Bedroom wall decor ideas – 11 fresh ways to transform boring and dreary walls

Whether it’s paint or wallpaper, the bedroom wall decor ideas you choose can elevate the look of the room, as our experts show

small bedroom with patterned wallpaper and patterned bedding and furnishing
(Image credit: Read McKendree)

Bedroom wall decor is an important yet underrated part of bedroom design. The walls are an expansive part of the room so the way you choose to decorate them can not just have a huge impact on the way the bedroom looks but also the mood it evokes. 

For most, the key consideration when it comes to bedroom ideas is that it's comfortable and restful, and there are a number of ways that can be achieved, whether it is through paint, wallpaper, unique artwork or paneling. But regardless of your choice, there is another key factor to bear in mind – color.

‘When choosing a color scheme for your bedroom, I’d recommend a warm, cozy color that doesn’t distract or stimulate your brain,’ says interior designer Irene Gunter, founder of Gunter & Co. ‘My current favorites include Temple by Paint & Paper Library and Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball. Using blush shades like these, particularly in a bedroom, creates an incredibly soothing and inviting atmosphere.’

Like cloakrooms, the bedroom is the ideal space to experiment with wall decor. It’s a private space that rarely sees the presence of guests, so where better to decorate with abandon and inject some individual flair into your scheme.

So it’s time to banish boring walls with these clever ideas from our interiors experts. 

11 bedroom wall decor ideas to liven up your space

1.  Use a wraparound color for an enveloping feel 

navy bedroom with upholstered headboard and yellow throw

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

If there is one space you want to ooze coziness and comfort, it is the bedroom. And one of the best ways to do this is to use a deep single color across the whole room. Consider the same paint idea over walls, skirting and joinery – like in this project by A New Day interior design studio.  

‘The use of wraparound color gives this bedroom a gently cocooning feel, in a shade that connects with the treetops that can be seen from the window,’ says founder Andrew Griffiths.’ This room is in the property’s roof space, so has some irregular angles and varying ceiling height, but the wash of color helps even that out visually.’

As well as the enveloping shade, clever joinery is another device used to add interest to the walls. 

‘A wall of bespoke joinery makes the best use of every corner,’ says Andrew. ‘The paneled cupboard fronts bring character to the space, but designed as handless and finished in the same color as the walls they recede rather than dominate the space as a sizeable wardrobe can.’

2. Use wall art to create visual interest 

White bedroom with randomly placed wall art

(Image credit: Costas Picadas)

A wall without art is a missed opportunity to bring color, texture and character into a bedroom. And the bonus is that it is relatively easy and inexpensive to add art to your walls. 

If your budget doesn’t stretch to one-off individual pieces, there are many options like photographs and posters to choose from.  Or you can source unique artwork online. You can think further out of the box and use a textured wall hanging or a beautifully framed piece of fabric or sculpture. 

When it comes to displaying your pieces, there is no need to go the conventional route either. Hanging art in unexpected ways or layouts can add to the character keeps the eye traveling around the room like in this design by New York and Chicago-based interior designer Michael Del Piero

‘Randomly placed art can make a bedroom feel visually interesting and sophisticated,’ she says. ‘Because this guest room was meant to be used by adults and children alike, the room needed to appeal to both groups. To ensure that, we chose child-like, small-scale art and displayed it in a random pattern for a more playful feel.’

3. Use different tones to create an illusion of height

A panelled bedroom door painted two different shades of pink

(Image credit: Gunter & Co)

If you choose to go for paint for your bedroom wall decor, there are still various ideas to be explored. One of these is a two-tone effect using lighter and darker hues of the same shade to make the ceiling look higher. It’s a clever design trick from those in the know, particularly if you want to make a small bedroom appear bigger. 

‘When using two paint shades, always use the darker shade on the bottom half of the wall to anchor the space. By brushing on a lighter shade above it, you create the illusion of height, says Irene Gunter, founder of Gunter & Co

‘The color palette in the master bedroom of this Notting Hill family home is inspired by the Puzzle IV artwork by Kim Bartelt that hangs above the bed. We used Paint & Paper Library’s Rouge II on the bottom half of the wall, and that same color with 50 percent white mixed in to create a lighter shade for the top half of the wall.’

