interiors & styling

Room 101 : Master Bedroom

Room 101 Master Bedroom It’s time for another Room 101 post and this time we’re diving into a very important space… the master bedroom! Since we’re on the topic of headboards, I thought this would be the perfect time to chat about the bedroom. Think about how much time you spend sleeping and living in your bedroom- it’s A LOT of hours. You most likely spend the majority of your time at home in this room. Here’s everything you need to know about renovating, planning, or designing a master bedroom. 

KEY QUESTIONS to ask yourself prior to updating a master bedroom (answer truthfully):

  • How will I use this space (sleeping- the obvious, reading, resting, dressing room, etc)?
  • Who else will be using this space (husband/wife, pets, etc.)?
  • What will you be storing in this room (clothing, personal items, etc)?
  • What is my budget for this space?
  • What are my NEEDS for this space?
  • What would be a BONUS this space might include if budget allows?
  • Is storage or square footage an issue?
  • Is there lots of natural light? If so, how will you make this a practical environment for sleeping- room darkening window treatments?
  • What is the overall aesthetic you envision?
  • If you could guess… how might you feel about this room in 3 years? 5 years? 10 years?

Your answers should help you determine what your bedroom will entail and help you hone in on a starting point. Whether you’re gutting and completely renovating, or tweaking what you already have, above all- consider function (like space saving, closed storage nightstands), budget, and aesthetic.

Art-Filled-Bedroom FURNITURE + DECOR TO CONSIDER:

To give you some ideas of highly functional and serene master bedrooms, consider implementing these pieces of furniture and accessories. Of course the size of your space will determine which items make the most sense for your room.

on the bed…

  • A comfortable mattress
  • Boxspring (optional / depends on bed & mattress type)
  • Sheeting
  • Duvet insert
  • Duvet / quilt / coverlet
  • A variety of pillows (4) – soft & firm
  • Accent pillow(s)
  • Blanket / throw
  • Bedskirt (if needed)
  • Linen spray

I swear by our Tuft & Needle mattress. The other thing I’m obsessed with is our sheeting, and I use this inexpensive linen spray pretty much every day. It keeps our bedding and bedroom smelling fresh and clean!

Bedroom 101 in the bedroom…

  • The most obvious: a bed (rails, headboard, footboard, etc)
  • A bench at the foot of your bed
  • Two nightstands or bedside tables
  • Two wall mounted sconces or table lamps
  • Overhead lighting (pendant, flush mount, semi flush mount, ceiling fan, or chandelier)
  • A cozy rug
  • Art (the bedroom is the best place to display personal, intimate art, like family photos)
  • Mirror, objects, accessories
  • Seating (if space allows… think occasional chairs, settee, or a chaise lounge)
  • Window treatments (room darkening or blackout preferred)
  • Closet organization systems (more on that here)
  • Ottomans (for the foot of bed or seating area)
  • Dresser or furniture with storage

Obviously it would be dreamy to have most of these things, but realistically, most bedrooms aren’t large enough. Pick and choose what works best for your space and it’s inhabitants.

Bedroom Renovating Tips THE GREAT BED DEBATE:

These days, there are SO many options when shopping for a bed. The highest priced beds typically include the entire thing… a headboard, rails, and a footboard. On the other end of the spectrum, a bed frame can cost as low as $20. Budget is obviously the big factor in making this decision, see my thoughts and ideas below:

  • Entire Bed (headboard, rails, and footboard):
    • This is obviously the ideal option. Whether you find a beautiful full frame wood bed or a gorgeous upholstered option… buying an “entire” bed is an easy way to go if you have the budget.
    • You buy the bed and then you’re done- no purchasing any extras!
  • Headboard Only:
    • This is a great option for a minimal budget. You get the look of an entire bed, without the cost.
    • The downside? The ugly bed frame is exposed and takes away from the amazing headboard you just installed. I recommend adding a bedskirt to hide the basic metal rails.
    • We compiled a great post on affordable options under $300 here.
  • Bed Frame Only:

Industrial-Bedroom CONTROVERSIAL AREAS:

There are a few design topics that get differing opinions from designers when it comes to the bedroom. Read below and see if your philosophy aligns with my own. There isn’t really a correct answer- it’s more of a personal preference!

