Master bedroom ideas are some of our favorite spaces to peruse for inspiration. Mostly because these spaces have the potential to be the most luxurious, relaxing, zen-like space in a home. We love the approach of decorating a bedroom as if it was in a luxury hotel – we're talking glamourous four-poster beds, velvet upholstered headboards, piles of feathery cushions, sumptuous color palettes, freestanding baths, chaise lounges, walk-in closets. And sure, maybe you don't have room for all of those things but there are still plenty of lovely, achievable modern bedroom ideas for decorating a master bedroom that will get you enthused to start a new project...
Elegant master bedroom ideas to inspire
1. Choose a headboard as the focal point
Nothing adds elegance to a bedroom quite like a headboard. Maybe it's because they are reminiscent of luxurious hotel rooms, but no matter what the size, shape, or style they just instantly make a space feel classic, drawing the eye to the most important part of the room – the bed.
'Headboards are a great addition to any bedroom as they can be a strong focal point aesthetically, and they also make sitting up in bed more comfortable.' says Clara Ewart, Head of Design at Kitesgrove.
'Investing in a quality headboard is highly recommended as it can be re-upholstered infinitely and it can be taken with you wherever you live. If budgets are tight, you can update an old headboard with a vintage fabric or a couple of meters of an inexpensive design such as a classic stripe and this will have a transformative effect.'
Take home tip: note the plaster pink and red combination in this space too. It's such a fresh, on-trend color combination right now. Analog colors (ones that sit close to one another on the color wheel) always work well together and guarantee a harmonious bedroom color scheme.
2. Experiment with on trend lavender shades
We've been drawn to these cool, tone pale purple shades for a few months now, and we just keep seeing this ethereal color popping up. It's the perfect shade for a bedroom, as whilst it might feel too cool in a living room, in a bedroom it adds an instant calm and serenity.
'Create warmth with a smoky lavender palette such as Brassica. This shade is ideal for those who love greyer tones and are nervous about using color.' advises Patrick O’Donnell of Farrow & Ball. 'It will create drama and light in equal measure, feeling fresh and calm when drenched in natural light to deeply moody in darker environments. It is a deceptively calming color and will pair beautifully with Strong White on your woodwork.'
3. Get your lighting scheme right
Bedroom lighting ideas might not be the most exciting of tasks when it comes to designing a master bedroom, but getting the scheme right can make all the difference. From a practical perspective, it's good to plan in lighting early but also to get the room's ambiance right lighting is key.
'Lighting is key and so is its functionality.' explains Clara. 'Ideally, the wiring should allow for you to control all lights at the bedroom door and also in bed – you don’t want to have to get out of bed the last thing to turn off the master light. Always have bedside lights on either side, and consider having a small reading light so you can enjoy a book without disturbing your bedroom companion. Always try to have dimmable switches so you can adjust the brightness according to the time of day.'
Brenda Izen of Izen Architecture agrees that 'a bedroom is a space that needs to adjust to many different moods and light settings. We always design at least three control keypads in a bedroom: one by the door and one by each side of the bed. There should be task lighting for reading in bed, controlled separately. This is often in the form of wall sconces, pendant lights or integrated headboard lights. There should be perimeter lights for general lighting, typically these would be pot lights, but we always avoid placing any pot lights over the bed. We include a central fixture for ambient lighting and often as a design feature, and in addition we usually integrate mood lighting into the headboard or drapery track.'
4. Add softness underfoot with wall to wall carpet
Wall-to-wall carpet might have fallen out of fashion in recent years, but since we are all keen to make our homes cozier and comfier than ever, they have been making a strong comeback. And whilst we love a wooden floor, nothing beats the feel of plush carpet underfoot when you step out of bed.
When it comes to bedroom carpet ideas, they can be just as subtle and stylish as your whitewashed floorboards. Pick a neutral color in a textured natural material like wool, sisal or jute so you can keep that minimal natural look and just add some extra comfort underfoot.
'In any interior scheme, neutral colors and the comforting texture of carpet bring a feeling of softness and calm. These are best suited to rooms where you spend a lot of time, such as a bedroom, where relaxing is key to creating a happy space.' says Jodie Hatton designer at Brintons. 'The texture of the carpet is also key to preventing the overall neutral scheme from looking flat. Where an alternative flooring like wood or tiles might make a room feel stark and bare, a soft woven wool carpet, layered with accessories in cashmere, mohair and linen will all work to soften a look to create an inviting space.'
5. Go long with your curtains
Curtains add a lovely softness to a master bedroom, and we say go as long as you can, and even add some extra length so the fabric pools beautifully on the floor. 'Gone are the days of shorter curtains, they feel dated and can make a window feel small and boxed in.' says Jen, interior design at Interior Fox. 'Instead opt for floor to ceiling curtains, ensuring there are no gaps. This look adds height to a room, while keeping a clean a simple aesthetic. A personal favorite of ours is a wave curtain in a solid color, they create a smart but simple finish that’s easy on the eye.'
