This article was written and researched by Maria Shams – a professional architect and interior designer – to ensure that the content is unique and factually accurate.
An indie bedroom design is one that expresses your individual personality, interests, and taste.
This means that your indie bedroom can look however you want it to – but this can often make it difficult to know where to start.
Some of the best indie bedroom ideas include the use of prints and art designs to express your style; vintage mirrors to create interest; string lights to soften the atmosphere; plants to connect with nature; a hammock to add playfulness; and LED lights to create a cozy vibe.
In the rest of this article, I have used my design knowledge and skills to bring these concepts to life using custom images so that you can design your indie bedroom with confidence.
I’ve also included a ‘how to’ section so that you know exactly what to do – be sure to check out the linked guide below for even more details.
Related: follow this 12 step guide to make your bedroom look indie.
10 Indie Bedroom Ideas
Here are 10 indie bedroom ideas that you can copy – watch the video above to see them brought to life in 3D:
1: Use Prints and Art as a Source of Inspiration
The best way to include a physical representation of your interests is by including visuals connected to them.
You can do this by adding prints and posters – or even custom art – to your space.
These can be in the form of framed prints, canvases, posters, photographs, drawings, or paintings.
You can even stretch your creative muscles by choosing to create something yourself.
In the sample mockup above, I have covered an entire wall with framed prints and posters.
The variation of sizes draws focus to certain elements and highlights them among the rest.
In the absence of adequate wall space, you can even choose to adorn your wardrobes or ceilings.
If you’re fond of a particular musician or band, you can display their posters or album art.
If you’re a film aficionado, you can include posters of your favorite films.
If you’re looking for inspiration, you can include typographic art of quotes that motivate you.
Some more examples of items you can display are prints from a favorite artist, maps of a city that holds personal significance for you, and images that soothe you, inspire you, and enrich your spirit.
How to Copy This Design:
To copy this design select which wall you want to dedicate for this purpose.
In the sample image, I have given the wall a fair-faced concrete finish for a neutral base.
You can choose to paint it a neutral color, in shades of beiges or grays.
Or, if you’re more interested in a bolder look, you can choose a statement color, like a navy blue, or deep green.
Next, you’ll want to collect the prints you want to display.
You can try out a number of configurations to see which layout looks the best.
Here, I have arranged them in a linear and regular pattern.
But if your wall space allows it, you can experiment with a more random layout.
To properly highlight your wall art, make sure you’re getting adequate lighting.
In the sample image, I have included track lights on the ceiling, aimed in the direction of the wall art.
If that’s not something you can manage in your space, include a well-placed floor lamp to illuminate your chosen art.
For a little something extra, you could even have a backlit statement piece.
Check out these 22 ways to light your bedroom with LED lights.
2: Introduce a Vintage Piece to Add a Royal Touch
A vintage statement piece serves the dual purpose of acting as the focal point of the room as well as being a conversation starter.
In this example, I’ve included a gilded, vintage, floor-length mirror.
Leaning against the wall, it takes up a significant amount of visual attention and demands a portion of the space for itself.
In order to complement the gilded mirror, as well as to not compete with it, I recommend that the rest of the furniture be kept relatively simple.
A wrought-iron bedframe looks elegant, without looking imposing or bulky – the way a wooden option might.
This is an ideal element for a smaller room, as the reflective surfaces offered by a larger mirror can help to give the appearance of a larger, more expansive space.
As you can see, the mirror is reflecting the opposite wall, which is busier with items placed on it.
In order to avoid making the space seem cluttered, I’ve left the wall behind the mirror devoid of any decoration.
I recommend including décor that complements the luxury and elegance afforded by the vintage piece.
In the example, I’ve included a set of botanical prints in gilded frames as the wall art.
I’ve also included a pair of delicate hanging lights, to lend to the elegance.
A plush area rug in soft colors can tie the whole look together.
How to Copy This Design:
Start by deciding what kind of vintage piece you want to incorporate into your room.
You can look through the furniture you have already to begin with, or you can explore local auction houses and flea markets.
Once the piece is selected, it’s up to you whether you want to have some restoration work done, or if you want to keep the piece in its existing state, distressed or otherwise.
In order to let your vintage piece shine as the focal element of the room, keep the rest of your finishes in neutral colors and simple designs.
If each element had a gilded, elaborate look, the overall space would start to appear gaudy and cluttered.
In this example, I’ve opted for soft gray walls, and bed linens in beige with pink accents.
Click here to see the top 7 bedding colors that go with gray walls.
