Bedroom Design Ideas: 12 Design Mistakes & How to Fix Them

by Bai-Xu

I may look perfectly normal, but in my mind, I'm always redesigning every single room I'm in. I just can’t help it. It’s something I really enjoy, and I’m good at it, especially when it comes to creating new bedroom design ideas.

Take my current bedroom, for example. It's a perfectly fine room, but all I can see are things that need improving. I'm working on all of that but, in the meantime, let me share 12 common bedroom design mistakes I see again and again.

Poor bed positioning

1. Poor bed positioning

When it comes to interior design for bedrooms, accessibility should be at the forefront of your mind. As adults, we don’t want to climb over other people to get to the perfect sleeping spot, so make sure your bed is accessible from all three sides.

Where to position the foot and head of the bed

You should make sure the foot of the bed isn’t facing the door and the head of the bed isn’t directly next to it. These positions can make you feel vulnerable and anxious.

Hanging items over the bed

2. Hanging items over the bed

For good bedroom design, you should also avoid hanging a chandelier directly over your bed. It may look fancy, but you'll always have this nagging feeling that one day this chandelier might fall down on top of you.

Open shelves over the bed

Another thing to avoid is having a lot of open shelves.

Gallery walls above the bed

Or, gallery walls positioned right above your head.

Soft and soothing decor behind the bed

Instead, opt for something soft and soothing on the wall behind your bed.

Wrong furniture proportions

3. Wrong furniture proportions

Buying furniture that's too big for your space so everything is squeezed in actually makes your room feel a lot smaller.

Visually heavy vs visually light bedroom design

If you have a small room, don't pick chunky, bulky furniture. Instead, go for pieces that look visually light.

Too much furniture in a bedroom

On the other hand, if you have a large room, be cautious of buying too many pieces of furniture that are too small. This can create a cluttered and scattered look where your room lacks a focal point.

Choosing the right size bedside table

Lastly, try not to buy bedside tables that are too low. A good rule of thumb is to have them around 4 inches higher than the mattress.

How much space to leave around bedroom furniture

4. Insufficient space

One of the most uncomfortable experiences in a home is to feel like you're squished in, and there's just no space to move. You should leave at least 16 inches, ideally 30 inches, between your bed and the wall. And you should leave 40 inches between the wardrobe and the bed.

Lastly, aim for 3 feet of space in front of the dresser, so you can open your drawers and move around comfortably while getting ready.

Matching furniture sets

5. Matching furniture sets

Matching furniture may seem like a safe choice, but it can leave your room looking a little bit flat and uninspired. It'll look like you literally just picked your furniture out from a catalog.

Cohesive, but not matching, furniture in a bedroom

I mean, have you noticed that in design magazines, all of the furniture looks cohesive but not completely matching? Instead, it looks like a carefully curated selection of design that somehow just fits together.

How to spread out matching furniture

If you already have a matching set, don't fret. You can always spread it out across different rooms.

Wrong wardrobe location

6. Wrong wardrobe location

Whatever you do, please don't put your wardrobe directly in front of your door. When you walk into a room, you should feel welcomed into the space and not be walking into an obstruction.

Placing an exercise bike in the bedroom

7. High-energy distractions

Having exercise equipment and work-related items in the bedroom is sometimes a necessary evil, but having them right next to where you sleep is not relaxing at all.

Using dividers in rooms

So you keep them out of sight by using curtains, folding screens, or bookshelves as dividers.

Placing the mirror facing the bed

8. Bed-facing mirrors

You want to avoid placing mirrors directly facing the bed because reflections at night can be distracting and make you feel uneasy.

Positioning the mirror indirectly

Instead, position the mirror indirectly at the foot or side of the bed, hang it over the wall, or put it on the side of your wardrobe.

Nightstand by the bed

9. Only one nightstand

Two nightstands are always better than one since it's visually asymmetrical without it.

How to create visual balance in a bedroom

So if you have space limitations, there are alternatives for creating a sense of visual balance. You could have a nightstand and a chair, a nightstand and a very big plant, a nightstand and a little shelf, or a nightstand and a floor lamp.

Bright saturated colors in bedroom design

10. Bright saturated colors

While bright colors work well in high-energy spaces like shops or fast food restaurants, they are not ideal for creating a relaxing and calm atmosphere in your bedroom. Bright, saturated, neon colors are way too visually stimulating for you to be comfortably sleeping in.

Neutrals and earthy tones in bedroom design

Instead, opt for neutrals, pastel colors, or rich, earthy tones. They have a tranquil and timeless quality.

The importance of a headboard

11. No headboard

A solid headboard that's securely attached to your bed is important for providing a sense of security and support. However, if space or furniture prevents you from having a traditional headboard, there are some alternatives.

Creating a faux headboard behind a bed

You could hang a piece of tapestry behind your bed. You can paint the wall behind your bed by choosing a contrasting color or creating a unique design to create a focal point.

Using oversized pillows as a headboard

You can use oversized large pillows against the wall.

Using recycle materials as a headboard

Or, you can get creative and use recycled materials such as reclaimed wood, fabric, or even repurposed doors.

Wrong rug size for a bedroom

12. Wrong rug size

Avoid rugs that are far too small and fail to adequately cover the area beneath the bed because they can make the space feel incomplete.

How to choose the right rug size for a bedroom

You should try to have a rug under your bed that extends 24 to 28 inches out on each side.

Interior design for bedrooms

Alternatively, if you really prefer to have smaller rugs in your bedroom, you can use runner rugs on either side of the bed.

Interior design for bedrooms

Those are the 12 common mistakes I see most often when it comes to bedroom design ideas. If you enjoyed learning about them, please be sure to comment down below on your own most cringe-worthy mistakes and how you plan to fix them.

Join the conversation
2 of 11 comments
  • Tom69754122 Tom69754122 on Jun 08, 2024
    I agree with Patty. Too much variety can feel chaotic. It's all in how you accessorize.
  • Jam33112246 Jam33112246 on Jun 10, 2024
    Very informative video. Nicely done and easy to listen to, follow along and see the many valid tips and pointers she's recommended.