The Essentials for a Successful Bedroom Design

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Any bedroom can look fabulous with the right design and that’s a fact! The size of the room is of no importance as long as it’s got style! And that’s what I want to talk to you about: the essentials for a successful bedroom design that define your style. I’ll try to make it short and to the point, while I share with you some beautiful imagery to spark your imagination and an inspiration board. So take a minute’s break… you deserve it! 😉

A lovely bedroom with pendant lights on either side of the bed, and a beautiful side table. Splashes of color and pattern have been added via the throw pillows on the bed. Image by Cuckooland.
Image by Cuckooland
This rustic bedroom really stands out because of the bright pattern print of the bed linen that compliments the big white metal headboard. Image by Georgehome.
Image by George Home
An inspiration board of a contemporary bright bedroom. Images by the brands denoted.
Image above (without the title) by House of Fraser. Pin this for later! Look out for the beautiful knitted throw found in the inspiration board below. It’s a perfect fit in just about any bedroom.

The 6 essential elements for a successful bedroom design are the:

  1. Furniture: headboard, nightstand, vanity table and/or dresser, chair
  2. Lighting
  3. Wall decor
  4. Mirror
  5. Textiles (bed linen & area rug)
  6. Color

Furniture: Headboard – Nightstand – Vanity table – Chair

I think that everyone can agree that a good bed is one with a good mattress to sleep on, clean bed linen and a pillow that will support the head while maintaining a good body posture. Do we really need a headboard though? Some people don’t want to waste money on it. Others, like a more casual look of a headboard-less bed. However, a headboard does make a huge design statement, apart from the fact that it can also provide comfort. Furthermore, it acts as a buffer against the cold that the wall behind radiates. The good news are that the choices are countless and the prices vary accordingly.

Now, even if you’re a minimalist, you’re going to need some sort of a nightstand to place a glass of water, your eyeglasses or a tissue box (once in a blue moon). Therefore, a nightstand is a must. So why not choose a stylish one that won’t hurt your eyes in the long run? Personally, I prefer nightstands with drawers when storage is an issue. They really help with the clutter! Otherwise, I really like side tables with a little glamour to them like the trending brass metallic ones. In either case, their height should be preferably at least the same as that of the mattress’ height.

Now, small bedrooms may not have enough room for both a vanity table and a dresser. For instance in my bedroom, I have a dresser and two floating shelves with a mirror over them that act as my vanity designated space. The key to remember is that you don’t necessarily have to go for the entire bedroom set. A mix and match approach will definitely give a more stylish outcome.

Surely, we can survive without a spare chair in a bedroom. However, I do find it handy to have one to leave my two throw pillows and to lay my day’s clothing. Considering the scale of your bedroom, opt for a chair that will highlight your style when standing alone – think of an accent chair.


Aside the ambient lighting, table lamps and/or floor lamps really upgrade any lighting scheme, especially in a bedroom. Thus, invest in some lighting fixtures with reduced glare that will both compliment the design scheme and add style to your bedroom. If table lamps on a nightstand sounds to cliche for you then, opt for pendant lights or floor lamps. Also, don’t forget to provide a balanced light source on your vanity table without creating shadows.

Wall art & Mirror

I think it’s quite obvious that by introducing any wall decor like print images, maps, photos, or original artwork on a wall, it adds a personal character to the room. It adds an element of interest, therefore choose something that will bring a smile on your face. Similarly, a mirror adds depth and charm in a bedroom. (And you could read this post of mine on how to choose the perfect mirror). So, I can’t imagine a bedroom without them, unless the outdoor views are out of this world.

A moody gray bedroom with a gallery wall and a whole lot of textiles on the bed that make it look very cozy. Image by House of Fraser.
Image by House of Fraser


Textiles are a fab way to introduce comfort, warmth, pattern, color and textures to your bedroom. Use an area rug to add a sense of luxury and warmth. All-the-while, the great thing about bed linen, is that you can change it as often as you please and hence, never get bored of your bedroom’s decoration. Choose fabrics that create contrasts in terms of both pattern prints and colors. If you like classic values, then an all white bed linen might be just perfect.

