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How to decorate a bedroom

From the Resene decorating blog

Do you love retreating to your blissful, peaceful bedroom at the end of the day, knowing this room is your safe haven? Hopefully you do, because we all need a space away from it all, where we can escape to from the bustle of daily life.

A classic black and white bedroom

A classic black and white bedroom, anchored by a black-painted headboard to create a focal point, is warmed up with sunshine and peach tones. Wall in Resene Rakaia, floor in Resene Quarter Rakaia, headboard in Resene Shark with stripe in Resene Rakaia, bench in Resene Shark, round plinth side table and scalloped lampshades in Resene Santas Grey, basket (with olive tree) in Resene Jimmy Dean and bud vase in Resene Explorer. Project by Melle van Sambeek, image by Bryce Carleton. Duvet cover, sheets and pillowcases from Adairs, bubble pillowcase and watery throw from Katrina Hobbs, carafe and glasses from 10 Curated.

Bedrooms are the sanctuaries in our homes. It is here we retreat to for slumber at the end of the day and wake up, greeting the morning.

So much of this room's aesthetic impacts us emotionally. When our bedrooms are comprised of colours and textures that resonate with us, we'll immediately sense comfort here, feeling recharged and restored.

What also helps with this is the room's décor; photographs of times we've loved, people who are special to us, artworks that inspire us and a clutter-free setting.

If our bedrooms don't have a look that we connect with, this can sometimes have a negative impact on our emotions. So taking the time and thought into creating a bedroom that we love is worthwhile.

A key way to do this starts with colour on your walls and trims. Then look at the colours of your furniture, such as drawers and chairs. Once this base setting is in place, turn to your artwork, lighting and soft furnishings.

Interior designer Hamish Dodd says there are two camps of design when it comes to bedrooms. "One is light and airy, whimsical white with pastels, bringing in colour with bedding," he says. "The other is cave-like and moody."

"Ask yourself what feeling you want in your bedroom. If you want that cave feeling, there are no limits to a dark room. You can achieve a heavy feeling in a room with a dark bedhead, dark throws on the bed, dark drapes and a chair in the corner."

Look to on-trend sumptuous hues to achieve this effect, such as the deep charcoal of Resene Double Foundry, paired with accents in Resene Triple Joss or Resene Flashback. Or bring in the sophisticated navy of Resene Madison with accents in Resene Gold Drop and the amber of Resene Porsche.

The deep plum of Resene Arthouse will feel full of richness and life when paired with decor in the pink-red of Resene Geronimo and cerulean blue of Resene Retro. Add trims in Resene Half Black White and watch these colours resonate and pop.

"If you wanted to do something different," Hamish says, "use Resene Dauntless, which is a fantastic rich, teal green – it's fun. Colour your walls then pick a light white for the ceiling such as Resene Wan White."

A bedroom with warming earthy neutrals

Warming neutrals and soulful earthy tones are key to this blissfully peaceful bedroom. Layers of texture and colour bring depth, as seen in the throws and cushions, and in the subtle injections of paint in the pendant, skirting and headboard.

Main wall painted in Resene Eighth Stonehenge, return wall (at right) in Resene Half Gin Fizz, floor in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, slatted headboard in Resene Double Stonehenge, skirting board in Resene Ebony Clay, shelf in Resene Ebony Clay, lamp in Resene Corvette, mirror in Resene Corvette, tote bag in Resene Corvette (bottom) and Resene Half Barely There (side pockets), vases on chair in Resene Double Stonehenge (tall), Resene Half Barely There and Resene Rakaia (medium) and Resene Cinnamon (small) DIY artworks in Resene Corvette and Resene Rakaia and cork tealight holder in Resene Corvette. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton. Duvet cover, pillow cases, quilted bedspread, mirror (painted), rug and canvas tote bag (painted), from H&M, waffle throw and cushions from Collect Living, Ink moon by George Sands from endemicworld.

A bedroom painted with calming natural tones

Natural tones can help create a calming effect and green shades, in particular, relax our minds. Everything in this serene bedroom recreates nature’s beauty, be it inspired by earth or the sky.

Main wall in Resene Eighth Stonehenge, return wall (at right) in Resene Stinger, floor in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, slatted headboard in Resene Double Stonehenge and hook rack in Resene Half Barely There. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton. Linen robe, face vase and bedspread from H&M Home, pillowcases from Citta, artworks by Oslo from endemicworld.

Or if you want to go crazy, it only takes a two-litre tin of paint to paint a feature wall behind your bed. "You can do one coat per day so it's all easily done in a weekend, or an afternoon if you prefer," Hamish says. "Use Resene Twisted Sister for some punch! For me, it doesn't feel like a colour I'd wrap around a whole room as it's a 'look at me' colour. Other walls could be in neutrals such as Resene Alabaster, Resene Wan White or Resene Thorndon Cream.”

"Imagine walking into a white room and getting the bang hit of orange, which draws the focus to head of the bed. Bring neutrals and orange in through bedding and side lamps – play around with it. Remember, if you're working with colour it should be fun."

If you and your partner can't agree whether to go dark or light, compromise by choosing a dark, luscious Resene wallpaper with crisp white shutters and trims. This will allow for the dark walls to cater to the person who wants a cave-like feeling in their bedroom, and the white paint to serve the person who is drawn to the lighter aspects of the room.

You can choose a lighter coloured bedhead and bedding for the room also. "A lot of people end up having some furniture in a bedroom, so a light upholstered chair or foot stool at the end of the bed will work," Hamish says. "Lighter coloured side tables and light curtains in a natural linen finish will resonate too. If the floor coverings are dark, lift that with a pale coloured rug. Lighting is super important also."

