amenities you can add to your bedroom.

A red, white and gold color scheme adds luxury to this traditional bedroom. The framed Monet print over the mantle complements the size of the fireplace, the red of the duvet and the soft golden walls.

Bedroom Basics:
Indulging in your private retreat is like giving yourself a refuge in your home. Before you begin to decorate, consider what you will need to make you feel truly at ease. How will you use your bedroom? For sleeping only, or as a part-time den? What kinds of furnishings will make you feel truly pampered? Antique lace pillowcases? Goose down duvet? Maybe you really need to indulge yourself.

  • Sleeping, storage, seating. What size bed will fit your lifestyle and your room? Maybe you would like to trade some of the space taken up by the king-size bed for a comfy chair and ottoman. What are your storage options? If you have a large closet, maybe you can do without the dresser and add an entertainment center. Do you read in bed? Maybe you even bring stacks of papers home from the office and work in bed. You will need a generous nightstand.
  • Don't forget the lighting. You'll need lamps with three-way switches so you can read and lower the lighting for a more restful ambience. A picture light over a favorite portrait can help sculpt your space, or highlight your collectibles with a strip light. (Read more about lighting).
  • More must-haves: If you love music, you may want a sound system. Allow room to display personal treasures, favorite books, and family photos.
Back to top

Your traditional bedroom:
Look for symmetry and balance to create your perfect pampering nest. Your bedroom furniture will look best when it's centered along one wall or perhaps between two windows. You will like matching nightstands on either side of the bed along with a pair of elegant lamps.

Your country casual bedroom:
You may feel uncomfortable with symmetry. Try moving your bed to one side of the room or place it on an angle in a corner. You can create balance with an armoire, reading chair and lamp or even artwork.

Your contemporary bedroom:
You will feel most at ease when the clutter is gone. You will like the drama of a bold bed with a handful of artful accents. Investing in good storage pieces will keep clutter to a minimum.

Country/Casual touches add charm to this cozy bedroom haven. A collection of straw hats are hung with the framed art prints. A scattering of stencilled stars adds interest to the ceiling.

Your eclectic bedroom:
You prefer to mix your styles. Look for furniture and decorative accents that you love then consider ways to make them relate to each other. A conscious color-scheme is one of the easiest ways to tie your room together. Does blue and white relax you? Do you feel nurtured by teal and ocher? Do you crave the zip of red and the crispness of white? Anything can be an accent to your practiced eye.

Back to top

Your bedroom floor plan:
Your furniture needs more room than the actual square footage it takes up in your floor plan. Your bed will need at least two feet on either side for convenient bedmaking. Your dressers and closets need at least three feet in front to allow you to pull out the drawers or open the door without stepping aside. Keep traffic flow in mind when placing the bed. Don't place it so close to the room's entry door that you have to walk around it several times a day. Allow easy walking space to the closet and bathrooms.

Keep in mind the scale of your furniture. Your pieces may take up more visual space than its actual dimensions. Darker woods and colors will take up more visual space than lighter colors. Airy, metal headboards will look smaller than solid wooden ones. If your bedroom is small, you may find it claustrophobic if your walls are dark and your furniture is mahogany. Try starting with a lighter background color for the walls and add dark accents for a richer look.

Rule of thumb for bedside tables is that the height should be at least as tall as the top of the mattress. Too low, and your lamps won't shed light on your book when you're reading in bed. Even today's standard nightstands may be too low for some beds.

Back to top

Store in style:
You can never have too much storage space, especially in your bedroom. Look at all your options, from dressers to highboys to armoires to a wall of custom built-ins.

Back to top

Small bedrooms live large
With careful planning, any size bedroom can be a well-designed comfy retreat. How to make your small space live large?

  • Think big. Your space may be small, but your furnishings don't have to be. In fact, you'll use less floor space with a few big pieces of furniture than with a lot of small-scale pieces. You'll also reduce the visual clutter by simplifying.
  • Look up. Tall furniture is your friend. An armoire or chest-on-chest takes up as much space as a dresser, but stores so much more. Can't find just the right piece? You may want to think about built-ins going up to the ceiling. Strong verticals can add space by adding height—consider vertical-patterned wallpaper or tall shelves.
  • Lighten up. Use a light color scheme to add space. Other space-expanding tricks include simple backdrops and window treatments, large framed mirrors or a collection of mirrors. Anything see-through will provide airiness: gauzy curtains, glass-top tables, tables and chairs with exposed legs.

Even the smallest bedroom deserves a taste of luxury. Don't have the space for a full-sized armchair and ottoman? A slipcovered armless chair with a footstool can offer comfort without bulkiness.

Back to top

Luxury in linens
Your bed can be a luxury retreat.
Some simple touches:

  • Simplify your bed-making. Replace your bedspread with a duvet, a down-filled comforter with a removable cover. Duvets are light-as-air and warm and cuddly. With a duvet, making the bed is a simple shake-and-cover. They function as sheet, blanket and bedspread all in one.
  • Bedrooms on a budget: White and solid sheets can be less expensive than prints, lace or embroidery. Decide what you love the most and splurge. Buy that antique hand-embroidered pillow or that cashmere throw. Save money on plain colored sheets. Try some high-thread count pillowcases for the luxurious feel against your cheeks and buy budget sheets. Don't be afraid of investing in fine quality linens. Often the finest linens wear the longest.
  • Be comfortable. Cotton sheets soften with washing and allow the body to breathe. Cotton polyester blends aren't as soft. Pima and Egyptian cottons are long-fibered and have a lustrous glow. Be aware of thread count. The number of threads per square inch of sheeting is an indicator of quality. Standard is 180 to 200. 300 and higher is luxury.
Back to top

Home  |   Shop  |   Learn  |   Framed Art  |   Help  |   Privacy
Van Gogh Art PrintsMonet Art PrintsArt by Thomas Kinkade

Site design, text and images © Copyright 2004 - Goldensight, Inc. All rights reserved.