Mastering Bedroom Decoration


Laura Lee, owner of Laura Lee Home, gives us an inside look on primary bedroom decoration and how to make the most personal space in your home all the more special and stylish.

Edited by Moe Godat

Portrait photography by Megan Lorenz


Goals: Master bedrooms are among my favorite rooms to create for clients. Often, people wait to work on their bedroom until every other space in the house is completed. People spend so much time in their bedrooms, I feel it is a crucial room to complete. The umbrella for designing a master bedroom is creating a sanctuary. This space is your private place to relax, retreat from the world and feel nurtured.

Design Inspiration: The aesthetic of a well designed master bedroom varies as much as the tastes of each individual person. Most of our clients lean toward a quiet palette with softer patterns, but some people prefer a bold shot of color in their space. Scour shelter magazines, Instagram and Pinterest to find spaces that inspire you. Collect ideas and establish a budget before making any purchases. Clients are always surprised by the total cost of designing a space because there are so many elements in a room. Prioritize where you invest your budget. Establish a timeline for the project and stay the course until the entire room is completed. Often, clients get sidetracked and find themselves with three rooms or more in progress and in a state of overwhelm.

Bed + Bedding: Purchase a good quality mattress and mattress cover to protect it. Invest in the best bedding you can afford. Long staple 100% cotton sheeting is our go to for clients. A nice set of sheets will last 15 years or more. Simple white or soft ivory are versatile and adapt to changing decor. Layered bedding is best. A light cotton blanket or coverlet with a duvet for chilly nights works well. I prefer a light weight down duvet with a cotton or linen cover. Down alternatives are available for those with allergies. Purchase only washable bedding.

Furnishings: Create a collected vibe in your bedroom. I shy away from too many pieces of the same collection in favor of mixing two to three different styles. The bed is the biggest piece of furniture and will establish the tone for the bedroom. Select a well-made, sturdy piece that will last for years. Select a matched set of nightstands to provide symmetry and anchor the bed. The height of the nightstands should be within a few inches of the top of the mattress height. A drawer can conceal bedside items. If the nightstand does not have storage, I use a tray to corral items.

Flooring: Hardwood flooring with an area rug is my first choice for a bedroom. It is nice to have a soft place to step out of bed in the morning. The area rug should be as wide as the outside of the nightstands and extend to the end of the bed and bench. For clients who prefer wall to wall carpeting, we select a low pile rug and sometimes even layer an area rug on the top of the carpet to add pattern and color.

Seating: If space allows, I love to include a small sitting area in a bedroom. A single comfortable chair is a lovely place to make a private phone call or escape to read. Adding a bench or pair of footstools at the foot of the bed is nice for placing extra pillows or bedding for the night.

Window Coverings: We often use functional shades or blinds to provide privacy and light control in combination with drapery panels. Drapery panels add softness and a finishing touch to a room. Hanging the panels close to the ceiling creates a vertical element and adds drama to a space.

Make Your Bed: Limit the number of decorative pillows so it is easy to make your bed every day. Less clutter tends to accumulate when the bed is made and the space looks beautiful.

Lighting: One of the most polarizing conversations we have with clients is whether to install a chandelier or a ceiling fan. I love a statement piece chandelier to elevate the design of a bedroom and add some sparkle. However, many people simply cannot imagine sleeping without a fan. If you must have a fan, I prefer a simple design installed close to the ceiling without a light kit. Bedside lamps are important to provide task light for reading, to balance the bed and add another layer to the design. Matching lamps provide symmetry which is calming to our brains. Create a warm glow with incandescent or warm LED light bulbs. Install a dimmer switch for overhead lighting

Flowers: Fresh flowers and plants add so much to a space. A simple vase with flowers from the grocery store can make a bedroom feel luxe.