The master bedroom is often the most neglected room in the entire house. By the time the rest of the home is remodeled and pristine (or simply clean and picked-up), no energy is left to make the master bedroom the oasis it should be.
The master bedroom is use everyday! With a little design, planning, and—yes—resources, you’re master bedroom will be a relaxing refuge with the perfect punch of personality that will make you never want to come out of your personal retreat.
Whether you’re building from ground zero or simply need a quick update, be sure to read these tips and tricks to help your master live up to the potential it could be.
In the master bedroom, consider breaking up symmetry to revitalize your decor. Gone are the days of complete matching, being replaced by a no-rules generation. Keep balance and weight in mind as you arrange the furniture, but don’t be afraid to try new things. Perhaps a bedside table on one side of the bed can be counteracted with a writing desk on the other. Not only will the desk prove functional, but the asymmetry in the room will add visual interest.
Less is often more when it comes to bedroom furniture. Ensure there is ample floor space for walking around the bed and opening the chest of drawers. Each person should also have easy access to a bedside table so they can comfortably place reading material and/or a glass of water beside them.
Consider drawing several layouts on paper to save you from ongoing rearranging until you get the layout right.
There are several good flooring materials to choose for the master bedroom.
Hardwood flooring, coupled with an area rug, is a great option for the master bedroom. Vacuuming is often the only necessary cleaning agent, simple and easy! The cost of hardwoods (and the cost of installing them) is the drawback on this beautiful flooring option. However, they will likely last forever.
Laminate flooring can resemble wood, tile or even stone. It is extremely durable, does not scratch and is simple to clean. Standing water (such as a bathroom leak) will ruin laminate flooring, so only place in areas that are protected from water. Some laminate flooring is loud when being walked on, not ideal when sneaking to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Carpet is warm and comfortable. However, keep in mind the disadvantages of carpet—traps dirt, harbors allergens, stains easily and often needs replacing—when weighing the benefits.
Shaggy pile carpets are back. They're new and improved with a tighter, more resistant weave, which makes them ideal for the bedroom, either as wall-to-wall carpeting or as rugs.
Natural fibers, such as wool and sisal, are also in demand.
Strips in hardwood flooring are getting wider, giving a more rustic look to the floor boards.
Dark or exotic woods such as mahogany or bamboo are becoming noticeably more stylish. To add interest to the floor, play with different-coloured woods to create decorative borders or mosaics.
If you decide to go with a hardwood or laminate flooring, keep feet nice and warm by placing a small rug by the bedside or a large area rug under the entire bed, with excess extending beneath the sides of the bed. Your toes will thank you for the warm wake-up on chilly mornings.
In the bedroom, window coverings are not just decorative. They should block out the morning light and ensure privacy in the evening. Combining blinds and curtains (fabric or sheers) enables you to marry practicality and a pleasing look. The curtains should not only coordinate with the bedding but also the style of the window. Consider the overall feeling you are trying to achieve before you decide on the window treatments. Both the style of the treatment as well as the material chosen will dictate the formality of the room.
If the window is large, you can go for thick fabrics and big, bold patterns – geometrical, figurative or abstract.
If it is small, simple coverings will suffice: delicate fabrics, light colours, Roman blinds are all ideal. For blinds, you’ll find a wide choice of colours and prints. Use these alone or with plain curtains.
The bed is obviously the central element of the master bedroom decor. Combine comfort and style for the ultimate design success. From luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets to the stack of pillows you place on top, decide on a design style before you choose the bedding. What’s more? Attempt to find a style that can have layers added to or taken from to accommodate the changing seasons.
When it comes to furnishing a bedroom, comfort is the prime consideration.
Choose a style that will keep its appeal throughout the years. Whether you prefer a matching bedroom suite from a large furniture store or an original look combining mixed and matched furniture from different periods and styles, choose a furniture style that you find beautiful. If you opt for vintage or second-hand pieces, don't be afraid of using them in ways other than for which they were originally designed. For instance, an antique sewing machine table can serve as the perfect height bedside table for today’s taller beds.
Wooden furniture is great for the bedroom. The most popular colours are dark shades of chocolate, mahogany and chestnut. Such pieces may have rich inserts of materials like leather or suede. If wood isn’t your style, look for items with an attractive patina and a time-worn look.
Functional furniture pieces for a master bedroom:
Avoid cluttering the room with furniture; rooms need to breathe—just as you do—and your quality of sleep will be all the better as a result.
A master bedroom should have several lighting options so that you are ready for any situation.
Overhead lights are essential when you need to see clearly—perhaps putting on make-up or conducting a thorough cleaning. Make sure the overhead light—whether a fan light, chandelier, high hat or other source—is on a dimmer. The ability to control of the amount of light provides unlimited possibilities in lighting options.
Lamps provide flattering light in the evenings and are essential for bedtime reading. Whether table lamps, sconces or swivel lamps, ensure you have adequate light to read by. Further, the light should be close enough that you need not get out of bed to turn the light off.
Crystal chandeliers and wall sconces are popular. They are well-suited for bedrooms, whatever their style. They add a sparkle of contrast to contemporary decors. Clear and coloured crystal can also adorn lampshades of shimmering fabrics or textured paper, which diffuse a pleasing, muted light. If you like to read in bed, place a swivel lamp on the bedside table, or fix sconces on each side of the headboard.