3: Hang String Lights to Soften the Atmosphere
String lights can be used as an alternative to regular ceiling and wall-hung lights.
The light they generate is diffused and warm – creating a very comforting and cozy vibe and helping your space appear more welcoming.
You can use them in any kind of position; by stringing them to the wall, creating a ceiling canopy, or bunching them up in a glass bowl.
They’re easy to attach and easy to move around – so you can be as versatile as you want.
In this example, I’ve shown you how you can use string lights to create a canopy over your bed.
In a loft-type space, you can use the angled ceiling to your advantage, by stringing them up so their heights vary.
However, this strategy can work just as well for a regular ceiling, too.
String lights are a great addition to any kind of décor.
Studies have shown that warm, low lighting can have a stabilizing effect on a person’s mood, and can help them feel calmer.
A perfect outcome when used in a bedroom, to help you wind down and relax.
How to Copy This Design:
First of all, select the kind of string lights you want to use.
As you will be using these in an interior environment, you don’t need to go for a waterproof or dampproof option.
You can find a variety of styles, but for this design, we’ll select a simple fairy lights option.
Now, you can decide how densely you want to place them.
For this design, I’ve placed the string lights in a dense, crisscrossing pattern – stretching from one end of the room to the other.
The canopy thus created is placed directly over the bed, so the focus of the light is directed there.
If you find that this results in too much brightness, you can make it less dense to achieve a softer glow.
Find out if it’s safe to sleep with LED lights on here.
4: Create a Connection With Nature Using Plants
It is always a good idea to introduce some indoor plants into your interior spaces.
Indoor plants can serve as natural air purifiers, and the hint of green they introduce into a space has been proven to induce feelings of calmness and tranquility to help you relax.
If you lean towards a nature-loving personality, you can make your indoor plants a major feature of your space, instead of just a finishing touch of décor.
You can add plants of different types, in a variation of sizes, and include specific accessories which cater to them individually.
In this example, I’ve displayed 3 different ways of incorporating plants into your indie bedroom.
The first way is to include pots and planters of varying sizes, and place them on the floor.
This works best with large and leafy plants.
The second way is to have a shelf of sorts, where you can place smaller pots at varying heights.
This is an ideal placement for smaller plants, such as succulents.
The third way is by suspending a frame of wire mesh from the ceiling for the plants to grow along.
This is best suited to creepers and vines.
How to Copy This Design:
In order to copy this design, you will first need to clear out some space near a window.
You can place larger plants in a space where they will receive the most sunlight, while the smaller plants, like succulents, can be placed in a spot that receives diffused light.
I recommend that you keep the fabrics in the space plain white, to give the area a sense of brightness and levity, by complementing the green of the plants.
In the sample image, the décor has been kept to a monochrome color scheme, to let the plants shine as the star of the space.
You can see how, even with the presence of large prints placed behind the bed, the plants and foliage hold their own presence.
Have a look at these calming sage green bedroom ideas.
5: Place a Swing or Hammock to Add a Playful Vibe
Your indie bedroom is supposed to be a space that reflects your individuality and character.
That is why it is always a good idea to include some lighthearted elements, to add a sense of playfulness.
In this example, I’ve arranged a corner with a suspended rattan swing, adorned with cushions to make it comfortable.
Additionally, I’ve placed a pair of poufs and a patterned rug underneath to set the space apart from the rest of the room.
The outcome is a cozy nook, which provides a lighthearted experience.
I recommend keeping the overarching color scheme in a neutral palette.
Here, I’ve opted for soft grays and white to complement the rattan weave.
To add a pop of color, I’ve included indoor plants of varying sizes, as well as a multicolored patterned rug.
The influx of color will brighten the space up, and demarcate it as a distinct space within the room.
How to Copy This Design:
When incorporating a swing into your room, you should take some time to explore what kind you want.
You will be able to find them in a range of sizes, shapes, and materials.
Your choice will depend on the amount of space available to you.
Here, I’ve opted for a ceiling-hung swing, but if that isn’t feasible for you, you can opt for a freestanding swing – which will have the added advantage of being easily movable.
In this example, I’ve selected a tear-drop-shaped rattan swing that is big enough to accommodate one person.
The furniture of the rest of the room is also punctuated with rattan accents, for instance, in the bed and dresser, so the swing doesn’t appear to be an oddly intrusive addition.
I recommend that an otherwise neutral room be given hints of color, here and there.
In the sample image, this has been accomplished by incorporating indoor plants and a colorful rug.
Take a look at the 11 best colors to pair with your brown bedroom furniture here.
