Key Considerations for Designing a Bedroom


    Like a puzzle, designing a bedroom contains a variety of pieces that fit together to create a cohesive, comfortable, and restful retreat. Since the bedroom tends to be the place where people go for rest and relaxation, it helps to have it pleasant and enjoyable. 

    If you are actually designing the layout of the room – building or renovating – then consider having your bedroom a significant size. Most people spend a third of their lives in their bedroom, making it the room probably more used than any other room in the house. 

    If you do not own your own home, remember to ask the owner or manager if you are allowed to change things such as paint or flooring before beginning. Otherwise, stick to changes that do not affect the permanent parts of the room.


    Ideally, a bedroom will have an attached bathroom (also known as en suite), as well as plenty of natural lighting, a closet, and some wall space. While most rooms are laid out to allow for a bed, sometimes the remaining space is insufficient for the other desired furniture due to the layout of windows and doors. When considering where to place doors for closets and bathrooms, consider the space that furniture will need. Since dressers and chests of drawers are generally placed with their backs to the wall, there needs to be sufficient space to accommodate them.

    It is better to have closets and bathroom directly off the room itself rather than making a part of the room into a sort of hallway, as that space can be included as part of the room and result in the same footprint, making the room feel larger. 

    Natural light makes a big difference in how a room feels, so large windows or windowed doors are an excellent addition. For those who prefer absolute dark, and for times when privacy is desired, light-blocking curtains can allow the room to be transformed easily by simply closing the curtains. 

    Color makes a difference. When choosing colors for the walls, consider having an accent wall for interest. Use colors you enjoy, keeping in mind that blue and green tend to be relaxing colors. Remember that furniture and bedding can add color, as well!

    While carpet may seem like a good option in a bedroom, hardwood may actually be more pleasant. Throw rugs can be added for the plush underfoot feel when first arising, if desired; smaller rugs are more easily cleaned than wall-to-wall carpet. 


    Consider the possibility of changing around the room when choosing furniture, if you tend to enjoy rearranging. If the furniture you choose can only fit in the room in one arrangement, and rearranging is one of your joys, then you will end up dissatisfied with the room eventually. A fresh look occasionally can be refreshing, making this something to keep in the back of your mind when setting up the room.

    Obviously, a bedroom will have a bed in it. After all, it is in the name of the room! Most people tend to agree that bigger is better when it comes to beds, but there are times when the room is too small for the bed to be a king or queen, so choosing the right size bed to make the room comfortable is very important. Ideally, there should be enough room to walk around three sides of the bed (especially if you are sharing the bed) and still have storage, at the very least. Remember, too, that under the bed can be used for storage either through the use of totes or by adding built-in drawers. 

    A nightstand on each side of the bed makes a place for lamps, if desired, alarm clocks, reading material, and anything else that one might want handy late at night or early in the morning. If the room is not being shared, a single nightstand can be sufficient.

    A dresser or chest of drawers (or both) will also need to fit into the room. A dresser is taller and narrower, so may be a better option for a smaller room, while a chest of drawers is shorter and wider, so may be better to place under a long window, or to share if there are two people sharing the room who also want to share clothing storage. 

    If the room is large enough to accommodate it, a sitting area with a comfortable chair and small table or a desk will allow quiet and privacy for tasks such as writing letters, reading, studying, or other similar pursuits. 

    A nice bookshelf, of whatever size fits the area, will also give you a place to keep personal favorites, both of books and other things. Cloth or wooden drawers can be set on the shelves to hold things that might otherwise fall off, or it can be filled with books or knick-knacks. The top will provide space for plants, lamps, or photos. A lower shelf that has doors is good for hiding things that look cluttered if left out, but that you need to keep. 

    Because ventilation is important, a good ceiling fan is almost a necessity. Freestanding fans or air purifiers can also keep air moving, but these take up valuable floor space, and the ceiling fan is out of the way, but generally quite efficient. Since they usually come with light kits, as well, this can take care of the lighting for the room at the same time. 


    House plants are an excellent addition to a bedroom. Not only do they add a bit of nature to the area, they purify the air and add oxygen, and choosing certain types can also add a soothing scent. 

    The walls are one of the first places the eyes go when perusing a room, so having something there adds to the enjoyment of the room. Consider a gallery of things that make you happy. Shadowboxes can hold keepsakes and keep them safe from dust to help preserve them. Small shelves can hold knick-knacks. A large mirror can make the room seem larger and help when getting ready for the day. Some people like to use word stickers, or large murals on their walls. 

    If you are renting and hanging things on the walls is discouraged or prohibited, consider easels for holding artwork or photos, or other types of freestanding supports.

    Linens, such as bedding, pillows, blankets, and curtains, can both add a bit of color to a room and make it seem more cohesive. They are also versatile, so if your walls are relatively neutral, you can change the entire look and feel of the room just by changing the linens. This is good to remember if your bedroom happens to be one of the type that only allows for one furniture arrangement. 

    If you dislike the floor but cannot afford to replace it or are not allowed to do so, rugs can change the way the floor looks and make it less irritating. Use a neutral if the original floor is not or add a pop of color or interest with a rug that you love. 

    Remember that not everyone has the same taste in décor, color, and comfort. Something that works for one person may not work for another. Consider how you intend to use the room – only for sleeping, for sleep and studying, etc. – when choosing how to arrange and decorate it. If you finish and discover that something does not work for you, change it! That is the beauty of décor – it is nearly always changeable. Figure out what makes you happy and make it happen!


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