How to Decorate A Bedroom

If you think about it, the bedroom is the single room in the house in which we spend the most time.  We retreat there every night. We start our day there every morning. We may follow an evening ritual of preparing for bed, climbing in, and reading to offer a peaceful bookend to the day. We sleep, and through sleep, we get refreshed. We recharge so that we can greet tomorrow. 

If all of that is true, why don’t we focus on the bedroom when we think about a home project refresh? The fact of the matter is, the bedroom usually does not get priority status when it comes to decorating. Typically, the hubs of the house, such as the kitchen and the family room, get the bid when a homeowner considers decorating. For this post, our focus is the bedroom. It’s about time!

Picture yours. Make a list of what you like about your bedroom and what bothers you about it. Think about what elements in your bedroom make you feel good, peaceful, satisfied, and comforted. Now evaluate what in your bedroom brings you down. What would you like to change?

Let’s go through seven tips for how to decorate your bedroom.

Make Your Selection

Cull. Take items out. The goal of this step is to clear out clutter and to begin to establish the habit of preserving the space in your bedroom as a sanctuary. Remove the milk crate of textbooks you intend to sell on ebay. Place it in the storage room. Remove the exercise bike that you thought you’d use. Don’t feel guilty, it’s not worth it. List it on your neighborhood social site. Someone will gladly take it off your hands.

Sometimes you can’t see what a room can become unless the clutter has been removed. You won’t know what can go in that corner until you get rid of the ragged recliner. It may seem presumptuous to move an item away when there is nothing to replace it with, but just removing something can change the feel of a room almost immediately. Maybe you realize that replacement chair isn’t needed, you just need a new source of light from that corner. It will be tough to see that without some room to think.

Look At What You’re Looking At

Look with fresh eyes at the furniture in your room. Does each piece function well in your bedroom? Often, a room will experience a refresh when you simply remove a piece of furniture. Space opens up and the room suddenly seems bigger. Conversely, you may need to add a piece of furniture to make your bedroom work for you. One of my favorite bedroom pieces is a comfortable reading chair. Reading in bed can be restful, but it can also strain the neck or induce sleep!

Sometimes, it feels more comfortable to be in an upholstered chair with your legs up on an ottoman when you want to settle into a good book in the sanctuary of your bedroom. This one from The Kings Bay, in scrumptious aged leather has an updated, inviting look that flexibly coordinates with various decor aesthetics.

It’s Time To Light It Up

Your bedroom furniture is now edited. At this point, look at the surfaces. Specifically, hone in on your lighting. Do you have a pair of lamps to flank your bed? I highly recommend adding the polish of a pair of identical lamps. The symmetry of the lamp pair pleases the eye. Take time to find what you love. I wanted a touch of chinoiserie for my bedroom decor, so I landed a pair of vintage ginger jar lamps on ebay. The perfect linen lamp shades complete the look and the lamps still please me after eight years in my bedroom.

Beyond their smart look, the lamps offer just the right light for reading thanks to three-way bulbs which allow for control of lighting levels. I scored a pair of miniature, square, blue and white, chinoiserie, dragon lamps from TJ Maxx which finish the look of our bedroom atop a six feet wide dresser. They help frame the large rectangular mirror on the wall. These smart lamps from The Kings Bay would be a welcome addition to any bedroom. They are reasonably priced and have a timeless look. I also appreciate the interesting silhouette of the lamp shade.

Declutter Your Surfaces

Look again at the surfaces in your bedroom. Take five minutes to put away the stack of clean clothing, return read books on your bedside table to the bookshelf, and reduce the number of framed photos if you feel that a few less would achieve a tidier look. Remove any accessories that you no longer need or no longer love as decor pieces. Practice the habit of looking at surfaces in your bedroom once each day and taking care of putting things where they belong. It doesn’t take a long time, and the payoff is significant.

This practice will ensure that your bedroom remains the peaceful, purposefully edited space you want it to be. Is there any place where you believe you need an accent? The bedroom is the ideal place to put pictures of our loved ones. Did you take out a bunch of small frames and need to add one main photo? If you find that you need something, take a look at this statement frame. It functions to show off your gorgeous photo and also adds a statement piece to your room.

Does your Bedding Need A Tune Up?

Study your bedding. Do you like it or did you choose it because it was on sale? I love the crisp white matelasse on our bed, but its age is showing. It needs replacing. Maybe your bedspread also needs to be replaced for one reason or another. Spend time scrolling through pictures of bedding options on the internet. Stop and take a screenshot when a look grabs you. Purpose to find bedding that makes you feel satisfied and peaceful. Find what is “you.” Investing in your bedding will offer ongoing returns since you spend valuable hours looking at and using your bed!

Let’s Fix Those Walls 

Now that you’ve settled on your bedding update, think through your wall color. It probably could use a refresh. Do you like the confident look of color in your bedroom? If so, go for color! You may want to consider going a shade or two lighter than you think you should in order to achieve a serene feel. If you prefer to stay in the neutral palette, consider grey, khaki, or even a creamy white. I never tire of Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. In fact, it is now the lovely wall color of my daughter’s room. She requested a bedroom decor shift for her ‘sweet sixteen in quarantine’ birthday which led to the purchase of a cheerful Marimekko sunflower bedding set. Choosing the soft, yet warm, white for her walls proved ideal since the bedspread packs so much punch.

Spruce Up Those Walls 

With pristine walls, your attention now can focus on what to hang. Give some thought to your art and mirrors. Decide what to keep and what to move along. For me, the large, square Target canvas of poppies which I purchased ten years ago served its purpose, but was replaced when we refined our bedroom decor. It feels good to appreciate an art piece for how it served you, but feel the freedom to get rid of it. Over time, our tastes shift. Often this helps guide us in making thoughtful decorating decisions. Consider hanging a pair of coordinating pictures. Pairs do please the eye, and I recently learned a useful formula I will share! Mrs. Howard  says that a room can handle up to four pairs (of lamps, ginger jars, candlesticks, etc.). This helps me because I’m drawn to pairs, but don’t want to overdo it. This tidbit and more has really inspired me, you can read my review of her famous decorating book here.

These were painted by master watercolorist Jack Paul Hanlon, the founder of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art.

This is an unexpected option that allows you to pick your own frame to suit your decor.

Hanlon was a famed artist even in his own time, he designed the Christmas Cards for Victor Waddington during World War 2.

There you have it. Seven doable steps to a bedroom you’ll love. Give yours the attention it has missed in your recent home updates. It’s a cost-effective choice when it comes to a home refresh with major impact. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

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