5 Bedroom Styles: Which One Reflects Your Design Style?

Today, we'll talk about different bedroom styles. Once we decide to do the bed, the next question many of my clients ask is, how do I know my style? They wonder how to choose this and live with it for the next 10 or 20 years.

Today, we'll discuss the features of the different bed styles, from contemporary to bohemian to modern. Let's break things down so that you have a better idea of choosing the right style for you.

One of the first things I tell my clients to do when they don't know their style is to go through magazines, Pinterest, Google Images, and Google bedroom images. Start a folder and put about ten pictures in that folder. Then I want you to go back and look at those ten pictures and try to find the common thread that runs through them that you like.

Contemporary bedroom


Let's start with contemporary bedrooms. One of the elements that make up a contemporary bedroom is the muted colors. The fabrics are natural. Think silks and cotton, especially linens. The wood grains are typically lighter to more medium-toned wood, and the grains themselves bring in the interest.

Think of a rift-cut oak or walnut. A rift-cut oak is when the grains of the oak run linearly as opposed to the big circles that we're used to seeing in oak, and those grains are typically what make the design of the furniture.

So you'll see those grains run either vertically, horizontally, and sometimes even on the diagonal.

Bedroom with a contemporary style

A contemporary bed will typically not have a box spring and will be low to the ground.

In terms of colors, think very muted tones and very muddy colors like tan, natural, mauves, and khaki greens.

In your contemporary design, everything will be simplified with no intricate details. You won't usually see knobs or handles on the furniture pieces and lighting is very streamlined, as is the drapery treatment.

Traditional style bedroom

Traditional and clean traditional

We're in my bedroom today, which, as you can see, is a very traditional style. This is what I call a clean, traditional, and the reason I call it that is there are a lot of details in this room, but there is not any of the fuss that is usually associated with a traditional style.

For traditional style, think carvings, claw feet for the leg, heavy details and carving, and heavy woods like oak and mahogany. Think darker, heavier, very substantial furniture.

In clean traditional, you can see it's a lighter look. I tend to use many more painted finishes, but I bring in all the other traditional elements. The bed has carving, but because I've painted it, it toned down that carving. Caning for beds is typically quite traditional as it is upholstered.

Bedroom with traditional design

A traditional mattress is typically higher than a contemporary or more modern bed.

My preferred mattress height is between 28 to 30 inches above the ground. That's an important number because when building your upholstered bed, you'll need to know what that top-of-bed height is to get the right height for your overall headboard and the frame that holds that mattress.

Bedroom with traditional design elements

Other traditional design elements are painted or gilded furniture and drapes, usually done in layers.

They're a bit heavier natural fabrics, but some good-quality polyesters look like silks or satins, which would work well.

Bohemian-style bedroom


The bohemian style is really for the adventurous. Those who don't want to be tied to any particular style because it's a mishmash of whatever you like. Typical details that define this style are low-slung beds. They're closer to the ground, inviting, cozy, and comfortable bed materials.

Bedroom with a bohemian style

You'll see a lot of caning, rattan, wicker, and iron beds.

The fabrics are 100% casual and natural. Touchable fabrics, wool, and things that have a looseness and casualness.

Bohemian design in a bedroom

In Bohemian style, you'll see a lot of wall hangings or picture frames.

It's a collector's room, a place where everything goes. The fabrics on the windows are going to be translucent and natural.

The beds will typically have no box springs and, again, just something inviting and very comfortable to come into. The furniture will be a mishmash of items found together and, in some cases, a lot of do-it-yourself where the wear and tear on the pieces don't matter.

Bohemian interior design

Other elements that define this style are lots of pillows, muted colors, and throw blankets tossed at the foot of the bed.

Beaded chandeliers are a beautiful addition to a Bohemian space. Day beds are typically found in Bohemian environments because of their casualness and because the room can easily be moved around to accommodate different functions.

Cottage-style bedroom

Cottage style

This is one of my favorite styles. Cottage style is a soft, light, very relaxed bedroom style. Beds are typically painted caning, wicker, wrought iron, and upholstered beds, which comprise a big portion of cottage-style beds. Think tufting, wings, crushed velvet, or very soft, weathered velvet fabrics.

Bedroom with a cottage-style design

The fabrics themselves for bedding would be cotton, linens, and, again, washed silk. Relaxed, soft, and light fabric at the windows and on beddings.

The furniture is going to be a mishmash of styles. Mirrored, glass, and crystal are all big components of cottage style.

Cottage-style interior design

Weathered furniture, again, for that very relaxed, rustic feel.

In my cottage, I have a bench at the end of my bed, with layers of paint showing through.

Rustic bedroom

One of my favorite ways to mix rustic with the glam in cottage style is with an oversized crystal chandelier, it brings a beautiful sparkle to a room.

The beds are typically higher, so a box spring with a mattress is used here. Down-filled comforters and soft seating are all quintessential elements of cottage style.

Modern style bedroom

Modern style

Modern style is similar to contemporary style, but there are slight differences. The bed is still slung low and typically a platform bed.

The woods now are more mid to dark tone, and they usually but not always have a high gloss finish. The bed linens and the window coverings will all be very sleek and minimal, and there will be very little detail in the room.

Bedroom in a modern style

There's no ornateness. It's quite light in detail but still has a heavier, more substantial look because the woods are darker.

The colors, again, are very muted but not quite as muddy as in the contemporary style; they're darker and more saturated this time.

Modern bedroom

Think tan, gray, black, and beige in saturated form, these will all make up the more contemporary style.

Bedroom styles

Which bedroom styles are your favorites? Do you have one or multiple styles you love? Let me know in the comments below.

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2 of 13 comments
  • Susan Susan on May 27, 2024
    The more I look at interiors, the more I think it's a good idea to infuse more personality in. Some of these look so staged. I get that they are just samples to bounce off of, but many of them come off as lacking individuality.
  • Cindy Cindy on May 27, 2024
    I like the cottage. But I want my bed higher. No matter what style I like. Thank you for sharing this information.