Bedrooms: ideas, tips and tricks for design

Arne Schätzle

To enjoy a peaceful, restful night’s sleep, we need a room in the house that makes us feel calm and comfortable – the bedroom. But we will only be able to sleep well if the furnishings and ambiance are just right. Here we explain how to design your bedroom to make it the ideal place to relax and recharge your batteries.

A side table is placed in front of a bed with a bedspread. The window behind the bed looks out onto a green landscape.
© Getty Images

In this article

Furnishing a bedroom: the most important furniture

A modern bedroom is above all reduced to the bare minimum: the fewer the number of pieces of furniture, the tidier and calmer the room will appear. When furnishing the room, concentrate on the most important elements right from the start: a bed, bedside table, wardrobe, perhaps a dresser – the bedroom doesn’t need much more than that.

The bed is the main piece of furniture in a bedroom. The most important thing for getting a good night’s sleep is, of course, to have the right mattress. It’s best to take your time choosing one. Its design, size and position in the room should be tailored to your personal needs so that you can get a restful night’s sleep. The choice of bed frame is mainly a matter of taste: wood or metal, with a headboard or an upholstered frame, or why not a box spring bed? Simply choose the alternative you prefer.

A bed is located in front of a wall with wooden panels. There is a bench at the foot end.

Instinctively, many people want a solid wall behind them. With a strong headboard and a few pillows behind their back, this is the ideal place to relax with a book before going to sleep. Isn’t it?

The focal point: bed ideas

You can easily determine the best position for your bed by trying out different locations in the bedroom. To keep the effort within limits, simply place the mattress directly on the floor in various places in the room and test the effect. Many people prefer to lie sideways or with their feet towards the door so as not to have it behind them.

Do you have a very large room? What about putting the bed in the middle of the room to form an open, spacious resting area? Instinctively, many people want a solid wall behind them, but this is not always necessary, because most beds now have a strong headboard. If you place your bed in front of the window, fixed curtains will provide a calming, closed surface behind you.

Does your bedroom have a large window? If so, you may want to be able to look into the garden when lying down, and you can adjust your bed accordingly. Does your bedroom have a slanted roof with a skylight that is perfect for gazing up at the stars from your bed? That sounds romantic. However, the sound of raindrops falling on the window will be particularly pronounced. In this case, it’s a good idea to try out the position for a night before you make your final decision.

Bedroom ideas: parquet, laminate or carpet?

Let’s take a look at the floor. Parquet or laminate are practical: both look nice and can be cleaned quickly – but as well as looking cool, you will actually get cold feet quickly too. A carpet in the bedroom ensures a warm and soft feeling under your feet when you get up – regardless of whether you opt for long or short pile. If you don’t want to cover the whole room: runners along the longer sides of the bed or large rugs under the entire bed will make the floor a little warmer and more comfortable.

There is an anthracite-colored carpet under a modern wooden bed. Modern lamps are mounted on the wall. A pair of shoes can be seen in front of the bed. There is a walk-in closet with a mirror behind it.

A rug under the bed makes the bedroom warmer and more comfortable.

Ideas for windows: curtains, blinds and shutters

When it comes to darkening the room, people have different preferences: some don’t mind a little light coming into the room, others can only sleep well in total darkness. In this case, it helps to fit light-proof curtains and blackout blinds to keep out the dawn, especially in summer. Blinds, on the other hand, don’t usually guarantee a complete blackout. If you like spending the whole day in bed on the weekend, you probably don’t want to fully darken the room during the day. In this case, semi-transparent fabrics offer privacy protection on the one hand, and let in enough daylight on the other.

Furnishing a bedroom: storage space for clothes and more

Most bedrooms also need room for the obligatory closet. Shelves and closets with sliding doors have several advantages: compared to those with classic hinged doors, they take up less space – which is practical when there is only a narrow area between the foot of the bed and the closet in which to open them, for example. And sliding doors will also let a little more light into the closet.

Of course, you can also fit light strips inside the closet for better visibility. Open closets on the other hand are rarely recommended. Even if you make a real effort to put away your clothes and laundry, the room usually seems calmer with everything hidden away behind closed doors. If the room is large enough or a small room is connected to it, you can also think about a walk-in closet – provided your clothes will fit into it.

Additional storage space can also be provided by a chest with a seat on top. This usually fits well at the foot of your bed and represents a good place to sit when getting dressed. And it is extremely suitable for elegantly concealing bed linen, pillows and bedspreads.

A chest is placed at the foot of the bed. A mirror can be seen hanging on the wall on the right.

It not only looks good, but is practical too: a chest at the foot of the bed not only creates storage space, it also serves as a bench.

