Photo by Joan Kosmachuk

We’re in the process of transforming our boring boxy bedroom into a restful, romantic retreat. Like the rest of our house, this makeover is happening in stages, but I thought I’d share with you the 12 things I believe can transform any bedroom into the room of your dreams. (You know, just in case you want to get started on your own bedroom transformation this year, too.)

1. A good mood. Do you want your bedroom to feel “soft and romantic,” “bold and dramatic” or “clean and contemporary?” Choosing a mood for your bedroom will help you to pull all of the elements of the room together. It will also help you to narrow down your choices of color, texture, furniture and accessories.


The mood we chose for our bedroom is “a restful, romantic retreat.” Keeping this mood in mind will inform every purchase we make for the room.

2. Color. Having a mood for your bedroom can be incredibly helpful when you are choosing your color palette. We chose a soft gray/green for our walls and neutral fabrics for the windows and bedding.


But you may choose to go neutral on the walls and add pops of color with your furniture, bedding, art and accessories like my fellow blogger Cathy did in her spare bedroom, especially if your mood is always changing.

3. A comfortable bed. If you only have one piece of furniture in your bedroom, you need to have a bed — and this is not the piece to skimp on.


A good night’s sleep is the key to good health. (Doesn’t this room above from Dear Lillie look so comfortable?) Fresh pillows that support your sleep position, sheets that feel good next to your skin and blankets or duvets that allow you to sleep at a comfortable temperature are all part of creating a great sleep atmosphere.


Once you have the basic needs met, you can add decorative touches through throw pillows, duvet covers or blankets to further enhance the mood of your room — but be sure your basic sleep comfort needs are met first.

4. Window coverings. To further enhance your sleep, choose window coverings that provide any privacy or room darkening needs first. But once the utilitarian needs are met, choose fabrics that have texture or sheen to complement the mood of your bedroom.


We chose room darkening blinds (top down/bottom up) to block the light at night. We then added a layer of Dupioni silk drapes for a more luxurious feel and we hung them high to make the room feel larger. Plus, layering window coverings can provide extra insulation from street noise and drafts.

5. Layered lighting. Nothing sets a mood in a bedroom better than lighting. Start with your ceiling fixture (it should be a statement piece) and then work your way around the room from there.


We have wall mounted reading lights (very practical) and then chose a modern chandelier on the ceiling for a touch of romance. You’ll also want good light in the closet, reading lights next to the bed and maybe some candlelight to help set your mood.

6. Bedside tables. What you keep next to the bed is personal, so when you choose your tables, make sure they are large enough to house everything you need. And check that they are the right height for your bed.


I’m still on the hunt for new bedside tables for our room and since I’m going for a restful mood, I need bedside tables with hidden storage.

7. A rug by the bed. It’s nice to have something warm and soft to step on when you get out bed, so unless you have wall-to-wall carpeting, a small rug on either side of the bed is a necessity. I’m looking for something soft and plush that won’t compete with the rest of the room for attention.

8. Storage. Whether you store your clothes, shoes, bedding and other personal effects out in the open or hidden away in closets and drawers, you are going to need storage. Hanging rods, shoe racks, boxes or baskets, shelves, dressers, under-the-bed storage, clothes hampers etc., are all ways to bring order to the bedroom.

9. A mirror. The bigger the better. The size of your room, what light you have to reflect, the style of your furnishings and the mood you want to create will all factor in the type of mirror you choose.

4-26-11 Bedroom Mirror After2

I like this one A Classic Pearl found at HomeGoods for her bedroom. Think decorative, not just functional, with a bedroom mirror since you may find the best place to hang it is over the bed.


We chose a more contemporary HomeGoods mirror to hang over our non-working fireplace. This angled wall was always a dark corner in the room, but the mirror bounces light from the windows on either side.

10. A seat. If you have room, it’s always a great idea to have somewhere in the bedroom to sit (other than the bed), even if it’s just to put on your socks in the morning.

Bedroom reading nook

It could be a chair in the corner of the room, like this reading nook created by A Thoughtful Place, a window seat or an upholstered bench at the end of the bed. Be creative and see where you can place a seat in your room that also fits in with your overall mood.

11. Artwork. Art is personal and should speak to you. Your artwork should also reflect the mood of the room.


Whether it’s bold and graphic or soft and subtle, choose something that complements your decor and makes you smile every morning. I love the drama of this bedroom art featured on Domaine Home.


In total contrast, I chose these hummingbird watercolor prints — the colors are soft, soothing and fit with our mood.


I picked up the chrome frames at HomeGoods and placed three framed prints over the bed. I’m still looking for one more piece of art for over our chest of drawers but I can be patient until the right piece finds me.

12. Accessories. Keeping your overall mood in mind, now it’s time to add in those personal touches, whether it’s flowers, figurines, books or baubles. Accessories make a room look lived in and loved, and you can change them up as often as you like.


So, there you have it! A dozen things that are guaranteed to transform your bedroom into the room of your dreams. Here’s one last look at our “restful, romantic retreat” (in progress).


You don’t have to do all 12 things at once. Start with determining the mood you want, and then the rest of the room will eventually fall into place.

Keep your list handy the next time you are shopping at HomeGoods, you may find that one or more of those things is just waiting there for you to find it!

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