No decor is complete without accessories. Cushions, pictures and flower vases are good ways to add colour accents. Whether you choose them for their practicality or their aesthetic appeal, you must give thought to the coherence of their arrangement to avoid a cluttered look. Arrange them by theme and group them in odd numbers (three or five together), unless you are trying to achieve a symmetrical look. Beautiful pieces such as sculptures do, however, deserve to be displayed on their own. To create harmony, styles and colours of accessories should go well together. No space is more intimate and private than the bedroom, which makes it the ideal room to display family photos. Personalize the master bedroom by adding accessories with a story. Choose items that conjure up memories, are intriguing, and bring a smile to your face. It is, after all, your very own space.
Bring additional fabric options into the master bedroom’s design scheme through upholstered furniture—such as a reading chair or bench. Throw pillows or floor cushions can also add a punch of color when needed.
The ultimate luxury bedroom accessory? a fireplace. For those who are not lucky enough to have a traditional fireplace, electric ones are becoming increasingly popular; their realistic flames add both atmosphere and warmth. Many different models and sizes, complete with remote control, are available in various finishes of cherry, oak or mahogany (including a corner model, which is ideal for smaller spaces).
Storage is often an issue all over the home, and it’s no different in the master bedroom. Consider these storage options for the master bedroom:
Walk-in closets are excellent storage solutions, but they can soon become untidy if they're not carefully designed.
In traditional closets, there is often a shortage of space. Here are some space-saving hints.
For the bedroom, it's best to choose restful and relaxing shades. Green is calming and dreamy; it's making a strong comeback. Blue is relaxing and peaceful, and you can create effects with its many different tones, from the very pale to very dark. Yellow induces a feeling of well being, but it should be softened with white for the bedroom; if the shade is too citrus-y, the effect will be energizing (which is naturally to be avoided). Creams are a wise choice for their soothing qualities.
By varying tones and finishes, you'll add interest to the room. Use several different shades of beige and liven them up with accents of red, orange, green or turquoise. Don't be afraid to use pastels, either; these are current favourites.
An eggshell finish offers an elegant, low-sheen finish for the low traffic associated with master bedroom walls. Eggshell provides a somewhat washable finish, perfect for use in the master.
What style are you looking for in the bedroom? Romantic, traditional, rustic, Asian… It comes down to individual taste and personality. Exuberant characters will find life exceedingly boring in a room painted monochrome beige. More meditating souls will feel stifled in a room crowded with furniture and accessories. Inspiration for the room design could also be drawn from an existing element, such as a bedcover, painting, a piece of furniture or an architectural detail. The style of the house also needs to be taken into consideration. For instance, mouldings, cornices and picture rails are perfect for a more classical style but may look out of place in a modern interior.
Another important thing to remember: when you share your bedroom with someone else, the decor needs to accommodate the tastes of both. Go ahead and experiment; you might be surprised at some of the combinations that work well. But whether yours is to be Zen, ethnic or country in style, there are some basic principles to bear in mind to achieve a successful look. Here are the key characteristics of five different styles.
Romantic: A romantic look calls for soft, muted colours: pearl grey, pale pink, sky blue, ivory. Avoid bright white, which is better suited to contemporary interiors. Colours should blend into one another, so that no one colour dominates. The walls can also be covered with floral or country-style wallpapers.
Traditional English: There is a considerable choice of colours when trying to achieve a traditional English look. Use pale shades of ivory, cream, lemon or linden green to create luminosity. Darker colours such as rusty reds, grey-blues, earthy browns or plum tones will lend the room character. Whether you opt for stronger or more discreet colours, they should always look a little 'faded', as if marked by the passage of time. If you choose wall coverings instead of paint, choose big patterns or small, dense, symmetrical motifs. Stripes – wide or narrow – are always a timeless classic.
Rustic: Rustic colours are inspired by nature. For a more traditional look, go for invigorating shades of mustard yellow, green, or copper red. Paler, brighter shades of light apple green, primrose yellow and pale pink will create a more contemporary feel. Different techniques (patina, sponge-stippled) can be used to great effect, and walls can be stencilled with floral motifs or hung with floral or small-checked wallpaper.
Asian Influence: The range of colours revolves around creamy-whites, beiges, jade green, and tea-rose pink. Dark wood furniture makes a striking contrast. Wallpaper patterns are delicate, representing birds, flowers, calligraphy etc.
Contemporary: The colour palette is extensive. It includes many flat whites, although bolder decorators will go for stronger shades like cobalt blue, bright orange and fuchsia. These colours should be used in small doses, however. An indigo wall in an otherwise white interior, for example, will create spectacular contrast. Less flashy colours, such as taupe, smoky grey or blue-grey, contribute to a subtler more muted, atmosphere.
Today's beiges are stronger and more dynamic and have regained popularity
"Colour blocking" (also called "colour zoning") is the hottest trend. Paint a large square (or any geometric shape) on the wall to create a backdrop for a favourite painting or item of furniture. It is one way of defining a simple and original headboard for the bed, for example. To ensure harmony, paint this zone two shades darker or lighter than the main colour.
Many master bedrooms are forgoing the fluff and streamlining into simple, modern styles. Furniture with clean, sharp angles, neutral backdrops with bold, abstract artwork, and tabletops with minimal accessories are becoming popular.