Nate Berkus' Trick for Decorating With Wallpaper Makes Bedrooms Look so Much More Put-Together

A bit of pattern layering could be the antidote that's needed to bring harmony to your bedroom

A bedroom with a green patterned wallpaper, a green mosaic rug and green bed linen
(Image credit: Future)

Layered patterns have been capturing our hearts this year. The retro trend, not long ago considered busy and garish, is now being used by many a designer to bring warmth, depth, and textural interest into homes, and nowhere do those qualities have a better effect than in the bedroom.

As it turns out, our trusty design icon Nate Berkus is a fan of the look, too, albeit a more contemporary interpretation. Taking to Instagram to share his wealth of interior design knowledge, he explained how he loves matching soft bedroom furnishings with existing wallpaper for a more harmonious, put-together look. 

Of course, we're not talking exact pattern replicas here (although, by all means, be our guest). Instead, the idea is that drawing on particular themes, shapes, or colors for both your bedding and your wallpaper could work wonders for the overall feel of your modern bedroom. Here, we spoke to some designers and wallpaper experts to find out more.

Wallpaper makes an obvious design statement, and in 2024 we're finally starting to show our walls some love again by bringing pattern back to the fore, rather than simply relying on block color. That said, we often fail to recognize the value the right bedding can make on our space. As a design element that's cheap and easily interchanged, we don't put half as much thought into searching for the perfect color, pattern, or material.

According to Nate, it should all start with your wallpaper (if your room features it, of course). 'Kids' rooms and powders rooms are both great opportunities to use a multi-color pattern and the easy thing about that is you can pick and pull from the colors in the wallpaper to match the carpeting, the bedding, and the upholstery if you have a chair for reading,' he explains in his Instagram reel. 'I use wallpaper when I want a space to be playful, or when I want a space to be surprising,' 

James Mellan-Matulewicz from wallpaper brand, Bobbi Beck, agrees that this act of co-ordination can do wonders for the overall cohesiveness within a room. 'When selecting wallpaper or bedding patterns for your bedroom, consider the overall mood and aesthetic you want to create in the space,' he says. 'Start by envisioning the atmosphere you desire, whether it's calming and serene, bold and vibrant, or somewhere in between. Look for patterns that complement this vision, whether they're subtle and understated or eye-catching and intricate.'

How do you choose the right wallpaper and bedding combination?

A kid's bedroom with grey and white patterned wallpaper and grey and white patterned bedding

(Image credit: Future)

Of course, you don't want your use of patterns to be too overbearing. Matching a busy wallpaper with bedding that matches precisely might be a bit much, so don't take Nate's advice too literally. In his Instagram reel, he stands in his son's room where an animal-themed wallpaper in an earthy palette offers the backdrop to a bed dressed in a burnt orange, geometric patterned duvet, so his advice should be interpreted more loosely. 

Maybe you want to complement your striped wallpaper with a checked print, or perhaps you want to pair a large scale floral design on your walls with a more delicate botanical on your bed. Chelsea Clark of I Love Wallpaper says the wallpaper - and bedding - you choose will dictate the overall mood of the room. 'For a cozier feel, dark-colored wallpaper works best, whereas a softer, muted color palette can help create a soothing and calming atmosphere,' she says. 'Floral and botanical patterns make a great choice in a bedroom, with shades of leafy and botanical greens working well.'

This overarching theme will help you decide on the perfect bedding and wallpaper combination. 'When choosing a matching bedding, look for similar botanical-inspired patterns, or opt for a block color,' she suggests. 'Pick an accent color from the wallpaper, perhaps the most dominant, and pull this through into the bedding, upholstery, and other soft furnishings.'

A post shared by Nate Berkus

A photo posted by nateberkus on

James adds that the size and layout of your bedroom also come into play. 'If you have a small bedroom, opt for lighter, more neutral patterns to create a sense of openness and airiness,' he says. 'Conversely, in larger bedrooms, you have more flexibility to experiment with bolder patterns and colors.' 

Your pattern layering doesn't have to stop at your bedding either. If you want to fully commit to a theme or color, consider an upholstered headboard, curtains, or an area rug that marries your other surrounding patterns. 'Choose patterns that harmonize with these elements rather than competing with them,' James notes. 'This could involve selecting complementary colors or patterns that add visual interest without overwhelming the space.'

The result? A perfectly put-together bedroom that looks coordinated, cohesive, and expertly curated. 

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Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.