7 Bedroom Design Basics that Make an Impression

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I don’t know about you, but the shorter days and cooler temperatures have already catapulted me into hibernation mode.  I’ve been feeling more tired and yearning to sleep more as each moment of daylight slips away.  With that said, I thought it’d be the perfect time to let you in on some bedroom design basics that are sure to make an impact in your space. Here are my top seven tips to create a functional bedroom design.

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Buy a Good Quality Mattress

Above all else, your bedroom should be equipped with a good quality mattress.  If there is one thing you can justify splurging on; it’s the mattress. I mean, it’s pretty obvious, right?  As an entrepreneur and the mother of two young children, I have learned the value of a good night’s rest.  No matter how beautiful your bedroom design is, it’ll mean squat if you’re not sleeping well due to an uncomfortable mattress. And, please, don’t think I’m suggesting you spend thousands of dollars here. You can find plenty of great mattresses at big box stores like Costco or at end of season or mix and match sales like the one Sleep Country has for prices that won’t break the bank.  Just be sure to try before you buy to avoid being disappointed.

Quick Tip #1: Ask mattress retailers if they have a money-back timeframe that will allow you to try the mattress for a certain period of time to ensure it’s the right one for you. If it’s not, you’ll be grateful for the option to exchange it for a better fit.

Quick Tip #2: Invest in a mattress protector.  It provides longevity for your mattress by helping to protect against staining, odor and dust mites.  

Decide on Your Bedding Style
Choosing bedding can be an overwhelming experience – trust me! There are so many options to choose from that you can find your head spinning when trying to select the right bedding for your space.  However, with these tips in your back pocket you’ll be well armed to handle the task. First, figure out your style.  Do you like colour or does a neutral palette suit you better?  Are you into solids, stripes, florals or geometric patterns, etc? You want to know your style first because it will help you to choose appropriate textures for your bedding, as well as it can provide the perfect inspiration for the colour palette of your bedroom design. See sample inspiration bedding below. 
Use bed covers for inspiration1. Nautica Tideway Quilt
2. Wander Home Kelia Comforter Set
3. Raj Reversible Quilt

It’s easy to match paint and accessories with your bedding; it’s much harder to find bedding that works with your paint and accessories; that’s why it’s a good place to start.  Next, decide whether you want a duvet, comforter, quilt, coverlet or a combination of these items. Consider climate.  If you live somewhere that experiences all four seasons, you’ll likely want to choose a warm top cover, as well as something lightweight for the summer months.  Try to choose top covers that coordinate so that on really cold nights you can use both.  Personally, I like to have a duvet for winter, a coverlet for summer and a throw for some added texture and design, but you choose what works best for you.  Once you’ve determined what goes on top, you’ll need to decide on sheets.  What’s most important to you?  Consider how the sheets feel on your skin, their durability, wash-ability, wrinkle resistance and price.   In general a higher thread count (200-800) is associated with a better quality sheet, but make sure to touch and read labels before you make your purchase in order ensure the sheet you choose fulfills your must-haves for a sheet.

Quick Tip:
If you find a sheet set you like, purchase an extra set or a coordinating set for some variety.  Manufacturers and retailers are always evolving and updating stock.  Since sheets and pillowcases get the most wear, you’ll want to make sure you have enough to keep up with the lifetime of your bed covers.   

Determine How Much Furniture & Storage You Need
Things are adding up here, aren’t they?  Nobody said a new bedroom design would be cheap. Whether you’re on a tight budget or not, the important questions to ask yourself are; what will the functions of this room be (sleeping, TV-watching, reading, work, romancing, etc.)? How much storage is needed (clothing, bedding, books, toys, etc.)? How long will the furniture be kept? What’s the budget for the project? Once you answer these questions, you can start to figure out what pieces you need (bed frame, dressers, bedside tables, shelving, desk, benches, baskets, bins, chairs, etc.) and the quality each piece should have.  For example, a child’s bedroom will likely require more storage (books, toys, games, clothes), but lower quality furniture than a master bedroom. For a master bedroom, I recommend choosing the best furniture quality you can afford – unless your style and tastes change often, in which case you might want to opt for a mid-price range set so you don’t go for broke.  Here’s a few of my favourite storage items to help create a functional bedroom space.

