How to Decorate a Bedroom
Whether you’re moving into your new master suite at your recently purchased million dollar mansion, or you’re shifting into a stinted dorm room the same size as the walk-in wardrobe of the mansion mentioned above, one question still lingers in both minds: where should I put all of my stuff?
Your bedroom is important to get right, as you’re going to be spending a lot of time in there, it needs to be organized in a way that makes sense while also giving yourself plenty of floor space for when you need to get ready.
It’s also your personal space so it also helps to decorate in a way that fits you and your lifestyle. As such, this guide should help in trying to organize and decorate your bedroom to fit YOU!
Whose bedroom is it?
This question seems simple at first but it can quickly dictate the what and where of how your bedroom is laid out. Yes, it may be your bedroom but it’s the factors outside of that statement that affects how your bedroom is laid out.
Do you share the bedroom with your partner in your home? Are you staying in a shared space such as a flat or dorm? Are you living in a rental property where the property manager can easily red or green light the changes made to your area?
These are important things to question as they can easily impact your room layout in drastic ways.
What needs to go in the bedroom?
Again, simple question but integral to getting your bedroom laid out in a way that avoids any headaches of bumped drawers and cramped spaces. List out the items you have or desire to be placed in your bedroom and place them in a list of essentials.
As an example, if you were living in a space where you only had your bedroom for your personal area, then your list may go as follows:
- Clothes dressers
- Bedside cabinet(s)
- And so on
This may be a good time as well to participate in some Marie Kondo and spark joy by cutting out any unnecessary clutter.
If you’ve got piles of clothes that are past their use by date, or worse, never been worn, then it’s time for a trip to your local donation center for a drop off.
What’s your work area
Now that we’ve organized what needs to go in the bedroom, let’s figure out how much space we have to work with.
Measure out the room, either roughly or accurately depending how good your measuring eye is, so that you can know the amount of square usable area you have available.
The term usable is important here as ideally you shouldn’t be placing items where they can’t and shouldn’t such as in front of doorways or in your roommates area if you have one.
It can also pay to take note of your available wall space as you may be able to utilize some of it for additional storage. By the end of it, you may have something that roughly looks as so:
This drawing should also act as a great moment to mention that if you have/can find services or software that allow you to get a layout of your room, use it!
Because, unless you’re a true interior decorator or architect, they are going to do a much better job than you will. Regardless, using a guide as such is an easy way to measure out what should go and where.
Also, take note of power outlets as in our technology-driven society you ideally want to make sure that you are able to effectively use them without needing to awkwardly reach for your phone on the charger or risk someone standing on your laptop that’s charging on the floor.
Where to place the bed?
When it comes to decorating a bedroom, it makes sense to place the bed first, it’s the only piece of furniture that truly needs to be in there for a room to become a bedroom.
When it comes to placement however, this is where your sleeping situation will come into question again, are you sleeping by yourself or with your partner? What type of bed do you have? How do you like to sleep?
If you’re sleeping by yourself, you can easily place your bed against a wall to make an easy arrangement that provides maximum floor space, however, if you are sleeping with a partner then make sure they too can easily get in and out of bed with ease, unless you can live with your partner’s constant resentment to you for your bedroom arrangement.
It also pays to note the environment of the bedroom, if you’re staying in a central town apartment along a busy street or you’ve got some particularly noisy neighbours, then it may pay to have the bed as far away from the disturbing noise as possible.
Where to place the chest of drawers
Alongside needing a bed, as a human, it is definitely recommended that you wear clothes and thus a place to store them. Therefore, you most likely have a chest of drawers either in the form of a tall boy or lowboy and need a place to put them.
A good idea to follow is that you should be able to open the drawers with no obstruction and still have space to get dressed in front of the unit. Depending on your situation also, you should be able to easily be able to access the drawers quickly from when you get out of bed, in case you need to quickly need to put on a t-shirt for a surprise morning courier delivery or a frantic wake-up when you wake up late for work.
When it comes to no’s when placing the item in the room, ideally you should stray away from placing the unit in front of windows as this unnecessarily blocks sunlight into the room, while also exposing the unsightly back of the unit to the world.
It also pays to stray away from having the unit away from any windows at all as you are more than likely going to get dressed in front of the unit, thus you want to avoid having any nosy neighbors watch as you choose your outfit for the day.
If you’ve got a lowboy, a great idea is to place it in front of your bed to simply extend the shape of the bed within your room. The only issue with this placement method is that it severely limits what you can place on top of the lowboy, especially if you’re a particularly restless sleeper.
However, this technique creates a nice barrier between the foot of your bed and the rest of the bedroom and opens up your wall space for any mirrors or hanging shelves.
If you’re lucky enough to have a bedroom with a wardrobe and the drawers fit nicely within said wardrobe, place them in there. This saves a massive amount of floor space in your bedroom while also fully utilizing the wardrobe.
Adapting your wardrobe to be able to hold a majority of your clothing is ideal, as using them to only store shoes and coats is wasteful for the maximum amount of storage this type of space can hold.
