Design the bedroom of your dreams – ultimate guide for complete beginners!

Are you trying to design your bedroom? Struggling to fit everything in, or trying to decide where all your furniture should go?

Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused, and don’t know where to start?

I’ve put together this comprehensive guide to bedroom design (including a printable PDF floor planning and room layout tool with bedroom design checklist) to help you.

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Whether you’re moving home, or re-vamping your current home, you bedroom is one room you want to get sorted fairly early on in your home renovation journey. It’s your refuge, your escape from everyday life, and you want to be able to retreat to your bedroom to relax and wind down after a hectic day.

What’s included:

  • How to solve common bedroom layout dilemmas – are you working with a small bedroom? Or a huge space that feels almost too big? Or perhaps you have an awkward-shaped bedroom that you don’t know what to do with.
  • Designing the ideal layout for your bedroom –I’ll show you how to do this in a quick video tutorial (I’ve also put together a really handy free floor planning and room layout tool with bedroom furniture dimensions for you to use).
  • 10 steps to bedroom design success – follow these steps when you’re designing your bedroom, and you should end up with a fabulous room that works well and looks great too.


  • Free printable Ultimate Room Layout & Design Guide.

How to solve common bedroom layout dilemmas

Small (aka space-challenged!) bedrooms:

  • Think about whether you can use any items for multiple purposes, for example a vanity unit could also be a desk for studying, or a bookshelf could double up as a bedside table.
  • Consider compromising on the size of your bed; maybe go for a double bed instead of king size.
  • Could you use another room for clothes, shoes and other storage? This would free up space in your bedroom.
  • Get savvy about storage – are there any spaces that could be turned into built-in storage? Or could you use an ottoman / bench as a blanket box?
  • Use your walls wisely – wall shelves and cabinets are a great way to fit everything in without using up precious floor space.
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Large bedrooms

  • Zone your room – allocate different areas of your room to different tasks. For example you might create a dressing zone, a sleeping zone, a beauty zone and a reading zone. Anchor each zone with a statement piece such as a rug, artwork, mirror, wall colour, wallpaper or item of furniture.
  • Lighting - Use feature lighting (lamps, spotlights) to highlight different areas of the room and ambient lighting (ceiling lights, wall lights) to unify the room. Consider using different lighting for each zone too.
  • Choose furniture items that match the scale of the room, so that they don’t look lost! Consider a large headboard, maybe a 4-poster bed, a large mirror and a good-sized rug under the bed.


Awkward-shaped bedrooms

  • Concentrate on fitting in the vital pieces of furniture that you absolutely need (a bed, at least!), and then get creative about the rest.
  • Could you turn an awkward nook or alcove into shelving or a mini wardrobe?
  • Consider using a floating shelf and wall mirror for a vanity rather than having a free-standing dressing table.
  • Maybe two narrow clothes rails would work better than one large wardrobe?
  • The solutions for an awkward space will be as individual as the space itself. Find imaginative solutions to unusual spaces on Pinterest and Instagram – IKEA is great for ideas too.

Designing the ideal layout for *your* bedroom

Your own bedroom will present its own unique layout dilemmas. So how do you go about making your space work for you?

First things first, you need to decide what you want to do in your bedroom (no, not in a 50 Shades way, get your dirty mind back on track - this is an interiors blog don’t-you-know! ;) ). I’m talking about sleeping, watching TV, reading, dressing, beauty regime, storage, studying etc.

Then figure out what furniture and storage you need to make that lot ^ happen. Make a list.

Next up, you need to draw a floor plan of your room. There are a million and one (only a slight exaggeration) web-based tools and software options for creating floor plans. If you want to go down the electronic route, then I’d recommend


However, in my opinion, nothing beats a good old-fashioned paper floor plan. You can use graph paper for this, or grab my free floor plan grid which you can download at the end of this article.

Once you’ve drawn your floor plan, you can then play around with different furniture layouts. Make sure you’ve included all the “must have” items you need to have in your room. Check that your layout enough space for you to be able to move around the room. Ideally that means allowing a 750mm walkway, but you can get away with less – 600mm is OK and you can even get away with just 450mm walkways if you’re really tight on space.

Finally, test drive your new bedroom layout! If you’re using your existing furniture, you could move it around to its new configuration. If you’re working with an empty room, a great way to try out your new floor plan is to use masking tape to mark where each item will go.

Here’s my video tutorial to demonstrate how this process works:

10 steps to creating your dream bedroom

If you start at step 1 and work through this process step-by-step, you won’t go far wrong. Here’s what to do to design an amazing bedroom:



1) Start with the end in mind, and get clear on what you want to achieve.

Write down your goals for your bedroom, and what you want to achieve with your room makeover. You could use my 1-page Design Brief template for this if you like – click here.


2) Take stock.

Figure out what you’ve got to work with by measuring your bedroom, making a list of your existing furniture, accessories, etc. and decide how much you can spend on your bedroom re-vamp.


3) Decide on your new bedroom look:

Get inspired! Spend some time on Pinterest, Google images, blogs and home magazines, and decide what look and feel you want to go for in your room.

Pull your best images together on a mood board that you can use to keep you on track. (Tip: is great for this.)


4) Create the ideal layout for your bedroom (see video above):

Draw a scale floor plan.

Try out different room layouts.



5) Work out your colour palette for the room.

Start with a general colour direction – cool, warm or neutral – and decide on one main colour and one or two complementary colours that you want to use in your room. Make sure you test out your chosen colours together by getting paint, wallpaper and fabric samples.


6) Make a plan and write it down:

Decide what you’re going to change about your existing bedroom – and what you’re going to change it *to*. Think about your walls, floor, ceiling, lighting, trim (woodwork), storage and furniture. Make a list, and then decide WHO is going to sort out each item (DIY or professional).


7) Soft furnishings, bed linen and window treatments.

Decide what fabrics you’ll use in the room. Consider the best window treatments for your space (curtains, blinds, shutters, something else entirely?). Invest in good bed linen – you spend a whole heap of time in bed, so make sure it’s a comfortable and pleasant place to be.



8) Source the ideal accessories for your room.

Use your mood board for inspiration. This might include artwork, photos, mirrors, lamps, plants, ornaments, rugs and so on.



Paintbrushes at the ready, start putting your plan into effect.


10) And finally… Style it up!

Once the decoration work has been completed, put the finishing touches on your room by taking time to accessorise and style your décor. This step can make the difference between so-so spaces and Pinterest-worthy interiors.

Grab your free printable Ultimate Bedroom Layout & Design Guide.

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The PDF includes the Floor Plan Grid, Furniture Dimensions and Layout Tool I demonstrated in the video tutorial, as well as the 10-step Bedroom Makeover Checklist.


I really hope you found this bedroom design guide useful. Drop a comment below to share your bedroom design dilemmas or lessons learned!


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