Stuck at home in 2020 during the pandemic, many people tackled household projects like cleaning out a forgotten closet or organizing the kitchen cabinets. Others finally made a home office a reality. I turned my pent up energy towards a long overdue negligence. It was finally time to decorate my bedroom.
Having sold most of our furniture for our move to Los Angeles, I decorated the main living spaces right away – living room, dining room and my home office. When my daughter began college this year in her bedroom instead on campus, I softened the blow with a complete make-over of her high school bedroom, turning it into a dream dorm room. But somehow I had let four years pass with a lackluster bedroom. With our home now the main source of, well everything, it was more important than ever to make the bedroom a stylish and comfortable retreat.
I wasn’t starting completely from scratch. I love my beautiful bed, linens, rug, nightstands and lamps. Those were all solid. But besides the bed pillows, there were no decorations and no personality. The walls were bare. Other than the bed, there was nowhere to sit. I wanted to make my bedroom a place for relaxation and rejuvenation, an exciting place to start my day and a comfortable retreat at night. And with my family all working from home 24/7, it was certain to be used during the day as well.
Here’s where I began.
Here is the finished bedroom.
Here’s how I did it.
Tips for Decorating a Stylish Bedroom
Create a mood board. I work best visually; I have to see what I’m working with. You can create a board on Pinterest but I find it best to print photos. I start with a photo of my bedroom and then source items of furniture and art from the web. I print those and cut them out. Now I can move them around to see what works and doesn’t, get some ideas and hunt around some more. I had at least 12 different ottomans, a few chairs and several art pieces. On the right you can see some of the rejected options. On the left are the final choices. I like to leave the board on the table and move the pieces around over a few days (or longer) and let the creative magic happen. Sometimes I print an image the full 8.5 x 11″ and tack it to the wall to see how it lives in the room.
Start with a focal point. It can be an accent wall, rug, art, light fixture or piece of furniture. My bed is the focal point of the room. It’s gorgeous; especially with the pillows flat and you can see then whole design. It sets the tone for the whole room, so much so that I didn’t need anything above the bed. I bought the chair and styled the room from there.
Shop across all price points – high, medium and low. The bed was a big-ticket item from Anthropologie, as were the nightstands and rug. The chair, mirror, art, lamps and ottoman are all mid price points from Wayfair, West Elm, Pottery Barn and Etsy. The bookcase, plants, pots and photo and art frames were very affordable from Target and Cost Plus World Market. The plants are from Trader Joe’s and cost $5 each. I only buy succulents because I kill all other plants. And at $5, if I kill these I can buy more.
Shop small too. Many items came from big retailers which was an advantage for returns, since I bought most things online. But I also shopped small because often times the small retailers have that little extra something that adds style. The wooden jewelry plate and glass beads are from local boutiques. The wall hanging and print are from independent Etsy artists.
Comfort matters. A bedroom should be a comfortable place; the pillows fluffy and the chair comfortable. I wanted a nook for reading or virtually connecting with friends, and the crochet ottoman is both functional and stylish. There is a fluffy blanket in the basket. That corner is so cozy and I love curling up with a book and a mug of tea. Often times I will find my daughter here during the day, zooming her college classes; it’s a nice change of scenery from her room.
Style your bedroom like the rest of your home. Hang art on the walls; you wake to those walls every morning. Add plants, candles, a stack of books and style them as attractively as you would a living room coffee table or bookcase. Add something interesting. For my bookcase it’s the glass beads from Ghana. And finally don’t forget a personal touch. I framed a wedding photo and printed a favorite photo on hardboard from our African safari vacation.
While it was challenging to decorate my bedroom during a pandemic (stores were closed or had very limited hours so I ordered almost exclusively online), it was a fun creative outlet and much needed. I didn’t really have a design aesthetic in mind when I started but how it morphed into a beachy Scandinavian vibe, is exactly right. Now my bedroom is a place for more than just sleeping and I’m really happy. When I awake in the morning I open the windows, scoop up my dog, reach for my TAP IN journal and stay awhile. It’s perfect.
My Resources for Decorating
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Anthropologie – bed, linens, nightstands, chair pillow, candle. Anthropologie has beautiful furniture and decorative objects. The furniture is not inexpensive but you’re sure to find something unique.
West Elm – mirror, ottoman, fluffy bed pillow. West Elm is one of the first places I look for modern furniture and accessories at an accessible price point.
Pottery Barn – basket, lamps. Pottery Barn is like the little black dress of home furnishing – solid and dependable for basics. Nothing too flashy but workhorse pieces that will last forever. I’ve had the same rectangle baskets for years – they held toys when my kids were little.
Wayfair – armchair. Honestly I find that the quality of Wayfair can be hit or miss but with so much to choose from, a range of price points and a generous return policy, it’s worth the risk.
The Little Market – wood plate for jewelry. The Little Market sources fair trade artisans with a mission for economic opportunities in under-resourced global communities.
St. Frank – glass beads. St. Frank works with global artisans to produce ethically sourced and beautiful luxury housewares.
The Rug Warehouse – rug. The Rug Warehouse is local to the westside of Los Angeles, in the high-end design hub of Helms Bakery. It has every rug that you could ever want.
Etsy – print and wall hanging. Don’t sleep on Etsy for furniture, housewares and art. As a bonus, when I purchase something from Etsy I love that I am supporting a small business. The art I chose for my bedroom came from Mkoby Art (the print) and Candice Luter (the wall hanging). Candice was fantastic to work with; when I wasn’t sure what to order, I sent her a photo of my bedroom and she offered suggestions.
The Container Store – jewelry box, necklace holder, laundry hamper. The Container Store is my go-to place for all my organizing needs. I looked long and hard for a jewelry box and settled on these Stackers. Although you can’t tell, those are three different modules stacked on top of each other.
Cost Plus World Market – plant pots, photo frame. Usually I shop at Cost Plus World Market for candy (they have the best!) but I’m glad that I decided to look on the other side of the store. They really do have great decorative and accent pieces for the home. The plant pots and photo frame were under $20 each.
Target – bookcase, art print frame. As much as I love Target, Target.com has so much more than the store. Often times they knock off popular designs from Pottery Barn and West Elm. Shipping if free if you are a red card member, delivery is usually within a few days and you can return to any Target store.
MPix – I print all my photos from this professional online photo lab. The quality is excellent.
Styled by Emily Henderson – This is my favorite interior design book. Emily lays out all the tips and tricks for styling your home like a professional.
Other places that I like to shop for home decor and furniture:
- Vintage stores and flea markets, especially when I travel.
- Sunbeam Vintage – vintage and reproductions of mid-century modern. It’s pretty much my entire living room.
- The Joneses – custom living sofas made in LA. We had our living sofa sectional made by them and it’s fabulous.
- H.D. Buttercup – gorgeous furniture. We bought our marble tulip dining table here, but I love the whole store.
- Jonathan Adler – beautiful modern furniture and cheeky accessories. I have several pieces of his quirky pottery.
- Crate & Barrel – well-made furniture and wares for the entire house. All of my dinnerware is from Crate & Barrel.
- CB2 – Crate & Barrel’s hipper, younger sibling. I love CB2! I have the best sleeper sofa and ghost dining chairs from here. It’s first place I go for entertaining and barware.