Bedroom Design

Neptune room set Farnham

What is the secret to good bedroom design? I believe that there are four key elements to creating a successful bedroom scheme. The bed, the colour, the lighting, and the ambient temperature.

The Bed

I would always start with the bed. Size, style and comfort all matter.


Measure the room to determine what size will fit. Generally there will be a choice of single, double, queen, king and superking.

If buying a single bed it is reasonable to position it against a wall. For a double or larger it is advisable to ensure that there is adequate space in the room to access it from both sides. Allowing a margin of 75 cm is ideal.


There are many styles to choose from and these might range from a bunk to a trundle or a divan to a sleigh bed. Some might have built in storage such as a cabin bed or a divan-with-drawers whilst others might be more showy such as a four poster or a brass frame.


Comfort will depend on choosing the correct size for the occupant(s) and selecting the correct mattress. When buying a new bed I would recommend going to a reputable retailer and literally trying before you buy.


Start from the bottom up.

A valance beneath the mattress hides an ugly divan base and gives a tailored look. On top of the mattress add a topper for ultimate luxury. Cover this with a washable mattress protector for hygiene purposes.

Next I would add a fitted sheet as this will keep everything neat and tidy. Buy the correct size for the mattress but ensure that it is deep enough to cater for the layers beneath. M&S sell reasonably priced sheets in various depths for this purpose.

On top choose between a single layer or multiple layers of covers. A simple duvet with a separate washable cover is the most obvious choice but a flat sheet with a separate blanket and eiderdown is still an option.

Lastly choose pillows that work for you. Feather and down are wonderfully luxurious whereas a polyester foam filled pillow is less expensive to buy. Nowadays hypo-allergenic ones are also available. Finish with separate washable pillowcases in a fabric and design of your choice.


Creating a colour palette 📸 Canva

The choice of colour in a room determines behaviour and mood.

It is a real temptation to decorate a child’s room with primary colours but one should be mindful that warm hues such as red, yellow and orange can be very stimulating. On the opposite side of the colour wheel blues and greens can be much more calming.

One should also consider what natural light is available. Is it in plentiful supply? Is the room north or south facing? The natural light will have an effect on the colour of the room. A south facing room flooded with light will create a natural warmth whereas a north facing room might be inclined to feel cool.

With this in mind the intensity of the colour you choose will have a bearing on how calming or stimulating the room feels. In a bedroom, wallpaper is often a better option than painted walls. A patterned paper, or mural, will offer a combination of colours and pattern that will be less dominating than a solid colour.

All of the above relates to an adult’s bedroom as well. Consider the behaviour you wish to encourage and the aspect of the room before decorating.


Natural light

I’ve already touched on the effects that natural light can have on the way colour behaves in a room.

Controlling the level of natural light really comes down to the choice of window treatment. Plantation shutters provide an excellent solution as they are so versatile. An alternative might be a simple venetian or vertical blind. To block out daylight completely a lined curtain on a custom track works well especially if used in conjunction with a simple roller blind.

Artificial light

A bedroom will often be equipped with a central pendant and some bedside sockets as standard. With the right type of light fittings this might well be adequate. More often than not though an element of task lighting will be required.

Task Lighting

Task lighting might be introduced for reading, applying make-up, dressing, or hair styling. This might be achieved with a series of ceiling mounted down lights or another form of directional light fitting.

Ambient or mood lighting

A soft light in the bedroom is more flattering and relaxing. This could be achieved by having dimming controls connected to the task lighting. Alternatively, wall or floor mounted uplights could be considered.


For me, room temperature is absolutely key to creating a successful bedroom design. In the UK central heating is a blessing but it needs to be programmed for different times of the day. My preference would be to turn it off at night but this isn’t always an option. Think about nursing mothers or shift workers.

If the heating has been programmed and the temperature is still not right it might be as simple as opening or closing a window. This however is not always practical. Imagine living in a noisy neighbourhood or wishing to feel secure.

If this is the case installing some form of mechanical climate control system would be an option. Single air conditioning units can be retro fitted to a bedroom thus providing a means to control the temperature. A building wide system could be installed but would require more planning and preparation.

Designing the perfect bedroom

If you would like help designing your perfect bedroom then please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be very happy to host a free discovery call to discuss your requirements.

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📸Carolyn Hayter 

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