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Seven Bedroom Mistakes Interior Designers Always Notice

We spend approximately one-third of our lives in bed, which means we are in our bedrooms more than any other room in the home. Yet, many people tend to overlook the design of these spaces. Still, it’s important for our sleep and overall health that our bedrooms give us a feeling of happiness and relaxation, not stress. Fortunately, most bedroom design problems have pretty easy fixes.

Whether the quality of your bedding doesn’t quite live up to the rest of the furniture and décor in the room, there’s no space to walk around the bed, or your bedroom looks like a showroom (but not in a good way), here are seven bedroom mistakes interior designers and experts always notice as well as how to remedy them.

Buying The Wrong Size Bed

According to interior designer Lisa Gilmore, choosing the wrong size bed is a big no. “I feel the biggest mistake people make is the scale of the bed— either the headboards and frames are too large, tall, bulky or the bed is too small and feels short in the room.”

So what’s the best way to choose the right size bed frame? “Make sure you have breathing room and walking space clearance as well as visual balance for the height of the bed,” she says.

If you’re considering buying a new bed and want to be 100 percent sure that it is the right size, outline the dimensions on the floor of the frame with painter’s tape. 

Choosing The Wrong Linens

Artist and designer Elizabeth Sutton has noticed a rather uncomfortable trend, high-end furniture and decor with inferior and mismatched linens “A bed not only takes up a huge surface area in a bedroom, but it is also a central focal point. Bad linens can destroy good bones,” says Sutton. “Plus, linen accouterments, like a good throw blanket and accent pillows, can add texture and color in small doses and tie a room together.”

Sutton sees buying high-quality linens as an investment, from both a visual and quality perspective. “We spend approximately one-third of our lives in our beds, and sleep is an important part of our health. Spend the extra dollars on the beauty and the comfort.”

Matching Bedroom Sets

Bedroom sets have had their day, according to HomeGoods Style Expert, Beth Diana Smith. “One of the most common mistakes I see in bedroom furniture is when everything is ‘matchy-matchy.’ A matching set can make a room feel impersonal like a furniture showroom, rather than a well-curated room,” she says.

To avoid this, Smith suggests using a variety of colors, textures, and materials for an eye-popping, personalized look. “I love to search stores like HomeGoods where you can find high-quality furniture pieces at affordable prices. For example, if looking for two distinct nightstand tables— one might be brushed gold with metal and the other may be handcrafted in India with an eclectic wood carved design.”

Shopping this way, especially at HomeGoods can also be less expensive, even if the salesperson at the discount furniture store says they’ll “throw in some lamps and a rug for free.”

However, even those with generous budgets for this type of project are advised to avoid purchasing bedroom sets, according to designer Joe Berkowitz of JAB Design Group. “When designing a bedroom I have a general rule that we do not use matching pieces for the night tables, dresser, and headboard. It is one of the most common mistakes I see repeated,” he says.

Berkowitz shares that part of his process as a designer is to count how many design opportunities there are in any given space. “To me, two night tables, one dresser, and a headboard represent four opportunities for furnishing. Not to say we are against matching night tables, but there can be so much depth and design possibilities in pairing various pieces of unmatched but compatible furniture together.”

Berkowitz recommends using one nightstand and a writing desk on one side of the bed or a chest of drawers on the other. “Not only does it offer a variety of furnishings, but there is a wonderful function in having a writing surface and accent chair at the bedside,” he says. 

Purchasing The Wrong Size Area Rugs

Area rugs are a great way to make a bedroom feel cozy and complete, but many times people choose the wrong size, often going too small. “The rug should go past the bottom and sides of the bed by at least 24 inches and never under the nightstands,” explains Smith.

So, it’s important to measure the space perfectly instead of simply estimating and if possible, opt for a custom piece. “If you aren’t able to get a custom rug made, my go-to is HomeGoods because they have an expansive collection of rugs ranging in sizes and in a variety of fabrics such as wool, cotton and bamboo, for under $500.”

If you are investing in a custom rug, Samantha Gallacher, founder of IG Workshop and Art + Loom, says if you don’t want to splurge for the rug to sit entirely under the bed, “Just start the rug right in front of the nightstands and make sure it comes out far enough in from of the bed.”

Lack Of Ample Lighting

Although you probably want your bedroom to be dark at night, it’s essential to have good lighting in the space. Just because it is a bedroom doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to see in it,” says Gallacher. “Just one chandelier is usually not enough lighting, you need multiple sources and levels of light.”

There are so many different ways to light a bedroom, including lamps, sconces, floor lights, and chandeliers. Don’t be afraid to mix things up.

Hanging Curtains Too Low

Good window treatments are essential to making a bedroom feel complete. But whether you use sheer, blackout, or another type of curtain, it’s important to make sure they are properly installed. “When hanging drapes, go as high as you possibly can, even if the windows start much lower. It gives the illusion that the windows are taller and help makes the ceiling feel higher,” says Gallacher.

Going With The Wrong Art

“While many are compelled to install one large piece over the bed, people often hang art too high or it looks too busy with more ornate headboards,” says Alix Greenberg, founder of ArtSugar. “Instead, get creative and put art over the nightstands. Alternatively, consider using one large piece or creating a gallery wall over the dresser or wall opposite the bed.

Not sure how to choose art for your bedroom? The easiest way is to pick one artist and choose two complementary pieces from the same series.

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