Decorating and designing a new bedroom can seem like a daunting task. You have to decide what furniture you want to buy and where you’re going to put it. You need to find lighting that will create the perfect ambiance. And you’ll need to pick a theme or a color scheme that’s going to make your bedroom feel like your own private retreat. But it won’t be so complicated if you know a few key tips and tricks.
We see it all the time – renters making the same design mistakes over and over again. If you’ve already made one or more of the most common interior design mistakes, don’t worry – they’re fixable. But if you want to dodge them from the get-go, check out these 5 bedroom design mistakes to avoid at all costs.
Mistake #1: Using Disproportionate Furniture
It seems logical to put small furniture in a small room and large furniture in a large room – but there’s a lot more to it than that. The size of your bedroom will naturally dictate certain design elements. (In other words, don’t try to put a California king bed in a tiny bedroom). But regardless of the size of your room, it’s more important to have an understanding of where things will go.
What wall offers the best positioning for your bed? Where is the most efficient place to put a dresser or a bureau? Do you need one nightstand or two? How do you want the room to flow?
Before you go shopping for new bedroom furniture, try to envision where you want to place your new items. It’s a good idea to have a plan in your head before you go shopping.
Before heading to Ikea or Target to buy that set you fell in love with online, there’s one thing you have to do – MEASURE. You should know where you want to place your furniture and know how much room you have to accommodate it. Take the time to create a layout and measure each individual space. If you don’t, you might find yourself trying to squeeze your new furniture in like a game of Tetris.
Mistake #2: Not Using Negative Space
Use your space efficiently. However, never underestimate the power of negative space.
Renters (especially first-time renters) often feel the need to fill up every single space. But that’s not the best approach. By intentionally leaving some open spaces, your apartment will feel bigger and more spacious.
For example, don’t jam an extra cabinet in the bedroom corner just because you have the room for it. Consider other options, such as a small storage bench or a stylish accent chair. Chairs and benches can add functionality without making a room feel overcrowded.
Always try to arrange your furniture in a way that leaves some open, negative space. And don’t feel committed to your initial layout. Position your furniture in your favorite way and try it out for a few days to see if the layout works for you. If not, shift and rearrange pieces or remove items until you get it just right.
Mistake #3: Purchasing the Wrong Lighting
No matter how great your new furniture and bedding is, the wrong lighting can destroy the look and feel of a room. While an overhead light might seem like the easiest way to illuminate your bedroom, it’s not ideal.
A dim ceiling light can make a room look dull and washed out. A bright ceiling light can make you feel like you’re in a hospital or an interrogation room. When you move into your new apartment, don’t just pop a bulb into the existing ceiling fixture. Consider decorating with different floor lamps or table lamps to set the right mood.
Place a floor lamp by your bedroom door so that you can light the room with ease as you enter. Use table lamps on bedside tables or bureaus to create a soft, warm glow. Looking for a way to add even more personality to your space? Try stringing fairy lights across the wall or ceiling to give your bedroom a unique look.
Mistake #4: Matching This, Matching That
This is one of the most common interior design mistakes people make, but it’s the easiest to avoid. Don’t feel the need to buy an entire bedroom set that matches top to bottom. Having a room full of perfectly matched furniture can look boring and outdated. A room will always look more interesting if you can mix and match different pieces together.
The key word to remember here is cohesive. You can’t just throw a bunch of random pieces together and expect it to work. You’ll want to look for items that complement each other without being matchy-matchy.
For example, if you choose a matching bed and nightstand, consider a bureau or a dresser in a pop color. Add a burst of color with an eye-catching accent chair. Mix and match textiles in complementary color palettes to add texture and interest. Be sure to keep some basic design elements similar (like furniture legs and hardware finishes). Little details like this will help to create a cohesive look in any room.
Mistake #5: Buying the First Piece of Furniture You Fall in Love With
It can be awfully tempting to buy the first piece of furniture you see, especially if you’re not in the mood to shop. But it’s always a good idea to take a little extra time to shop for better versions or bigger discounts. Don’t settle on the first bed you see in the first store you visit.
Keep your budget in mind. Don’t drop $2,000 on a bed if your entire bedroom budget is $2,200. There won’t be anything relaxing about that new bed if you’re lying in it trying to figure out how to pay the bills.
Another thing to keep in mind when buying furniture is longevity. We’ve all had that moment of finding a great piece and thinking “I have to have this.” When that moment happens, get ready to ask yourself one important question before you buy it. Am I still going to love this in five years?
The purple velvet couch that looks so chic in the furniture store might not be practical. The orange mid-century modern chair you “can’t live without” might not be worth its hefty price tag. Statement pieces like these are easy to fall in love with, but they might not be the best investment.
Do yourself a favor and have a plan of attack ready before you go shopping for bedroom furniture and decor. Plan your layout ahead of time. Take good measurements and then take them again to ensure accuracy. Spend some time focusing on cohesion, functionality, and balance. With these tips and tricks in mind, you’ll be able to create the bedroom of your dreams!
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