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Need help styling primary bedroom

Sarah Wilson
3 months ago
last modified: 3 months ago

We bought this home last year, and I could use advice in pulling my primary bedroom together. It's a large room with a sitting area.

I had wallpaper installed, which I love, but I'm having trouble coordinating the bedding and wall decor in a cohesive way. I like a "full" room, but I feel like there are too many competing styles.

Any advice is appreciated! (I want to keep the bedroom suite and most of the furniture--but not sure how to make it all work harmoniously.) Also, I share this room with my husband, so I have to avoid getting too feminine! : )














Comments (49)

  • decoenthusiaste
    3 months ago

    Fabrics and textiles come before paint and wallpaper, as you are realizing now that you've boxed yourself in with the wallpaper. It is a neutral though, so all is not lost.. Why don't you start by taking inventory and determining which pieces you could live without? Try to eliminate at least 1/3 of the furniture. and all of the decor items. Decor can distract you from focusing on how to make the room functional and beautiful without it. Then you can add decor judiciously.

  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    3 months ago

    Your room requires taller lamps next to the bed.

    I think your bedroom could benefit from light / white bedding with colored decoratives pillows instead of your current dark blue bedding that doesn't match anything.

    I think the addition of orange to this two-room suite with the pillows and rug is not a soft enough look for the room.



    Sarah Wilson thanked BeverlyFLADeziner
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  • everdebz
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    It's hard without being there. I see conflict of velvety purple romantic pillow with soft-pale beach nearby. Do you want a blue range from pale through to medium-muted, etc... maybe the peachy color mostly in the rug? [but is there blue in the rug?] Can we see your room without the pillow? well, can't hurt to ask.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    3 months ago

    Agree with Beverly. I would find which style you like and remove what doesn’t fit in. I think a nice lamp on the dresser and take down the hanging light. I would add rug coordinating but not matching into the sitting room. The mirror in the sitting room looks too modern so I would put art there instead. With whiter neutral bedding These two rooms can feel really peaceful and wonderful. Great spaces. Just some editing and brightening up will work wonders.

  • everdebz
    3 months ago

    Copying yours: "wallpaper, I love ... there are too many competing styles." Which or what competing styles bothers you most? what items might you/yours do without?

  • everdebz
    3 months ago

    If you want, tell how many are in the furniture set, cause can't tell...?

    will windows have a blackout or covering? the blue light seems good for mood, and its dark bronzey frame - is it like the furniture handles - I think it's cool.

  • ital mover
    3 months ago

    I would either get lighter breezier bedding or I would reframe the art over the bed in a darker mat and frame to pair up with the saturated colors on the bed and rug. Just generally I would say you need to decide whether you want the room to play off the deeper colors and warm woods, or if you want to go with the whites and pastels in the room. For the deeper color choice, go for stronger art and darker accent pillows. If you want the pastels and whites instead, consider replacing the rug with a simple textured — something coastal and light.


    I really enjoy your swagged lighting fixture, but I would remove the tree and place the chair in a way that makes sense for reading, and maybe put a small table beside the chair big enough for coffee.


    In the sitting area, I think I’d either try to bring in another chair and get a smaller table betwen them, so it’s a conversation area, or bring that larger round table closer to the chair, and add a lamp and an ottoman. I’d put a real houseplant there, even a small tree.

  • Theresa Janssen
    3 months ago

    You have a lovely room. Agree that lighter bedding will make a big change. White sheets and duvet and shams with a pop of color in an accent pillow. I would also consider new side tables for the bed, the ones you have look too small and dainty for your bed. Looks like you have two white dressers in your sitting room, wondering if you could use those as bedside tables, not sure of size, but like the idea of white side tables in the bedroom.

  • lmmcnitt
    3 months ago

    The wallpaper is beautiful but the bedroom walls are much softer and the bedding is too dark and jarring against the soft walls. The first thing i noticed was the trim color looks like it has way too much color in it and stands out against the ceiling. It brings the room down a bit, just an observation. Lots of good elements with the furniture and sitting area.

