The Basics of Master Bedroom Design

by Brice Particelli

See if We Have Top-Rated
Interior Decorators in Your Area

Related Articles

  • Find Top-Rated Pros
Designers & Decorators

Every master bedroom is different, and it should be. The size of the room will always affect design, but so should personality and need. Decorating your master bedroom is important particularly because this room is your home inside your home. What you see and feel in this room is what you wake up to every morning of your life and the last thing you see each night.

Starting Your Floor Plan
Size means everything. If you've got a nook for a sitting room or a porch off the side or just barely enough room for a queen sized bed, it will affect your master bedroom design. But whether you have a nook in your bedroom or your room is the nook, you need to first lay out the floor plan. If you aren't using an interior designer or decorator, you should still do exactly what they do. (Or at least do it in the arts and crafts fashion rather than a professional CAD drawing.) Draw a reasonably scaled picture of the room, cut out similarly scaled representations of the furniture you already have, and begin moving the pieces around the room.

Where to Begin
Deciding where the bed goes is the biggest decision. In college and before, the bed got shoved in the corner of the room, up against a wall. This makes the room feel even more cramped than it is. The key to bed placement is access and view. Do you have a window you want to wake up to each morning? Are there two people sleeping in the bed? What will each of you first encounter when stepping out of bed—a dresser, a view, open space? Because this room is such an important part of your life it is important to use sketches and then visualize how an average morning would begin in each design.

Other Considerations in Master Bedroom Design
Some sleep therapists suggest that even the presence of a television or computer workstation can disturb your sleep. This also clutters the room, incorporates that awful electronic hum, and allows no separation between your private time and your social and work time. Think of your master bedroom as your own personal oasis rather than an extenuation of your daily routine. In design, think open space beyond clutter.

Make your master bedroom masterful by hiring a local

Interior Decorator

The bedroom is often cluttered with far too many things, making the room look untidy and uncomfortable. Ask a few questions: do all of your clothes need to be in the bedroom? Do you need a desk in the room or will a sitting table work as well—offering a more inviting place to sit? Is a dressing table necessary or will the bathroom vanity do? The best thing to do is begin minimal, start small. If you find you are missing things, slowly add. Begin with an area rug, perhaps some plants. Start with things that add warmth to the room rather than clutter.

Should I Get an Interior Designer to Decorate My Master Bedroom?
There are many other things to consider. Lighting is an important aspect to bedroom design. Choosing the right fabrics or the right headboard and baseboard can be tricky. Those choices can add unnecessary clutter just as easily as having too much furniture. The choice of having wall-to-wall carpet over hardwood floors is equally important. All of these decisions can be made on your own, but it never hurts to have a set of trained eyes helping you make these decisions. When you wake up in the morning, you want all of those decisions to melt away, and instead to simply feel at home. Just don't get so comfortable you start skipping work to enjoy your new space!

HomeAdvisor expert Dave Lupberger sees some awe-inspiring master bedrooms and talks to the homeowners who did them, as well as some remodeling and architecture pros who make projects like these possible.

Brice Particelli, formerly a carpenter in Colorado and Kentucky, manages continuing education programs for Columbia University and is a freelance writer for both the home improvement and travel industries.