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How to Decorate a Bedroom for a Married Couple (5 Steps)

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  • This article has been written and researched by Andrei Vasilief (a professional architect and interior designer) for maximum factual accuracy and to provide unique content.

Interior design can sometimes be a point of contention – making it more challenging for married couples to come up with a design that suits each person’s style and tastes.

So how do you decorate a bedroom for a married couple?

To decorate a bedroom for a married couple: agree upon a theme by looking at YouTube and Pinterest for visual inspiration; set a budget and goal for the room; choose finishes for the floor, walls, and ceiling; select the furniture; and add the decoration (curtains, drapes, carpet, art, and plants).

The rest of this article expands upon these 5 steps in more detail and uses a worked example so that you can see the project come to life.

There are also 5 bedroom design ideas for married couples in the second half of the article to give you some inspiration – consider saving this page for later reference.

Related: discover how to decorate a smaller bedroom with a high ceiling here.

How to Decorate a Bedroom for a Married Couple

Follow the 5 steps below to decorate your bedroom so that it’s suitable for married couples:

1: Look at Interior Design Examples Together

Top Romantic Bedroom Design Ideas For Couples

The first step is to sit down and look at interior bedroom design examples and pick out selections that you both like.

1.1: Find Visual Inspiration

You should take a look at the 5 examples that I’ve included in the second half of this article for some inspirational ideas.

And you should also search for ‘bedroom ideas for married couples’ here on Pinterest and save the images you like to a board for future reference.

Another excellent way to get ideas is to search YouTube because seeing a design filmed in motion gives a better representation than a flat image.

This is more important than you might think because photos are taken in the best possible conditions when the light is ideal, and everything looks fantastic.

But when you see a design in video form, you see it in a much more realistic way and not just a perfect snapshot.

1.2: Communicate and Agree

While you are looking, it’s essential to talk and comment on what you like and dislike, discussing amongst yourselves what you find appealing.

By doing this, you will slowly start to see that you are finding common ground, identifying design elements that you both adore and want to see implemented.

1.3: Save the Images and Videos

As you talk, start building a folder of images and videos of designs and specific items that you like to be used in the future as references.

It usually doesn’t take too long to identify common aspects, and once you do, it’s time to move on to the next step.

2: Set a Budget and Goal

Looking at fabulous homes on the internet is all well and good, but you need to be aware that most of what you see in publications is high-end and custom.

It becomes very important to bring all of this information down to earth and scale it to your needs.

Design and decorating can easily get out of hand, money-wise, and for this reason, it’s essential to set a budget and stick with it as closely as possible.

To do this, we need to structure it.

Depending on your bedroom project, you will have three categories of expenses: finishes, furnishings, and decoration.

Let’s go through them and talk about each.

2.1: Finishes

Finishes refer to the materials that you will use for the floor, walls, and ceiling.

This category applies in two situations: if you are renovating the whole bedroom and wish to change finishes – or if you are repainting.

It’s essential to keep in mind that beyond just the cost of the finish itself, there will also be a mounting cost, either in money (if you wish to hire someone to mount them for you) or time (if you wish to mount them yourself).

2.2: Furnishings

Furnishings refer to the larger and smaller furniture pieces in the bedroom and any light fixtures.

The larger ones are the bed and the wardrobe, while the smaller ones can be anything from a chair to a coffee table.

Light fixtures also fall into this category, and there are two elements to consider here: the bedside lamps and the ceiling light.

2.3: Decoration

The decoration is the final aspect and contains anything that adds a personal touch to space.

Curtains and drapes fall into this category, as well as any paintings or wallpaper.

These are usually cheaper than the other two categories but can also be quite expensive, depending on your taste and purchase source.

2.4: Set Your Goal

Now that you have the categories let’s set the goal – from the most expensive to the cheapest:

Do you wish to do a complete renovation?

Then you will require all three categories.

Want just a simple refresh?

Then you only need to worry about furnishings and decoration (with maybe a new paint job added into the mix).

Want just to give an extra design touch to the bedroom?

Then only relying on decorative pieces will do the job.

In the following steps, I will walk you through a complete renovation, so you can see each part of the guide in action and get a good sense of everything.

3: Choose the Finishes and Make Them Work Together

Bedrooms are more limiting than other rooms, so here we have a few good material combinations that work well everywhere:

  • Wood or tiles for the floor.
  • White or off-white paint for the walls.
  • White paint for the ceiling.

3.1: Wood is Generally the Best Material for the Floor

For the floors, wood is nearly always the best option.

The variety of textures and patterns also makes it the most versatile option, with almost any color working well.

Tiles are the second choice, and they work very well in hot environments or with heated floors.

