Cheat sheet: 20 tips for designing your bedroom

For our decoration and renovation annual Home Solutions, which comes out later this month, we asked design experts to weigh in on dilemmas effecting every area of the home, from the kitchen to the children’s room – here’s what they advised. From style tips to important practical considerations, this web series charts a checklist of concerns for easy reference for your next household revamp or refresh.

See more: Bedroom: Design Dilemmas

Daily life is filled with demands, from responsibilities at the office to arranging one’s personal affairs. When at home, you might entertain friends and family in the living area, attend to work tasks in the study, and prepare and serve meals for the family in the kitchen and dining room. The bedroom, however, is a space where the masters of the house can retreat from the daily bustle to rest, relax and pursue their hobbies.

Janet Douro, co-founder and designer at By Nomade

What is the bedroom's primary function?


The bedroom is most often a place of retreat where one can heal one's body and soul.

What are your bedroom essentials?

Storage units are required to keep the space neat and unencumbered. Lightning should be smooth and indirect while reinforced by tactical reading lights.

What furnishings and fixtures should be included? 

Add a chest of drawers or a nice armchair. A well-chosen rug can dramatically change the atmosphere of the room. Bedrooms are also ideal places for a well-chosen mirror and framed pictures of the homeowner. Use a light wood floor, a high, quilted headboard, linen bedsheets and a collection of soft cushions.

What should one's bedroom colour palette be like?


The choice of the colour is key: at least one specific part of the bedroom should have a defining colour. A smart way could be to paint only the headboard or to add a unique wallpaper on one specific wall of the room. Choose cosy colours like pink, light grey, and warm green, and materials like a touch of copper and some marble accessories.

Where should the bedroom be in the home?

I have a preference for bedrooms facing the east and the rising sun. This keeps the room cool towards the end of the day.  

What's on trend for bedrooms at the moment?

Functional bedrooms with sophisticated storage and a direct connection to the bathroom. 

Where should one shop for new bedroom items?

Wander through the artsy streets of Sheung Wan, Star Street, or PMQ to find original ideas and inspiration.

Antony Chan, founder and creative director at Cream 

What are your bedroom essentials?

Good use of colour, lighting, and material and a careful layout can help evoke a comfortable, quiet and relaxing ambience.

What furnishings and fixtures should be included?  

Include a comfy sofa, thick carpet and soft cushions.

What should one's bedroom colour palette be like?

Use soft, natural and environmentally-friendly materials in your favourite colour palette for a more personal touch. 

Where should the bedroom be in the home?

Ideally, the bedroom should be separate from the home’s public realm to provide the required privacy. I enjoy bedrooms where the morning sun can gently peek into the room.

What's on trend for bedrooms at the moment?

Earthy, natural and sustainable aesthetics. 

Where should one shop for new bedroom items?

Lane Crawford, B&B Italia and colourliving.

Photography: Edgar Tapan

Marleen Molenaar, founder of Neiman Molenaar and Marleen Molenaar Sleepwear 

What is the bedroom's primary function?

The function of a bedroom is to relax and to be surrounded with things you love, whether art, books, or candles.  

What are your bedroom essentials?

Use good quality bedding made with natural materials. Pile your bed with extra pillows. Add a lounge chair if space permits.

What should one's bedroom colour palette be like?

Use subtle colours – beige, white and soft prints – as these are more relaxing than bright colours. For texture, use leather, wood, and natural fabrics – either 100% cotton or linen materials. The materials can vary as long as their colouring is subtle and natural.

Where should one shop for new bedroom items?

Jaspar Conran, Frozen Fountain, Knoll, Vitra Design, Herman Miller, Eames, Mollino, Artemide or Flos. I love these brands and shops as they are original in their way of presenting design, and they combine colours and products in a very sophisticated and aesthetic way.

Rowena Gonzales, founder and principal at Liquid Interiors

Where should the bedroom be in the home?

Most of the time, we don't have the luxury of completely changing the layout of flats. However, in an ideal world, the living room should have the priority of sunshine throughout the day – for example, south facing – and the bedroom can face the other directions. If you are an early riser, you may prefer an east-facing bedroom. If you are not, then north- or west-facing would be preferable. 

What are your bedroom essentials?

My essentials would be: a light fixture for overall lighting; hanging or wall-mounted reading lights so that your night table can have more space for books; sound-absorbing headboard or sound-absorbing decorative wall; area rug; two layers of window covering – sheer and 100 per cent black-out; minimum 300 thread count sheets made from organic cotton; and a battery-powered alarm clock. (It's best if electronics can be completely removed from the bedroom for good sleep quality.)

For materials, it is important to make sure that all wall and furniture paints, wood stains and finishes, adhesives, et cetera are low VOC and that all wood is formaldehyde free. The best way to have clean air is to make sure that these do not enter you space to begin with.

Where should one shop for new bedroom items?

Nicedrape for the 100 per cent black-out blinds with many selections of fabrics to choose from. Interactive smart solutions for home automation. IQ Air for air purifiers. Okooko for luxury natural latex mattresses. Rug Your Life for custom eco-friendly rugs.

Don’t forget to pick up a print or digital copy of Home Solutions when it hits the stands later this month!

Lead images courtesy of Liquid Interiors