Bedroom design: style advice and inspiration to design a bedroom

Our ultimate guide will help plan your bedroom design from top to bottom. From choosing paint colours to finding the best bedroom furniture, we have it all...

Bedroom design: how to design a bedroom that is perfect for you
(Image credit: Furniture Village)

A stylish bedroom design that ticks all the boxes for comfort and functionality too, is crucial to living well. After all, we spend an impressive third of our lives sleeping, so taking some time to learn how to design a bedroom that is perfect for you, and your space, is so worth it. It will take some planning, but you will be rewarded with a peaceful and relaxing space that's simply a joy to be in. 

We have rounded up all the practical advice you need to know when designing a bedroom, as well as plenty of inspiring ideas, so that you can create your dream space in no time. We cover everything from layout to lighting, paint colours to wallpaper ideas, just keep on scrolling...

Want more inspiration and ideas? Check out our bedroom ideas hub to get your transformation just right.

What to consider when designing a bedroom?

a panelled bedroom painted in grey

(Image credit: Little Greene)

In this comprehensive bedroom design guide, we consider everything from choosing bedroom furniture to the best bedroom flooring and bedroom storage

We also offer design tips on choosing a bedroom style, whether you prefer a traditional bedroom or a contemporary bedroom, modern, Scandi-style bedrooms, romantic French-style bedrooms – we have every bedroom style covered. 

Designing your perfect bedroom is all about achieving a balance between practicality and style, so we also discuss how to choose the best mattress and gorgeous bed linen.

Choosing the best bedroom paint colour

Green panelled walls in a master bedroom with a metal bed, yellow and pink throws, and patterned cushions

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Painting your bedroom should be one of your first considerations when designing a bedroom– and the first job to do before moving in. Choosing the best bedroom paint colours will ensure that you bring more natural light into the room, and that your colour scheme promotes rest and relaxation, rather than overstimulating you before bedtime. 

The choice of bedroom paint colours is vast, but consider veering on the side of caution and opting for a calm and muted colour palette. Grey is the trendiest bedroom paint colour for a reason: it is soothing and elegant, and a little bit more exciting than white. Also we are big fans of pink at the moment – check out our pink room ideas and you will be joining us in our obsession in no time. 

Opt for a bedroom wallpaper design for a smart look

scandi floral wallpaper Boråstapeter

(Image credit: Boråstapeter)

Modern bedroom wallpaper designs are an excellent – and often underrated – solution for bedroom walls. Wallpaper adds visual interest, texture, and warmth to any bedroom design, and is a particularly useful trick for making small bedrooms look larger. Choose a wallpaper with a delicate pattern to add dimension, or a bold design to make a statement with your bedroom walls.

How to plan a bedroom layout 

Neptune Wardley four poster bed, Sophie bed linen, Larsson 3 Drawer Chest of Drawers, Larsson 2 Door Wardrobe


(Image credit: Neptune)

Deciding on the layout of your bedroom furniture is the single most important step in designing the perfect bedroom. You may have little flexibility, but it's worth drawing a layout on graph paper, paying attention to the direction natural light is coming from. 

Start with the position of your bed, organising all other furniture around it. It is best to position your bed lengthways in a rectangular room, while larger bedrooms will allow for more creativity, and you may well want to position the bed in the centre of the room. When planning the layout for small bedrooms, consider moving the bed into a corner to save floor space all round. 

Now consider how much room (and budget) you have for bedroom storage. Fitted bedroom furniture tends to be more expensive and formal-looking but will offer a more efficient use of space, especially in a small bedroom, or an awkwardly-shaped one, such as a loft bedroom. Unfitted furniture needn't match, but you should aim, at the least, for a wardrobe, dressing table and bedside tables. See below for more on choosing bedroom furniture.

If you are planning a loft conversion, consider the shape and height of your space, and whether it will fit any of your desired furniture and storage. 

If your bedroom is large and the nearest bathroom is on a different floor, you may want to consider adding an en-suite. An en suite bathroom can be added without planning permission, although it will need to conform to building regulations

Alternatively, additional bedroom space can be transformed into a dressing room or walk-in wardrobe

How to choose the best bed for your space

John Lewis bedding

(Image credit: John Lewis )

Choosing the best bed isn't just about buying a good-looking bed frame. Rather, pick a bed frame that best suits your needs. For example, are you short on bedroom storage and would benefit from a divan with built-in drawers, or a bed that lifts up to reveal hidden storage in the base, or a bed with a storage headboard

Do you really need a king-sized bed frame, or could you save space with double bed instead? Check out our pick of the best double beds to get you started. 

What about the bed's style? It should complement your overall scheme, but can be used to dictate it, too. For example, if your preference is for a streamlined, minimalist look with a Scandi edge, go for a simple, white-washed wooden frame; if you want to add a feeling of luxury or an injection of pattern or colour, a bed with an upholstered, padded headboard will be perfect.

How to choose the best mattress for your bedroom

Simba mattress on a modern four poster bed

(Image credit: Simba)

Choosing a mattress from the dizzying array of options is a job that takes time and research. 

The best mattress for you should be a choice determined by your personal sleep habits and health considerations: do you mainly sleep on your back, in which case a memory foam mattress might be right for you; or you might want a mattress for side sleepers if you always end up in that position, while the best mattresses for back pain are on the firmer side. For all the best mattresses head over to our buying guide, you find all the different types over there. 

