How to design a bedroom

Are you also one of those people who dream of having a hotel-like bedroom, a relaxing space away from the chaos of daily life?

Me, too!
And after designing bedrooms, among other spaces, for the past 10+ years, I know a thing or 2 about how to get the balance or function and form just right.

Designing your bedroom should be a thoughtful process to make it both functional and beautiful, and luckily I’ve got all the best tips and tricks on how to design a dreamy bedroom.

What you’ll find here

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Hi, I’m Nadine

Interior design expert, globetrotter and the creative mind behind this blog and NH.DESIGN.

I’m originally from Germany but have been living abroad for over 10 years, from Canada and the UK to Sweden.

So I ask myself the question what “home” means every day.
I have made it my mission to help as many people as possible to find their own answer to this.

Join my creative world on Instagram @nhdotdesign or find out more about me

Analyze your space and needs before diving into designing your bedroom

You won’t know what you need until you analyse your space and write it all down.
Imagine doing all the daily things you do in your bedroom and write them down, even the really small ones. 

Also keep in mind other people and how they’re using the space.

Does your partner get up earlier than you and needs to get dressed in the bedroom?
Consider dimmable lighting so you don’t wake up the one who’s still sleeping.

Do you need to store clothes in the bedroom, and if you do, whose and how many?
Taller people need different solutions to store their (bigger) clothes than shorter people.

You see, thinking about all the things you do in your bedroom will help you come up with the right solutions.

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    Determine your style and create a Mood Board for your bedroom design

    The first step in designing your bedroom is determining your interior design style, and choosing a colour scheme.

    Do you prefer a modern or traditional look?
    Do you want your room to be bold and colourful, or do you prefer a more neutral palette?
    Once you’ve determined your style and colour scheme, it will be easier to select the right furniture and accessories to complement your space.

    A Mood Board helps with these decisions because it’s a collection of images to visualize the style, design elements, colours, materials and the feeling you want to create in your bedroom.

    Without it it’s easy to blindly go into purchasing furniture and decoration, painting walls and putting things together that won’t look good at the end.
    You’ll spend time and money on something that doesn’t turn out the way you imagined.
    To avoid that, creating a Mood Board is key.

    Find tons of inspiration on my Pinterest account, or you can make your own Mood Board using the free online design tool Canva.

    Design your dream bedroom with this detailed and comprehensive Design Guide by NH.DESIGN.

    Design Guide - Bedroom

    Learn how to design the bedroom of your dreams with my tried and tested 6-step process.

    This step-by-step includes everything you need to design your bedroom, from floor planning to product selection.

    Getting the layout right for your bedroom design

    The layout is important in any space but especially in the bedroom where it needs to be functional and create a calm, relaxing feeling.

    You’ve probably heard of Feng Shui (meaning wind and water) before, the ancient Asian philosophy of how humans, animals and plants are affected by nature.
    The “chi”, or energy, should flow slowly and calmly through a space to create a pleasant feeling.
    If this energy is interrupted, the belief is that we’re feeling stressed and imbalanced. 
    “Chi” supposedly streams into the room through the doors and out the window, so the right placement of the bed, the main actor in the bedroom, is key.

    Also, depending on how you’re using the space in the bedroom there are a few key things to consider when designing your bedroom layout.
    Go back to your analysis from the beginning and see what you decided you needed in the space.

    Make sure you leave enough space for walkways and access to doors or wardrobes; the rule of thumb is 90-100 cm (35-40”).
    The proper height for hanging clothes in your closet is also important to make sure you’re not hurting your back when using it every day.

    Learn how to choose the right rug size for your space in this post.

    Styling Secrets guide by NH.DESIGN

    Styling Secrets

    Learn how to style any room in your home like a pro with my Styling Secrets guide.

    Choose the right colours and materials when designing your bedroom

    The right colours and materials are important when designing your bedroom. Now the word “right” doesn’t mean there’s a wrong choice, it just means it should be right for you and your lifestyle.

    To decide the best colour scheme and materials for your bedroom, ask yourself again how you use the space and what feeling you want to create. Look at your needs-analysis from the beginning, consult your Mood Board and based on those make your decisions for function and look.

