10 Common Bedroom Decor Mistakes & How to Easily Fix Them

I’m going to take you through the most common bedroom design mistakes that are preventing you from achieving a luxurious look and feel. I’m working with a client who is having a bedroom redesigned so I will use that project as an example in a few places. But I’ll also show you simple fixes for those bedroom decor mistakes.

Bed that is too large for the space

1. Avoid bed-cramming

Bed size matters. I often see a bed that’s too large for the space.

Bed proportions diagram

Best proportions

There should be a minimum of 30 to 36 inches of space all around the bed to make it comfortable to walk around.

Disproportioned nightstand

2. Pick proportioned nightstands

My client has a king-sized bed but the bedside tables are only 14 inches wide. The tables are not scaled properly for the size of the bed or the space that’s available. When choosing your nightstands, you really want to be able to fill the space on either side of the bed.

Nightstand with the correct height

Correct height

For me, the nightstand is an uber-important part of my bedroom because I use it for so many things. One of the things I look for is height. The height of your nightstand should match the height of the top of your mattress. If you go higher, you shouldn’t go any more than 2 or 3 inches. A drawer is really important for little things, too.

Comparing nightstands

Refurbish nightstands

There are plenty of options for night tables, even if your space or budget is tight. Look for second-hand furniture that you can refinish. Even a can of spray paint and adding new knobs can work wonders.

Pillow-top mattress

3. Choose a pillow-top mattress

Having a too-slim mattress can look awkward in a room. To get that luxe look, you need a pillow-top mattress. If you don’t have a pillow-top mattress, buy a pillow-topper to get that comfort and look.

Quality bed linen

4. Buy quality linens

Poor-quality linens detract from a luxurious look. Find simple, high-quality linens to elevate your bedroom and increase the quality of your sleep.

Placing the bed on the correct wall

5. Place your bed on the correct wall

Ideally, you should place your bed so you are facing the door of the room. Place the bed across from the door or in a position where you can easily see the door when you are lying in bed.

Open headboard

Choose an open headboard

Putting your bed in front of a window can be a problem, too. But if you have no choice, choose a low-profile bed so you don’t block the natural light that comes in through that window. Choose an open headboard, such as a wrought-iron design.

Dimly lit bedroom

6. Add more light

One of the most frustrating issues I see is dimly lit bedrooms. I light in layers, from pot lights, ceiling fixtures, lamps, or sconces, and I build night lights into many rooms I design. Most times, there’s only a ceiling fixture in a bedroom. Make sure that fixture is appropriately sized for the room.

To do that, take the width and length of the room–for example, a 10-foot by 10-foot room means the ideal size for your chandelier or light fixture would be 20 inches. I prefer scaling a fixture a little too large than small. Ideally, you would like at least an 80- to 84-inch clearance to the bottom of your light fixture. If it hangs over a bed, you can make that about 78 inches but no lower than that.

Warm light bulbs

Warm light bulbs

A light bulb and its color are both very important. Bulbs with cool light gives a room an institutional look and not a luxurious look, especially in a bedroom. Stick with a 3000K to a 3500K bulb.

Hanging lights in a bedroom

Hang the lights

If your nightstands are on the smaller size, consider a wall sconce or lamps from the ceiling rather than a table lamp so it allows more space on the table. There are many styles of sconces that allow you to plug it in rather than having the need to rewire a room. There are also remote-controlled light bulbs for sconces or lamps for comfort.

Neutral colors for bedroom decor

7. Avoid bold colors

The bedroom is supposed to be a soothing space where you recharge, not re-energize. Look for colors that are soft, natural, and organic. Keep walls neutral; a bit darker for moody and lighter for an airier look and feel. If you love bright, bold colors, just choose a piece of wall art or pillows to give you that pop of color.

Cluttered bedroom

8. Clean up the clutter

Too much visual clutter stops you from truly relaxing in your bedroom. It can look like too many pillows piled on the bed, nightstands with everything on the top rather than in drawers, and too much furniture clogging the space.

Tall armoire

Tall armoire

Instead of multiple bureaus, think vertically and get one floor-to-ceiling armoire to reduce the number of pieces. Putting the television behind closed doors eliminates visual clutter, too.

Layered drapery

9. Layer drapery

Start with a good quality roller blind (room darkening is best for sleeping) or sheers as your base if you don’t need the room completely dark to fall asleep. Layer drapery panels over sheers. The panels may be non-functional but offer color, pattern, or texture. Use a panel and a half on the side of each window for proportion.

Floor-to-ceiling drapery

Hang floor-to-ceiling

Also, make sure to hang the rod as close to the ceiling as possible and make sure the drapery panels just kiss the floor.

Bedroom decor mistakes and how to fix them

10. Choose the appropriate size area rug

Most often, I see area rugs that are too small. An area rug should be as wide as the nightstands and start a couple of inches before the nightstands so you can step onto it when you get out of bed. For example, if you have a nightstand that is 3 feet wide, make sure the carpet is also at least 3 feet wide on either side of the bed.

Bedroom decor mistakes

You can fix your own bedroom decorating mistakes and give your room a more spacious, and more luxurious look and feel. Do you see any of these issues in your own bedroom? Let me know your bedroom design ideas to create a more beautiful space.

Join the conversation
4 of 14 comments
  • Pamela Villardita Pamela Villardita on Oct 05, 2023
    I have drawers under my bed. I do not have any space under my bed and it’s very heavy to lift any other recommendations for a rug?
    • Robin Robin on Oct 28, 2023
      I use runner rugs on either side of the bed… that way we both have a warm, cozy floor but don’t need a large rug (our bed has a wood framed platform with no underneath space)
  • Sharon Travis Sharon Travis on Jan 22, 2024
    I love your ideas! I have a king mattress (Two xl twins together) on an adjustable base. Please tell me the best nightstands for this. Whenever I raise the head of the bed, the nightstand isn't reachable unless I keep it a foot from the back wall. Thanks!!
    • Donna Pritchard Donna Pritchard on Jan 23, 2024
      I have the same problem as you and I've been planning on floating shelves on the wall beside the bed to fix this issue also have floating shelves beside the bed to give a L shape.