Your default option should be wood, though, in most cases, as it can fit any style or budget and almost always works.

If you wish to go with tiles, you can also consider the ones that imitate wood.

The images below juxtapose wooden planks and large tiles so you can see the visual differences:

Wooden Flooring
Wooden Planks Placed Diagonally
Tiles on Floor
Large Floor Tiles

The Larger the Room the Darker the Wood Tones Can Be

Regarding the tone of the wood, the principle is that the larger the room, the darker the wood can be, and this also extends to the pattern.

You can install dark herringbone floors in more oversized bedrooms, but in a smaller bedroom, it’s better to stick to a simple light plank.

There is one exception to this rule: diagonal planks.

These are incredibly versatile, using the simple plank, but instead of placing it in straight lines, it’s placed at a 45-degree angle.

This makes the room feel larger, and because of this, you can use dark tones in smaller bedrooms.

Wooden herringbone pattern
Wooden Herringbone Pattern

3.2: Keep it Simple With White or Off-White Walls

The standard solution for walls is almost always white paint, but if that doesn’t suit your tastes, there are other options.

The simplest one would be to go with an off-white color, such as light gray.

This, in combination with the wooden floors, always works very well.

If you wish to experiment further, there are two more options: wallpaper or panel molding. 

Use Wallpaper With Caution

Wallpaper is a great choice, but it can also hurt how the bedroom feels.

The stronger the wallpaper, the more sparingly it should be applied in the room.

So, if you have a simple wallpaper, it can be applied to all walls.

But if you have a bold pattern, then consider limiting it to one wall for a minimalist design – as shown in the image below:

Minimalist Wallpaper Design
Wallpaper – Minimalist Pattern – Placed on One Wall as Not to Overwhelm.

Panel Molding Can Work in Large Bedrooms

Panel molding is a more challenging choice.

It works well only in large bedrooms, but installing it is far more complex, and it has to be done by a professional unless you have experience in interior construction.

Panel molding follows the same rules as the wallpaper; the bigger the bedroom is, the more complex the grid can be.

It can also be painted, and here, we follow the white or off-white rule from above.

3.3: The Ceiling Should Be White

With very few exceptions, the ceiling will almost always be white.

There are avenues for experimenting with different colors, but it is easy to get wrong and is simply not advisable.

If you wish to paint the ceiling a different color, my suggestion is to talk to an architect or interior designer and get their opinion on the idea.

Simple Designs Allow For a Wider Choice of Decorations and Furnishings

A final thing to note is that the more atypical a combination of finishes is, the more restrictive the decoration and furniture choice will be.

So going for darker tones will require a particular style to be kept throughout the design.

Because of this, if you are leaning towards a more eclectic style, it’s best to stick to simpler finishes and combinations.

Now that we have selected the finishes let’s move on to furnishing the bedroom.

4: Select the Correct Furniture Combinations

Every bedroom has two large pieces of furniture, a few smaller ones, and light fixtures.

The larger ones are the bed and the wardrobe, and the smaller ones can be anything from bedside tables to chairs. 

4.1: Choose a Bed that Complements the Size of the Room

Starting with the bed, the first step is to choose the size, which can range from standard all the way to king size (see the best beds to buy online here).

The larger the bed, the more it is going to dominate the room.

The two main design features of the bed are the headboard and the color of the overall fabric.

The headboard should be proportional to the rest of the room, so if you have a large bedroom, you can go for a bed with a large headboard.

The same goes for the design; if you have a larger bedroom, you can opt for a more ornate headboard and vice versa. 

Regarding the color of the fabric, the best idea is to go for an understated or muted color.

So, everything from black to dark grays, dark blues to dark greens will work.

Avoid loud colors, such as red or yellow.

Bed for Couples
This Bed Fits Well With the Dimensions of the Bedroom

4.2: Match the Wardrobe Color With the Floor

The color and texture of the wardrobe (which will almost always be made of wood) should be in tune with the color and texture of the floor.

So if you opted for a darker wooden floor, you should go with a darker wooden wardrobe.

Another critical component is how the wardrobe is compartmentalized.

Ideally, you’ll want to fit all the clothing pieces into a singular wardrobe to avoid clutter.

Make an inventory of everything you want to store and see how they would fit best.

It’s also beneficial here to talk to a furniture manufacturer as they can help with this.

There are two solid options regarding the wardrobe doors: mirror (if you wish to make the room seem more significant) or wooden finish.

Both work well, and it’s a matter of taste.

Matching Wardrobe and Floor.
Matching Wardrobe and Floor

Now that the major pieces are set let’s look at the smaller ones.

