7 Little Details You’re Overlooking in Your Bedroom, According to Designers

updated Jan 11, 2021
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There’s no such thing as the ideal bedroom design: Everyone’s style preferences are different, and we’re all operating with varying amounts of square footage. That said, there are definitely details worth keeping top of mind when setting up your sleep space. “What I often see when it comes to bedrooms is that homeowners don’t make them a priority when renovating or redecorating,” says designer Ines Mazzotta of Kelly Hopter Interiors. “They focus on the main living spaces, and the bedroom is often an afterthought. I always encourage making your bedroom a priority. This is where we start the day and where we retire at night; spending these important parts of our day in a space that we love can have a profound effect on our sense of well-being.”

I spoke with top interior designers to hear their perspectives on the stylistic choices that many individuals don’t—but should—consider during the bedroom design process. Some of them may surprise you, and I hope you get a few ideas for mastering the little details in your own sleep space.

Credit: Rox Van Del

An intentional closet

Sure, it may be tucked away in the corner, but the size and layout of your closet can affect the rest of your bedroom in more ways than you might think. “When I am space planning for a bedroom, the first place I start is the closet,” says April Gandy, principal designer at Alluring Designs Chicago. “There is so much potential waiting there!”

Gandy notes it can be difficult to effectively make use of the basic wire shelving that’s present in many closets. Instead, she suggests opting for an extra organizer or better shelving “that will completely fulfill storage needs” and provides additional benefits, too. “Investing in a good organizer with components such as drawers, adjustable shelving, and multiple rods can alleviate the need for large furniture pieces in the bedroom,” Gandy explains. “That extra floor real estate could be used for a cozy sitting area or a much needed home workspace.” You might even consider moving a dresser into your closet, as shown in the setup above. The point is to max out whatever closet space you have so you can give the rest of your bedroom some room to breathe.

Credit: BluBo

Layered lighting

Love lamps? You’re in luck, as designers say it’s often ideal to scatter several around your bedroom space. “Let’s aspire to more than one lamp and a bulb hanging from the ceiling, folks,” designer Drew McGukin urges. “I think about ambient light, reading light, dressing light, sensual light, and decorative light. A bedroom should easily offer three to five light sources to accommodate function and accentuate mood.”

Better yet, lamps also make for stylish yet functional decor, so placing one atop your vanity or lingerie chest is bound to brighten up the space in more ways than one. Adds designer Claire Staszak of Centered by Design, “In my own bedroom I have an overhead light for general lighting, bedside lamps for tasks like reading, and wall sconces for decoration and ambiance. These sconces are on a dimmer, which sets a really nice mood at night.” Don’t be afraid to think big either. Staszak says, “I think a large scale lighting fixture can often look really cool in a bedroom, particularly if you have a high ceiling.”

Credit: Nayana Anil

The addition of plants

“When designing a bedroom, people often overlook the benefits of incorporating houseplants into their design,” designer Danielle Chiprut notes. As you likely already know, your green friends are more than just cute decorative pieces. “Not only do they add beauty to the room, but they also have some pretty wonderful health benefits,” Chiprut explains. “Plants improve the air quality and detoxify your room, leading to a restful and restorative night’s sleep. They are also known to boost your mood, relieve stress, and lift your spirits.”

Chiprut encourages everyone to add at least one plant to the bedroom, and the good news is there’s a perfect plant for every environment. Not sure where to start? These seven types of plants look great in any space and are easy to care for, no experience required.

Credit: Rikki Snyder

Extra seating

Maybe you’ve settled on the perfect bed and have added a practical desk chair into your mix, but there’s no need to stop there. “Additional seating options are often overlooked,” states Rasheeda Gray of Gray Space Interior Design. “Most people assume that a bed should be the only seating option or upholstery in a bedroom, but many times we want to spend time in our room without being forced to sit or lay on the bed.” After all, she notes, many people use bedrooms to watch TV, read, and for general me-time (whatever that may be or look like), so it’s ideal to have something beyond a bed if you plan on being in your room for more than just sleeping.

Ultimately, the pieces you choose to incorporate will likely vary based on your bedroom’s square footage. “Consider everything from a sofa, if you have the space, to a small ottoman that can be tucked away when not in use,” Gray suggests. “Additional seating options can provide necessary functionality in a bedroom.”

Proper bedding

If your sheets and comforter—or for that matter, your mattress—have seen better days, it may be time to let them go; the quality of your sleep is worth it! “Treat yourself to luxurious linens and invest in a high quality mattress that is as natural as possible,” designer Gemma Parker suggests. “After all, the average person spends about a third of their life sleeping!”

When it comes to sheeting, Parker gravitates toward high quality, long staple cottons. Don’t don’t forget about finishing touches or decorative flourishes either. Parker adds, “Beautiful sheets or a cashmere throw at the end of the bed can make a bedroom feel like a real retreat!”

A large cushy rug

“In bedrooms, I like to make the rug as large as possible without having the nightstands or dresser sit half on, half off the rug,” designer Tracy Morris explains. “When you get out of bed in the morning, you want to have a soft surface under your feet, and making the rug a nice large size will ensure that.”

Morris also advises adding a rug pad underneath your chosen area carpeting for added cushion and comfort. Some overlooked details can’t always be seen, but they can make your space more comfortable if you factor them into your design decisions.

Sufficient bedside storage

It may be worth springing for those multi-drawer nightstands after all. “One of the most important things in a bedroom is having enough bedside storage,” designer Kate Smith says. “I hate the look of a cluttered nightstand, since it’s the first thing you see in the morning.”

Opting for something a bit nontraditional, such as a petite dresser, is a welcome solution here, too. Moreover, don’t forget about styling the surface of your piece so that it’s optimized for function and convenience (if not rest). “Most of us, myself included, fall into the bad habit of keeping our phones next to us when we sleep,” Smith adds. “Putting a pretty tray on your nightstand won’t cure you from late night scrolling, but it will make for the perfect spot to store [your phone] when you’re done.”