And don't just stick with one material either, layer the fabrics so you get the benefits of both a lovely floaty sheer curtain and a heavier material for warmth and darkness. Jen continues, 'Sheer curtains are back, but not just as stand alone, we are increasingly using a layered technique in our client’s homes. Placing a sheer print underneath a much thicker curtain in a block color helps to add texture and interest and works in almost any room.'
'For a timeless window dressing solution that feels stylish and considered, we’d recommend opting for a lightweight, natural material such as a cotton/linen blend. We find this gives a relaxed and versatile look to the room that will stand the test of time. It is best to steer away from man-made fabrics such as polyester as these can often have a sheen that feels low quality.'
6. Carefully consider proportions
What instantly gives a master bedroom that chic, luxury hotel look is symmetry and balance. When choosing furniture and its positioning really pay attention to how it's going to look in proportion with the room and the furniture nearby.
Manuela Hamilford of Hamilford Design says that so many of her clients come to her wanted that hotel look – 'the tall headboard, the plush carpets, the big side tables' but at the core of that look is simple symmetry and function.
'If you can for a really deep mattress, the whole bed raises to a nonstandard height, which is really common now, everyone wants a really tall bed.' Manuel continues. 'So, therefore, the side tables also have to go up, you never what a side table to be substantially lower than where your bed sits. You end up with it looking like a Barbie doll table, and it just doesn’t sit right with the proportions of the room. And from a practical point, when you lean over to your side table you don’t want to be leaning down to turn your table lamp off because you have a lampshade at eye level. It works best if everything sits flush, straight across. It’s those details you really want to consider.'
7. Choose an oversized artwork for maximum impact
Don’t reserve standout art for a living room; a large-scale piece, or several, will bring drama and impact to an otherwise simple master bedroom scheme. It needn’t be a bank-breaker, either. Here, the key piece is a print of The Bather by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres that has been blown up to make it the focal point of the room.
8. Add a touch of luxury with textures
A key design element of a luxurious master bedroom is texture. Texture texture texture. Layering up tactile fabrics gives a room depth and interest, even if the color scheme is kept minimal.
In this stylish space, the velvet headboard, leather bench, wooden side table, and even the wallpaper, which has a grasscloth finish, all add to creating a bedroom that feels both cozy and sophisticated.
9. Choose a modern four poster bed
This metal, minimalist four poster bed creates a modern look in this master bedroom. The carpet, rug and wood bedside table warm things up, while a classic Serge Mouille wall light complements the clean lines of the bed frame.
Take home tip: free up space on your bedside table by switching from a traditional table lamp to a wall-mounted design. Pick a style with a moving arm so you can be flexible with where the light falls and make it dimmable too so you can easily change the mood of the room.
10. Hang a modern mural
One design trend to take note of is the rise of decorative scenic bedroom wallpaper ideas and wall art panels. These can be interpreted in many ways, from abstract patterns to lively florals. Be wary of the feature wall, and instead take a maximalist approach and cover all four aspects. This monochromatic jungle mural evokes faraway shores.
11. Paint the ceiling
If your room has stunning heritage features, then celebrate them to the max. Here, the Victorian ceiling is picked out in an accent dark, while the bespoke wardrobes were designed to match the original paneling.
12. Inject some drama with a bespoke headboard
This green velvet headboard wraps around fitted shelves, adding color, glamour, and drama. Low hanging pendant lamps on either side offer an out-of-the-box approach to bedside reading lights.
Love this look? We have a whole gallery of headboard ideas to get you inspired.
13. Mix patterns and styles
The beauty of this bedroom lies in its eclectic mix of different patterns, and the appearance of vintage touches alongside contemporary style. A soft pink on the walls makes a soothing backdrop. The bespoke headboard, designed by Irene Gunter, taps into the trend for lozenge shapes.
14. Go extra wide with a headboard for a hotel feel
This master bedroom features a wide headboard that frames the bedside tables. The custom fabric headboard features a darkened brass square edge detail. Custom bedside tables have integrated electrical and USB ports, and etched bronze glass tops with darkened brass frames.
15. Build in a glass partition to zone a master bedroom
The double-height ceiling and the sculptural pendant both add impact to this gorgeous pale blue bedroom idea. Plus, the glass wall gives it a separate, more intimate feeling but doesn't make the space feel boxy as a solid wall might do.
16. Turn a stylish headboard into extra storage
This full-length, zesty upholstered headboard really packs a punch against the calm surroundings in this master bedroom. Behind the plush surface, the headboard conceals handy hidden shelving for nighttime reading.
17. Add eclectic details
This colorful master bedroom was inspired by designer Kit Kemp. The mix of patterns adds an eclectic feel but because the color scheme is kept simple, with a mix of neutrals and muted hues they space still feels chic and relaxing.
