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The 5 Design Mistakes You Might Be Making In Your Bedroom

We all know the main purpose of a bedroom is getting a good night’s sleep. But when it comes to designing this space, there’s much more to consider than just a comfortable bed. Creating a stylish bedroom means considering all the elements in the room (and avoiding some common decorating faux pas). So today, we’re calling out the biggest bedroom design mistakes – and sharing Bobby’s tips for what you should be doing instead. 

You may have the best intentions when furnishing your bedroom, but that might not lead to the best-designed space. Lucky for you, Bobby is here to help! We’re bringing you the 5 biggest design mistakes we see most often – and the expert advice you need to turn a design slip up into a stylish upgrade. Keep scrolling to see the 5 biggest Bedroom design mistakes – and how to avoid them in your home.


Looking for more advice on what to avoid? Check out our posts The 5 Design Mistakes You Might Be Making In Your Living Room and The 5 Design Mistakes You Might Be Making In Your Bathroom.



1. Nightstands That Underwhelm

No bedroom setup is complete without a set of functional (and, of course, stylish) nightstands. But choosing a pair that’s too short, too tall, too narrow, or too small can totally throw off the balance you’re looking for. Instead, go for an option that works best with your bed. If you have a king-size bed and a substantial headboard, you’ll want something that’s a bit wider and has visual weight to it. For smaller beds, you can scale down. And when selecting the right height, Bobby’s rule is the top of your nightstand should be level with the top of your mattress, or about 2-4” taller. (It’s a lot easier to turn off a light or hit snooze a few times when reaching up instead of down.)



What would Bobby do? check out our post: How To Spend $50, $100, $500, Or $1000 In Your Bedroom to find out.

2. Table Lamps Out Of Scale

Just like your nightstands, your bedside lamps also need to be the right size to make sense with the scale of your bedroom furnishings. An option with a massive base will leave no surface space, or a tiny lamp will feel totally underwhelming. Plus a lamp that’s too tall or too short means you’ll either have light shining over your head – or right in your eyes. But there’s an easy method for finding the ideal height – and a lamp that’s just right. Bobby suggests looking for a lamp that’s 2 inches taller than your nightstand. (If your nightstand is 20 ” high, go for a 22″ high lamp – including the shade.) And to make turning on and off even easier, try adding a smart bulb or easily accessible dimmer switch.


For even more lighting ideas, don’t miss 36 Lighting Upgrades.


3. The Wrong Rug

Adding a bit of softness underfoot is always a good idea in the bedroom. But no matter how plush your rug may be, if it’s not the right size, it’s not the best fit for the space. A tiny rug can make a large bed look even bigger and throw off the entire room. You also want the rug to be centered on the bed – not the room itself – and be placed far enough back that it doesn’t appear floating or too far away from the nightstands. When picking a bedroom rug, Bobby always looks to the size of the bed first. A king-size bed should have at least an 8″x 10″ rug, a queen a 6′ x 9″, and a full, a 5″ x 7″. You can always go larger if the room allows but stick to these sizes as starting points. 



See our guide for finding the perfect-sized rug HERE

4. Not Embracing Pattern & Texture

Going clean and simple in the bedroom can definitely create a soothing retreat. However, sticking to a simple palette – without adding any pattern or texture – can lead to one lackluster space (with no visual interest). You’ll want to introduce some contrast to really add unique touches and make your bedroom come to life. Bobby likes to bring in furniture with textural details (like cane or paneling), interesting art, pillow and throws with a mix of patterns, or even peel and stick wallpaper to add something special. All these pieces can come together to create a room with layers of style – that’s still totally calming.



Don’t miss Bobby’s 4 Tips For Creating A Self-Care Sanctuary In Your Bedroom.

5. A Basic Bedroom Set

We get it. The easiest way to fully furnish your bedroom is to select a bedroom set and be done with it. And while it might seem like a simple solution, a bedroom set is a surefire way to create a space designed for a showroom – not a real home. Mixing up your bed, dresser and nightstands is a better way to create a room that’s uniquely yours.  When selecting bedroom furniture, Bobby likes to start with the bed as the foundation piece. Whether you choose upholstered, wood, or metal, you can then decide on nightstands that create contrast ( light upholstery with dark wood or, light wood with painted black). Also, consider repetition of design details (curved corners or brass hardware) to tie all the pieces together. 


See more ideas for bedroom pairings in our post: Mixing It Up: 12 Bedroom Furniture Pairings That Work.


  1. Bobby,

    How do I find a large bedspread that will flow to the floor on a king size bed? This drives me crazy as dept. stores always show a king on a queen bed

  2. Hi Bobby! What if I want to have a bedside wall light instead of a table light? Is there a rule of thumb for the size?

    1. I would say a wall light/sconce should be around 8-10″ in diameter. This also depends on the size of your bedroom and bed. If you’ve got a king bed, you can scale up to stay proportional. xx -B

  3. What type & size rug would you recommend for a 4.5′ space between a queen bed and the closet which is high traffic (machine washable preferred). Thanks!

    1. I think a 3′ x 5′ size would work well. All these options from Ruggable are flatweave and machine washable. xx -B