4. Create a decorative mural effect

Small bedroom with a mural like wallpaper with tree branches

(Image credit: Alexander James)

A decorative mural can bring a wall to life and be either large or small scale. While you can have a bespoke wall mural idea created, you would need pretty deep pockets. But the good news is that you can easily achieve a similar look with paint, wallpaper or even tiles.

In this bedroom by HÁM interiors, the pretty wallpaper stretches dynamically across the wall, cleverly picking up all the colors in the room.

‘Creating a restful space is always a priority in a bedroom scheme, in this project we took our design cues from the Arts & Crafts bones of the building, opting for a decorative Tree of Life wallpaper in the master bedroom,’ says interior designer Kate Cox at HÁM interiors. 

While wallpaper was used, the effect is very much like an artist’s painting and adds a note of luxury.

‘We like how the pattern brings a plushness, whilst the muted color adds a restful tone. The layout of the room, although expansive, was wide and long and an awkward ceiling slope required some thought,’ adds Kate. ‘The wide width of the wallpaper did justice to the space and motif, giving it breadth whilst the upwards trailing vines drew the eye up past the slope, giving the room height.’

5. Choose pink and white stripes for a fun and playful look

Bedroom with pink and white walls and decorative bedside table

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Stripes, whether from paint or wallpaper, can introduce a contemporary edge to any design and soft shades can give a youthful, playful look which would be ideal as a kids' bedroom idea

‘Blush pink paints are delightfully easy to work with, universally flattering, and instantly bring warmth and sophistication to a space when used correctly,’’ says color and paint expert Annie Sloan. ‘Think of neutral, blush pinks as building blocks for your scheme.’

Annie advises that stripes are a great way to incorporate more color into your home when you can’t decide on a wall color or if you’d like to experiment with a shade without committing to a whole wall of color. ‘Use tonal colors for a subtle, contemporary nod to the trend,’ she says.

‘This pink, Piranesi Pink, is a dusty, peach-leaning pink which includes yellow pigments to give a real softness. It’s named for the seminal Italian printmaker and architect, Giovanni Piranesi,  and reflects both his love of Classical antiquity and his admiration for masonry. Almost flesh-colored and suggestive of setting plaster, Piranesi Pink is timeless and universally complimentary.’

Another way to add dimension is to add strips of bedroom wall panels to give the room depth and character. Paneling also imparts warmth to the decor scheme. 

6. Pile on the pattern using wallpaper and fabric

Bedroom with patterned wallpaper, bedding and. lampshade

(Image credit: Morris & Co)

Why let the walls be the only stars in the bedroom? If you opt for a patterned wallpaper idea, go the extra mile and bring in pattern from other elements like the bedding, furniture and lampshades like in this design by Ben Pentreath for Morris & Co.

‘I’d say, don’t be afraid of pattern, and of layering patterns. The beauty of Morris & Co is that so many of their patterns – be they fabric or wallpaper – combine together in rich and unexpected ways, creating a harmony out of very different scales, colors and themes,’ says Ben.  ‘There is an underlying unity to so much of the Morris & Co work – all stitched together with a profound response to nature, and a brilliant understanding of pattern repeat that I find quite unparalleled in so many other archive document prints. I think this is where the timeless appeal of Morris lies. Pick your favourites and run with them, with confidence!’

7. Use a rich two-tone wall for a transformative effect

Bedroom with wall painted red at the top and green below the dado rail

(Image credit: Little Greene)

While you can use two shades of the same color to create the interest and the illusion of height, if you are looking for extra drama, two contrasting colors will deliver it in spades. 

For this luxury bedroom idea, Little Greene’s Baked Cherry sits with ease against Invisible Green. It’s a striking, yet easy union as both colors are opposite on the color wheel and complement each other perfectly, not to mention well-matched in richness and depth.

‘The use of sumptuous dark shades in combination creates a really warm, cocooning feel,’ says Ruth Mottershead, creative director Little Greene

‘Both shades pair beautifully for an enveloping scheme that is perfect for bedrooms to create a dramatic interior that is also cozy and inviting.'

Ruth advises that bedroom walls are perfect for showing individual flair. 'Bedrooms are the best rooms in the house for you to follow your heart and create a truly personal space.’

