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10 design don’ts of modern bedrooms

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
4 Connecting Voids House at 21 Jalan Mariam Modern style bedroom by Lim Ai Tiong (LATO) Architects Modern
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It’s no secret that a lot of houses with neat-as-a-pin social areas (like living rooms and dining areas) often hide cluttered and unkempt bedrooms. But why is this? Solely because bedrooms are private zones, meaning they are not open to visitors (not all of them, anyway), thus resulting in their neatness and style often being overlooked. 

But Interior Designers and Decorators say neglecting your most private space is a big design blunder. The bedroom should be seen as a place where you want to spend time, not because you have to retreat there every night to rest up for the following day. After all, we all deserve to come home to a beautiful and calming space where we can close off the world and indulge in some relaxation. 

So, how do we sidestep design blunders when it comes to modern bedrooms? With these 10 tried-and-tested tips of ours, of course!

1. Don’t sit in the dark

A single overhead fixture creates harsh shadows, making it hard to see what’s in your closet. Layered lighting is what you want, in the form of wall sconces, table lamps, and perhaps even an extra floor lamp in the corner (if you have the space). 

2. Don’t go crazy with colours

Although colour is a great design tool, it should be used sparingly in a room that’s meant to relax us. To keep your bedroom’s ambience subdued, neutral hues (like whites and off-whites, greys, beiges, etc.) are the best options. But of course if you want to play with more colourful tints, make sure those forest greens (or bubblegum pinks, or ocean blues) don’t overthrow the room. 

3. Don’t overcrowd the space

It shouldn’t be a challenge reaching your bed, or the closet, or your desk in the corner. Only opt for furnishings that you absolutely need, especially in smaller bedrooms. And don’t over-accessorise – a few simple accent pieces can ensure a simple yet effective look.  

4. Don’t forget about your windows

No need to resort to thick drapes cascading from your bedroom ceiling – simple block-out blinds work just as effectively. Just think practical to help keep daylight and prying eyes out when necessary. At the same time, daylight needs to pour indoors during the day to keep the space fresh, so make sure your window treatment can be pulled or tied back. 

5. Don’t bring the everyday in

Bedroom display shelves by Swish Design Works Modern Plywood
Swish Design Works

Bedroom display shelves

Swish Design Works

Nothing wrong with some books in your bedroom, but a beeping cell phone, a laptop pinging every time an email comes through, exercise equipment, etc. all remind you of daily tasks you have to complete. 

The less you have to plug in, the better! After all, bedrooms are reserved for reading, sleeping, and romance. 

6. Don’t forget about a comfy seating spot

FRANKEL STREET Modern style bedroom by Eightytwo Pte Ltd Modern
Eightytwo Pte Ltd


Eightytwo Pte Ltd

Whether for reading or putting on shoes, a cosy little seating spot can make all the difference to a modern bedroom. And if you don’t have the legroom, consider a built-in bench under your bedroom window. 

7. Don’t forget about luxurious linens

Daughter's bedroom by Swish Design Works Modern Plywood
Swish Design Works

Daughter's bedroom

Swish Design Works

Even kids’ bedrooms should be designed with style and functionality in mind, and that includes decent linen. Some plush pillows, sumptuous sheets, cosy covers, and perhaps a throw can up a bedroom’s lavish look while making it look oh-so soft and welcoming. Don’t forget about a floor rug! 

8. Don’t pick out-of-scale furniture

4 Connecting Voids House at 21 Jalan Mariam Modern style bedroom by Lim Ai Tiong (LATO) Architects Modern
Lim Ai Tiong (LATO) Architects

4 Connecting Voids House at 21 Jalan Mariam

Lim Ai Tiong (LATO) Architects

Everything from your side tables to your headboard needs breathing room, otherwise your bedroom’s going to look cramped. Before buying furniture, make a simple, to-scale sketch of your bedroom. Add some paper cut-outs of the furniture pieces you’re considering. This will help you plan ahead and avoid moving in (and taking them out again) oversized furnishings.  

9. Don’t ignore your ceiling

A subtle pattern; soft colours; crisp lighting fixtures… there are so many ways to lend some style to your bedroom ceiling. Designers’ favourite trick is to paint a ceiling a slightly softer tint than the colour on the walls. Ask the experts at your local paint store to lighten the colour used on your bedroom walls by about 20%—it can help to visually lower the ceiling and give your bedroom an ambience of comfort and intimacy.

10. Don’t forget about storage

Clutter leads to stress, and good storage is how you’re going to keep your bedroom stress-free.

Besides the obvious closet and nightstands, see where you can integrate hidden storage zones in your bedroom. How about a storage bench at the foot of your bed? A headboard with built-in shelving? An extra floating shelf on the wall? Boxes, neatly packed in order, underneath your bed? So many options exist!

Want more? Then see these 10 creative ways to bring a touch of magic to your bedroom

Are you guilty of any of these modern bedroom design don’ts?
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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