Bedrooms often are the last places a homeowner considers when renovating their home, seeing these rooms more for utility than potential beauty. But making smart changes through large and small improvements can turn an everyday bedroom into a place where you can rest, recharge and become the best version of yourself, interior designers and renovation experts agree.
“Our bedrooms need to be places that really serve us,” says Jasmine Roth, host of HGTV’s “Help! I Wrecked My House” and author of “House Story: Insider Secrets to the Perfect Home Renovation.”
Roth says many of her clients renovate a child’s bedroom before thinking of the primary bedroom, something she says is “counterproductive, because at the end of the day our kids don’t really care” about what’s in their rooms.
Rather, professional renovators like Roth and interior designers say bedrooms should serve the homeowner as a place to sleep, wind down and mentally prepare for the next day. These renovations can be significant – like adding an attached bathroom or walk-in closet– or more cost-effective, like installing wall shelves, putting in paneling or painting the walls.
Invest In An En Suite
As homeowners seek self-care, creating a spa-like experience in a main bedroom or bath is more popular than ever, says Patrick Thompson, principal at Patrick Thompson Design in Detroit. “Saunas, steam rooms and even a special place for meditation are common requests in the last couple of years and boosts these amenities give to both physical and mental well-being are hard to deny,” Thompson says. “People are realizing that the pace of life isn’t slowing down so as designers we are creating spaces that encourage and force us to slow down.”
Add a Walk-In Closet or Closet Organizer System
A walk-in closet or dressing room blends form and function in a key way, designers say. “This provides the opportunity to declutter and a place to leave, hang or lay clothes and add a seating area to sit, relax and recharge,” Thompson says. “It’s a great way to better program your space and create zones that are more functional as well as more peaceful spaces.”
Christina Giaquinto, a professional organizer and brand ambassador for Modular Closets in Lakewood, New Jersey, says closets are the second most important part of a main bedroom besides the bed. “When you walk into your closet, you want to feel both a sense of inspiration when beginning your day and a sense of peace at the end of the day when you are putting your clothes away or preparing for the next day,” Giaquinto says.
Energy-efficient construction means using materials that are better for your home costs and the environment, says Jen Stark, an interior designer and home-improvement expert at Happy DIY Home in San Francisco. “Another big trend in bedroom construction is the use of more sustainable materials. This means using things like bamboo or cork for flooring and using recycled glass or metal for countertops,” Stark says.
Ceiling are a big design element people often overlook, says Brad Ashman, owner of Chicago Renovation & Development in Glencoe, Illinois. “Either vaulted or coffered, you can add a lot of drama with a designed ceiling,” Ashman says. “Keep it simple or add additional wood treatments like beams and lighting fixtures to create a differentiation point.”
Thompson says a bedroom becomes a sanctuary if you include blackout curtains and blinds. “Sleep studies are proving sleep is more important now than ever and crucial to a healthy life, and these window treatments block our light and help muffle outdoor sounds, creating a true oasis from the outside world,” Thompson says.
Dominique B. Fluker, founder of DBF Interiors in Los Angeles, says new windows can change a whole room. “Update your windows to be more modern – the right light makes a difference in homes and can perfectly accent home décor.”
Layer in Textures
Thompson also says choosing the right materials in a bedroom can prioritize rest. “A dark, cool room that is quiet and outfitting with a great mattress and soft linens will ensure a good night’s sleep for even the lightest sleeper,” he says.
Believe it or not, paneling is back, and adding this texture will up your wall covering game, says Robin Antill, director at Leisure Buildings in Guildford, U.K. “It effortlessly marries traditional and modern aesthetics,” Antill says. “Adding paneling to your bedroom is an easy and inexpensive method to make a noticeable design statement without breaking the bank.”
Think About Color
Repainting walls is a cost-effective way to change your bedroom from boring to blissful. Calming hues such as pale blues, grays and greens are popular, but darker colors can create more intimacy to a space. Stefan Bucur, founder of home website Rhythm of the Home in Lewisville, Texas, recommends dark navy blue or classic French gray as well as sage green with gold for a sense of balance and serenity. “These colors help homeowners feel engulfed in a timeless space,” Bucur says.
Add Natural Elements
Stone, wood and bamboo are being used more and more to create a sense of warmth. “Wood furniture, natural fibers and stone accents are all popular choices for bedrooms right now,” says Steven Hill, an interior designer and founder of DIY Gazette in Switzerland. “The goal is to create a space that feels inviting, like a cozy cabin in the woods.”
Upgrade Your Lighting
Pendant lights and chandeliers can add a touch of glamour while wall sconces provide soft, ambient lighting, Hill says. Smart technology, like motion sensor lights, also makes a bedroom efficient as well as convenient, Stark adds.
Finishing Touches Matter
Roth says a bedroom renovation project is complete only if you add at least one piece of greenery, like a real or faux plant, as well as at least one framed photo of something that makes you happy. “It can be the beach from your last vacation, your dog’s nose or a selfie. It doesn’t need to even be a professional photo. It just needs to bring you joy,” Roth says.