  • RedRyder
    3 months ago

    Another vote for more white. New linens and a lighter rug will completely change the feel of the room. Your main color is pretty but it needs lighter stuff around it. Your white chair, for example, looks beautiful. Beverly gave you great ideas in her mock ups. Start with the linens and remove the rug. Take away all the accessories and build up from there. Nice furniture!

  • Allison0704
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Without knowing which way you want to go, I will suggest what I would do if it were my space. Turn rug the other direction (rotate 90 degrees) and at the headboard wall, start it just past the front of night tables. I like the chest and dresser, and would find more substantial bedside tables. One open below (could have a drawer or be completely open) and one on the sitting room side with three drawers. Similar, but don't have to match exactly but do need to also go with the chest and dresser. You could even use the round table that's in the sitting area. If your DH is like mine, he will want drawers on his side of the bed. Taller lamps beside bed, again do not have to match.

    I like the hanging lamp, and agree with the above comment to remove the plant - actually remove all the faux plants and flowers. Replace with low light houseplants. Pull chair closer to the chest.

    Move framed photo above bed to sitting room. The white cabinets in sitting room are a totally different vibe than the bedroom. Do you need them? Small rug that mimics the bedroom rug. Pair of chairs, again do not need to match, with table between. I would try to place chairs so outlets and cords do not show.

    Try current bedside lamps elsewhere. One on top of tall chest and other in sitting area.

    The chest at the foot of bed is lovely, but too small for bed. Use as a coffee table in the sitting area.

    The round modern mirror does not bother me, becuase traditional/transitional/antiques can be mixed successfully with modern pieces. Good rule of thumb is at least three modern pieces to make it work visually. I do think it is hung a bit high, and the accessories are all small.

    Lighter color bedding and pull another accent color from the rug into pillows. Not necessarily white bedding. I like the current rug with the dark wood bed. For king size, 3 Euros, 3 shams or 2 long pillows. One for the blue chair. Another for the white chair. Upholstered bench at end of bed.

    ETA:

    Cream bedding (cream in rug)



    Blue lumbars for accents



    ETA 2, from etsy:




    Sarah Wilson thanked Allison0704
  • ital mover
    3 months ago

    Using your sapphire blue lamp in the sitting room instead of the more conventional light fixture could be really charming. Then consider putting the circular mirror over your bed (if you don’t live in earthquake country) and putting the family portrait over the white chest in the sitting room.


    Try swapping the places of the rubber plant and the basket you have in that room.



  • Sarah Wilson
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Thank you everyone! I was nervous to post bc this is such a personal room. Moving toward more blue and white is the obvious choice--I added the jewel tones in this room to try something different and get out of my comfort zone. I will play with the bedding and post more photos.


    The sitting room just has a collection of sentimental pieces from my grandma that don't really go anywhere else in my home. That's why there's a conflict between them and the vibe of the bedroom. These are some great ideas and I will move some things around. Thank you all so much!

  • Allison0704
    3 months ago

    Came back to add these antique batik pillows. You are young, so have fun!




    Others, not antique, but all from etsy.











  • Sarah Wilson
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Oh! I could move the white dresser in the sitting room to the other wall, where it would not be so visible. What could I put in its place?

  • ital mover
    3 months ago


    Safavieh CL - Dip Dyes DDY717A - 8ft 0in x 10ft 0in Ivory · More Info


  • Sarah Wilson
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Removing the pink/peach already looks a lot better. (These are just items from my home...not the real deal.)

    The mirror is obviously too low, but does it work?



  • Allison0704
    3 months ago

    Your dog is adorable!


    Looks better! I would still turn the rug. I like the mirror over the bed better than the previous photograph, but not sure it is "the" right thing. With the windows on either side, it would be nice to have a non-reflective piece over the bed. Something with texture even better. Large wicker piece? Round would be good to break all the existing hard lines.

