When you’re home after a long day of work, you want nothing more than to flop on your bed and feel at ease and peaceful. But when your bedroom feels cluttered and lacking a design, it can be tough to relax and feel good about your space.
If your bedroom needs a new design style, here are 20 creative tips for arranging and styling the bedroom of your dreams.
Go bold with wallpaper
Wallpaper was all the rage in the 1980s and 1990s, but it fell out of fashion as it was difficult to put up and even harder to take down. Nowadays, wallpaper is making a minor comeback — but this time, it’s easy to add and remove.
If you’re renting your home, find a bold wallpaper print that can be easily removed. You can enjoy the print while it’s up, but you won’t damage the wall or lose your security deposit when you move out. Especially in a small bedroom, this design saves you the trouble of finding decor and wall art to make the space interesting.
Choose dark colors for small bedrooms
In general, lighter colors and neutrals make a space feel more open and airy, but in a bedroom, you don’t necessarily need to feel that spaciousness. Dark colors can feel more luxurious and decadent in a bedroom design, and they can help you sleep better by keeping the room dark.
If you can, paint the walls a dark blue or green for a natural look. If you rent, choose dark curtains and a dark bedspread to give off that moody vibe.
Find a cozy comforter
When you have a small bedroom, a comforter can be a major design piece. While some people choose boring, white comforters, choose one instead with a bold print or color that will really stand out — and you won’t have to wash it as often as a white comforter.
Striped comforters can make your bedroom look a little longer, and bold florals bring a little of the outside inside. Try a comforter that feels lightweight, even for wintertime. You can always add more blankets when it gets cold, but in the steamy summer months, you’ll want something that you don’t have to kick off every night.
Skip the double end tables
It seems like a bedroom design given that if you have a bed that isn’t against the wall, then you need two end tables, one for each side. Forget that, especially if you live alone.
You can use other furniture for end tables, such as ottomans. They also provide storage and a flat surface, but they can double as a seat where space is lacking.
Let the mirror lean
The hardest part of finding the perfect mirror is figuring out how to hang it. And even if you do hang it, will it be big enough to help you to really see yourself every morning?
While a smaller mirror can work in a bathroom, you need a long mirror in your bedroom so you can see how your outfits look before you leave the house. But instead of mounting it, let the mirror sit on the floor and lean against the wall. It gives the bedroom design a lived-in feel, and you’ll always feel good about your outfit before leaving the house.
Keep feet warm with runners
Don’t want to invest in a large area rug? Not a problem, you don’t have to. An area rug can feel big and bulky, especially in a small bedroom, but you don’t want your feet hitting a cold surface every morning.
Rather than find a big, expensive rug, choose a runner instead. These rugs are slim and long, perfect for bedrooms. Add one on each side of the bed so everyone steps out to a cozy surface first thing in the morning.
Be strategic with furniture choices
Even if you have a large bedroom, filling it with tons of furniture will make it feel cramped and cluttered. When choosing bedroom furniture, keep it simple — one bed, a nightstand or two and a dresser if you have space for it. You might also put a desk in there if that’s typically where you work, but that’s about it.
Some designers will tell you to add accent chairs or even love seats, but these just take up space. You rarely come into your bedroom just to sit, so focus on your bed and how you’re going to store your clothes.
Invest in good sheets
There’s nothing more luxurious than sliding into bed and feeling the soft, cool sheets on your skin. But not all sheets are of the same quality. Some feel scratchy and coarse, while others rip and show holes after only a few washes.
If you want to splurge a little in your bedroom design, opt for better sheets with a higher thread count. Choose a fabric like organic cotton, which feels soft and is more sustainable.
Nix the headboard
If you buy a bed, then there’s a good chance that it will come with a headboard — but do you really need it? Not all bedroom designs need a headboard, and sometimes, they can make your bedroom look overbearing and cluttered. If you have a small bedroom, then a platform bed without the headboard might fit your style better.
You can always create the look of a headboard by adding extra large pillows to the top of your bed or even installing built-in bookshelves above your bed. You get more storage, and you can easily swap pillows in and out when you want to change up your style.
Add shelves for more storage
Speaking of space, you can add more of it to your bedroom design by installing shelves when you don’t have room for a dresser. Invest in a few storage cubes and use them to hold socks and underwear or even your favorite t-shirts. This will provide some extra storage without sacrificing valuable space.
