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Decorating a Master Bedroom

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Master Bedroom in shades of gray

Decorating a Master Bedroom is a special type of design project. Why? Well, it is a special type of room, and I don’t mean that in the romantic sense only.

The Master Bedroom may be used by one or more people, and romance may or may not be a part of the picture at the moment.

But, this is always a special place in my home for several reasons:

1) The master suite is a haven of privacy and solitude for most
2) I want this space to reflect my taste and decorating preferences
3) This room holds memories for me, and I want to have them visible around me
4) The contents and organization of this space, bedroom + bath + dressing area (if you are fortunate enough to have some or all of these areas) enables me to relax and enjoy the special moments.

So this interior design project of decorating the Master Bedroom is of particular significance. Let’s talk about how to create that special place in your home.

I work with many design clients who give me photos from magazines and tell me, “I want my (you fill in the blank) room to look just like this...I love it!"

The Master Suite is no exception. You might treasure a photo you found online, perhaps like the romantic and colorful bedroom shown above, or have a Pinterest Board with all of the colors, furnishings and layouts you adore, and have dreams of creating just such a place in your own home.

That is a wonderful start to your project, and in fact can be extremely helpful in deciding how to create the look you desire. Just remember to be realistic in terms of budget and size of the space.

Five Steps for Decorating a Master Bedroom

Coastal Style Master Bedroom


1. Assess the bones of the space as it is right now. 

Decide what you are going to do with the walls and the flooring when decorating a master bedroom. If your preference is Cottage Style and there is faded orange shag carpet on the floor...potential problem.

What color are the walls? Is this acceptable or do you need to paint (one color, accent wall, wallpaper, faux finish) the space?

Windows - decorating a Master Bedroom means that you want the choice to have total privacy, but also may want to let in some filtered light. Or, you might have a magnificent view from the bedroom windows, so want to enjoy that as much as possible.

A layered window treatment can address most of those situations. The window itself may have a blind that can be opened and closed. There might be fabric panels on each side of the window to add softness to the area. Then, a valance of some sort across the top of the window to tie everything together. The image below from bhg.com is a wonderful example of this.

Elegant Master Bedroom decorating

How about the trim around windows and doors, baseboards, etc. Are you going to add crown molding, beaded board, wains coating or any other type of special trim? Now is the time to decide.

2. Decide how the space will be used.

There are endless sizes, shapes and styles of master bedrooms, and a lot depends on when the home was constructed. I lived in a vintage craftsman style home for several years, and the master bedroom was about 12 x 12 with a small closet. The bath was across the hall. Nothing ‘suite’ about this space!

So take into consideration the size and shape of the space, as well as your budget, then determine what you want this room to do for you when decorating a master bedroom.

For example, is the space large enough for a reading corner, with accent chair(s), small table and lamp?

How about lighting? Do you want the option of brighter lighting at times? Dimmer switches to control how much light goes into the space, ceiling fans, etc.

Do you want a TV in the bedroom? I am probably in the minority in that I have never watched television in bed, and my husband and I still do not have a TV in our master suite. But, most people enjoy that option, so make sure you decide where that will be placed.

Bedroom with built in TV

Is this room going to multi-task? Office space needed with a small secretary or corner unit? There are many unique and interesting home office petite desks available now in just about any finish and style you can imagine.

Does the closet/storage (or lack of it) dictate the use of an armoire? That is a large piece of furniture, so be sure to account for the space it will take up in the room.

3. Determine your color palette and where the colors will be used when decorating the Master Bedroom.

This step actually goes in concert with the first two, as color plays into every decision you’ll make when decorating the master bedroom.

Most of the time, the walls in this space will be where the lighter shades in your palette will be placed.Accent colors are an option if you have interesting angles to the walls, with natural starting and stopping points.

Remember that the master suite is usually a haven of rest, relaxation and privacy, so soothing wall shades with bursts of vibrant colors (if these are on your palette) will probably provide the type of environment you desire.

Take the time to decide HOW and WHERE you are going to use the colors in your palette, and it will save you time and stress further on down the line.

Vintage Style Master Bedroom

4. Are you using existing furniture?

How does it fit the space of the room? Too large, and you have to weave your way around. Too small, it looks lost and wanting.

If you are placing an existing bedroom set into a master bedroom that is not quite large enough to accommodate, think about taking one piece out of the set. Take the chest of drawers, for example, and place it in another guest bedroom, or in the entry as a hall piece, instead of cramming it into the master.

You’ll not only run into it more than once, you’ll walk into the space and instantly know that there is too much furniture in there, and that will not help the goal of relaxing and de-stressing.

Or, if you have a set of nightstands that just won’t fit, take them out and consider a tall narrow open shelf unit on each side of the bed. They won’t take up more than about 12” of space, but you’ll have four or five shelves to place a lamp, books, alarm clock, etc.

How about a huge master suite with not enough furniture, or pieces that seem dwarfed in the space? When decorating a master bedroom, this can be a tough situation.

Master Bedroom in Log Hom

First, consider placing the bed at an angle, perhaps where there is a really nice view out the window that can be seen. It will give the bed increased presence in the space.

Is the dresser a little puny? Consider purchasing a mirror with a chunky frame and of the same length as the dresser, to give it some pizzazz and make it appear to have more mass as a duet of pieces.

Add an accent chair or love seat to the space. Not only will it provide additional furniture, you'll have an area to sit and relax, put your shoes on :) or enjoy a good book.

If you are going to purchase some, or all, new pieces, it is the perfect opportunity to place the pieces of the correct scale to fit the overall size of the master bedroom.

Most decorating styles can work very well mixing and matching pieces, so use your reference materials to determine what you love, then put together an interesting group of pieces, should that be your desire.

Shop high end, lower end, mid line, online...there are so many choices now that I can literally say that there is something for everyone’s taste and budget!

5. To finish decorating a Master Bedroom, use accessories that you love.

Photos, collections, favorite artwork, special things created by loved ones...everyone will have a different list, but we all have things we adore.

For me and my husband, it is a combination of photos, special cards we have given to each other along with a couple of unique gifts on display. Nothing extravagant to the casual observer, but everything displayed has a very special meaning for us. The rest of our Master Bedroom is very simple, but provides us with the relaxing, stress free environment we both need at the end of a long day, surrounded by the memories we cherish.

Decorating a Master Bedroom doesn't have to be difficult as long as you have a plan and follow it!

Now that you have done your homework and created a plan for your private haven, what pieces to you need to complete the space? If you're like me, time is always short and I am not a fan of spending hours at stores looking through so many options that are not 'the one' for me.

My favorite go-to online source is Wayfair.com! I use it for both personal and business purchases. Read more about it here and then see what treasures you can find for decorating your Master Bedroom...

Why I Love Wayfair.com...

  • It's my go-to source for personal purchases, clients and home staging inventory
  • All decorating styles
  • Incredible selection
  • Unbeatable pricing
  • Upfront shipping and delivery info
  • Easy return process
  • Read more & see what I buy at Wayfair!

...give Wayfair a try...you'll love it too!

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