14 Rules for How We Style the Perfect Bedroom (+ 3 New Reveals)
We LOVE room reveals. Who doesn’t, right?! In fact, we love them so much we’re doing THREE today in one blog post. It’s a little bit of a different approach that we’ve taken with other Portland posts, but work with us. Like we said, we love us a reveal, but what we love even more is helping to empower you to take what we do and be able to translate that into your homes. For real. So in nailing down how to present the three guest bedrooms in the Portland project, we thought it best to not just be like “ohh pretty pictures, bye” but rather to get down to the nitty gritty—”back to basics” so to speak—of how to design and style a bedroom.
It’s a design show (you might remember?) inside a blog post, walking you through all the elements to keep in mind and why each of these individual rooms works. Hopefully, you’ll be able to channel your inner EHD and style a room (a bedroom for today’s purposes) hard, fast and effortlessly with solid styling tips.
Now, something to keep in mind is that these rooms were “styled to sell,” so, why although super beautiful, they all have a very similar look and feel. This just goes to show you that there are about 1,939,834,783,901 ways to style a room with one color palette and general style in mind. Let’s get into it.
You need to start with the bed (duh) and color palette. Unless you want things to get real crazy real fast, keep that palette relatively neutral and cohesive. In true EHD fashion, blues, whites and grays were the main palettes for these rooms, but regardless of which hues you go with, there are some “rules” to keep in mind to make your bed look GOOD no matter what.
Mix solids with patterns/texture: This is all about visual balance and interest. Though still great (minimalism is alive and well), plain, simple bedding alone isn’t exactly aesthetically stimulating. Mix in the pattern people. A good rule of thumb is that if your bedspread is solid, bring in a patterned blanket and/or pillow and vice versa (i.e. if your duvet is patterned, make sure to have a few solid elements so things don’t look chaotic). And because we get that pattern isn’t for everyone, the same rule applies for texture…make sure to use varied textures even if all in the same color palette.
Mix up the scale of the patterns: Has anyone ever told you to either pick your eyes or your lips when it comes to doing your makeup? Well, the same goes for pattern scale. No one wants their pattern combos to look like it has a dark smokey eye with a bold red lip. It’s just too much to take in. So don’t have all your patterns be small-scale or all large-scale. Using both will create that visual tension that we are all striving for.
Pillow configurations: We styled a different pillow configuration for each bed and they all look fun yet put together. The main rule is to mix up the pillow sizes if you are using more than one (remember my new-found love of the oversized lumbar pillow?) It’s all about creating that, say it with us, VISUAL INTEREST.
How and why these beds work:
1. The bright color of the blue duvet gives the bed a bold energy while the pillows (in three different sizes) contrast the solid color with three different fun patterns. Notice that the patterns are also in three different scales. The reason they don’t look like a clueless person put them together is because they are all in a cohesive color palette.
2. Bed two (the wild child of the three with its bold quilt and FOUR throw pillows) shows that some balanced boldness goes a long way. Since the quilt is loud in pattern, the majority of the pillows are quietly patterned. Now, this bed would have still been very pretty without that jolt of mustard yellow and retro round pillow, but it’s much more fun with them. Don’t you agree?? Oh and also note the pillow sizing. Perfectly descending.
3. This bed is where texture took the lead. All white bedding doesn’t have to be boring. That white pom pom throw blanket gives the bedding dimension and makes you want to jump in and get cozy quick. For the pillows, we wanted to keep this one simple. We only used two decorative pillows but with a large size difference to create a bit of drama. The tassels on the front pillow add texture and playfulness while the velvet lumbar pillow brings just the right amount of luxury. HOT TIP: Velvet will always make a space feel more luxurious. With that said, can someone pass me my champagne?? I am simply parched.
SIIIIP (said in Orlando’s Instagram story voice)
Shall we move to the side and talk nightstand styling? Okay great.
Let’s discuss how to choose the perfect nightstand for your bed before anything else. As you will see from our three bedrooms, the nightstands have an opposite visual weight from the bed. What we mean is if you have a chunkier upholstered bed then go for a more delicate looking nightstand and if you have a more delicate bed frame then go for a chunky nightstand. Also, consider the materials. Mix it up for a more interesting and “designed” looking pairing. But enough about the nightstand because we are here to talk about what to put on top. Here are the guidelines we use…
Scale: We talk about scale for everything because it’s that important. You want the pieces you put on your nightstand to vary in size. This helps the eye move around (plus just comes off more interesting, full stop).