  • Rugs… it’s easy to pop in a large, cheap, area rug, but wouldn’t it be more cozy to find a rug with a material that your feet actually want to touch first thing every morning and last thing at night? Jute is a budget friendly option that I don’t personally love in a bedroom setting for this exact reason. The material is scratchy and not pleasant on bare feet. The bedroom is the perfect place for higher pile, wool, and luxury textiles. It make a big difference!
  • Personal art… I’m one of those people that doesn’t include a ton of personal images throughout my home (family photos, wedding photos, etc). I’d rather keep those intimate moments in boxes safely stored, while decorating with interesting art instead. If there is one place to be personal and include any candid or professional images of you and your loved ones, in my opinion- that place is the bedroom. Consider the master your private oasis filled with all things that make you happy. Guests typically won’t venture into the master while you entertain- it’s YOUR special, private space, and that’s usually respected.
  • The TV… this one is a huge point of controversy. How many of you currently have a television in your master bedroom? I’m curious! We’ve never had a TV in our bedroom and I absolutely love it that way. The living room is the place for TV watching in our house- plain and simple. We watch enough of it in the living space, adding it to the bedroom would only make us less productive.
  • Music… on the other hand, I am a huge proponent of music. Emmett and I always have a speaker hanging close by. We love playing music on the sonos or a small wireless speaker. It really helps when you’re getting ready in the morning or chilling out at night.
  • Bed Making… to make the bed, or not? I’m a bed maker through and through. I always have been. I make the bed every single morning. To me, it makes the bedroom look clean and organized. When it’s unmade, I feel a sense of chaos… and that’s the last feeling I want in my master bedroom. Regardless of your preference and lifestyle, choose bedding that suites your routine. If you’re not a bed maker, choose relaxed bedding. It’s made to look messy and cozy- think Belgian linen! You can totally rock that unmade look.
  • Balance… last but least, I have to hit on balance and symmetry. I’m the type of person that craves symmetry, therefore I’m into matching nightstands and bedside lighting. However, that does NOT mean that you can’t have mismatched furniture and lighting. It works just as well- if not better! It drives me nuts personally, but it can be done so well. From a design standpoint, they’re equally as beautiful. If you do have mismatched pieces, be sure they’re of equal visual weights and have cohesive finishes.

Master Bedroom In case you’re wondering about the finer details and finishes…

Room 101 - Master Bedroom I will say, the dimensions for bed sizes above are common sizes in the United States. These actually vary by country, believe it or not! I’d also recommend splurging on drapery in the bedroom. A room darkening, blackout curtain or shade goes a long way when it comes to the quality of your sleep.

I think bedrooms are pretty easy design-wise. They have a very specific purpose and that means very specific furniture and decor. What do you guys think? Have you ever struggled with decorating your own bedroom? Hopefully this post will make it a little easier for you!

Guest-Room-After-Image For more bedroom posts (and to see the more of the spaces featured throughout this post): sarah’s utah guest room | jacqueline’s master | sarah’s ohio master | sarah’s ohio guest room | sarah’s old guest room | show house bedroom | hewing hotel bedroom

11 Comments

  • Reply
    Courtney
    April 18, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    I am working on refreshing our bedroom now and I LOVE how in-depth this post is, seriously…thank you!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      April 18, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      So glad this is helpful, Courtney! Good luck with your bedroom refresh! xo

  • Reply
    Jennifer Hammond
    April 18, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time! We are redoing our master and just upgraded to a king!! I am glad to see your guest room photos again too, I’ve been fretting about the lack of space for the nightstands and how tight i thought it would be. We even have a small window just like yours over the bed. This was just the inspo I needed. Now to keep hunting for some new ( to me) nightstands =)

  • Reply
    Kelly Lynn Armstrong
    April 19, 2017 at 12:34 am

    This is SO SO GOOD! Love all of your rooms here Sarah xx

    • Reply
      Sarah
      April 19, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      Thank you so much, Kelly!! xo

  • Reply
    shannon
    April 21, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Great post. I have never used linen spray. If you make the bed every day, aren’t the sheets damp from the spray when you make it?

    We have a TV in our bedroom; mostly I use it to fall asleep. It’s not a great habit to be in.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      April 21, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      I typically spray the top of the duvet only, once the bed is made (mostly because I like the smell)! I totally get the white noise helping you fall asleep. I used to sleep with a noise maker, but I’ve slowly transitioned to using a fan. Thanks for reading, Shannon! xo

  • Reply
    Georgia
    April 21, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Hi, Sarah.

    Do you have any tips on where to find quality pinch pleat curtains? I’ve been looking for years, but the only ones I seem to find end up being out of my budget. I’ve been looking for something that is the same look… made the same way as the high end ones… but somehow less expensive (perhaps because the fabric is cheaper). We have two sets that came with the 1960 ranch we bought, but as you can imagine, they have become worn. I love the way they look, so I would love to replace them with something almost exactly the same, that will work on the same rods that came with the house, but in nicer condition.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      April 21, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      Hi Georgia, I also like pinch pleat drapery! Unfortunately, it’s super pricey no matter the resource. The cheapest I’ve found is at blindsgalore.com. Unfortunately, they’re not always the nicest to work with, but the products have always been great. I hope this helps! xo

  • Reply
    Cassie from True Agape
    November 3, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Great post. We transferred to a new home and planned to have our bedroom minimal decorations. I wanted it to give us a more relax aura and have a good sleep.

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