Tips for a Soothing Bedroom Design

Napa Valley, Sonoma County and Marin interior designer soothing bedroom design

Everyone wants a soothing bedroom design that supports rest and relaxation. Personally, my bedroom is my “home within my home.” It’s where I retreat to at the end of the day to collect my thoughts, rejuvenate and prepare for a new day. But sometimes things can get in the way of fully achieving optimized tranquility – clutter, disorganization, lack of function or comfort, a misplaced bed, even inadequate lighting.  

You can achieve a soothing bedroom design with a few simple expert tips:

For a soothing bedroom design, stick to 1-2 muted colors inspired by nature

Muted blues, greens, and sandy taupes are a sure bet for creating a relaxing environment. Avoid contrasting color schemes, which can be visually stimulating and make the eye bounce around the room. Blues, greens, and taupes evoke the ocean and the mountains, which can be associated with tranquility. 

You don’t want to use bright primary colors (red, blue, and yellow), as these are stimulating to the senses. Muted blues and greens are calmer, while a sandy taupe can serve as a soothing complement on trims and doors without the harsh contrast of a bright white.

Limit yourself to one or two colors in different shades. Don’t combine a yellow duvet with a blue rug and orange pillows. Mix darker and lighter shades of the same color to easily achieve a soothing bedroom. For example, you could pair a light sage green duvet with dark sage green and ivory pillows, and add sandy taupe curtains and paint, with a few muted blue and sage green accents in the artwork or area rug. 

Paint your ceiling for a soothing bedroom design

I always paint the ceiling the same color as the walls in my clients’ bedrooms! If your ceiling is the same color as the walls, it minimizes the harsh contrast and unfinished feel that a stark white ceiling plane can create, while making the space feel cozy and cohesive. 

A matte or eggshell paint finish is the best choice for a more restful feeling, rather than a satin or glossy sheen, which reflects light and contributes to unnecessary visual stimulation.

Consider storage furniture, or adding storage

Functional, multi-use furniture is best for adding storage and keeping the bedroom serene! 

The space under your bed is valuable real estate, so if you are short on closet space, consider a storage bed with drawers under the platform. Or, invest in under-the-bed storage bins to stash away extra linens, pillows, and out-of-season clothing. This also helps keep your closet looking less cluttered!

I love using a storage bench at the end of the bed or a storage ottoman next to a cozy chair. In addition to the quick and easy storage, you get bonus seating for those moments you just need to sit and relax without lying down.

A nightstand with drawers and doors, rather than open shelving, can maximize storage and minimize clutter.

Control the clutter, especially on your nightstand

Sonoma County interior designer soothing bedroom design

Having too many things to look at in one space keeps your eye moving around the room. If the goal is to have a soothing, calm space, you want to minimize the clutter and extra accessories. As I mentioned above, I love to use a storage bench at the end of the bed or a storage ottoman next to a cozy chair to keep the clutter hidden with ease.

Keeping your nightstands clear and organized can have a huge impact on your mood and sense of calm. I like to install wall-mounted reading lamps next to the bed to keep nightstands clear. Nightstands with drawers or doors, rather than open shelving, are great for quickly stashing away the clutter that accumulates on the tabletop.

I always leave my clients with a small bud vase on their nightstands with simple green trimmings like eucalyptus leaves with lavender stems, or simple white flowers. Consider what genuinely makes you happy when you glance at it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. It could be a framed picture of your child or pet! Happy emotions will contribute to your feelings of serenity. 

Use a laundry hamper that is decorative as well as functional, such as West Elm’s Wooden Handle Lidded Hampers. Keep it in your bedroom if you (or your partner) have a habit of throwing your clothes on the ground at the end of the day! 

Incorporate plants and natural finishes

Use furniture with natural wood graining, which can bring in the calming effects of nature. Opt for solid wood furniture, which is structurally more sound, contributing to feelings of serenity (if you have a wobbly nightstand made out of MDF and held together with pegs and glue, it’s time to upgrade!).

Simple leafy branch cuttings can have a huge impact on the serenity of a space. I frequently use trimmings from the various bushes and trees in my yard. When brought inside, it changes their context and you begin to look at them in a different, more appreciative way – and that gratitude can elevate your mood and your feelings of calm!

For flowers, I like to use small, cloud-like white flowers, such as roses or peonies. I try to avoid those with overpowering scents, except for lavender, which is proven to have a calming effect. I always use a lavender linen spray on my bed before I hit the sheets! 

Remove furniture or items that invoke work

I find many people keep exercise equipment in their bedroom, such as a stationary bike. Remove these items immediately! Don’t keep a writing desk in your bedroom or any table surface that encourages work. Don’t keep your WiFi router in your bedroom, or your computer printer. Not only do these items contribute to the unappealing clutter in your space, but they can serve as subtle reminders of work that needs to be done, thus distracting you from feeling calm.

Layer your lighting for a soothing bedroom design

The ultimate designer’s secret is to approach lighting in layers. Layer your ceiling light with reading lamps, floor lamps, and sconces. Having multiple soft light sources throughout the room creates what I like to call “light vignettes” – warm, campfire-like glows dispersed throughout the room. If you have recessed lighting, make sure it’s on a dimmer and not located directly over your head when lying in bed.

I’m not a fan of having a statement chandelier in your bedroom if your goal is to have a soothing space. You want the focus to be on elements that are physically comfortable, such as a plush reading chair, a cloud-like bed, or a soft rug.

Create softness with rugs and curtains, NOT throw pillows

A perfectly dressed bed with pounds of throw pillows may look comfortable, but let’s be real. It’s not practical for hectic daily living. Instead, bring in softness and visual comfort by layering in textiles on your flooring and on your walls. 

Always have an area rug in your bedroom, even if you have wall-to-wall carpeting. An area rug under your bed creates a more visually defined space for sleep and relaxation, and extra cushioning under your bare feet.

Long, luxurious window drapes (that you want to wrap yourself in) will contribute to a soothing bedroom feel. I love to use solid wool fabrics for bedroom curtains, layered with a blackout roman shade for sleep. The softness of the fabric on the walls provides a balance to the harder materials and sharp angles from architectural elements like windows, doors, and trims.

If you need help creating a space that is more balanced and soothing, reach out to us at or book a free consultation with us here.


Dana Feagles, Principal Interior Designer

Book a Complimentary Discovery Call

Speak with our Principal Interior Designer, Dana Feagles. 

Tell us about your project, your needs, your hurdles, and your aspirations. 

Learn how we can help.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive a special discount!

2024 © Revelry Interior Design, LLC. Sonoma County, CA. All rights Reserved.