How to Layer Your Room Like Your Winter Wardrobe – Cozy Ideas for a Warm Bedroom

Layering is the design trend to keep your bedroom warm this winter – here's how the designers do it

A layered bedroom
(Image credit: Malissa Mabey. Design Susannah Holmberg Studios)

The coziest winter wardrobes are all about layering your clothes. Think how cozy you are in base layers, jumpers, coats, and scarves, and the same idea applies to interior design. The result of a layered look is that your bedroom feels stylish, considered, curated, and super cozy, perfect for winter season.

'Shorter days mean longer, colder nights, so your bedroom design is more important than ever during winter,' says Juan Carretero of Capital C Interiors. 'This only translates into one thing: layers.'

Layering isn't just about texture either, it can be anything from layered lighting to scent to bedding. 'Mix it up, as you would with your own wardrobe, play with textures, color, pattern, and scale,' suggests Juan. To inspire you to bring that feeling of coziness to a modern bedroom this winter, here are five key ways to add layering.

1. Add coziness through layered bedding

A bedroom with layered bedding

(Image credit: Malissa Mabey. Design Susannah Holmberg Studios)

The first rule when it comes to layering applies to your bedding and how to style a bed. Come winter, there is nothing more luxurious and cozy than a bedspread that has layer upon layer of texture and color.

'The most important thing is the bedding,' says interior designer Anna Popov. 'All of it, from the mattress to the pillows, the sheets, the pillowcases, the duvet, and cover, everything should be luxurious and good quality.' Start with your pillows and build from there. You might prefer a more minimalist bedroom aesthetic when it comes to pillows, but I like layering up with shapes, textures, colors, and sizes (even if it does mean storing them away in an ottoman or blanket box when your bed is in use).

Aside from the pillows, bedding, throws and sheets are crucially important for creating that coveted layered look. Make sure you have a cohesive color scheme for your sheets, and for the winter months, find a blanket or throw that works with the color of your bedding. When not in use, I tend to fold my blanket in half and place neatly it at the bottom of the bed. 'Up the ante by adding an extra throw blanket in cashmere or soft alpaca for a tactile finishing touch.'

Mohair is another texture I'm seeing everywhere this winter and it looks so elegant when draped across the bed. I'm also seeing a lot of modern quilt-style throws this winter. This padded quilt by Schoolhouse has a farmhouse style but feels more modern and cool and makes for the perfect final layer on your bedspread.

2. Layer candles for a rounded scentscape

A bedroom with fresh flowers next to the headboard

(Image credit: The 1818 Collective)

A layered bedroom is also about building up a scentscape. Using the best candles and diffusers is a great way to keep the space smelling welcoming and calming, but the best scentscapes come in a layered style and from multiple sources.

'Hands down my favorite scent is the Baies candle from Diptyque,' says Kristen Pena of K Interiors. 'We burn it in the office and at home. I love, love, love it. And it's great for layering as it's also available as a room spray.'

Think about the sorts of scents that go together and how they reflect seasons. In the winter months, you might want to mix scents like cinnamon and spiced orange, whereas spring might call for something more zingy like the scent of snowdrops and jasmine or vanilla. When in doubt, fresh flowers are a beautiful touch that brings a freshness to your room's overall scent too.

Layering also means placing scent sources on different levels too. Think candles and diffusers on different levels and shelves to really embrace that layered approach to scenting your bedroom.

3. Create a relaxing refuge with mixed lighting

A dark bedroom with layered lighting

(Image credit: Le Whit)

A layered bedroom lighting scheme is a guaranteed way to get a cozy feel in the home. We're big fans of turning the big light off and instead relying on smaller light sources to illuminate those corners and make the space feel a little cozier. Mix things up the scheme with a floor lamp, wall lights or battery charged stick-on sconces, or even a small table lamp for your chest of drawers.

Think about the quality of light from your mixed sources too. 'I always try to give a bedroom layer, and lighting is important to make it all come alive. I love different levels of lighting-wall washers, everything should be on a dimmer to create mood,' says Holly A Kopman of Holly A Kopman Interior Design.

As well as dimmers, diffused lighting is a bedroom trend we're seeing a lot of, particularly as we enter the darker months when we so rely on artificial lighting to light our homes. Make sure the lightbulb is diffused with either a fabric or a hooded shade that stops the light from feeling too bright and harsh on the naked eye.

4. Rely on texture for a snug feel

A bedroom with varying textured pieces

(Image credit: Tim Lenz. Design: J Patryce Design)

Texture might be the most obvious way to layer a scheme and it also helps make a bedroom look more expensive. With a range of materials, a room can feel warm and cocooning. 'Bring in warm elements, like layered rugs and added throw blankets,' urges Christie Ward of New York designers, Ward + Gray. Think of material too, like boucle and sheepskin to add different layers. Step back and see how they interact together, before mixing in other materials too.

Texture isn't just about those soft textures either, think mix and match by balancing too much softness with the hardness and weightiness of marble decor, ceramic, or even wood for example. Wood is a warm material that designers love to bring to the bedroom. 'I love using Roman shades in natural materials such as bamboo or other woods and grasses,' suggests Juan Carraterro of Juan C Interiors. 'They are always easy to layer with other rich fabrics, and their neutral, earthy color and texture pair perfectly well with those colder winter nights. As a bonus, they add a subtle, exotic worldly accent. Think of them as your favorite cashmere sweater.'

5. Embrace a layered approach to color and art

A bedroom with layered bedding

(Image credit: Ty Cole OTTO; Interiors: 2Michaels Design; Architecture: Matthew Baird Architects)

Finally, bedroom wall art is another element that works well in a layered way to bring a luxe, high-end feel to your bedroom. Try layering your art by embracing a range of styles used in a mismatched way. 'I always try to give a bedroom layer with wallpaper with pattern, sculptural art, mixed media, fiber art,' says Holly.

When playing around with varying artwork, think about the color palette you use and how the artworks sit alongside each other. Think about how you frame art too, taking note of the palette of the imagery and the relationship with the color of the frame. We're also seeing a trend for leaning art on mantelpieces and bedroom dressers, with a smaller piece layered in front. It feels casual and elegant all at once.

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Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.