Bedroom Storage Items

1. Fieri 6 Basket Storage Chest
2. Vault Custom Storage Ottoman
3. Grey Canvas Storage
4. Book Display
5. Emlyn Basket

Pinpoint and Prioritize Functional Items
Now that you’ve determined all the functions your bedroom will fulfill, you need to decide if there are any additional items you need to purchase in order to meet the requirements of your space. For example, if you’re going to be watching TV in your bedroom, you’ll obviously need a TV, perhaps a media chest and likely a convenient access drawer to store your remote away.  Likewise, if you’ll be doing lots of reading, you might want a reading chair, supportive pillows and maybe even some shelves for books.  If romance is essential, you may want to consider getting a fireplace and some candles to set the mood. Whatever the name of the game, just make sure you make a list of all the items needed for your ideal bedroom design so that you can budget them all in.

Quick Tip: Assign importance to each of your functional items. Designing a bedroom can get costly.  If you assign importance to each item, you’ll be sure that the top priority items get included in your initial design and you can add the lower priority items at a later time if you run out of budget.                                                                                                                            
Sadly art and accessories may fall onto your low priority list.  Nevertheless, they are some of the best ways to add style and personality to a space.  Like bedding, art can provide inspiration for a colour palette or it can simply help to create cohesiveness in the design.  On a tight budget, you may want to consider using personal photographs in frames, framed quotes or purchase art from thrift stores or consignment shops – likewise for accessories.  However, if you have some money to spend there are limitless options to choose from to accessorize your space.  For bedroom designs, I suggest accessorizing mostly with functional items such as clocks, radios, mirrors, books, lamps, candles, baskets, bins and even pillows and blankets make beautiful accessories.  Here are just a few samples of items that are functional, yet add to the overall appearance of a bedroom design.

Bedroom Accessories1. Arkle Reproduction Desk Clock
2. Arlington Nickel Hurricanes
3. Simonetta Throw
4. Barnwood Floor Mirror

Use Lighting for Function and Ambiance
Often times lighting gets overlooked in a bedroom because we spend most of our time in there with the lights off.  Yet lighting in a bedroom is important not only for style and ambiance, but also for functional reasons such as choosing the right outfit, applying make-up, reading and admiring your loved one.  When choosing lighting for a bedroom consider chandeliers, pendants or can lighting for general light, sconces for reading or to drive attention to art pieces and table or floor lamps for reading or watching TV.  And, for romance, candles are my absolute fave! The added bonus here is that lighting provides such an opportunity to accessorize your space because there are so many styles to choose from. Here are some examples.

Bedroom Lighting 1. Chandelier
2. Pernelia Table Lamp
3. Mariner Armed Sconce
4. Golden Arc Floor Lamp
5. Kiri Capiz Pendant

Choose the Right Window Covering
Last, but not least, choosing a window covering for your space can be confusing.  With so many options and things to consider, it’s hard to decide. I’m going to be bold here and state that I almost always recommend a window shade or drapes or both over recommending any other option. The reason for this is that shades and drapes provide the best light control, while also remaining stylish. You can achieve almost full black-out with shades down and drapes closed and full light with shades up and drapes drawn. Even better, there are literally thousands of fabrics to choose from and therefore, shades and drapes are just another great way to accessorize your space. For more information about the pros and cons of each type of window covering, check out our blog on How to Choose the “Right” Window Treatment. 

Window Shades and Drapes1. Columbard Blackout Curtain
2. Shop Roller Shades
3. Shop Roman Shades
4. Beechwood Tulle Blackout Curtain

Well there you have it; seven bedroom design basics that will make an impact in your space.  Still overwhelmed?  Contact us to help you design your perfect bedroom or if you just have a quick question, ask it in the comment section below.  I’m always happy to help.  Until next time, sweet dreams. :)

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Interior Decorator Val Malnar
Interior Decorator Val Malnar

Val Malnar
Principal Designer | Orangetree Interiors

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