    Durable and easy to clean flooring for your bedroom

    When it comes to choosing the type of materials for floors it’s a good idea to go with something durable and easy to clean. There might not be as much foot traffic in a bedroom compared to other rooms in the home, but easy to clean surfaces are a plus anywhere. Also consider carpet or area rugs for the bedroom to create a soft look and help with noise reduction.

    Wall colours for your bedroom design

    It’s completely up to you what wall colour you choose for your bedroom. But generally speaking, lighter colours make the space look bigger but also show scuffs and scrapes more easily. While darker colours create a more cosy, intimate feeling but can also make a room look small. If you want to go with a nice light, clean look, white is the way to go. Now choosing the perfect white isn’t easy, so luckily I have a guide for that too!

    Either way, the sheen or finish of your paint is super important to make your bedroom walls easy maintenance.

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    Pro Tip

    For best durability and easy cleaning, use an eggshell finish for your bedroom walls.

    When you’re creating the colour scheme for your bedroom design, the rule of thumb is 60:30:10.
    That means that your main colour should take up 60% of the space, a secondary colour 30% and an accent colour 10%.

    Check out my colour guide for your home to learn everything you need to know.

    The White Guide by NH.DESIGN is a helpful resource to choose the right white paint colour.

    The White Guide

    Not every white is the same, and choosing the right one isn’t easy.

    Learn everything about undertones and how to pick the perfect white paint colour for any room in your home with my White Guide.

    Choose the right lighting for your bedroom

    A key element when designing your bedroom is the right lighting.
    There are 3 types: general, functional and mood lighting.

    General lighting should give the space an even, bright light level.
    You can imagine it like this: the light switch you flip when entering a room, that’s your general lighting.

    Functional lighting is, as the name suggests, meant to support specific functions or activities, like lighting around the mirror for getting ready, or a reading light by the bed.

    Last but not least you have mood lighting, which is used to set the mood and create a cosy atmosphere.
    Choose the different kinds based on the activities you wrote down in your needs-analysis in the beginning.

    Check out my favourite lamps for every room here!

    I like to choose statement lighting to create a focal point in the room.
    Other lighting entirely depends on where you need it, and what for.
    I’m also a big fan of dimmable lights or Smart Home systems because one light can have multiple different functions.

    Set (and stick to) a budget for your bedroom design

    When designing your bedroom, just like any other room, make sure you set yourself a budget.
    It’s easy to get side-tracked by all the beautiful inspiration out there and get your heart set on something only to find out it’s way out of your budget.

    It’s also important to track your spendings during your bathroom project; I use a Google Sheets Budget Planner I created.
    I set the overall project budget and then allocate different amounts to different areas of the project (like furniture, lighting, construction etc).
    It’s up to you to decide where to splurge and where to save when designing your bedroom.
    I personally like to spend a little more on the mattress and less on a bed frame because it’s more important to me what I sleep on than how the frame for it looks.

    I do like to invest in statement lighting in any room, though, because I feel like it gives the space an easy focal point.

    If you want to know how much to budget for furniture, lighting and accessories for your bedroom, check out my post about average renovation costs per room.

    Styling tips for the perfect bedroom design

    Styling your bedroom is the final touch, the cherry on the top.
    After all, it’s where you fill up your energy reserves to face the world.

    The key things to consider when styling your bedroom are textiles.
    Making the bed look comfy and cozy will instantly transform the look of the whole room.

    To nail your bedroom styling I’ve collected all my best styling secrets into on simple, step-by-step guide: Styling Secrets!

    Struggling to put it all together
    and make your bedroom both functional and beautiful?

    With my virtual or in-person design services I’ll help you to design a timeless, functional and beautiful bedroom.

    Simply, a space that feels like home. Get in touch and book a free Discovery Call!

    With these design tips it’s easy to design your dream bedroom that’s both functional and stylish.

    Thanks for reading!
    If you enjoyed this post, follow along for more interior design tips and inspiration on my Instagram @nhdotdesign and sign up for my Welcome Home Letter.

    Take care, Nadine

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