In Defense of the Matching Bedroom Set, from 3 People Who Love Theirs
It’s been called outdated, regrettable, a trend experts hope to never see again, and, over in the world of TikTok, a major don’t, “so ick,” and cheap and impersonal. That’s right — a matching bedroom set is incredibly divisive in the world of interior design (joining the ranks of navy sheets, gray plank flooring, and color-coordinated book displays), and many designers prefer a more eclectic, varied look as opposed to a matchy-matchy one.
“The biggest objection I have to matching bedroom sets is that they feel like a shortcut to design and bypass the necessary process one needs to take to customize their home to reflect who they are and how they live,” designer Sara Bengur once told AT.
Follow Topics for more like this
Follow for more stories like this
“When choosing bedroom furniture, I like to create interest and play with contrasts and balance by mixing up colors, textures, finishes, and materials so that the space feels collected and soulful, yet polished,” Caitlin Murray, founder and CEO of Black Lacquer Design, added.
Although many pro designers will tell you to mix and match and source the headboard, nightstands, and dresser separately, there are real reasons to love a matching bedroom set, too — and reasons why they’re widely sold — from ease of shopability to simplicity to sentimentality. Below, three proud owners of matching bedroom sets are here to make a case for them.
Simple and Streamlined
“I purchased my bedroom set in 2017 from Wayfair,” Karissa Barker, of Karissa at Home, says, and she likes that her set is no-nonsense and straightforward. “When the furniture ‘matches’ in wood tone, color, and style, it lets the eye rest on statement pieces in the room,” she says. “When every furniture piece is a standalone, it can feel like the eye is drawn everywhere all at once, and the room feels less cohesive and more chaotic.”
Barker says with such neutral colors and neutral lines in a bedroom set, there’s room to add fun textures and patterns in her accessories.
Barker says she also loves the practicality of matching bedroom sets. The dimensions and proportions of each individual piece are considered all together, as are the surfaces and storage components. In other words, “they are designed for maximum storage and function,” she says. Not only do sets save you shopping time (you don’t have to source multiple perfect pieces), but sometimes they’re less expensive than buying three separates, Barker adds.
On the flip side, Tyler Rakay loves her bedroom set because it’s ornate and requires very little additional accessorization. “It looks like it’s straight out of ‘Beauty and the Beast!’” she says. She and her partner moved in together and were on the hunt for bedroom furniture, and they went for sets each step of the way.
“After about a week of searching and needing furniture, we settled — big emphasis on settled — on a set from a store,” Rakay recalls. “Not more than five days later, he stopped at an old auction house about an hour north of where we live. He sent me a photo of the headboard, covered in dust and looking suffocated between other large furniture, almost tucked away waiting for him. The moment I saw the photo, I called him, immediately in love. Then he tells me there’s more. More what? Headboards? No, he tells me there’s more that goes with this headboard.”
The set includes a French-doored armoire, a nine-drawer dresser, two nightstands, and the headboard. Rakay sold the previously purchased so-so set on Facebook Marketplace, and the rest was history. She’s had her floral set now for 10 years, through three moves. “Long story short, it was the bedroom set of my dreams,” Rakay says.
This antique bed and dresser set has been in Catherine Pierce’s (@farmhouse1873) family for decades. It’s in the upstairs bedroom of her mother’s home in New Jersey, and Pierce says though she’s normally a fan of mixing and matching furniture, this set is the perfect fit for the size and shape of the room. Plus, it used to be her bedroom set when she was a young adult. “It came from the home of someone that I was dating in college,” Pierce explains, and it’s likely from the Victorian era.
Even as a child, Pierce had a love for antiques and would experiment with antiquing kits to give her decor a weathered, old-school look. “What I love about old furniture, too, is the fact that it’s already distressed, so you really can’t hurt it,” she says. “There are different nicks and dents from things, but I kind of think that always adds to the charm.”
Often, antique bedroom sets are well-made, too, Pierce adds. They have strong joinery, are sturdy, and are thoughtfully designed. In the Victorian era, Pierce explains, bedrooms weren’t built with closets, so this set has ample storage with its deep dresser drawers. “Everything about it is interesting,” Pierce says of this set. “Like the carving and the patina on it, but I also feel that it’s very functional for that space.”
Pierce’s advice for mixing a more antique or ornate set with contemporary decor? Try to incorporate more modern lines and geometric shapes. In her mom’s upstairs bedroom, Pierce opted for a geometric quilt that blends old and new.
The takeaway? Matching bedroom sets can be great, actually.
The conclusion here is one that is often arrived at on Apartment Therapy: Do what you love, and don’t let anyone tell you a matching bedroom set is tacky! It’s your bedroom, after all! As Barker said on TikTok, “Your matching bedroom set is lovely and can only be tacky if it doesn’t function well for you or you bought it to impress somebody that does not live in your house. The same goes for pieced-together furniture. Design your home for you.”