These can vary greatly depending on your particular requirements, so we will list some standard options and some principles to allow you to customize them as you go through the process.

4.3: Match the Ceiling and Bedside Lights

In most cases, you will have two light fixture types: an overhead light and two bedside lights.

The simplest way to approach this is to find a ceiling light that works and fits well, and then either buy two bedside lights from the same set or similar.

The ceiling light is where you can get creative and not stick to a rigid style.

The overall color tone should fit the room’s one, so if you have darker tones in the bedroom, don’t go for a red light fixture, for example.

Depending on the room’s height, you might also have the possibility of installing a hanging light, which can be quite a lovely centerpiece.

Matching Bedroom Lights
The Two Circular Bedside Lamps Go With the Ceiling Light.

When it comes to the bedside lights, they should be in the same style as the overhead light and even have the same color pattern.

This is why it is ideal to find them in the same set, as it is the easiest solution.

Just as before, the larger the room, the more ornate the light fixtures can be.

This is where we also need to look at bringing everything together.

So if you go with simple white walls, then a minimalist ceiling light works well.

If you went with something more complex like a bold wallpaper, then a more ornate fixture would work better.

The bedside tables should be in the same tone and texture as either the floor or the bed headboard.

An added pro-tip is to synchronize the shape of the bedside tables with that of the bedside lamps.

So for example, if you have round lamps, they would go along very well with round tables.

These rules also apply to any other furnishings you wish to add to the room.

By this point, you already have a clear style direction that you wish to achieve, so any other piece should fit in this style.

5: Add the Decoration

The defining principle of decoration is that the ideal situation is to have a few large pieces instead of many smaller ones.

Where that is not possible, group the smaller pieces as much as you can.

This makes them work as a more significant element and reduces clutter.

5.1: Keep the Curtains White or Off-White

The starting point should be the curtains and drapes.

In a bedroom, especially a bedroom for a couple, having both is advantageous, as it allows for more control over privacy.

The curtains should almost always be white or off-white, with a simple textile pattern.

This works well in all bedrooms, irrespective of their size or other features.

5.2: Pair the Drapes With the Wall and Furniture

The drapes are where you can experiment a bit more.

Here, the principle correlates the drapes’ complexity with the wall finish’s complexity and the furniture’s overall tone.

This sounds a bit like a head-scratcher, so let me elaborate.

If you have simple white walls and light wooden tones in the bedroom, for example, then you can either go for a plain drape with a simple texture colored in light grey; or for a much more elaborate texture colored in a bolder color, like dark blue for example.

In the situations I’ve just described, the first avenue was to blend the curtain in with the rest of the bedroom, creating a minimalist aesthetic, or to make it contrast with the room and create a centerpiece.

Both ways are just as viable.

Let’s take another example and say you have wallpaper on the walls with a bold pattern.

In this case, the approach would be: pick a simple texture in a color that matches the wallpaper (if the room is not too large) or pick a more elaborate texture in a color that either matches or contrasts with the wallpaper.

5.3: Correlate the Carpet Color With the Overall Tones of the Room

Once the curtain and drapes are set, let’s look at picking a carpet.

Like the curtains, the color of the carpet should correlate with the color of the floor and the overall tones in the room.

But unlike the drapes, a simple texture is almost always desirable instead of something more elaborate, irrespective of the size of the room.

So, if you have overall lighter tones in the room, then white or off-white is a great choice.

But the darker the tones become, the more you can bring in more complex colors – as long as you keep them understated; so again, no bright reds or yellows.

It’s also possible to skip the carpet altogether if that is your taste.

The carpet size should be proportionate to the room’s size, and you can either have one large piece placed centrally or a few smaller pieces placed around the bed.

Carpet that Matches the Floor
The Carpet Matches the Floor and Contrasts with the Walls

5.4: Favor Larger Pieces of Artwork and Plants Over Smaller Ones

As discussed before, the larger the piece of artwork, the better.

But this can be pretty expensive and inaccessible, so you need to be strategic about the pieces you use and how you place them to become part of an ensemble.

A few areas in the bedroom where this works: over the bed (with the piece being proportional to the headboard) or over the bedside lamps.

If you wish to place them on a free wall, then picking multiple smaller pieces and organizing them together is an excellent way to pull this off and reduce clutter.

The same principle applies to plants: one or two larger plants are more desirable than multiple smaller plants.

But, just like with artwork, large plants might not be very accessible.

So, we can do the same as with the artwork and group them in a specific part of the bedroom.

Artwork and Plants
Choose Larger Artwork and Single Plants

5 Bedroom Design Ideas For Married Couples

Below are specific examples of finished bedrooms for couples to give you some ideas, inspiration, and grounding for the theory outlined in the last section.

