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Photography by ROOMIN

It’s where we read, recharge, and daydream. The ultimate escape after a long, hard day. Our bedrooms are one of the few spots in a home we can call entirely ours, especially for those living in a shared space—be it family or roommates. Open to personalization, the bedroom is the one spot where we can really let our decorative minds and hearts run free. 

But it’s equally as important to make sure you have the fundamentals down. Aside from the staples (bed, nightstand, etc), there are a number of complementary pieces that transform an ordinary room into a restful retreat that promotes peaceful slumber. So, if you find yourself wondering how one should actually decorate a bedroom, we have you covered. Ahead, a shortlist of the essentials no bedroom should be without. 

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Photography by Wynn Meyers

Wall Paint

Be it whitewashed or saturated with an array of hues, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the bedroom. Even if you’re opting for the former of the two, embrace a shade of white that bares subtle undertones of a warmer palette—anything to impart the room with a hint of color. But be warned, there are a handful of colors you should definitely avoid

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Photography by CHRIS WARNES

Pillows

The more the merrier. For some, that is. Depending on the size of your bed, you will want enough (typically from one to six) so that your bed looks comfortable, but not so many that you can’t actually sleep in the bed.

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Photography by LINE THIT KLEIN FOR ELLE DENMARK

A Place to Sit

Think ottoman, chair—statement chairs are having a moment—or bench. It’s important to have a place to sit that’s not the edge of the bed. Think of a spot for talking on the phone, or putting on your shoes. 

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Photography by AMELIA TATNALL + BRITTNI MEHLHOFF

Color Details

A pop of color can go a long way, especially in a whitewashed setting. Experiment with bold color plays and saturated tones in the form of books or decorative accessories (check out Ikea for a few pieces we’re loving right now). Your mood will be instantly uplifted.

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Photography by GEMMA CAGNACCI

A Quality Mattress

You want something that keeps you cool and gives you great lumbar support. If you’re hesitant to spend a lot on a new mattress, keep this in mind: A high-quality mattress should last 10-15 years. A cheap one? Half that. But before you spring for a new one, here are a few things to keep in mind

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Photography by FRANCES TULK-HART

Something Personal

Make sure to fill your room with things that make you smile. Whether it’s art, a wall-hanging you snagged from a vintage fair, an inherited object, or whatever it may be, items that uphold sentimental significance can drastically change the aesthetic of a room. It’s personal. Enough said. 

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Photography by LAURE JOLIET

A Rug

Everyone hates waking up in the morning and stepping on to a hard cold floor. Layer that hard wood with a fluffy welcoming rug. Here are a few to get you started. 

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Photography by STADSHEM.

Plants

Bring in a potted plant (big or small!) to impart the bedroom with an organic color contrast and detail. A single plant can do wonders for a space, especially if it skews towards to the smaller side. Here are the best plants for the bedroom.

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Photography by LUFT DESIGN

Photos or Art

Believe it or not, family photos invoke memories and emotions that can keep you awake at night. Yep, even if your memories are happy. Choose to display those photos in the other rooms of your house. Opt for an oversized work of art or a colorful print to display in the bedroom instead.

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Photography by TESSA NEUSTADT

A Well-Curated Shelf

Whether you’ve earmarked a spot for your books, clothes, or art, designate a zone to display your most prized possessions—even if that translates into an extension of your closet. 

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Photography by STADSHEM

Great Bedding

If you want to incorporate different patterns in your bedding, the key is mixing it up to vary the scale, from small to large. Avoid bringing in too many dominating prints, instead opting for one or two statement pieces, complemented by a curated selection of more subtle accents. 

Need more inspiration? Here are the best sheets on the market right now. 

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Photography by LAURE JOLIET

A Nightstand 

Stock your nightstand with a carafe, a great book (or your favorite magazine… cough, cough), a potted plant or flower, and lamp for uninterrupted-sleep comfort.

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Photography by MOLLY WINTERS

The Absence of Tech

We’d like to enforce an electronics-free zone. Everyone breaks this rule but try your best to leave tech out in your living room or office. Your bedroom deserves to be a place for rest.

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Photography by THE LINE . THOMAS SLACK . HANNA TVEITE

Something to Pull It All Together

Style, color, pattern, or theme. It’ll keep the room feeling cohesive. If you have kiddos, then animals, robots, and princesses are more than welcome. 

Learn how to layer color and texture in the bedroom.

This article was originally published November 09, 2016. It has been updated with new information.

Discover more ways to make the most of your bedroom:

Why You Should Switch to Custom Color Bedding
7 Duvets That Were Made for a Refresh
The Absolute Best Bedding, According to Domino Editors

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