The bedroom is the most personal part of your whole home, where you can literally kick off your shoes and relax. Our designers talk about how to make a space that is uniquely "you."
Whenever you go to a house party what’s your favorite part? Some people would say the company, the atmosphere, the food, the games… but if you’re anything like our Homepolish designers, you’ll probably have a different perspective. The most interesting thing about any house party is seeing how someone else lives and how they design their space. Much like that veritable “bad” guest who pokes around in the medicine cabinet, we peer into rooms and notice finishes, taking in all the minute details. But you know what area is always (and annoyingly) off-limits? The bedroom.
The bedroom is a recognizably personal space that is reserved for the person who lives in the home (and the select few who get invited to the private quarters). As this extremely unique space, it is essential to make it feel like “you.” But as with any space in the home, it can be difficult to nail down your style, know what is necessary (and what is not), and how to pull together a coherent look. Our designers, however, are pros, and they weigh in with their advice below.
Where to start
Taking a bedroom from bare to fabulous is no easy task. There are color schemes to be considered, linens to be chosen, accessories to be found! So before you pass out from the exhaustion of all that there is to do, take a deep breath. There are two things to consider before diving into a bedroom redesign: purpose and layout.
Homepolish designer Rosanna Lee reminds us of the importance of function: “No matter the room, whether the bedroom or elsewhere, I like to start with understanding what the room’s purpose is.” Bedrooms are used for more than simply sleeping. From leisure activities such as reading and watching television to more active purposes such as home office work, this room runs the gamut of function. In addition, when you consider the rest of your home, you may need to incorporate storage into the space. It’s wholly dependent on you and how the space speaks to you.
However, no matter what you’d like your bedroom to be, you will be limited by the dimensions of the space and what you need to fit in. As Homepolish’s Angela Belt says, “My first inclination when approaching the bedroom is to plan out the footprint of the room. What furnishings are required for the space and what will be the optimal layout?” Once you weigh these two considerations, you can start the process of actually purchasing pieces.
No matter the room, whether the bedroom or elsewhere, I like to start with understanding what the room’s purpose is.
Putting the “bed” in bed-room
No matter how you look at it, the BED is the centerpiece of the bedroom (after all, that’s the room is NAMED for). As with any home furnishing, beds come in a wide range of styles from minimalist Japanese bed which lie practically flat on the ground to elaborate four-post beds which require you to leap onto them because they are lifted so high by the box spring. We asked our designers for their go-to sources on bed frames, no matter the style. Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, and Crate & Barrel all landed at the top of the lists for their semi-customizable options. West Elm and AllModern both came up as more affordable options.
Dressing Your Bed
Once you have the foundational bed frame, it’s time to think about how to get that “I woke up like this” look for your bedscape. Angela, who wrote a whole post on the matter, gives some advice on the matter of linens: “I used to think a higher thread count equaled better quality, but as I’ve worked with more bedding vendors and products, I’ve learned that those numbers are nothing more than a gimmick to pull people in. How bedding feels after one wash will definitely give you a better idea of what you want even if it’s a 400 thread count versus 1,000.” The fact that higher thread count does not always lead to higher comfort was echoed by several of our designers, so don’t be won over by just a number on a package. High-end sources such as Matouk, Brooklinen, and Cultiver were all mentioned, but other big-box shops such as Pottery Barn, JCPenney, and Parachute were given as easy budget options.
Once you have those linens and duvets and blankets (oh my!), it’s time for the pillows. Now, we asked our designers the question… “Is it ever possible to have TOO many pillows?” While this is definitely a matter of personal taste and preference, Angela points out that “today’s designers are moving away from those over-the-top bedding sets where you can’t even see the headboard because of all the pillows.” Standard-size shams, stacked in twos and layered with accents pillows, are becoming the norm. For those people who are admitted pillow fanatics, our designer Sarah Rinehart has some advice. “It’s important to stay balanced. Consider swapping out the covers of the pillows from time to time rather than simply piling on too many pillows at the same time.” This will allow you some variety without overwhelming the bed.
The bookends of the bed
As contributing editor and designer Ariel Okin says in her post on nightstands, “The nightstand (and what you put on it) is arguably the most personal aspect of your home. Whether your top drawer is for your eyes only (no judgement zone), or it’s stuffed to the brim with things you never end up using (hello, Chapstick from 2011), it’s a quintessentially ‘you’ territory.” The problem is that nightstands are often overlooked or simply nixed from the bedroom design even though they serve a very functional purpose.
Having two nightstands on either side of the bed does not mean that they must be identical. To the contrary, nightstands should reflect the person to which they belong, whether that means extremely minimal and well-kept or more traditional with multiple drawers and bedtime reads stacked on the top. To keep things somewhat coherent, Homepolish designer Rosanna Bassford advises, “Pick 1-2 elements of the nightstands to make cohesive. For example, they can be similar in size, shape, color, or material. This will give you the intentional eclectic or collected look without looking too haphazard.”
The nightstand (and what you put on it) is arguably the most personal aspect of your home… it’s a quintessentially ‘you’ territory.
The Matter of Color
Though we at Homepolish are undoubtedly fans of bright and airy white bedrooms, dark and moody bedrooms are definitely on the rise. In fact, when you think about it, darker colors are more conducive for the primary purpose of this room (aka sleeping!). Charcoals, navies, and even black hues are becoming more and more popular. Beyond making the room better for sleeping, it will make the space feel more intimate and cozy.
To work or not to work?
If you are well-read on interior design and workspaces, you will know that most experts on sleep and work habits will advise against including a desk in your bedroom. The presence of electronics close to the bed can lead to troubled sleep patterns and interrupted REM cycles, as we discussed in our home office piece. However, designer Christine Lin reminds us that like many aesthetic choices, it comes down to personal preference. “Do you need visual or physical separation to disconnect from your work? Then, you should likely place your desk in another room outside of the bedroom, or at least have a secretary desk that allows you to hide your work. If you have no problem resting at night while in sight of your work area (and you don’t have room for a separate work station), then by all means, incorporate a desk into your room.”
Do you need visual or physical separation to disconnect from your work? Then, you should likely place your desk in another room outside of the bedroom. If you have no problem resting at night while in sight of your work area, then by all means, incorporate a desk into your room.
The finishing touches
Lastly, final accessories can be the parts that tie a whole room together and tell your story. Angela chimes in saying, “When it comes to planning out accessories in a bedroom, you need to have these three things: mirrors, frames, and artwork. It never fails. Mirrors serve the functional purpose of allowing you to check your appearance before tackling the world and enlarging your space. Frames enliven a space and allow you to add personal touches above nightstands, dressers, or the desk. And lastly, artwork is a personality piece that can light up a wall adjacent to the bed or make a statement above the sleeping space.” Pieces such as glassware, a beautiful carafe, jewelry, or clocks can also be seen as small accents of art and personality.
Ready to make the sleeping quarters of your dreams? Hire one of our Homepolish designers to help you make it a reality.