8. Stick to wallpaper with two colors and repeat the shades throughout the room

small bedroom with cream and green patterned wallpaper and furnishings throughout

(Image credit: Read McKendree)

This guest bedroom, designed by Connecticut-based interior design studio McGrath II is a masterclass in how to design a small bedroom and the way wall decor can feed into that.

While there are many small bedroom ideas to choose from, this project shows the importance of keeping to a  tight palette and how the choice of wall decor can have a decorating impact on the rest of the bedroom.  

‘We love the timeless combination of moss and cream, as seen in this pretty guest bedroom from our Cobble Hill brownstone project in Brooklyn, New York,’ say McGrath II founders Suzanne and Lauren McGrath. ‘We played with levels of scale to balance the narrow space. The centerpiece: the dramatic canopy bed draws the eye upward and invites light to flood the room. The small scale, hand-printed wallpaper from Sister Parish dances with the dynamic coverlet and the large scale print on the soft-as-clouds duvet, while the woven wood roman shade offers a textural balance.’

9. Inlay some metallic into the paint work 

Bedroom with white walls and chevron metallic lines

(Image credit: ND Studios)

A painted wall can be all the bedroom wall decor you need. Or maybe not.  In many cases it can look unfinished, particularly if you have decided against wall art. So if you are after something subtle that can give paintwork a significant lift, try an inlay which allows you to transfer painted designs onto painted surfaces. 

The bronze inlays in the walls of this modern bedroom project by ND Studios adds pattern to the space and also a note of sophistication and glamor. 

‘Bedrooms are places of relaxation, and the walls should reflect that,’ says  Natascha Dartnall, founder and director of ND Studios.  ‘It can be hard to get walls right – but overfilled or entirely stark will stand out for all the wrong reasons.'

'The detail behind the bed was created by inlaying bronze into the paintwork; there is also a bronze border to the headboard. Although bronze is in itself a bold material, here it contributes to what is a serene space with a muted but fresh palette. 

10. Use your headboard as an innovative piece of wall art

Grey bedroom with a raffia headboard that also acts as a piece of art

(Image credit: Janet Mesic Mackie)

You don’t need to decorate your whole bedroom wall to make an impact. 

Sometimes, it is enough to display art as a focal point. But instead of using a piece of artwork, why not make your headboard work harder, acting as a functional piece as well as wall decor, like in this bedroom designed by interior designer Michael Del Piero. 

‘Both eye-catching and utilitarian, this cool, hide-covered headboard was designed by our team and hung in such a way as to read as art. It’s both a headboard and art installation.’

11. Use a limewash paint to add texture and depth

Bedroom with pink limewash walls

(Image credit: India Sehmi/ The India Edit)

Limewash paint has become an increasingly popular choice for people who want the minimalist look of paint but love the texture and variation in tone that it is well-known for. 

While limewash paint is available in many colors, neutral tones and delicate pinks are more popular in bedrooms because of their soothing feel, which is what led interiors and fashion stylist India Sehmi, founder of The India Edit to choose it in her own home. 

‘I fell in love with limewash when we used it in our dining space – it creates so much life and character,’ she says. ‘When we went to paint our spare room afterwards I was keen to use it again for that reason. The room is west-facing so it gets the most incredible evening light that dances on the textured pink walls – it's magic.’

How can I decorate my bedroom wall?

You can decorate your bedroom with an array of different things from paint to wallpaper and photographs. If you are looking for a  more unique look, try framing a favourite piece of fabric or even hanging a small rug as a unique piece of art.

How do I choose paint colors for my bedroom?

Choosing paint colors for a bedroom can be one of the difficult aspects of decoration to get right because light significantly affects how colors look. 

But interior designer Irene Gunter suggests some fail-safe tricks. ‘Before you start choosing colors, spend some time working out if your room faces north, south, east or west – this dictates the type of light that comes through your windows. Don’t forget to factor in artificial light too. This also impacts how paint colors will look on your walls. ‘

Busola Evans

As the Deputy Editor of Livingetc, Busola Evans works across both print and digital and specialises in kitchens, bathrooms and projects. She is an expert at explaining how to improve, extend and convert your home. Prior to her current role, she was Associate Editor on both Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. A journalist for more than 20 years, she has written for a number of newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Sunday Times Magazine and Grazia,  and was an interiors columnist for the London Evening Standard's ES Magazine.