How to Create a Relaxing Bedroom, According to 6 Interior Designers
Now more than ever, we’re looking to our homes for a sense of calm and serenity—and bedrooms are the ultimate sanctuary. A complete and utter respite from the outside world (or, your office-slash-coffee-table), they're designed specifically for sleep and relaxation, and while we're tempering anxiety on the daily, turning our bedrooms into cozy hideaways is all we want right now.
Of course, there’s an art to designing a perfectly dreamy “bedscape” that’s equal parts stylish and functional. It’s not enough to simply curate an Instagram-friendly space (complete with the coziest sheets and comfiest pillows)—it should provide both mental and physical comfort while serving up all of the essentials for bookending your morning and nighttime routines.
With that in mind, we tapped our favorite interior designers and home bloggers for some expert-level bedroom design ideas. Whether you’ve been planning a refresh for months or simply want to add a few relaxing elements in light of recent events, there’s a little something for everyone. Below, break down on-point bedroom design ideas with Leanne Ford, Emily Henderson, Athena Calderone, Ariel Kaye, Brady Tolbert, and Erin Hiemstra—and shop the bedroom products they can’t live without.
Serene, all-white bedrooms are one of interior designer Leanne Ford’s signature styles, and the above space in her Echo Park cabin is exhibit A. “I keep bedrooms extremely clean and minimal when possible,” she notes. “I believe the master bedroom should be an oasis away from the ‘real world.’ You want a relaxing space where you can close your eyes, read, and get away from it all."
When it comes to curating a stress-free space, the interior designer and founder of Leanne Ford Interiors relies on crisp, high-quality bedding, Legrand Adorne light dimmers, a comfy mattress (she's a Leesa fan), and plenty of storage space. “The more you can ‘hide’ your stuff and close the door on clutter, the better you will feel,” she explains. “I also believe that the bedroom light should always be on a dimmer, so the room can be moody and cozy at night, but bright and cheerful during the day.”
As for decor, Ford always combining masculine and feminine energy. Stick to neutral shades like white, grey, beige, and cream, and minimalistic accents like white paper lanterns and tonal throw blankets.
Soft Linen Duvet Cover
Sundak Storage Baskets
HAY Rice Paper Shade
“Inviting” was the name of the game for interior designer and mother of two Emily Henderson. “Your bed should be your safe space — a place where you can get perfectly cozy, snuggle with your loved ones, and let the rest of the world melt away,” she says. “So, making my bed look and feel like a place I wanted to be was crucial. This has always been super important to me.”
True to form, the Emily Henderson Design owner focused her energy on curating a comfortable bed. “My favorite sheets right now are Brooklinen’s classic percale sheets, and I also love their duvet cover,” she explains. “Schoolhouse makes one of my all-time favorite bed blankets, but this linen comforter set from Target is a great affordable option.” She tops everything off with a cushy double-weave lumbar pillow from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Target line, Hearth & Hand with Magnolia.
“I believe your bedroom should be a space you can truly relax in — basically a retreat,” she adds. “That can mean different things to different people, but for me, I like to keep it more neutral in color (I clearly consider blue a neutral), and layer different textures and patterns to make it feel warm and welcoming.”
Winter + Summer Cotton Coverlet
Classic Duvet Cover
Striped Double Weave Lumbar Throw Pillow
Lightweight Linen Comforter Set
Athena Calderone’s Amagansett, New York bedroom is filled to the brim with warmth, texture, and earthy accents—which is exactly what she had in mind when refreshing her space. “I wanted this bedroom to feel a bit like a hotel suite in say, Portugal or Mexico,” the interior designer and founder of Eye Swoon tells us. “I chose a lot of natural materials, like rattan, bamboo, travertine, and warm burl wood.”
While the space is a vintage lover’s haven, the rust-colored rug from Beni actually set the tone for the space. “My favorite piece is the Beni rug — I love the earth tones and the asymmetrical pattern,” she explains. “It also inspired the angular vibe felt throughout the space, from the striped throw pillows to the bamboo sconces.”