18. Go wall-To-wall
In this grey bedroom idea, an upholstered feature wall acts as the headboard and centers the bed. The black side tables have oak drawers and tie in with the hardwood floors, with custom white lamps on top by local ceramist Kassandra Thatcher. The room is a riot of texture, pattern, and color, from the angular edges of the marble to the deep softness of the sheepskin and the wool throws.
19. Hang a statement Chandelier
This statement Seventies Italian chandelier drips sensuously from the ceiling in this master bedroom, giving it instant wow-factor and is a fabulous contrast to the more traditional, farmhouse-style going on in the rest of the room.
20. Add an (on trend) feature Wall
We know feature walls aren't always known to be the chicest of design decisions, but pick the right print and the right wall and they can be a really stylish addition to a room. We will say if you are going to go for a feature wall, really do go for it, pick a bold big print that's really going to be the focal point of the room.
The feature wall in this master bedroom idea is proof then can work in the right space. The deep background, bold colors and unusual print is so striking, adding a focal point to the room as well as tieing together the color scheme.
21. Create a serene feel with calm color scheme
Looking for master bedroom ideas that are going to make your space feel instantly more calming? Picking a serene neutral bedroom color scheme will do just that. Layer up creams, white, beige and soft greys, and add interest with plenty of texture too.
22. Zone a master bedroom with a screen
Layers of green paint evoke a soothing atmosphere in this master bedroom. A cane screen acts as a headboard and injects a natural backdrop for this sleeping space. Hanging pendants on either side create a soft glow at night.
23. Choose a textured wallpaper
A grasscloth wall covering adds instant elegance to a room. Here, the blue backdrop set the color palette for the rest of the room, creating a blue, cocooning, and chic space.
24. Build in clever storage
Bedroom storage ideas might not be the most glamourous addition to a master bedroom but it's still an essential if you want to create a functional, clutter-free space. Think outside the box and rather than going for lots of individual pieces of storage go bespoke and get something built in.
A matt black headboard unit works as a functional focal point in this master bedroom. The headboard also hides a practical shelf for a changing array of art.
25. Make it extra luxurious with a freestanding Bath
What makes master bedroom ideas really stand out from any other room? It's the luxurious touches, and noting adds luxury quite like a freestanding bath in your bedroom. And this look isn't all form over function. Having a bath in your bedroom could be a really practical move since ensuites often aren't huge, so rather than squeeze one in there, bring it out into the bedroom instead.
26. Decorate a master bedroom with soft blues
This bedroom features a dusty blue on the walls, but it's given a more contemporary look due to the tall canopy bed and more masculine furnishings. We love the painted paneling. The canopy bed anchors this room and adds a sense of grandeur. The headboard within the four-poster helps soften the look of the bed frame.
27. Go monochrome
A bespoke headboard with specially chosen fabric creates a distinct focal point in this bedroom. It also sets the monochrome palette for the room, creating a modern, Scandi-inspired vibe.
28. Create a bed alcove
Don't let the wild color and pattern in Jonathan Adler’s bedroom distract from the clever upholstered alcove nook that he created, giving his bed a snug and cozy feeling. His mix-and-match style turns the usual bed-linen-headboard combo into something completely out of the ordinary, with nautical rope motifs vying for attention with baroque fabric.
29. Create a seating area
Another master bedroom idea that gives you that boutique hotel-inspired look, is to add a seating area. Creating a mini lounge in your bedroom gives you an intimate space to relax away from the main living room so add in a chaise longues or a couple of occasion chairs with a small coffee table.
30. Embrace curves
This curvaceous 1980s bed base had a sculptural shape but was previously covered in an uninspiring mottled grey. It was reupholstered in a woven teal fabric to create this luxe centerpiece. Kelly Wearstler's signature table lamp and some textural cushions add more layers of touch-me texture.
What is the best color for a master bedroom?
The best color for a master bedroom will mostly come down to your own personal tastes. But there are a few practical things to consider when picking a wall color. Firstly aspect – what is the natural lighting like in your space? If you have a south-facing room that gets lots of warm light throughout most of the day then you can be less picky with your color choice, but if you want to counteract all that warmth to create a more calming space, maybe opt for cooler tones like grey, white and blue.
In a north-facing bedroom, you won't find as much natural light so you can either try and make the room feeling lighter and brighter with a light paint color or embrace the darkness and opt for a cocooning deep hue like a dark navy or grey. These more dramatic colors bring a lovely luxurious feel to a master bedroom too.
What should a master bedroom include?
A master bedroom really just means you main bedroom, but there are a few design elements that can make the space feel extra special. An ensuite bathroom is usually a given in a master bedroom, but bringing the bath into the bedroom will give an extra luxurious vibe. Built-in storage or a walk-in closet are also nice additions, and a practical choice too. A statement bed to be the focal point is also an essential in a master bedroom, whether it be an impressive headboard or a stylish four-poster bed, they will just elevate the room and make it feel different from your guest bedrooms.
Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.
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