Where to place the TV screen?
In this ever-increasing abundance of screen-watching from services such as Netflix, Disney+ and YouTube, it is more than likely that you will have some form of screen, such as a TV or computer within your bedroom.
As such, if you’re a late-night binger or someone who falls asleep to the cool-blue light of your favourite podcast, screen placement can really make or break a bedroom setup.
Screen placement is an important thing to get right as there are a lot of factors involved in what makes a screen placement “good”. First off, who’s going to be viewing the screen? If it’s just you in your bachelor pad, then place the screen wherever is comfortable for you! Sleep on your side? Place it to whatever side you sleep on most.
Where this gets complicated is if the TV is for a couple, then this is where we get into a bit of audience analysis as your viewing habits should dictate where the TV is placed. If you both enjoy watching shows together then ideally you should try placing the unit as close to directly in front of the bed as you can.
However, one of you views the TV more than the other, then they should obviously have the screen on their side of the bed so that the sleeping partner can easily turn around to avoid the glow of the screen.
Now that you’ve decided where to place the screen, now it’s time to figure out how to place the screen. Ideally, the TV should be angled to where is comfortable for your neck in bed so you can avoid any awkward conversations about why your neck hurts the next day at work.
As such, a great solution is to place the TV on top of your chest of drawers as they provide great height and are more than likely always going to be in your bedroom. However, this does limit the usage of the top surface area of the dresser as they are great for holding any daily essentials.
You should also show caution placing anything expensive on top of dressers in general, as their frequent use means that anything placed on top is at risk of falling off whenever their drawers are shut, if it’s a can of deodorant falling off then no biggy, but a 32” TV is an entirely different story.
Thus, if you’re looking for a true ‘one and done’ placement for your TV, then definitely consider picking up a wall mount as they free the TV from taking up unnecessary floor space and instead use up the ever-abundant wall space.
Unfortunately, if you’re renting the location or are uncomfortable drilling holes in the wall, then this solution is out of the question but this idea should be the main thought floating in your head when trying to place a TV is to take up wall space over floor space.
Your bedroom shouldn’t be the main place where you watch TV, so its placement shouldn’t be as prominent as the other necessary items in your bedroom. Place the TV where you can see it, but don’t try to make it the main focus of your bedroom.
Where do I store everything else?
When it comes to storing everything else that you don’t need in your room but want in your room, this is more a question of what it is and how much you need it.
As such, this is where this guide is unable to provide genuine answers because we aren’t you, what we might deem as invaluable could be priceless to you. Regardless here are some minor pointers:
Computer/ Gaming setup
Obviously, if you’re dealing with a teenager with too much money or you’re a uni student who needs a quiet area to do their assignments, then a computer desk setup is essential for making sure you can easily get work done ASAP.
As such, the main takeaway from a desk setup is to make sure you can easily get in and out of your workstation with ease as obviously you function better when your body is comfortable and are able to sit for longer periods of time.
When it comes to placement, try to make sure that any light in the room comes adjacent to where your screen is to avoid unnecessary glare, whether that means placing the desk in front of your window to give yourself an inspirational view or tucked into a quiet corner with posters to give you the inspiration the choice is yours.
We’d obviously also avoid placing the desk in front of any walkways so you don’t get bumped when someone walks in to check how you’re doing (which is normally ‘not good’ if someone just shoulder-checked you.)
As mentioned earlier, also make sure that your desk is placed near any power outlets so that you can charge your laptop when necessary and finish your essay in lamp-light, not candlelight. Ideally, place the desk close to the power outlet too to avoid an anaconda of power cables leading to your study center.
To avoid the top of your desk looking like a spaghetti junction, we’d also recommend some cable management solutions to stick on the side of your desk such as these so that your chargers have a place to stay when not in use or velcro-straps such as these to tidy the back of the desk into a tidy ponytail.
Books, media, and collectibles
If you’re a massive book nerd, vinyl collector or enjoy having tons of trinkets to show off to your friends, then you'll need a shelf to properly display these to the world… of your bedroom.
As such, make sure that your location fulfills the needs of your hobby, so place items away from sunlight if they’re susceptible to sun damage, and make sure they’re not getting too hot/ cold for the area they’re placed in.
When it comes to truly storing them, make sure the unit fulfills your needs with room to grow. The point of collections is to grow them, so what’s the use if you need to purchase another unit within 6 months.
Buy a unit that will allow you to grow your hobby, either with one expensive purchase, or something cheap that you can buy plenty of and rearrange to fit. If the situation suits, we definitely would recommend some wall-mounted shelving due to its low cost and ready availability while also keeping valuable floor space clear.
If you do have to use a floor unit, also make sure that you use the top of the unit to its full potential, especially if it’s not suitable for storing your hobby. Whether, this means using this area as a location to charge your laptop or maybe it can function as a quick makeup station, make sure that any empty surface area is given a purpose.
Properly Using your Walls
In this guide, you may have noticed a recurring theme of ‘use your walls, not the floor’ and that’s for good reason, at minimum your wall-to-floor ratio will be 4:1!