Above all else, Athena’s bedroom is a safe haven for her and her husband. “Our bedroom is where we feel the most safe — we all deserve a reprieve from the outside world; a place to decompress, dream, read, cuddle, and be our most at-ease selves,” she shares. “No area of the home provides us with more coziness and gratification than the sacred space in which we sleep.”
Full Sheet Set
Soft Shapes Art Print
Gubi Tynell Floor Lamp
Parachute Home founder and CEO, Ariel Kaye, has bedroom design down to a science. “Lighting, noise, organization, room temperature, and fabrication all contribute to your ability to get quality sleep,” she proclaims. “No surprise here, but I believe that investing in quality linens is a must. It’s important to choose bedding that’s made without toxic chemicals and feels comfortable against your skin.”
While Kaye refreshes her bedroom every six months or so, her aesthetic is relatively consistent. “My style is largely influenced by natural hues and the southern California landscape,” she notes. “I’m endlessly inspired by the color palette of the beach and the desert.” As a result, her bedroom has an “unfussy, laid-back vibe with neutral tones, soft linens and lots of pillows,” she explains. She’s currently loving her brand’s brushed cotton sheets, which she likens to “sleeping in your favorite worn-in t-shirt.”
Kaye’s finishing touches include artwork from The Cartorialist, a moody reading lamp, and an old-school alarm clock. “I started using an alarm clock and charging my phone outside the bedroom,” she explains. “This simple shift has helped me sleep much more soundly — it eliminates blue light and the temptation to check my phone before bed or in the middle of the night.”
Brushed Cotton Sheet Set
City Hall Alarm Clock
We're All Connected Print
Studio Desk Lamp
When designing his Los Angeles bedroom, Brady Tolbert, interior designer and creative director at Bobby Berk Design, focused on one thing: relaxation. “If you aren’t relaxed in your bedroom, then it’s time for a redesign,” he quips. “The sole purpose of a bedroom is to unwind and recharge, so design yours in a way that allows you to do just that.”
With that in mind, he settled on a soothing olive green, grey, and white color palette with balancing graphic elements, like the structural wall sconce and abstract artwork. “My space is a little bit minimal, a little bit collected, and 100% relaxing,” he explains. “I love my Brooklinen percale sheets — they’re so crisp and cool. My hybrid Tuft and Needle mattress has also been a game-changer for sleep quality.”
As far as tech, Tolbert believes that less is more — but he does love his dimmer lights and Google Home, which he uses as a noise machine. “I keep my lights at about 70% brightness, which is incredibly relaxing. If you don't want to install dimmers, you can try smart light bulbs,” he explains. "I use the ambient sounds on my Google Home to help me fall asleep. Waking up to music is also nice.”
Classic Starter Sheet Set
Venice Oversized Throw Blanket
Google Home Mini
Erin Hiemstra, founder & creative director of Apartment 34, spent roughly five years renovating her historic San Francisco home, and saved the bedroom for last. “When I finally got around to it, I wanted it to feel as ‘adult’ as possible,” says the mom and full-time freelancer. For her, that meant proper floor-to-ceiling curtains, a cushy area rug from Lulu & Georgia, crisp white bedding from Parachute, a white noise machine, and a roaring marble fireplace.
“I think a bedroom should feel like a luxurious, yet very personal hotel,” she muses. “I was personally inspired by European design when decorating this space. Since I live in a historic home with amazing architectural elements, I really tried to play them up.”
But comfort is just as important as design for Hiemstra. “My bed is my ultimate happy place. As a freelancer, I do more work from here than I care to admit. As a mother, good sleep is also a prized commodity,” she explains. “My bedroom is my haven, my respite, my retreat from the rest of the day — there's no better feeling than walking into a clean, calm, pulled together space at night.”
Leila Moroccan Shag Rug
Solstice Organic Chemise
Percale Venice Set
Dohm Natural Sound Machine
Sleep is a $70 billion industry—we throw our money at a dreamier night's rest, promise ourselves we'll prioritize it, and then gripe when we're still, inevitably, so tired. Despite our collective obsession with sleep, we seem totally unable to get more of it. In fact, we're clocking fewer hours than ever. So, this month, we're taking a look at what's getting in the way—and what to do about it.
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