Install wall sconces for extra lighting
When you’re ready to crawl into bed and read a book before falling asleep, the last thing you want to do is have to get up one more time to turn off the light. But table lamps take up space, and if you don’t have an end table at all, you’ll need some kind of light.
If you need light, install wall sconces on either side of your bed. You’ll save space, and you’ll have an easy lighting solution.
Use a side chair as an end table
If you really want to go bold with your bedroom arrangement, forget the nightstand entirely and just use a side chair. You can set your phone on the seat at night and hang clothes over the back when you don’t feel like putting them away. Best of all, you can move the chair around and maybe even fold it up if needed.
Try flannel sheets for wintertime
Want to feel cozy in the wintertime? Don’t invest in a heavy comforter or even an expensive down comforter, especially if your space stays warm in the winter. Instead, switch out your summer sheets for warm, flannel ones.
There’s nothing more shocking than getting into a cold bed on a cold night. When you have flannel sheets, every night will feel like a warm hug when you get into bed and switch off the light.
Consider a daybed to save space
For those living in a studio or even just a small apartment, your living room may also function as your bedroom or as a guest bedroom when you have company. So what do you do when you have so little space but really need an extra bed?
Skip the couch and get a daybed instead. A daybed is usually slightly larger than a twin bed, but not nearly as big as a double. It also has bars or some backing across both short sides and one of the longer sides so it looks like a couch, but it has a mattress and can be used as a bed. Add throw pillows across the back to make it feel cozy, and at night, turn down the bed and use it for yourself or a guest.
Maximize storage under the bed
A small bedroom design can leave you scrambling to find space, especially when it’s in short supply. But you probably have more room than you think — you just need to look closer to the ground.
Unless you have a platform bed, you probably have a lot of storage waiting for you underneath your bed. All you need are a few plastic bins to hold winter sweaters or extra blankets, and suddenly, you have much more room in your closets.
Find fitting curtains or blinds
Another way to add color or design to your bedroom is through your choice of curtains. When you can’t paint the walls of a rental property or put holes in the walls to hang your favorite artwork, adding curtains can bring in a touch of design while also serving a useful function.
If you work odd hours or just value your beauty sleep, opt for heavy curtains, like velvet, if you want to block out most of the morning light. You can also install blinds, though the less expensive options don’t have much design value. Of course, that might not matter so long as you get your eight hours in.
Don’t overdo it on throw pillows
You want your bed to feel as cozy as possible, so it probably feels right to add lots of throw pillows to your bed — but unless you like to sleep with five pillows under your neck, those pillows will just feel cluttered in your room.
Add ease with hooks over doors
Make it easy to grab your robe in the morning by hanging an over-the-door hook or even a few Command strips on the back of your door. You can also hang your go-to purse here to make it easy to grab as you run out the door.
Bring the outdoors inside
Nothing can be more soothing than seeing nature around you when you wake up. Even if you have just one window with little light, you can find plants to make your space feel a little green.
For the lazy gardener, choose a snake plant, also called mother-in-law’s tongue, for your bedroom. These plants don’t need direct sunlight, and they thrive on neglect, so it’s not a big deal if you forget to water it from time to time.
Declutter for more space
The real culprit making your bedroom arrangement feel cramped and stuffy isn’t your large bed or dresser or even the extra nightstand. Nothing makes a bedroom, or really any room, feel cramped like clutter, whether it’s clothes on the floor or items on the dresser or nightstand.
Stick to the age-old rule: If you don’t need it, get rid of it. If you want it, find a place for it.
Be choosey with accents and wall art
When you have too many vases, candle holders and table lamps, all of those accents can feel more like clutter, especially when you have a small bedroom. The key to designing any bedroom is to be choosey with the few accents and decor that grace your room. This will keep your design feeling more open than cluttered.
The same goes for wall art. When you have too many prints or poorly arranged photos, then your walls can feel overwhelmed. Instead, stick to one or two coordinating prints (they don’t have to match perfectly) or a few photos in similarly styled frames.
Go second-hand over new
When you move into a new home, even if it’s a rental, there’s always a strong urge to buy new furniture for every room in your house, but it’s just not necessary. If you don’t have the budget to invest in nice, long-lasting furniture, then you’ll end up spending more money in the long run when you have to replace broken pieces sooner than you intended.
Head over to your favorite second-hand stores for inexpensive furniture or go online and search Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You can find good deals on furniture, and you can always resell it when it’s time to move.
Ready to find your dream bedroom in Washington, DC? Contact Atlas Lane today to get started.