How to Choose a Bedroom Design Style That Speaks to You

Color can add warmth and life to your bedroom.

Bedroom color and design create the overall ambiance of your bedroom.

How To Choose Color and Design

Interior design principles teach you to select the largest surface areas first which are typically the walls and floors. However, color scheme can often be dictated by the design choice. Before committing to a color scheme, explore the design options.

Design Styles

First educate yourself to the available design choices. Go window shopping for draperies, rugs, light fixtures, furniture, bedding, wallpaper, paintings, and accent pieces.

Details Make Your Room

Attention to detail creates a room of interest and depth. Small details are the glue that binds the overall design together.

Your Bedroom Design

There are many period styles of design for you to consider.

Some popular choices:


This period style has a homespun, early American ambiance.

  • Art - Folkart, primitive artwork, wooden signs displaying American flag
  • Flooring - Wide plank pine or oak floors
  • Country quilt
  • Motifs - Stars, stripes, patriotic, flag

English Country

You want to feel a warmth and deep sense of being nurtured the moment you walk into an English Country bedroom.

  • Wainscoting - popular design element, painted or stained dark
  • Lighting - Wall sconces and lamps
  • Rugs - Floral with reds, yellows and greens
  • Vases - Dried flowers on dresser or bedside table
  • Floors - Flagstone or dark hardwood
  • Wood Trim - Hand-hewed wood beams in dark finish on ceilings for authentic rustic charm

French Country

A light and airy with lots of texture is important to this design, especially if you're going for a more rustic feel. You'll want to use a textured paint that gives a plaster wall effect.

  • Mural - Pastoral for accent wall, use above bed
  • Paintings or Photos - Landscapes to hang over nightstands or arrangement of four on a wall.
  • Ceiling wood beams
  • Brick wall - Use cultured or faux stone veneer for accent wall, partially plaster for greater rustic effect.
  • Floors - White-washed light stained hardwood floors
  • Rug - Aubusson or Persian in pastel or muted colors
  • Art - Paintings in gold ornate frames
  • Bedroom suite - French Provincial, country whitewash or faded distressed wood
  • Chairs or Settee -Louis XVI settee in small floral print or toile pattern.
  • Pillows and Throws - Pastel hues for splashes of color
  • French writing table for the corner
  • Window treatment - Small floral print or delicate lace curtain

American Federal

This design became popular in the United States after the Revolutionary War and can be seen throughout Washington, DC in building architecture and interior design. Called Neoclassical, this design borrowed elements from classical Roman and Greek architecture.

  • Wedgwood - china boxes, bowls, vases, lamps on tables and dressers
  • Inlaid veneers - Intricate light and dark contrasting patterns of parquetry in flooring and furniture pieces in mahogany, tulipwood, rosewood, satinwood, sycamore
  • Furniture - Hepplewhite, Duncan Phyfe and Sheraton
    • Chairs heart-shaped and shield backs
    • Brass fittings
    • Lion's foot
    • Eagle wings
  • Motifs - Eagles, shields, ovals, ribbons, shell, swag, wheat shaft
  • Brass - Hardware throughout room, bedwarmer in corner or near fireplace


Function dictates form and design. This is the crux of modern design that came out of the Bauhaus in Germany between the years of 1919 - 1933. Many people confuse modern design with contemporary. Modern is a design school while contemporary describes anything created during a time period or design era.

  • Furniture - Sleek lines and often stark, artistic in form
  • No embellishments
  • No rich textures
  • No luxury fabrics
  • Basic, practical, minimalist


This design is closely tied to Feng Shui principles which are an intricate part of the Asian culture and philosophy.

  • Furniture - Clean lines shows off highly-skilled craftsmanship
    • Cabinets and Chests often highly decorated with scenes of every day life scenes
  • Design - Uncluttered and crisp
  • Natural elements and materials
  • Floors - Bamboo, teak, stone
  • Motifs - Bamboo, cherry blossoms, dragons, fish, and other Feng Shui animal or elements
  • Rice Shoji screens
  • Walls - Grasscloth
  • Rugs - Straw mats or rugs
  • Post and beams
  • Accent Pieces - Ceramic jars, footstools, and statues
  • Lighting - Paper lanterns

Other period styles you may wish to explore:

  • Victorian
  • Ante-Bellum
  • Medieval
  • Greek
  • Tudor
  • Elizabethan
  • Tuscan
  • Georgian
  • Designs for many other countries

Add Some Color

Now that you've explored some of the various designs of period styles, you have a better idea of the style of your bedroom. You need to decide on the colors you wish to use.

Period Style Colors:


Historical colors from the colonial years:

  • Slate blue
  • Moss and washed-out greens
  • Reds
  • White

English Country

Colors tend to reflect those found in nature. You can use a mixture of dark and light colors to give a nice contrast.

  • Paint - Gray, rich tans and golds. If using wainscoting, try using a dark color on the lower part of the wall in a dark green or burgundy with a warm tan on the top for greater depth and richness in your room. Trim in a lighter huge of the tan.

French Country

  • Paint - Yellow and blue make a classic color combination, especially pastel hues. Make a bold splash of white throughout the room. White French furniture gives a classic look.
  • Dark blue accents and rich buttery yellow for pillows.
  • Dried blue and yellow floral arrangements
  • Add a white, wide-brimmed, straw hat decorated with ribbons and dried flowers tossed over a bedpost.
  • Quilts and throws

American Federal

  • Paint - A distinct pallet is found in American Federal design.
    • Mustard
    • Tan
    • Dark Beige
    • Slate Blue (Federal Blue)
    • Muted Red
    • Dark Coral Color


  • Paints - Basic colors. Use primary colors, also white and black.
  • Fabrics - Bright in colors with geometric patterns and shapes or abstracts
  • Materials - Steel, glass, colored glass, natural wood


  • Paint - Muted colors that blend with nature.
    • Greens
    • Browns (often dark used as contrast like dark wood)
    • Pale yellows
    • Sky blues and blends of blue-green
    • Red for accents and contrast with dark or black wood
  • Fabrics - Silk, grasscloth, bamboo

Bedroom Color and Design

Your bedroom color and design will be personal because of the choices you make for each design element.

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How to Choose a Bedroom Design Style That Speaks to You