6: Include Colored Lighting to Create a Retro Atmosphere
Recently, the use of LED lights of various colors has emerged as a popular trend, especially in bedrooms to create an indie vibe.
The use of different colors in interiors can influence the inhabitants’ moods in varying ways.
In this sample mockup, I have used a combination of pink and blue neon lighting.
The two combine to create a purple hue, which can help to stimulate creativity and harness one’s imagination – this can be ideal if you’re a student using your bedroom to study.
LED lights can be used as track lighting, and concealed behind furniture.
The track lighting can be oriented so that it illuminates an entire wall directly, and a diffused light fills the whole space.
This is a great strategy for creating a specific mood.
Studies have shown that low-intensity lights are easier on the eyes, allowing them to relax.
They also create a more comforting atmosphere, when compared to regular white light, which can appear to be sanitized and impersonal.
By utilizing softer lighting techniques, you can give your room the appearance of a sanctuary.
In this sample, I have also included a neon sign in fluorescent pink, yellow, and cyan.
You can customize neon signs to your liking, choosing a word or phrase, or even an image that you want to immortalize in your space.
Here, I’ve opted for a motivational phrase; something to provide positive affirmation at the end of the day.
How to Copy This Design:
To copy this look, you will first need to identify the areas where you could place the LED lights.
This is best done on the ceilings, as the light will then be able to evenly diffuse throughout the room.
You can also identify other places such as in a niche – or behind a large piece of furniture.
In the sample I have created for you, I’ve shown you how a niche can be lit from below to highlight it as a focal point of your room, by automatically making it more brightly lit.
You could use this niche to display wall art of your choosing.
I have opted for a neon sign of a small phrase.
Click here for 15 ways to light your small bedroom.
7: Create a Dedicated Work-Zone
In recent times, our lives have been restricted to the confines of our homes -so interior spaces have had to accommodate multiple functionalities.
In addition to a place to retire to at the end of the day, the bedroom can also act as a workspace.
In this scenario, it is best to dedicate a specific area for work and study so that your brain can associate different areas of the room with study and sleep – this stops you from getting overstimulated at night.
Above the desk, I have placed a board on which you can display your daily or monthly schedule, your list of tasks, as well as words and photographs that motivate and inspire you.
Instead of a regular corkboard, I have chosen a wire grid memo board – where you can not only pin your items up but also weave through string lights for ambient lighting.
I recommend defining the workplace as a separate zone, by designing a corner of your room to be dedicated to work/study.
Here, I have done this by adding a work desk and a reading chair, in a spot where they receive natural daylight.
You can also demarcate zones using lighting.
In this example, I have done this by adding a desk lamp and a small length of string lighting over the desk.
How to Copy This Design:
To include a work desk in your bedroom like this, try to ensure that all possible needs are available within close reach.
So your desk should be large enough to accommodate your laptop or computer, your books and stationery, a lamp, and a clock.
These are just the basics, and anything more than that will be decided on by you.
Ensure that the workspace receives adequate light during the times that you need to use it.
You can maximize sunlight during the day, and at night you can make use of a desk lamp or overhead light to help reduce strain on your eyes.
Click here for a 10 step guide to turning your spare small bedroom into an office.
8: Choose an Open Closet to Create a Minimal Aesthetic
Another great way to display your individuality in your space is by including an open closet.
One’s clothes are a reflection of one’s personality.
We curate our wardrobes to show the world how we see ourselves.
To have an exposed wardrobe in your room would be to have a representation of your best self on display at all times.
An open wardrobe is an idea that also encourages minimalism.
By having the contents of your closet on display from day to day, you will be well aware of what you have, and therefore, what you don’t need.
It will encourage you to reduce your items so that only what you absolutely love stays with you.
In keeping with the minimalist aesthetic that an open wardrobe offers to a space, I’ve chosen elements that respect and align with that design sense.
These include a minimalist rack of wooden shelves encased in metal framing, which is complemented by a free-standing, floor-length mirror.
The addition of a chest of drawers and a woven basket completes the look while creating storage space.
How to Copy This Design:
To copy this look, you will need to find or build an open rack to use as a wardrobe.
In this example, I’ve chosen one with pale wood and metal, but you can always look for something that complements your existing furniture.
Try to gather all the items that you’d need to get dressed in one place.
This will save you the hassle of misplacing things, and you’ll know where you can find a particular item.
For instance, here I have placed an open wardrobe, a chest of drawers, a mirror, a clothing hamper, and a small stool all in the same area proximate to each other.
Click here to learn how to build your own wardrobe in 7 steps.
