How to Design Your Bedroom

Three Methods:Determining the LayoutChoosing the Color SchemeFinishing the Room

Maybe you’ve just moved into a new house or apartment and want to figure out how to make your bedroom look great, or maybe you’re finally tackling a re design of your messy, cluttered bedroom. Whatever the reason, your bedroom is one of the rooms in your home you will likely be spending a lot of your time in, so you want to make sure it’s a welcoming and well designed space you can feel good about sleeping and relaxing in.

Method 1
Determining the Layout

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    Remove everything from the room, if necessary. It’s best to start with a clean palette, so hire some friends and pay them in pizza to help you clear out your bedroom if you are doing a re design of the space.
    • If your room has not seen a duster or a broom in awhile, give it a good clean so you can get a clear sense of the space.
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    Think about the circulation of the room. This means thinking about how a person will walk around or move around in the room. Get a sense of the pathway for someone circulating around the room. The goal is to try to make it as easy as possible to access the bathroom and the closet area, and still have enough room on either side of your bed to walk around.
    • Consider how you and/or your partner will access the closet and the bathroom. If you are an early riser but your partner isn’t, you may want to make it easier for you to get to the bathroom in the dark or access the closet on your side of the bed.[1]
    • Depending on the size and layout of your bedroom, as well as the needs of the occupants, try to use simple circulation, or circulation based on an entry way on one side of the room. Most hotels have a simple circulation floor plan for good reason, as it allows for an open, functional layout.
    • Circulation plans become a bit more challenging with en suite bedrooms (where the bathroom is attached to the bedroom) or bedrooms that have doors on the outside. You will need to focus on keeping a de cluttered space that is easy to move around in if your bedroom has either of these layouts.[2]
    • If you are designing your bedroom layout from the ground up in a new home, pay attention to where you locate the bathroom and the closet in your bedroom. Rooms with bathroom or closet access before the sleeping area require a longer hallway. But if you organize the circulation so the bathroom and closet can be accessed through the sleeping area, you don’t need a separate hallway and you can save on space.
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    Consider where the windows in the room are, or the view. A bedroom often feels more relaxing and welcoming if the first thing you experience is a pleasant view out the window, as opposed to a view looking straight at the bed.[3]
    • Try to come up with a layout that showcases a large window with a nice view and doesn’t cover up or block any smaller windows as these are good sources of natural light that can add warmth to the room.
    • Keep in mind you can always add in light blocking design like long curtains or blinds to allow light in during the day and maintain your privacy at night.[4]
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    Measure the space. Once you have a rough idea of how you want to be able to move around in the room, get out your measuring tape and write down the length and width of the room as a whole. Focus on the space between the windows and the door, as well as the closet and the bathroom.
    • This will help you determine the size of the bed, the night stands, and any other accent furniture you are going to purchase for the room.
    • If you are using furniture you already own, measuring the space will help you determine if all your existing furniture is going to fit in the layout you’ve chosen and/or if you need to get rid of some of your furniture.
    • These measurements will also ensure you have enough space between your furniture to move around easily in the room.
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    Draw a layout. Working off a layout on a piece of paper before you move all your furniture in will allow you to tweak or adjust the layout without having to haul around a bed or side table.
    • This is also useful for determining if you are going to keep all your existing furniture or get rid of any items that do not fit within the layout.
    • Keep in mind if you decide to paint the walls, you do not want to have to move all the furniture out of the room again. So hold off on moving your furniture back into your room until you have finalized the layout and the color scheme for the room.
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    Decide where your bed is going to go. Your bed is the key piece of furniture in your bedroom, so determining where it is going to be located in the room will then help you decide where the other accent pieces are going to fit. Thinking about circulation again, you have two main possibilities for the placement of your bed:[5]
    • Against the wall opposite your bedroom’s door. This creates a nice view when you enter the room as the bed will not be blocking any windows and there will be a very simple, open circulation to the room.
    • Along the room’s longest wall. Most bedrooms have one length of wall that isn’t interrupted by windows and doors. This layout gives you plenty of room to put a nightstand on each side of the bed.
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    Determine if you are going to have a dresser in the room. The next largest item of furniture in the room will likely be a dresser or armor for your clothing. If you have an attached closet, you may not need to worry about this furniture item. You have several placement options for the dresser, including:[6]
    • In the corner of the room, across from your bed. Be aware that placing a dresser in the corner may cut off the openness of the space. Try adjusting the dresser so it is facing the bed against a wall.
    • If you are using a wide chest or credenza, it can serve a double function as a television stand. If this is the case, you may want to place the chest or credenza directly across from the bed against the opposite wall for easy viewing of the TV.
    • If you are using a low dresser or chest, you may also want to place it at the end of your bed for easy access and to keep the walls open and not cluttered.
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    Choose your accent furniture. Now that the largest furniture items have been situated in the room, check if you have space for side tables on either side of the bed, accent chairs, and standing lamps.[7]
    • Depending on how much space you have, you may be able to also include a small desk and chairs in the room.
    • You may also want to include an ottoman at the end of your bed or by your closet for extra seating.

