20 Ways to Make Your Main Bedroom the Envy of All Your Friends

updated Feb 25, 2023
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Credit: Minette Hand

Your main bedroom is brimming with potential—all it takes is a little inspiration and a dash of creativity to unlock it. To help you get started, we searched high and low for the savviest main bedroom decorating ideas we could find. From painted accent walls to statement lights and more, there are no shortage of tips and tricks to help you transform yours into a certifiable serene oasis. Read on to see the beautiful rooms we’re loving right now and what we learned from each.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

1. Keep it minimalist.

The thing we love about minimalism as a master bedroom decorating idea is the style’s commitment to reducing clutter. It’s well known that clutter makes it harder to sleep. We love the minimalist style of this Canadian loft apartment, where neutral wood tones combine with white bedding for a serene vibe. 

2. Paint the doors black.

Not ready to dive into the dark side when it comes to paint colors? We get it! Instead, try painting just the backs of your bedroom doors black for a modern touch that pairs well with a host of wall colors. This stunning Nashville bedroom showcases black against a cream-colored wall and white trim. 

Credit: Minette Hand

3. Embrace exposed brick.

If you have exposed brick in your bedroom, you’re in luck: there’s so much you can do to design around it. We love how this Georgia bedroom glams it up with a gold-tone minimalist canopy bed. 

4. Break up the space with sliding doors.

Particularly effective in very large spaces, or alternatively, in small spaces that need to be divided smartly, a sliding door adds a touch of style. The wooden door in this Joshua Tree cabin is perfectly situated for breaking up the space. 

Credit: Sarah Parker

5. Add a touch of black.

Black paint is one of our favorite master bedroom decorating ideas. We love how this South Carolina bedroom demonstrates smart use of a mirror that adds a great deal of light to this otherwise dark corner. 

6. Paint your ceiling.

Hoping to bring some color into your primary bedroom without overwhelming the space? A fresh coat of paint designated for the ceiling, like the turquoise blue Ginger and Chick used in their Marfa, Texas farmhouse, can instantly create ambiance in a room.

7. Find a headboard with storage.

A headboard with built-in shelves, like the one in Rebecca’s California guest house, is a foolproof way to score extra storage space in a small main bedroom. You don’t even have to invest in clunky nightstands to be able to store your bedside essentials.

Credit: Liz Kamarul

8. Fill the walls with art.

Outfit the empty wall space above your bed with a gallery wall comprised of framed art and keepsakes for a truly one-of-a-kind display. If you’re feeling bold, take a walk on the non-traditional side and use the corner of the room instead.

9. Buy a statement light.

A commanding light fixture—especially one like the crystal chandelier we spotted in Beci and Raph’s Australian abode—can make a small bedroom feel bigger by raising the line of vision. You don’t have to use something flashy and sparkly—if clean and minimal is more your style, look for something sculptural.

Credit: Minette Hand

10. Install sconces.

A streamlined pair of sconces provide plenty of bedside lighting without occupying any surface space. Consider it a bonus solution if you don’t have a nightstand to begin with.

Credit: Viv Yapp

11. Paint the walls.

Blue walls are all you need to create a serene bedroom that’s colorful and calming. Opt for a shade that skews on the pale or moody side, instead of a vibrant Yves Klein blue, for a softer effect.

Credit: Dawn Photo

12. Think black and white.

Looking for a sophisticated way to energize an earthy-toned main bedroom? Bold black and white prints, like the rugs and artwork in Amanda’s Portland, Oregon home, provide a pop of personality without deviating from a calm, neutral design scheme.

13. Forge a mini home office.

When paired with a sleek writing table and side chair, a handful of wall-mounted floating shelves can transform into a proper bedroom workstation. Or set up a plant corner, if that’s more your speed.

Credit: Minette Hand

14. Consider a wallpaper mural.

Turn a humdrum main bedroom wall into an artful scene with nothing more than wallpaper. Kristin Laing transformed her Austin bedroom into a lush garden escape with a wall-to-wall mural that’s pure perfection.

15. DIY a statement wall.

Not a fan of wallpaper? No problem. Follow in Dani and Phillip’s footsteps and paint a big, cheery yellow dot mural on your bedroom wall to brighten up the space as they did in their Hollywood home. Add emphasis by matching your bed and bedding to the painted mural.

Credit: Minette Hand

16. Employ floral wallpaper.

A little wallpaper goes a long way in a primary bedroom. Dress up the space behind your bed with a floral print to liven up the romantic vibes of your bedroom, just like Nicole and Dan did in their Brooklyn brownstone

17. Add natural finishes.

Raw details, like polished concrete floors or unstained wood furnishings, are a design-savvy way to add an organic element to a bedroom. In this Austin home, the dwellers also added in a vintage rug to lend a hint of warmth to the space.

18. Warm things up with textiles.

Integrate a mix of interesting fabrics and textiles into your main bedroom to make the space feel comfy, cozy, and colorful despite the lack of square footage. This look tends to work best when the large surfaces, from walls to floors, are as neutral as possible. In this case, that means white paint and simple white shades.

19. Draw color inspiration from art work.

Not sure how to incorporate a unique piece of artwork into your primary bedroom? Let the hues of the piece serve as the inspiration for the rest of your room’s palette. Use those shared hues for the bedding, upholstery, and even your window treatments for a cohesive overall look.

20. Employ eye-catching window treatments.

Let your windows do all the talking! Dress up casements with a voluminous pair of drapery panels to create a luxe yet tailored scene, just as these clever dwellers did in their East London apartment. If you mount curtains slightly higher and wider than your actual windows, you can make them seem larger and the room, on the whole, loftier.

21. Try two-toned walls.

Offset an old-school chair rail in a bedroom by painting the upper portion of your walls a different color, just as Timothy did in his historic New Orleans home. You can also create a two-toned wall with just paint, if your room is devoid of molding.

22. Go gray.

Few things make a room more sleep-inducing than smokey walls. Paint your main bedroom in a rich, silvery shade of gray, as María Cecilia Páez Montero did in her Madrid home. This will create a cocoon-like atmosphere that’s perfect for snoozing and relaxing.

Credit: Sandra Regalado

23. Add in antiques.

You can always count on a stunning antique light fixture, like the crystal chandelier we spotted in Anjoli’s London home, to make a sophisticated statement in a primary bedroom. No matter the room, always try to add at least one older object into your design scheme. It will add a sense of history and charm to all of the newer furnishings around it.

Credit: Anna Hudson

24. Get an over-the-top headboard.

Never underestimate the impact of a commanding headboard in a main bedroom. Whether it’s a massive one that ranges from the floor to the ceiling or a makeshift alternative courtesy of a graphic tapestry, it’s a dramatic touch every bedroom deserves. Not to mention, you can usually skip out on hanging art over these statement pieces, since they are usually so striking on their own.

25. Buy bamboo shades.

If you’re not sure which window treatments are right for a minimalist-minded bedroom, take a cue from Courtney Equall’s bedroom and put up simple shades composed of an organic material like bamboo. It will feel laidback and add a hit of texture to your space, all the while providing plenty of coverage.