How to Style Your Master Bedroom

Hey there, dear readers!  We hope you’re enjoying the first few official days of autumn.  How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?  Here in Gettysburg we’re still having warm sticky days, but our evenings are noticeably cooler.  As long as it isn’t too chilly to enjoy the porches, it’s all good!  

This week we’re going to explore some ways to style your master bedroom, since that seems to be a topic of interest to many.  Are you wondering how you can make your master bedroom beautiful?  Read on!

Choose a Main Color for Your Master Bedroom

We hope you’ll consider using some color in your bedrooms, especially the master.  While our living spaces should flow room to room, we can “break the rules” somewhat in our bedrooms, because those spaces are typically closed off or separated from our main living areas.  Bedrooms are places to show off what you love, surround yourself with comfort, and reflect your individuality.  A bedroom like mine, however, may be the exception (unless you keep your door closed), because it is visible from our main living area.  We made sure it flows nicely with the rest of the house because I leave the door open during the day.  The bed is always made, and it looks fresh and pretty from the living room.

Choosing Paint Colors for Your Master Bedroom

Choose one main color you love.  

That’s what I did in my master bedroom.  It is all done up in shades of blue and white.

People usually want the master bedroom to be restful, so perhaps choose a soft color.  You can’t really go wrong with a soft shade of blue.  Blue is not only the most popular color, but it is also a restful color.  My bedroom is painted Benjamin Moore Lookout Point.

Any color can be muted with a touch of gray or lightened with white. All you have to do is go to the paint store and ask for the color to be lightened by whatever percent you choose (25%, 50%, 75%, etc.).

Choose two or three accent colors or stick to a monochromatic color scheme. 

A good rule of thumb for those of you who find decorating “rules” helpful is to choose colors that coordinate and complement each other without being matchy-matchy.  For example, if you are doing a blue and white color scheme like mine, make sure your blues are within the same hue, but with different tones, shades, and/or tints.  When your eye sweeps the room it will take in all of the slight variations in tone, which results in a soft cohesive look without being boring.

Color Terms to Know

Don’t get too bogged down with definitions; however, if you’re interested in the differences between terms, here are good explanations from  “Many people use terms like “hue” and “color” or “tint” and “shade” interchangeably, but the terms have distinctly different meanings. Color is a very general term used to describe every hue, tint, tone, or shade we can see. Hue refers to the dominant color family. 


Hue refers to the origin of the colors we can see. Primary and Secondary colors (Yellow, Orange, Red, Violet, Blue, and Green) are considered hues; however, tertiary colors (mixed colors where neither color is dominant) would also be considered hues. 


Tint refers to any hue or mixture of pure colors to which white is added. Pastel colors are generally tinted colors. Tinted color remains the same color, but it is paler than the original. When mixing a tint, always begin with white paint and gradually mix in small amounts of color until you’ve achieved the tint you want. 


Tone is a hue or mixture of pure colors to which only pure gray is added (equal amounts of black and white). Adding gray to a color will make the intensity much duller. Beware of mixing too much gray into a hue as it can become over-dulled and virtually impossible to restore the brilliance. 


Shade is a hue or mixture of pure colors to which only black is added. It contains no white or gray. Shade darkens the color, but the hue remains the same. When mixing a shade, begin with the color itself then add black one drop at a time.”

Figure Out the Bedroom Furniture

Determine your furniture arrangement.  Where will you place your bed, dresser, TV, chair(s), etc.? It is nice to view the headboard of your bed from the doorway, but if that doesn’t work, there are other perfectly acceptable options.  If you have a wooden headboard that is finished on both sides, you may wish to consider putting your bed in front of a bank of windows for a change of pace.  If you’re purchasing new furniture, choose pieces that fit your space.  Your master should feel as roomy and comfortable as possible.  Roomy doesn’t have to mean large.  Roomy just means that you have enough space to move around in without feeling cramped.

Make it functional.  Choose night tables that fit neatly next to the bed, and that are large enough for nice lamps and maybe a few decorative accessories.  The same goes for your dresser.  Choose a dresser that has enough room for clothes or whatever you need to store.  You can also hang your television above your dresser if you’re a bit short on space.  This is what we did in our master.

Tips To Create a Beautiful Layered Bed

Choose bedding, pillows, blankets, and throws to create layers.  

  • Do you sleep on your decorative pillows?  We do not.  
  • Do you use your duvet or comforter to cover up with at night?  We do not.
  • Do you use your layering blankets on your bed to cover up with at night?  Again, we do not!  

It’s just fine if you do; after all, it’s your stuff and your house, and you should do what works best for you.  The reason we do not “use” any of our bedding items is because I like them to look fresh and wrinkle free, and they do not need to be laundered quite as frequently.  Washing a comforter all the time is a big pain in the butt if you ask me.  

I take off my coverlet and duvet and remove all the decorative pillows every night.  The pillows get stacked in Paul’s master closet (yes, he has plenty of room for them), and the coverlet and duvet are laid across the chair near our bed.  We store the pillows we sleep on in the closet during the day.  Sounds like quite an ordeal, I know, but it’s still less work this way.