  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    3 months ago

    A round element over the bed is good, but that mirror looks a bit too plain to me.

  • Sarah Wilson
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    I agree! I have been looking for something like that. Thanks so much Allison! (Gotta get my husband on board for the rug turning etc, lol)


  • Sarah Wilson
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Beverly, I agree, its not quite right. Cheap Target mirror, no biggie to replace.


  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    3 months ago

    I think a group of smaller mirrors might work over bed. Moving in right direction.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    3 months ago

    Do you have “sliders”? They make moving furniture so easy. Lowe’s has them for carpet and hard surfaces. Well worth it to take the pain out of moving furniture.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    3 months ago

    Here is one package.

  • Tara
    3 months ago

    I think your room looks beautiful and I would love to stay with you!

  • Sarah Wilson
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Thank you Tara! I love decorating, but I am just a regular person, obviously no pro! LOL : )


    And yes Flo, we have those! We can dig them out. Thanks!

  • Allison0704
    3 months ago

    I used this over the bed in our room at our last house. It's not completely flat, and light enough to hang with a tiny nail.


  • RedRyder
    3 months ago

    You can also put a piece of art over the bed. It looks better already. And you should turn the rug. @Allison0704 is right.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    3 months ago

    Your puppy is so darn cute. Interested in what’s going on. Could you paint one of the white chests a blue and use as a night stand? That one in the sitting room looks small enough to work. Check height. Then get a taller one for other side of bed. But definitely moving in a good direction.

  • Sarah Wilson
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    thanks flo! those two white pieces were already painted by me—one was my grandma’s sewing cabinet and the other is a piece from her home that is so old it was handmade. I'm going to leave them in the sitting room, but pushed to the less visible side. i will see what i can do about the tables, they are fairly new. : / If I add a few more gold accents to the room, will that bring them in?

    i plan on getting new bedding, moving the existing lamps as was suggested and getting taller ones, and turning the rug. also getting something new for above the bed, and a small table next to green chair. i would like to replace the light fixture in sitting room as well, add an ottoman and rug.

    i agree with the person who commented on my trim color etc, i don't love it but i cant change it at this point. i was going for a bohemian look (or something!) in here with the various colors, but blue and white is cleaner and will look classier. thanks so much!!

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    3 months ago

    The problem with your night stands isn’t the gold so much as their “scale” (size and shape). Night stands should be roughly the height of the top of your mattress. These seem very low. The headboard is wood and fairly substantial so nightstand should have enough “beef” to stand up to headboard look. Watch your local Marketplace pages to find bargains with better size.

  • Allison0704
    3 months ago

    It's nice you have pieces from your grandmother that mean a lot to you. Keeps you connected to her. At least that's the way the thngs I have from previous generations make me feel. Would you consider going over them with a wax that would slightly darken, but not make dirty looking (overly distressed)? I think moving the large piece to the other wall was a good move, as that side of the rooms felt visually heavy. Can you use the taller/smaller piece elsewhere, such as a bathroom or?


    If you had said boho previously, I didn't catch it. Don't buy a matching set for the bedding. It's a little more work, but mixing various patterns and textures will give you that boho look. Using three large 26" pillows in front of euros or regular shams and something across the foot of bed will go a long way towards giving you this look.


    Sarah Wilson thanked Allison0704
  • ital mover
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    You could also beef up your nighstands by putting large dark trays on them. Having a tray on a nightstand is often helpful anyway for putting down things in the dark. Since I think your nightstands are too far from the bed to be easy to use, I would move them closer to the bed and get a dark tray that covers the 2/3ds of the nightstand top closest to the bed, and then put the concrete gray lamp outside the tray.

    Have you tried positioning your white chair in the sitting space so that faces out the window, to enjoy the view? Put it at an angle next to the rubber plant, and maybe put the blue chair in the room with it, for conversation, with one of your colorful pillows.

    Is the rug under the bed too big to fit into the sitting room?

    Sarah Wilson thanked ital mover
  • justcallmepool
    3 months ago

    Hi, Sarah!