9: Add a Personal Touch With a Wall Mural
A mural accent wall can create a strong focal point that also allows you to express your indie style.
By leaving the rest of the walls plain, you ensure that this one stands out among them.
You can decide what kind of design you would like based on your personal preferences and interests.
For instance, if someone is a big fan of Van Gogh’s painting, they might want to pay homage to some of his work, by creating a mural inspired by him.
In this example, the scattering of stars on an inky blue base with a pattern of twisting scrolls is reminiscent of the hues and general theme of ‘Starry Night’.
Even with a mural, I recommend not leaving the focal wall devoid of decoration.
A great way to add décor without introducing a conflicting piece of interest is by using mirrors.
Here, I’ve added a small console desk, topped with a round-framed mirror.
This adds a point of visual focus and prevents the pattern of the mural from seeming too monotonous.
How to Copy This Design:
First of all, select which wall you want to place the mural on.
This wall will become the major point of focus of the room, and your furniture should be arranged accordingly.
In the sample image, I’ve placed the bed and console against the mural wall.
If a painted mural is not a feasible option for your space, you can always opt for wall decals or wallpaper, in either a repetitive print or mural.
If you lean towards the creative side you could even design and paint a mural yourself.
Select linens and finishes that complement the colors of your mural.
For instance, in this example, to complement the deep blues of the mural, I have selected blue-ish grays and monochrome prints for my bedsheets, cushions, and throws.
Click here for 10 dark accent wall ideas for your bedroom.
10: Hang a Canopy to Create a Sanctuary
Your bedroom is supposed to be that one space that is entirely yours, and that provides a relaxing retreat from the routine of your everyday life.
You can capitalize on that feeling of comfort by creating a sanctuary within your bedroom space using a canopy.
To maintain a tranquil atmosphere, I recommend using a palette of neutral colors.
Neutral colors have very little visual stimuli, and therefore help your eyes to relax, and lull you into a sense of security.
In this sample image, I’ve used a beige and sand palette of neutral colors.
You can suspend your canopy from any spot in your room.
I’ve selected a corner of the room, where I can easily hang a cloth canopy from the supporting beams overhead.
Thin and breezy white cloth encloses a small area, and I’ve gone on to place cushions and soft seating options on the floor directly underneath it, to create a cozy space.
In keeping with the neutral palette, I’ve included a couple of woven baskets for storage of extra cushions, and a small woven jute rug to tie the look together as a cohesive whole.
How to Copy This Design:
In order to copy this design, you will need to acquire a length of cloth that you can drape into a canopy.
Try to stick to light, neutral colors to help you maintain a calm vibe.
If you’re looking to incorporate color, you can look for muted, pastel shades of your favorite color.
Incorporate some soft and warm lighting in your canopy design.
In the sample mockup, I’ve situated the canopy in a corner next to a window, so it can benefit from the natural light that infiltrates the space.
If your space does not receive a lot of sunlight, and you want an option that works at night, then you can suspend string lights from the top of the canopy to give a diffused, soft glow.
Take a look at these 12 cherry wood bedroom ideas.
After going through this list of design strategies, you should be able to glean some idea of the kind of indie bedroom design that you envision for yourself, and how you can go about achieving it.
Try to think of these as suggestions that you can mold to your personal tastes and interests.
The beauty of an indie bedroom shines through when the space reflects the personality of its resident.
Instead of adhering to preconceived notions of what an indie bedroom should look like, you should be trying to personalize the space to your needs.
Up next: have a look at these 18 professional blue bedroom ideas.
Dan is the founder and head content creator at Bedroom Style Reviews.
He has been working as a professional online product reviewer since 2015 and was inspired to start this website when he ended up sleeping on a memory foam mattress that was too soft and gave him backache.
Through in-depth research and analysis, Dan’s goal with this website is to help others avoid such pitfalls by creating the best online resource for helping you find your ideal mattress, bedding, and bedroom furniture.
Dan is a qualified NVQ Level 2 Fitness Instructor with 6 years’ experience helping clients improve their health through diet, exercise, and proper sleep hygiene.
He also holds several college and university-level qualifications in health sciences, psychology, mathematics, art, and digital media creation – which helps him to publish well researched and informative product reviews as well as articles on sleep, health, wellbeing, and home decor.
Dan also has direct personal experience with insomnia, anxiety, misophonia (hypersensitivity to sounds), and pain from both acute and long-standing sporting injuries – he enjoys writing insightful articles around these subjects to help fellow sufferers of such conditions.
Learn more about Dan here.