What You Need to Make the Perfect Master Bed

  1. Pretty sheets
  2. Blanket (I leave this on the bed to cover up with at night,  and we put the coverlet and duvet on top.)
  3. Coverlet; folded in thirds 
  4. Duvet cover (light down comforter goes inside); folded; sits about three quarters of the way down the bed; folded in thirds
  5. Decorative pillows ( king-size bed) we recommend:  
    • Two king down pillows and two pretty shams (lay flat over folded coverlet)
    • Three Euro shams with down inserts (sit on top of your two king pillows)
    • Two more king down pillows with two more pretty shams (centered in front of the three Euros)
    • Two square decorative pillows (centered in front of last two pillows)
    • one rectangular pillow centered between the two square decorative pillows
  6. Bedskirt
  7. Extra throw blanket if desired

How to Accessorize Your Master Bedroom

Choose your accessories.  Consider simple decor items like mirrors, picture frames, books (we LOVE decorating with vintage books), vases with faux flowers, candlesticks, topiaries, and candles.  Vary the height and create vignettes for lots of interest.

How do I Hang Pictures, Mirrors, and Art?  

I’m going to be a little more forceful here:  hang them at eye level, or about 57-60 inches off the floor.  If you’re used to art, mirrors, and photos placed higher, so that you have to look up slightly, this placement will seem way too low, but trust me.  You’ll get used to it, and once you do, you’ll notice that almost everyone hangs their pictures and mirrors too high!

Rug or No Rug in Your Master Bedroom?

Should you have a rug in your master bedroom?  Again, this is a matter of personal preference.  We didn’t have a rug for the first year we were here, but I ended up getting one this summer.  Not only is a nice area rug cozy underfoot, but the color and pattern help jazz up my blue and white monochromatic color scheme.  My rug is placed about two-thirds of the way under my bed and extends about three feet beyond the footboard.  The headboard is not sitting on the rug.  There are other ways to place a rug, but this is my favorite look because I like to see my hardwood floors.

Don’t Forget the Lights!

Choosing lighting for your master bedroom can be a little intimidating but, these few tips should help you rest a little easier:

Do you need overhead lighting?  

I am not a fan of overhead lighting because it is usually harsh, and well, it’s right over your head.  If you love the look of a large chandelier over your bed, which we do, simply put your lights on dimmer switches.  Harsh lighting problem solved.

What kind of task lighting do you need? 

Table lamps are definitely a must-have, not just for reading, but to create balance on either side of your bed.

What about accent lighting?  

If you have a fireplace consider using wall sconces on dimmer switches.  Wall sconces are so pretty and also add balance and symmetry to your mantle.

Do you need to have a ceiling fan in your bedroom?

If you decide to use a ceiling fan over your bed, consider omitting the lighting kit and opting for table lamps instead.  Most of the time ceiling fan lighting isn’t all that pretty, and you can get the softer light you need with lamps.

How do I Pick Lighting for my Master Bedroom?

There are thousands upon thousands of lighting choices out there. Follow these steps to help you navigate choosing the perfect lighting for your master bedroom.

Identify the style of your house.  

Is your house traditional?  Farmhouse?  Contemporary?  Beachy?  Cottage?  The list goes on and on.  Most lighting shops categorize their lighting by style, color, size, etc.  Select the filters that work for your style to help narrow your search.

Choose the correct size chandelier.  

Consider ceiling height, room size and furniture placement.

Color is important.  

Have a lot of white in your room?  Select different shades of whites for your light fixtures and repeat those whites in your room.  You will again achieve a soft layered effect without trying to match everything.  When all of your whites match, the room feels flat and uninspiring.

Can I mix styles and metals/woods/materials?  

Yes, of course!  When mixing styles, make sure those styles are complimentary; for example traditional with farmhouse; cottage with traditional; Scandinavian with farmhouse.  Make sure your colors and finishes complement each other.  Try a light wood with white or mixing painted worn metal with a newer painted finish.

Everything does not have to match.

The key is to not be heavy-handed, not to have everything that matches, not to pick “themes”, and be judicious with your selections.  Don’t go overboard with distressed finishes.  A piece or two (or three at most) is usually enough to create a cozy lived-in feeling.  Do you like coastal farmhouse?  Great.  Just don’t put oars on the wall, seashells on the night table, and a life preserver above the bed.  Yes, I’m kidding here, not trying to insult your intelligence.  You get the point.

Should You Have a Fireplace in Your Master Bedroom?

Don’t forget to accessorize your mantle.  I love art and topiaries with some mercury glass votives on mine.  Repeat the colors and elements you have in other areas of your bedroom for cohesion.

Need More Master Bedroom Inspiration?

With a little planning, your master bedroom color and decor can make your bedroom shine!  Don’t forget to check Pinterest and Instagram for a little master bedroom decorating inspiration.  Be original or recreate something you love.  After all, borrowing from what someone else has done is often the highest form of flattery.  

We hope you found this post helpful, and we would love to see how you style your master bedroom.  Until next time…

From the HartLand with Love,

Monica, Cheyenne & Brittany

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