1: Minimalist

Minimalist Married Couples Bedroom
Minimalist Married Couples Bedroom (Getty Images Pro #1)

Let’s start with a minimalist example, done very well.

This design’s beauty lies in coordinating the textures and furniture to create a solid and balanced cohesion.

The room is quite simple; we can even say it is bland, with white walls and a generic white floor.

In this room, they introduce a bed with a large headboard and a wooden texture.

The bench and bedside tables are in the same nuance and the same design, a simple rectangle using the same wood as the bed.

In place of a bedside lamp, a hanging light is added.

This is quite a nice design touch, but it can be challenging to integrate if you are not doing a general renovation.

The pouf next to the bed attempts to also mirror the same nuance as the wood. 

The textile on top of the bench is in the same color as the small pillows and cover on the bed.

Because the room would have been too much in two tones, they add a dark carpet on the floor to create some contrast.

Finally, they add two plants: a large one next to the window and a smaller one on the bedside table.

2: Classic

Classic Bedroom Design For Married Couples
Classic Bedroom Design For Married Couples (Getty Images Pro #2)

Let’s look at another example in a classic style.

While creating balance and coordinating various colors is a great approach, there is also the option of going almost entirely one-tone.

It is more complicated because you need to create variation using just one color, but it’s entirely possible.

Here is an excellent example of this: both the floor and the walls are in the same nuance.

To break this a little, they add a large carpet to the same color, but it is a bit dynamic with a finish.

The textile carpet will change when you walk on it and provide a lively element in a static design.

Next, they add the bed, which is in the same color as the walls.

Same for the bedside tables and chairs, they are all in the same color.

The bed cover, bedside lamps, and curtain are in a darker shade to break the monotony, with the pillows being white.

A great touch: they add a decorative frame above the bed.

Finally, we have the coffee table in a darker nuance.

3: Cappuccino

Cappuccino Bedroom Decor Design for Couples
Cappuccino Bedroom Decor Design for Couples (Pixabay #3)

Let’s look at a more minimalist example, this time in a cappuccino palette.

We have a simple wooden bed, next to a white and wood color wardrobe.

A great idea here; the wooden finish on the bed and wardrobe contrasts with the darker nuance of the floor.

In the same style, the curtain matches the white of the walls.

The bedside table has the same colors as the wardrobe for coordination. 

Above the bed, we have two artworks aligned perfectly with the headboard.

The final touch comes in the form of the built-in light above the bed.

This is a great addition, but just like with the hanging-light example, not very easy to do outside of a general renovation.

4: Ornate Centerpiece

Ornate Centerpiece Bedroom Design
Ornate Centerpiece Bedroom Design (Pixabay #4)

Let’s now look at a design with an ornate bed that draws the eye.

While what we have seen so far are great-looking, they rely on a high degree of coordination and color knowledge to achieve.

We will now look at a more straightforward example.

Right from the beginning, we can see that the room is straightforward: standard white walls and a wooden floor.

They choose a large, ornate bed that works as a centerpiece in the room.

They then go with a dark, medium-sized carpet that has a similar texture to the bed.

The bedside tables have a dark wooden nuance, similar to the floor, with metal details, with a dark color (similar to the color of the carpet).

A final touch; they add two identical lamps with two artworks on top.

And we have a great final result that is easy to achieve.

5: Dark Panel Molding

Dark Panel Molding Bedroom Design
Dark Panel Molding Bedroom Design (Getty Images Pro #5)

Let’s look at a darker design.

The panel molding on the back wall is dark-colored and contrasts with the floor.

These two colors, light and dark, are the foundation of the design.

The bed is in a darker nuance so that it fits in with the wall.

By contrast, the bedside tables fit in with the lighter tone.

Finally, they add white in the design: white lamps, white carpet, and white curtains.

The last detail: the yellow chair, a contrasting element that ties everything together.


Image Attribution and Licencing

Mock up images: created by Andrei Vasilief from Animo Regis and used with permission.

All other images used with permission under the terms of Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement, individual attribution is as follows:

Main image: ‘Modern Bedroom Design’ by imaginssia.

Image #1: ‘Bedroom in a Minimalist Style’ by JZhuk (Getty Images Pro).

Image #2: ‘Bedroom Interior 3D Illustration’ by Stockernumber2 (Getty Images Pro).

Image #3: ‘Interior of a Bedroom’ by nhamoinet–7582495 (Pixabay).

Image #4: ‘Interior of a Bedroom’ by AdrienVillez–4001179 (Pixabay).

Image #5: ‘Simple Luxury Bedroom Hotel’ by TonTectonix (Getty Images Pro).

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