For those drawn to a pared-back aesthetic, use Resene Black White, one of the most popular whites. For a warmer white use Resene Rice Cake. Remember, going pale doesn't mean it can't be interesting; you can bring in decorative details, such as a white lamp with an interesting texture on its base and a shade in a pale pattern. Bring in a headboard in a pastel stripe or floral that blends in with your curtains or bedding. How matchy-matchy you choose to go with your fabrics is up to you.

Unite the space and create synergy with textural materials and accents throughout. The key when using patterns is ensuring they don't overwhelm the space, get the balance right. You may want to keep the whole room full of soft, gentle colour, then throw a surprise element in with a patterned headboard that anchors the room.

The soft pink of Resene Half Pale Rose, the ever-popular Resene Half Duck Egg Blue and the gentle green of Resene Rainee are examples of soft colours that will bring your bedroom to life, especially when paired with fabric in the same tones.

A blue and green bedroom - blue stripes

You can always rely on colour to invigorate a space, and in this bedroom the stripe does just that but without being too heavy. Because the headboard is in the same blue, the impact is relaxing to the eye. Green surfaces bring a subtle contrast and the addition of an occasion chair is pleasing with its easy curves.

Back wall in Resene Mystic with stripes in Resene Relax. Tongue-and-groove panelled wall in Resene Surf Crest with trims in Resene Astronaut, floor in Resene Mystic with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Dusted Grey, headboard in Resene Relax with uprights in Resene Quarter Iron, bedside table in Karen Walker Chalk Colour in Resene Dusted Grey, small blue vase in Resene Astronaut, chair in Resene Surf Crest and lamp base in Resene Astronaut with hand-painted shade details in Resene Zephyr. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

A cocooning bedroom with layers of colour

Layers of colour work together expertly to evoke depth and a sense of cocooning. Although these shades differ from each other, they flow seamlessly and the round lines of the chair and rug give visual warmth to the cool tones.

Floor in Resene Alabaster, main wall painted in Resene Alabaster, headboard block in Resene Silver Chalice, green block in Resene Peace, pale green/grey block in Resene Helix, round cork tealight holder in Resene Peace, tall vase (with silver dollar) in Resene Peace, bedside lamp in Resene Silver Chalice. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Melanie Jenkins. Duvet and stonewash euro pillowcases from Allium, linen cushion cover from Citta, rug and faux eucalyptus from Freedom, armchair from Contempa, artwork by Vee Speers from Pop Motif, velvet cushion from Shut the Front Door.

Bringing a touch of nature's calm in always works, such as green. Look to the fresh Resene Willow Brook, revitalising Resene Spring Rain, dark pastel of Resene Summer Green or the rich tones of Green Pea. By tying in an extra layer of limewashed effect, you'll bring a sense of vibrancy to your interior too. Tie up your setting with timber finishes in your furniture, bedding and lighting in tones of warm white to lend a rustic, comforting effect. For those with a passion for print, tie in your green paint colour with a botanical wallpaper to capture a sense of peace. Team this with a jute rug and a green lamp base or pendant to complement your chosen colour.

Warming, autumnal hues will embrace the senses, leaving you feeling cosy and comforted. Think amber-pink walls, with soothing clay tones in your lighting, and bedding with cushions in teal, marigold and burgundy to balance. Use the brown-edged orange of Resene Moroccan Spice, the rich red of Resene Lusty, bold Resene Pizazz with the blue-green of Resene Maestro.

Or for a more powerful punch, embrace indigo blue that evokes the starlit sky, paired with uplifting tones of lilac, green and burgundy in your soft furnishings and furniture. This is a perfect setting upon which to add modern botanicals by way of wallpaper or curtains, or adopt a more masculine look with plain fabrics and brass lighting for a lift.

If you have an en suite off your bedroom, carry your colours into there too. This can apply to your floor tiles, cabinetry colour, lighting styles and towels in the same colour as your bedding.

Interior designer Stacy Heyman looked to the natural environment of the native reserve surrounding her home when decorating her master bedroom, using greens, browns and pinks. "I went with Resene Linen, Resene Akaroa and Resene Just Right," she says. "My general rule is to apply a neutral to 70 percent of the bedroom, then ease down to bolder colours for the remaining 30 percent."

"I used Resene Linen on our wardrobe, then Resene Half Linen on our built-in wooden headboard. For soft furnishings, I found a duvet in the same colour as Resene Akaroa and a throw in the same colour as Resene Just Right. It's by far the easiest tactic to choose your overall colour palette from Resene's range because you can take advantage of their testpots, create large A4 swatches and match different elements in the room to those swatches."

It depends on the person and their bedroom as to what aesthetic they choose, Stacy says. "We created a calming yet colourful sanctuary, pairing a few key colours with one of Resene's beautiful white textured wallpapers to add dimension, as well as a v-groove headboard ledge."

"Prints and large-scale artwork can elevate a room immensely, Stacy says. "And if you have space, always add in an occasional chair (don't let it become your dumping ground!), it becomes a nice space away from the communal areas if you aren't interested in lying down on your bed to read or work."

Ultimately, for a harmonious look in this space, including paint colours and styling, ensure the tones across your wall colours, trims and ceiling, decorative elements and soft furnishings all work together.

By taking in to account all of these elements, you'll have the right formula for a beautiful bedroom. Ensure the flow of space is easy, from the door to the bed, and around the bed itself. Consider the sensations getting out of bed in the morning. Do you need a soft rug underfoot for added comfort and pleasure? Make it a space you look forward to returning to at the end of each day. And relax…

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

Resene Helix

Resene Peace

Resene Twisted Sister

March 09, 2021

For more ideas and inspiration for your home, see the habitat plus – bedrooms book, free online or pick up a free copy at your Resene ColorShop.

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