Method 2
Choosing the Color Scheme

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    Pick an “anchor” color. This will be the color you will then highlight, accent, or complement with other hues.[8] Your “anchor” color is going to be the most prominent color in the room and will determine the overall feel or tone, so decide if you want to set a more calming environment with a neutral anchor color like off white or light gray, or if you want to create a vibrant atmosphere with a bold, bright anchor color like turquoise or orange.[9] Of course, you can always just go with your favorite color!
    • Remember that even with a more neutral anchor color, you can add pops of bright, bold color to the room with accessories like throw pillows, bedding, and smaller decorative items.
    • You may want to also choose your anchor color based on a theme, like nautical, French provincial, or California chic.[10]
    • To get some ideas for possible color schemes, look online at sites that showcase different designs for bedrooms.[11][12]
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    Pick two complementary hues. Though you may decide to add more complementary hues, its best to start with two so the room does not become overwhelmed with color.
    • Use your anchor color as a reference for the two hues. If you used a more neutral anchor color, you may decide to use cool hues like blue and green or warm hues like red and yellow. If you used a more bold anchor color, you may decide to use neutral hues like gray or white, or you may decide to go very bright and use hues like apricot or turquoise.
    • Consult a color wheel to get direction on possible hues for your anchor color. When in doubt, look for examples online to give you some ideas.[13]
    • There are several ways to mix and match hues with tints, shades, and tones. For a good guide on this, click here:
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    Decide if you are going to paint the walls of the room. Now that you have chosen your color scheme, figure out if you are going to be painting the walls with the anchor color or making a statement by painting only one wall.

Method 3
Finishing the Room

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    Move your furniture into the space. Once the layout has been finalized, the color scheme is down pat and the paint has dried, call the friends who helped you move everything out and bribe them with pizza again to help you move your furniture back in.
    • Stick to your layout and arrange the furniture accordingly. If you did your measurements right and considered the circulation of the space correctly, you should have a well spaced and easy to access layout for the room.
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    Arrange the lighting in the room. Consider the lighting you already have in the room, such as a ceiling light or lighting attached to the wall, and decide if you are going to improve upon the existing lights with new fixtures or add in standing lights or table lamps to give the room different sources of light.
    • Ceiling lights offer even coverage for the entire room and will often provide the most light for the room. You can also customize the brightness or darkness of ceiling lights with dimmer bulbs. Ceiling lights can be great statement pieces for a bedroom, especially with a more neutral color scheme.[14]
    • Floor lamps are great for brightening up specific spaces and add a more intimate feel to the room, especially when placed by a bed or in the corner of a room.
    • A table lamp is also good for illuminating a specific area of the room, such as on a bedside table or a desk. They are also great for reading and working, especially at night, as table lamps are not too bright to interfere with your body’s natural sleep schedule and they won’t keep your bed mate awake.[15]
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    Choose your bedding. Bedding plays a major design role in your bedroom, as your bed will likely be the focal point of the room. Look for a pattern or design on a bedspread or duvet cover that works with the color scheme of the room.[16]
    • Of course you also want your bed to be comfortable and relaxing, so look for good quality sheets as well as pillows, throws, and accent pillows to really make your bed a spot worth lounging on.[17]
    • Think about also including accent rugs to add an extra sense of coziness to the space.
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    Accessorize the room. Make your bedroom feel like a personal, intimate space by including personal items and keepsakes. Avoid a bland space by adding in details that show off your sense of style.
    • Hang wall art that you love, make space on a table or desk for books you cherish, and add a dash of nature with a row of potted plants or succulents on your dresser.[18]
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    Improve and change the room over time. Don’t feel pressure to make the room look at complete as possible. Like anything, the room will likely evolve over time, as you add or remove certain items of furniture or certain accessories. Great design usually takes awhile to figure out and will likely need to be refined, so take your time, don’t rush, and have fun with the design of your bedroom.[19]


  • There are several online room planner sites you can use to make a 3D map of the room’s design and color scheme.[20]


  • It’s best to ask somebody (or several bodies) to help you move big furniture like beds, dressers, and TVs.

Sources and Citations

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Article Info

Categories: Bedroom Style