Don’t Make These 7 Bedroom Design Mistakes

To catch a glimpse of a homeowner’s true design sensibility, skip past the manicured lawn, through the primped foyer, and into the bedroom. This inner sanctuary is most reflective of your personality—evoking creativity, passion, and energy through careful curation of paint, lighting, furniture, and mementos. However, a bedroom's full style potential can easily be thwarted by ill-conceived furniture arrangements, kitschy paint finishes, and obtrusive embellishments that turn your bedroom into bedlam. To ensure that you aren't sabotaging your own sense of style, click through for seven common bedroom design don’ts—and how to avoid them.

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Model of Imperfection

Zillow Digs home in Highlands Ranch, CO

If your bedroom looks like it’s from a model home, it may also feel like a model home—cold and uninviting. Your bedroom can serve as an extension of you, ruffles and all. Transform it from dour to dreamy by swapping perfectly-coiffed pillows, uncomfortable armoires, and purely ornamental decor with graphic cushions, plush couches, and meaningful personal artifacts.

Related: 10 Simple Ingredients for a Very Comfortable Bed

An Unsound Plan

Zillow Digs home in Chicago, IL

When arranging bedroom, you should keep in mind not only space-efficiency, but acoustics. If you position your bed against a wall separating your bedroom from the entertainment room, or place your study desk near the door to a high-traffic hallway, you encourage noise to disturb your zen. Before you back your design plan and furniture up against a wall, assess their prime locations to avoid unwelcome acoustics.

Related: 10 Space-Saving Solutions for Small Bedrooms

Unfit for a King

Zillow Digs home in Fort Thomas, KY

It’s a small world—made even smaller by an oversized bed in your room. A king-sized bed placed in pint-sized dimensions not only diminishes walking space, but it also becomes the jarring focal point of your bedroom. Choose a bed appropriate in scale to the dimensions of your room. Adorn smaller beds with homey bed skirts and cushions to add comfort without occupying valuable square footage.

Related: 11 Reasons We Love Blue Bedrooms


Zillow Digs home in Santa Barbara, CA

It’s essential that you infuse your personality into your bedroom with keepsakes like books, photos, wall art, ceramics, and souvenirs from bygone travels. However, filling your room from floor to ceiling with every piece of nostalgia not only clutters your bedroom space but your headspace, too. Curate decor from your most treasured of personal accents for a spacious and stylish bedroom that is unmistakably you.

Pushing Boundaries

Design by Brown Design Group; photography by Matt Wier

Integrated bedroom-bathroom plans with either no wall or a clear, glass wall have grown popular in modern beach homes, though they inadvertently transform the bedroom into a public spa. If you choose a bedroom plan with an adjoined bathroom, consider adding a modesty partition, curtains, or frosted glass rather than clear glass to lend your room open-air mystique as well as an air of privacy.

In a Bad Mood

Zillow Digs home in Roseville, CA

From dim to full-on bright, different settings of lighting can lend a cheerful, relaxing, or pensive aura to a bedroom. But light fixtures—much like the actual level of brightness—have an equally powerful influence over the mood of a bedroom. The clash of bold, ornate wall sconces with soft, subdued lighting, for example, detracts from the intended ambiance. Whether you select an old-world chandelier or contemporary LED lights, the style of your light fixtures should align with the mood conveyed through lighting.

Related: Design Ideas to Steal from 9 Beautiful Bedrooms

Sponging Off of the Walls

Youtube via Howcast

Sure, it’s great to get a little texture onto the walls for visual interest, but sloppy sponge paint finishes can make your walls look like they survived a mudslide—particularly when hues of brown, beige, or rust are used. You can temper the unsightliness of a traditional sponge finish through a technique called subtractive paint sponging, in which paint is removed rather than applied. With a sea sponge, sponge off a lighter or darker paint glaze for a subtle effect of visual depth. Consider muting the effect even more by limiting it to one accent wall rather than the full room.

Related: 10 Color Picks to Set Any Mood in Your Bedroom