    Love your grandmother's pieces and incorporating them into your space.


    Could you use the current nightstands as side tables in the sitting area or in your living room? I think trying one or both of your grandma's cabinets as a nightstand is worth a shot, just to see at least.

    If you did move the white cabinets, maybe your tall dresser could go over there kind of like a dressing area in one corner/wall.

    Also thinking if you added a cushion or even a blanket/quilt on top of the hope chest, that would help it be visible. Right now it kind of blends into the foot board of the bed.


    I know it's hard to get every space perfect, and lots of times a piece ends up in a different room! Flo and others here have been helping me for a couple years now. and I just inherited more items after my mom passed, so furniture is getting swapped around rooms again! But I think that is kind of nice that you have so many pieces that are flexible and can go elsewhere. Always worth a try!

    Sarah Wilson thanked justcallmepool
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    3 months ago

    Sarah, glad pool commented. It does take time to get things just right. So just let it evolve. I agree with everything pool said. I do think the one cabinet that you moved around in your sitting room has potential next to the bed. Have you measured its size? Height and width (left to right facing it)? If you can do that, I can help you decide whether it’s worth trying or not. With more white on the bedding it could pull everything together. Then you can put your chair on angle with table (round) to tight. Add lamp, footstool and rug. Maybe add a plant.

    Sarah Wilson thanked Flo Mangan
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    3 months ago

    Table to the right of chair.

  • Sarah Wilson
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Thank you all for these ideas. In my previous home, the bedroom had lower ceilings and different windows, and the night tables/lamps seemed fine. (Before that, I actually had mismatched wooden night tables, and tall skinny lamps! LOL!) I added a mattress pad recently so that must have added some height as well. I will keep all these suggestions in mind and play with the pieces. I also like the tray idea from Italmover. : )

    @Allison0704 could you tell me where you got the wicker wall decor you posted? I like it--so many I see look too cheap. And yes I will definitely "build" the bedding. Your suggestions are similar to how I have styled the pillows in my living room.

    Thank you all so for being so kind with your suggestions!

  • Allison0704
    3 months ago

    It came from Maison Shop. She posted some on her IG account a week or so ago. We lived nearby until we moved to FL in May.

    Sarah Wilson thanked Allison0704
  • lynartist
    3 months ago

    I think your room is quite pretty. I agree that a lighter palette would help though. I don’t think you need to get a new spread however; if you turn the one you have down and show light linens , light euros and a larger ,printed scarf or duvet folded at the foot of the bed for interest. A softer upholstered bench at the foot of the bed perhaps. I added light distressed tables and tall lamps.

  • lynartist
    3 months ago

    I don’t mind the blue bedding if it is balanced but other lighter bedding. As the bed itself is dark and the chest too it all begins to blend.

  • lynartist
    3 months ago


  • Sarah Wilson
    Original Author
    3 months ago

    Thank you Lyn! That is a great idea as well. I love those lamps you found, I will look for something like that!

  • everdebz
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Just a 'find' -

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    27"H Ocean Breeze Glass Table Lamp · More Info


  • everdebz
    3 months ago

    slubbed stripes - and in white

    Itaji Sheer Rod Pocket Top Curtain Panels, Set of 2, Melrose Blue, 54"x96" · More Info


  • everdebz
    3 months ago

    I didn't read whether your sleep requires more on the windows, near the bed. The Itaji comes in white a bit textured. Would current stands then shine just a bit -seen against white fabric... soft touch of blue-ish glass lamp....

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    3 months ago

    Good observation Glo! Winner!

  • everdebz
    3 months ago

    is this optical play? what is height of ceilings ?! and height of the walk/opening?

  • susanlynn2012
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I love the idea of adding a lot more white to the bedding with maybe a blue throw and a mix of blue and white bedding to get the rooms to flow with each other. I like the idea of bigger nightstands with drawers and taller lamps also. Any updates to the bedroom? I love the sitting room so much.