Levels: Scale and levels go hand in hand. If all your pieces are the same height (or size) A. you won’t be able to see what you have easily and B. it’s not going to look interesting (like we said about scale). Your eye wants variety. Eye candy is a real thing people.
Shape: Mix up the shapes, too. Pair a sculptural lamp with a round dish and finish it off with a square frame. They will look eclectic and collected in the best way.
Pattern: You want to be careful and not go all out in the pattern department on the nightstand decor. Save that for the bedding, rug, art…you get the point. The nightstand should be your simple happy place where just a hint of pattern should hang out. A little goes a long way and will bring in just the right amount of fun. Plus, a nightstand first and foremost is functional (a place to leave a book, water glass, and eyeglasses for instance, so keep things simple).
How and why these work:
1. This nightstand is the perfect example of proper scale. The lamp and vase have almost identical shapes but because they are VERY different sizes (and colors) it totally works. Now, this combo doesn’t have an obvious pattern but the flowers fill that category. FYI flowers or greenery are always a good call. 🙂
2. Simple but interesting. The differing shapes of the lamp and candle contrast in a great way. On the same note, they are visually interesting in different ways. The lamp has a great silhouette but is subtle in color, while the candle is simple in shape but has a fun pattern. Now if only we could always have color coordinated books at ALL TIMES.
3. This combo has it all: Varied scales, levels, materials and a small splash of pattern. This nightstand is definitely wider than the average so finding decor that works scale-wise was important. Enter that wide awesome vintage box. There would have been too much dead space had we used a smaller box, but there’s still enough surface area to be useful for real life.
We have talked A LOT about lighting over the years. Lots of awesome tips in this floor lamp post. But today, we want to talk about the option to go symmetrical or mix and match with your bedside lighting. Both are great (I mean we used both styles in Portland) but there are some things to consider.
Symmetrical: With symmetrical lighting (aka the same lamp on both sides of the bed), you want to make sure the scale feels right. Because there are two of them, you don’t want to go with two mega huge lamps that are going to visually swallow up/dwarf your bed frame. Mirrored (as in the same) objects really draw the eye, so you can be a little more subtle.
Mix and match: Okay, with mixing up the lighting, you want the scales to be different enough without your eye getting confused with where to look. We really love the table lamp and floor lamp combo above, for instance. While they’re obviously different in terms of height and visual weight, neither of them are super ornate, they both have a white drum shade, and they “talk to each other.” What we mean by that last statement is your lighting needs to share some sort of similarities, be it a similar lampshade shape, color palette, materials or shape. They don’t need to be the same but they should be friends. Gal pals, not twinsies.
How and why these work:
1. Aside from the fact that these are just awesome table lamps, they are large enough to stand up to the large bed frame but not so big that it’s all you notice in the room. IMPORTANT RULE: Your bedside table lamp should be around 1/3 of the surface size of the nightstand. This will help a lot in choosing your lighting.
2. Here, the table lamp is more mid-century modern and the floor lamp has a clean, minimal style. However, both of these beauties are linear, have white shades and are neutral in tone which is why they work so well together. Unlikely friends are the best of friends.
Or should we say the jewelry of the room?? It’s the finishing touch that really makes a room but it can be VERY intimidating to pair together. But that’s why we are here. Help is on the way…
Varied configurations: Mix up how you hang your jewels (aka art). Don’t do two gallery walls in the same room. Try doing a diptych (two corresponding pieces side-by-side), triptych (three corresponding pieces) or a classic single piece by itself. We also love and sometimes forget about stacking pieces vertically, too.
Vary scale: If you are hanging art in more than one area of your room, make sure to mix the scale of pieces. While you can absolutely do everything in the same size, it might be a little more interesting if sizes and shapes were varied.
Mix media: Our favorite kinds of art combos are the ones where there are at least a couple of different media. For example, you could mix a collage piece, a line drawing and an oil painting. Having a variety will give your room depth and soul.
Switch up frame colors: Just because they are in the same room doesn’t mean they all need to be the same. Personally, we love a thinner frame (more modern) but have fun with different widths and finishes. Mixing those up will just add to the character of the space.
Color palette: Keep it in the family. Using a decided color palette will allow you to get a little crazier with the art’s medium and size. Otherwise, if you have too many colors in a bunch of bold pieces, your room is not going to feel very cohesive.