So use those walls to your advantage, before you put up any wall art think of what else could be on those walls instead. Command straps and hooks are amazing for a variety of purposes, whether it’s a cheeky place to hang your headphones or you’ve got a series of them hung up for your hats and jewelry. They really provide a simple solution to a variety of problems!
Once again also, wall shelves are excellent at storing things while leaving you valuable floor space to move about, whether it’s for books, shoes or knick-knacks, if it gets them off the floor then it’s worth it!
If you’ve done as much usage as you can for using your wall to it’s full advantage, now you can start with hanging up your wall art. However, make sure that you place up your most “functional” wall art up first, this means things like mirrors, calendars and cork boards before you get to hanging up any posters and tapestries.
Make sure that things like your calendars and cork boards are also somewhere usable too, as there’s no point having a calendar when it’s July and you haven’t changed it since January.
The Other Stuff
So you’ve placed down all the necessary items, and the stuff that is essential for your living arrangement. Now, it’s time for the stuff that you don’t want to throw away, but don’t need ready at all times.
Whether it’s a box full of sentimental birthday cards or filled with random cables and old electronics, it’s nice to be able to store them so you know where they are but aren’t constantly reminded they are there.
As such, this is where your bedroom’s setup may come into play. Does your wardrobe have a shelf that’s just a bit too out of reach? Does your bed have a big space underneath collecting dust bunnies? Or maybe your room just has a nook that you can’t really use for anything else?
Because ideally, these awkward places are where you should be storing these items, out of sight but still on the mind. Make sure to place them in climate-proof containers to keep the goods safe, you can also use appropriately sized snap-lock bags to further protect the items and also a great time to organize items such as cards and cables into appropriate categories.
If you’re dealing with electronics, make sure you can safely remove any batteries still in said electronics to avoid them corroding and either damaging the electronic or worse, combusting and causing a fire.
If you’ve made it this far, then congratulations you’ve done it, you’ve officially moved into your new bedroom!
You may need to make some final adjustments and tweak things a bit more to get them right but other than that your bedroom is complete and everything should be in its right place.
Now that you’ve got your killer bedroom setup, it’s time to take a quick nap, moving is exhausting work and you’ve earned it. Go lay down in that bed and revel in your new glory that is your bedroom.
Should I really have technology in my bedroom?
The quick answer is No, technology and especially blue light from screens can easily cause disturbances in your body's circadian rhythm making it more difficult for your body to sleep.
You may not notice it also but speakers hiss a white noise when they have power surging through them alongside all the power LEDs lighting your room with a faint glow even when the lights are off.
As such, we would recommend minimizing the amount of technology as much as you can. However, humans are also creatures of arrogance and sometimes it’s nice to fall asleep to an hours-long The Office binge-watch.
So we’d say keep the technology to what you deem necessary, having a phone by your bedside can sometimes literally mean the difference between life and death if the situation arises and some people can only fall asleep to white noise.
The main point we’d say is to separate where you sleep and where you work/play as much as you can, while it might be nice to have a cozy gaming session in bed, what is not nice is laying in bed wired because your body can’t separate playtime from sleep time.
As such, if you have an office or play area where you can do the associated activities then do them there and keep your bedroom for sleeping as much as you can.
How should I set up my child’s bedroom?
When dealing with children, make sure that their priorities are also kept in line with your requirements for setting up a bedroom. As such, make sure that if your child has a prized stuffed animal collection or a small library of picture books that they are kept close by.
A great storage solution for a child’s bedroom would be a blanket box to keep their toys within as this also teaches them a great ethic of putting their toys away after playing while also giving them a place to put their favourite plush toys and a blanket on top when it’s time for bed.
However, children also don’t have as much self-restraint as adults, so try to avoid placing electronics such as TV’s and games consoles in their room if you want them to sleep properly.
It pays to also teach children to separate sleep time from playtime so they learn to respect their circadian rhythm and don’t end up wired in bed as you might be.
I share a bedroom with my partner, how should we split the space?
Part of being a fledgling couple is learning to compromise, and when you’re having two people’s stuff into a single bedroom this is integral to learning how to work together.
Thus, ideally in this bedroom scenario, each individual should have their own 50% of the room to work with, however more often than not this isn’t how it turns out. Thus, when organizing a bedroom for a couple, make sure that each individual is treated fairly with their necessities.
This means making sure both people can access the bed without having to clamber over each other, that you can access all your drawers with ease and that both individuals feel respected in their space.
Sharing a bedroom means sharing your personal space, so make sure one person isn’t over-represented in this space to avoid the other feeling othered in their own space.
I’ve got a bedroom but no furniture? Where should I buy from?
If you’re viewing this site from within New Zealand, we’ve got great news as we sell a great range of quality bedroom furniture for low prices!
However, if you’re viewing this outside of New Zealand, then we would recommend buying high-quality, wood furniture from a reputable source.
Especially when it comes to purchasing a bed, we would recommend buying something that’s going to last you a long time, you can use our guide to help you buy something to last you for years to come!