View of a bedroom's corner with a bunch of beautiful throw pillows stacked in an armchair. Image by House of Fraser.
Image by House of Fraser

Note, that I haven’t made any special mention about throw pillows! The reason is that most people use them as decor and turn their bed as the focal point. And if you’re OK with the pillow-decorating-ritual, I’ll rest my case here.

However, I don’t find them essential – for two reasons. First of all they’re not very practical! I can’t reason why spent an extra 5 minutes every morning to redecorate my bed with those extra 6-12 throw pillows that make a bed Instagram worthy. Every day! Oh no, instead I prefer to have a headboard to look at with some wall art over it. Remember: less is more!! The second reason is again practical! What do you do with all those extra throw pillows when you go to bed, in a small bedroom like mine? My only option would be to leave them lying on the floor… Well, as you can imagine, that won’t work either.

Come to think of it…there’s actually a movie with Jennifer Aniston and Ben Stiller, Along Came Polly, where she’s got a similar mindset to mine and convinces Stiller to get rid of all the extra throw pillows. I love that scene! 😉 Anyhow, to get back on track, I have only two large throw pillows for comfort, so I’m not totally against them! They add just about the right amount of color splash but without becoming a nuisance when storing away.


Color is an essential element, that basically sets the mood. The brave ones opt for darker saturated hues – moody interiors. Minimalists opt for light ones. My advice would be to pick your favorite color and explore its shades and undertones. You can’t get bored of your favorite color, now can you?! For example, I’m a blue person. Therefore, I opt for off-whites with blue undertones like BM Seattle Gray 2130-70. If you’re a green person, then BM Silken Pine 2144-50 is a great color for instance. BM Elmira white HC-84 is a classic beige one. But, I’ll get more into all that another time…(or DM for advice).

After all that said, let’s have a look at an inspiration board I put together that illustrates how any neutral bed frame can turn into a stunner. The theme is an urban chic bedroom with emphasis on patterns and forms. Not in a loud way, but definitely everything must tie together and create contrasts. Think of it as a combination of linear pieces that you may already have, with more curvy ones that are trending now.

For instance, both the bed and the headboard have a rectangular – linear shape. Notice though, that the headboard I chose has a printed design with a grid of white circles. Thus, the circle comes in contrast with the rectangle, while the grid adds a geometric pattern. The accent chair, designed by Danish Thomas Pedersen, adds a curvy form, just like the side tables that compliment the circles of the headboard, while they contrast with the linearity of the bed. The vanity table on the other hand is linear and to soften it, I chose a three-fold mirror that’s curvy. Similarly, the table lamp for the vanity table has a linear stand but a curvy shade. This theme is carried across to the wall art and textiles. And that’s how it’s done!

Inspiration Board: Theme :: Patterns and Forms

An inspiration board of a contemporary bright bedroom. Images by the brands denoted.
Headboard images by Debenhams // wall art image, accent chair, bed linen and round table lamp images by // side table and dressing table mirror images by Oliver Bonas // dressing table lamp and knitted throw images by House of Fraser // dressing table image by Houseology // area rug image by Cuckooland // central bed image by Sainsbury’s

As for the bedroom paint colors for this inspiration board, I would choose off-whites like BM baby’s breath OC-62, BM paper white OC-55, or BM full moon 2119-70. All three of these colors are a very light grey with a hint undertone of blue-purple. I know they look on screen the same, but in reality they have some minor differences. A subtle color like that would allow the furniture to pop up in a subtle way. But you could also check out my favorite top 5 BM white wall paints.


I know that this was a lot of info for some to digest. I did try to condense it as much as possible. However, I will tackle some of these issues in more detail in the future. The main point of this moodboard was that the approach ‘less is more‘ doesn’t necessarily mean a minimal Scandinavian design. And a maximalist bedroom isn’t necessarily overdone and overwhelming. It is all about adding items with function, aesthetics and meaning in order to bring about genuine warmth and a collected feeling.

Therefore, I hope this moodboard helped you in some ways. Do let me know what you think. What are your concerns regarding your bedroom?


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