How and why these work together:
Okay, so the color palette is cohesive, the configurations and scales are all varied and the mix of the flower pieces gives the necessary quirkiness to the collection. They are quiet but bold and interesting all at once. Also, the pieces are pretty modern which helps offset the more traditional feel of the rest of the room. It’s unexpected which makes it cool. 🙂
How and why these work together:
Very similar to the first room, the color palette is simple and the medium, configuration and scale are all varied. The pieces on the wall by the bed are a bit quieter to let the bedding and pillows shine. But then we went bold in color for the art on the opposite side of the room for balance. We love how it turned out.
How and why these work together:
We feel like these two pieces are siblings. The beautiful Jane Denton embroidered piece is like the super put together, organized older brother and the piece on the dresser is the crazy, free-spirited little sister just leaning with no desire to be hung up. Both beautiful and necessary to make a happy, colorful family. Since the art in the room is minimal and abstract, it works that both pieces are similar sizes and frame colors. #weLOVEanologies
Et voila! So, so many lessons for how to easily style the perfect bedroom in a way we hope comes off clear and definitive. Three rooms that all follow the same rules(ish) these still have a personality of their own. Also, we just want to say, that this is to set the framework for a bedroom. Layering in your own personality, photos, treasured pieces is what brings a room to life…but a house, no matter how stylish can’t be built without a foundation, right? Let us know what you think, as always, and for any “where’s so-and-so from?” questions, we put together ALL THREE Get the Looks for each bedroom below. Xx
1. Roman Shades by Hunter Douglas through Decorview | 2. Windows by Milgard | 3. Abstract Art by MaryAnn Puls | 4. Flush Mount by Rejuvenation | 5. Abstract Art by MaryAnn Puls | 6. Table Lamp by Rejuvenation | 7. Side Table by Ethnicraft | 8. Bed | 9. Rug | 10. Arm Chair by Thos. Moser | 11. Pillow Sham | 12. Pure White by Sherwin-Williams | 13. Velvet Pillow (similar) | 14. Coverlet | 15. Kiya Fabric (made into pillow sham) | 16. Wood Flooring by Hallmark Floors | 17. Vase | 18. Scarf | 19. Mug (similar) | 20. Hyacinth Print | 21. Poppies Print | 22. Door and Window Casing by Metrie | 23. Baseboard by Metrie | 24. Moulding by Metrie
1. Windows by Milgard | 2. Roman Shades by Hunter Douglas through Decorview | 3. Flush Mount by Rejuvenation | 4. Abstract Art by Jane Denton | 5. Mirror by Thos. Moser | 6. Lamp | 7. Bed | 8. Nightstand (similar) | 9. Rug | 10. Duvet Cover | 11. Velvet Bolster | 12. Pom Pom Blanket | 13. Ladder | 14. Surgical Box via Aurora Mills | 15. Tassel Pillow via City Home | 16. Pitcher | 17. Leather Bowl | 18. Abstract Art by Maja Dlugolecki | 19. Desk Lamp | 20. Macaroni Vase | 21. Wood Flooring by Hallmark Floors | 22. Pure White by Sherwin-Williams | 23. Dresser by Thos. Moser | 24. Door and Window Casing by Metrie | 25. Baseboard by Metrie | 26. Moulding by Metrie
1. Windows by Milgard | 2. Roman Shades by Hunter Douglas through Decorview | 3. Table Lamp by Rejuvenation | 4. Flush Mount by Rejuvenation | 5. Abstract Art by MaryAnn Puls | 6. Abstract Art by MaryAnn Puls | 7. Bed by Thos. Moser | 8. Nightstand (similar) | 9. Rug | 10. Sheet Set | 11. Pillow Sham | 12. Duvet | 13. Wooden Bowl Stacks by Thos. Moser | 14. Candle | 15. Plaid Tray (set of 2) | 16. Ceramic Vessel | 17. Front to Back Book | 18. Houses Book | 19. Photography Calling Book | 20. Desk Lamp by Rejuvenation | 21. Floor Lamp by Rejuvenation | 22. Embroidered Art by Annie Odorisio | 23. Dresser by Thos. Moser | 24. Wood Flooring by Hallmark Floors | 25. Pure White by Sherwin-Williams | 26. Door and Window Casing by Metrie | 27. Baseboard by Metrie | 28. Chair
***Photography by Sara Tramp for EHD