15 Smart Bedroom Styling Tips I’ve Learned From House Tours

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. In this case, you’re turning to our smart and stylish house tour homes for guidance on how to style a chic and serene bedroom. Take these tips home to create a space you’re proud to show off (and if you want to tell your friends where you got the idea, that’s fine too).

Window Framing, 101

Above: A great way to style a bed in front of a window is to create a visual arc from the floor all the way up to the end of the curtain rod. The plants, frame and hanging light in Jaclyn & David’s Los Feliz Remix fill in the space next to the narrow window and draw the eye upward.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Get Low

Scale is a different beast in the bedroom. The furniture (and your eye level) is lower a lot of the time, so don’t be afraid to bring artwork all the way down to the floor in the bedroom. Consider layering a little bit with the nightstand, like here in Jo’s Understated Retro Rock Style in Melbourne.

(Image credit: Sophie Timothy)

Standing Tall

On the other side of the coin, something really tall and statuesque in the bedroom can build tons of interest in the space, like this tall plant on a plant stand (subbing in for a nightstand) in a guest room in Kirsty & Simon’s Cozy Century-Old Coastal Cottage.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Nightstand Stacking

If you’re tight on space, you can build your nightstand up, like in Akhira’s Eclectic Modern Mini Brooklyn Studio. Start with a small shelf for the bedside necessities, then stack a few frames and a light fixture on top, all the way to the ceiling.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

The One-Pillow Bed

You don’t need a mountain of pillows to “make” a bed. One really well-proportioned one, like this extra long lumbar pillow in Tanika & Brian’s NYC Newlywed Nest, is the perfect accessory to top your regular pillows (and it doesn’t involve 15 minutes of bed dissasembly before you tuck in each night).

(Image credit: mjcohen photography)

Lots of Layers

For comfort, stability and style, you can stack rugs one on top of each other, like Jeni did in her Mixed & Matched San Francisco Apartment.

(Image credit: Brittany Purlee)

Bookcases in the Back

Tight on space? You can layer furniture, like these bookcases placed right behind the bed in Liz’s Bangin’ Chicago Apartment & Rad Rooftop. Combined with the headboard (or maybe in lieu of one) it’s a clever way to frame the bed.

(Image credit: Sherrie and Oliver)

Headboard Magic

Want to make a headboard out of thin air? Use paint to cleverly define the space above your bed. You can even take a cue from Theo’s Small, Streamlined Apartment in Hell’s Kitchen and use painter’s tape to mark off a bit of “molding.”

(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)

Fabric Quarters

For an affordable, DIY solution to big art above the bed, Catherine and Lionel’s Colorful, Thrifty Toronto Home fixed four square scarves to the wall. Go mismatched, like they did, or try a repetetive theme with four of the same scarf.

(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

Think Outside the Nightstand

What makes something a bedside table? Well, it’s any piece of furniture you can reasonably reach from the bed. So this vintage flat file cabinet from Peach & Craig’s Peaceful Australia Abode fits the bill just fine.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Mismatched Harmony

Your bedside tables don’t have to be a perfect pair at all. If you need some confidence to pull off the mismatched look, make sure the two pieces have something in common, like the mirrored finishes in Jae & Devin’s Labor of Love in Brooklyn.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Cover More Ground

It’s really important to get the size of the rug right in the bedroom. If you need to stretch a few extra inches out of your rug, try layering smaller ones on top, like here in Danielle & Patrick’s Warm Modern Home.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

A Swing Set

Something really unconventional? Swapping out the bedside table for a swinging shelf mounted to the ceiling, like in Allison & Matt’s East Village Synergy.

(Image credit: Andrea Sparacio)

Pause for Reflection

A mirror over the bed doesn’t just have to be the punchline of a dirty joke. Using a mirror as a headboard or above the headboard, like in Sarah and David’s Fresh and Bright Brooklyn Rental, will help to visually expand the space (and, yeah, might come in handy for that other thing, too, if you’re so inclined).

(Image credit: Anik Polo)

Keep it Simple

If the idea of “styling” your bedroom feels like too much, know that there’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple. In Mahi’s Shared, Thrifted Paradise in Switzerland, all she needs is a stool, a lamp and an alarm clock.

Re-edited from a post originally published 5.23.16-NT