Ideas for cozy bedroom lighting

In addition to daylight, installing the right artificial lighting will ensure that you feel comfortable in your bedroom. You can establish a cozy atmosphere in particular by using indirect light from various different sources. You can create many small islands of light thanks to several lamps. Direct light is best used only for reading lamps on the left and right of your bed. A decorative lampshade for the central ceiling light also provides pleasant indirect light and a calm atmosphere.

Ideas for bedroom design: how to choose the ideal colors

You can give your bedroom a special atmosphere through the use of colors. The wall color in particular will have a great impact on the feel of the room: red and orange shades have a stimulating effect, for example, and are therefore usually less suitable as wall paint in the bedroom than colors such as green or blue, which, according to color psychologists, tend to be more calming.

But the best way to create a calm atmosphere is with light, discreet tones. White as a wall color may seem a bit too boring, but in fact walls in white look peaceful and homogeneous. You can achieve a similar effect with a stylish, subtle light gray. Beige also gives the room a neutral tone. The right color can make particularly small rooms appear larger.

A man changes the sheets on a bed. A mirror can be seen on the dresser next to the bed.

Nothing too colorful please: green or blue are calming colors, according to color psychologists.

Bedroom colors: better bright and friendly than colorful

Just as light tones make the room appear light, calm and spacious, intensive colors make it visually smaller. If you still prefer to choose a very intense color for your bedroom, it’s best to only use it for one wall and to leave the other walls white. If you want bright colors for all the walls, pastel colors are a good option, as pastels are less oppressive.

If you prefer to create contrasts between the furniture and wall color, it’s best to aim for subtle differences: a beige or even a light gray on the wall will make a white dresser stand out in comparison. The same applies to wallpaper: bright colors and wild patterns stimulate the brain and wake you up. It is advisable to avoid such eye-catching designs in the bedroom and to stick to large areas of calm shades for the wallpaper as well.

Furnishing a bedroom: achieving striking effects with accessories

Accessories are ideal for achieving colorful effects in the bedroom. In a white bedroom, for example, colored pillows, covers and bed linen will be very eye-catching – and you can spread small splashes of color throughout the room. A harmonious overall picture can also be achieved with colors for emphasis. You can add your own personal style to your interior design with small pieces of furniture such as a bedside table, screen, dresser, stool or chest. Bring coziness into the room with armchairs, chairs, side tables, plants, flowers, books and pictures. But in limited doses.

There is a bed in bright blue bed in the middle of the room with blue pillows on it. Carpets, tables, cupboards and other accessories can be seen next to the bed. Several pictures are hanging on the wall behind the bed.

Don’t forget the accessories: you can bring coziness into the room with armchairs, side tables, plants, books and pictures.

Attention is often drawn to the head end of the bed precisely because the bed is the focal point of your bedroom. Feel free to be creative when you design this area. This is possible, for example, by using classic wall paint, but choosing a darker shade to set it apart from the rest of the room. Pictures are another possibility, or maybe even photo wallpaper, indirect lighting or textiles – there are no limits to your imagination.

Choose a bedroom style

You’ve already learned a lot about individual furnishing elements and areas – but it’s best if everything appears to form a single visual unit. So be bold and decide on a specific furnishing style for your bedroom. We present a few ideas below.


For many people, a bedroom should be as romantic as possible. Do you feel the same way? Then decorate accordingly. Anything is possible, from a kitschy style with a four-poster bed, floral patterns, scented candles and pink wallpaper to a more subtle atmosphere with flowing fabrics, soft pillows, pastel colors and fresh flowers on the nightstand. When it comes to lighting, good choices are velvet lamps or carefully positioned fairy lights providing indirect light.

Country house

Natural colors, materials and furniture are characteristic of the country house style. Wood is the key element. But stone, linen, wool and fur also contribute to the typical cozy atmosphere. Opt for browns, beiges, earth tones and creams rather than bright, rich colors. The natural effect can be emphasized with decorations from the plant and animal world as well as landscape photographs. A real fireplace would add the perfect final touch.


Ornaments, decorations, large furniture, little accessories, a wall-mounted TV – do you find all these things superfluous in a bedroom? If so, you’re probably more of a minimalist. The sole purpose of a bedroom is to sleep. A large bed, a comfortable mattress, white walls – and your functional refuge is ready. Ideally, you should store your clothes in a separate walk-in closet.

Feng shui

The Chinese philosophy for peace and harmony of the soul can also be applied to bedroom decor. In general, a purist, clear interior style is indispensable. Make sure there is no visible clutter. Things should be cleverly stowed away, and accessories should remain very discreet. The color scheme tends to be made up of brown, sand and pastel shades. The bed plays a central role. Don’t place it right in the center of the room, but against a wall – and never between doors and windows. Water and heating pipes should be located as far away as possible.

We hope that our tips and ideas have given you some creative incentives and wish you a lot of fun designing and furnishing your bedroom.

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