Whichever you end up choosing, investing in a mattress protector or mattress topper will prolong the life of your mattress.

Don't forget that pillow choice is vital to a good night's sleep, too, and should be done in conjunction with picking out a new mattress. Use our guide to choosing the best pillow to find the right one for your sleep position and mattress type.

How to pick the best bed linen for your bedroom design  

THE LINEN WORKS I Limited Edition Lario Collection - Reversible Stripe Bed Linen


(Image credit: The Linen Works)

Crisp, good quality bedlinen is key to a comfortable bed, and to creating a finished look in your bedroom. To make sure that your bedlinen lasts, choose a high thread count (at least 300) if your preference is cotton, and linen bedding that fully discloses its manufacturing source. Linen is also great if you have no time, or don't want to iron your bedlinen, as it has a naturally distressed look. 

If you are after some new bedding make sure you go and check out our best bedding deals and grab yourself a bargain. 

How to choose practical and stylish bedroom furniture

ercol - Salina dressing table £599; Salina dressing table stool £199; Salina bedside table £265; Salina double bed £925


(Image credit: Ercol)

The first consideration in choosing bedroom furniture is whether to go for fitted units or freestanding units. The choice will partly be dictated by the shape of your bedroom: awkwardly shaped rooms (often the case in period properties) will benefit from a bespoke fitted solution. 

More standardised spaces in newer properties will work best with well chosen furniture sets or an eclectic mix of bedside tables, bedroom storage units, and a freestanding wardrobe. 

Freestanding options can be considerably cheaper than fitted units, and can be replaced every few years if you like to switch up your bedroom design. If you only have to follow one rule when choosing your bedroom furniture, pick pieces that double up as bedroom storage. Choosing items that have delicate or light-coloured frames will avoid overloading the space visually, and should make the bedroom feel larger, less formal and brighter, too.

White bedroom with Tyssedal wardrobe by Ikea


(Image credit: Ikea)

If you are designing a bedroom that's tight on space, a mirrored wardrobe is probably the best trick for visually enhancing the size of the room. 

Choose functional – and handsome – bedroom storage

Francine Kay house: Scandi-style bedroom with white wardrobe and white mural with black branch pattern

(Image credit: China Cooper)

Bedroom storage options should be easy on the eye as well as functional. Specifically-designed small bedroom storage ideas will help make stretch your space, while jewellery storage, makeup storage, clothes storage and shoe storage will all keep the room neat and organised – a must if you want the bedroom to be relaxing.

Consider mixing and matching your bedroom storage, especially if you have a lot of stuff that needs sorting and tidying – and sufficient space for a variety of storage units. You can also choose a bedroom storage set, too, matching your bedside cabinets to your wardrobe and bed frame, and adding a bedroom storage bench or bedroom storage chest for maximum storage options.

Bring in natural light, and maintain a comfortable temperature

California Shutters from £166 per sqm


(Image credit: California Shutters)

Bedrooms need plenty of natural light during the day, and the layout of your bedroom will largely depend on where the light is coming from. 

However, windows are the source not only of annoying light during the summer, but also of excessive heat on hot days (especially in south-facing rooms), and draughts in the winter. Installing double-glazing is a solution to the draught problem, while summer heat can be managed with blinds, curtains (including blackout curtains for those sensitive to external light) and even window shutters

Find more bedroom window treatment ideas in our guide.

Explore bedroom lighting ideas to create an atmosphere

A close-up of a bed against a grey velvet wall covering in place of a headboard


(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

While natural light is important in a bedroom, most of us will spend more time in our bedroom when it is dark, so maximising the potential of artificial bedroom light with a clever bedroom lighting scheme is crucial to creating a cosy and relaxing space. 

Think soft, diffused light from dimmable bedside lamps or wall lights, or even a string of fairy lights arranged along your headboard. You may find that a ceiling light is unnecessary if you have integrated lighting in a wardrobe and good lighting around your dressing table, for example, but in a high-ceilinged room, a chandelier or over-sized lampshade will create a focal decorative point. 

Discover more lighting ideas for bedrooms

How to choose the best bedroom flooring

Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has mid-century monochrome style

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)

Choosing bedroom flooring is all about maximising comfort and warmth. Unsurprisingly, carpet is the most popular flooring option for most bedroom designs, but solid wood flooring is another great option, as it can still be warm underfoot, especially if you add a rug. 

Solid wood is an expensive option, however, so consider an engineered wood flooring instead, which will be durable and virtually indistinguishable from solid wood, although slightly more affordable in most cases. If you are on a tight budget, consider laminate flooring or vinyl flooring, with higher quality options replicating the appearance of wood quite convincingly, or paint pine floorboards.

Real stone flooring can work in contemporary bedrooms, but consider installing underfloor heating to counteract the natural coolness of these materials. 

Liven up your bedroom design with accessories

White bedroom with blue patterned rug


(Image credit: Carmine & Teal)

In any bedroom, large or small, a few finishing touches can make all the difference. How to choose accessories for the bedroom entirely depends on your tastes and budget: invest in a quality rug and see your bedroom instantly look more elegant; layer cushions and throws to up the comfort factor; create a gallery wall to add interest and colour; display photos and pictures to personalise the bedroom; and use house plants to promote a healthy atmosphere.  

Style your accessories to create an attractive colour scheme and a variety of textures. Sheepskin, cotton, and satin do wonders for softening up the look and feel of bedrooms large and small.

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