Bedrooms are such important spaces to get right in a home. They should be a place we retreat to, that helps us to unwind from our day and allows us to drift peacefully off to sleep. When renovating a house it is always a good idea to start with a bedroom. When you are knee deep in a renovation project you will be grateful to have a bit of sanctuary amongst the chaos.
Here, with the help of some of the best designers who have created the best modern bedrooms, I share five ways to help organize your bedroom to make sure it is a calm and relaxing space. Antonia Winkler von Stiernhielm from Studio Anton explains how when she is designing bedrooms, ‘the priority should always be that they feel inviting and warm. I like to create a place for my clients to escape from their to-do list.’ As someone with a seemingly never ending to-do list, I certainly like the sound of that!
How to organize your bedroom in 5 easy steps
1. Start with the smallest surfaces
Taking the time to look critically at what you have in a bedroom – both on display and hidden in bedroom storage like drawers and wardrobes – will be one of the most impactful steps towards an organized and ordered space. A regular declutter of your possessions has a whole host of benefits, from helping you to enjoy the things that (to quote Marie Kondo) spark joy, to helping you invest in pieces more wisely by becoming more mindful of those items that continue to be your beloved pieces year after year.
Laura Marino from Studio L London suggests you ‘start with the smallest surfaces and move to the “invisible” (wardrobes). For example, on our bedsides, I only display a pretty covered box (large enough to hold a pen), a covered trinket dish, a book, a small pad and a lamp. Be intentional about the collective look of all the items, as they are the last things you see at night and the first thing you see when you get up. I hide miscellaneous items I use, such as earbuds, lip balm, a sleep mask, pen, aspirin by keeping them contained… Also, make a pile to donate or sell for anything not worn in a year or more. If you have a hard time letting go, do it around the holidays! It feels fulfilling to donate to schools, shelters and other charities at that giving time of year.’
2. Put as much as you can behind doors or drawers
Regardless of the size of the bedroom, storage is always an essential way to ensure the space is kept organized. The smaller the room, the smarter you need to be with finding new solutions which can be anything from the bigger ticket items like wardrobes and dressing tables to shelving and baskets. Naddine Hadden recommends reducing the amount of visible open storage, ‘instead concentrating on a few carefully curated surfaces whilst getting the majority of belongings behind doors and in drawers.’
Laura Marino prioritizes properly sized dressers in bedrooms ‘if one isn’t in-built into the wardrobe. Look at its height, width and the depth of drawers. I like the height to hit just under my bust which keeps its surface top comfortable for use (no bending). Then, a chair or a bench at the end of the bed to layout clothes the night before and drape a blanket for easy access if you need an extra one at night.’
3. Focus on the bed itself
The next step is to think about the most important piece of furniture in a bedroom – the bed. Nadine Hadden explains further, ‘when I am designing the layout for a bedroom I tend to concentrate on the bed, and the experiences from it, which should always take center stage. I like to think about the views from the bed and I always design the views to be restful. I believe the view from laying in your bed should make you feel calm and relaxed.’
As well as making sure it is placed in a prime location, it is also an opportunity to think practically about how the bed can work hard for the space in terms of functionality. Antonia Winkler from Studio Anton also recommends using ‘ottoman base beds…they provide so much additional storage and can be covered with a bespoke valance in a number of divine fabrics for a personalized look.’
4. Install some good hooks or a rail
However good your intentions are to always put your clothes away at the end of the day and to leave your room clutter free, it almost always ends up piled on a chair. Tell me this isn’t just me? One of the best ways of avoiding this is by putting in some hooks or – better yet – a rail in an accessible place to store those ever changing items of clothing.
Designer Harriet Churchward shares how she can’t get enough of hooks. ‘Aside from the standard door hook, I use a hook on the outside of my wardrobe to hang items to help me get organized before I pack for a trip, and a hook on my shoe cupboard to air things which don’t need washing but do need airing. If you can wangle it, a horizontal rail is an inexpensive way to do much more preliminary packing and also allow for space to test out an outfit by layering garments together. When I have a new item I love to hang it to admire it for a few days and imprint it on my mind rather than hastily stuffing it in my wardrobe to be forgotten.’
5. Make the most of bedside tables
Bedside tables are often overlooked as nice to have decorative furniture but they can also provide a lot of function in a space. If symmetrical design is for you then a matching pair of bedside tables instantly creates a sense of order and balance. Designer Tom Morris says ‘it’s amazing what a difference matching bedside tables and lamps can do.’
As well as being aesthetically important for the room, bedside tables can also provide helpful additional storage. Designer Christian Bense explains ‘go big, and use them as meaningful storage for socks and undergarments.’ If you are not sure how big Laura from Studio L London suggests ‘I put as large a bed as possible in order to fit bedsides that are an ideal minimum of 20-24 inches wide. A smaller surface leads to clutter. I always want a decent surface area to accommodate the right size lamps my miscellaneous items.’
Similarly, a skirted bedside table can also work, as Antonia from Studio Anton describes: ‘I am a big fan of skirted bedside tables, they soften the room and give a serene feeling whilst keeping essentials like hair dryers hidden away underneath. They also offer a wonderful opportunity to play with fabrics and trims in an unexpected way.’