Tips & Guides / Interior Design

Ideas on How to Decorate Your Bedroom in an Apartment

By Barbara Zito | Jul 25, 2022
Beautifully decorated Landing bedroom

Moving into a new apartment can be as exciting as it is stressful. Depending on how much you have to unpack, settling in might take some time. But no matter if that stack of boxes is towering above your head, there’s one room that you’ll want to get squared away sooner rather than later: your bedroom.

Whether you consider your bedroom your sleep sanctuary, a place to hang out aside from the living room, or your home office, you’ll need some ideas on how to decorate your bedroom so that it’s as pleasing to the eye as it is functional.

We’ve got some bedroom decoration inspiration for you—including some small bedroom ideas!— that you’ll want to keep in mind when it’s time to set up your own bedroom at your new place.

Bedroom ideas for creating a cozy place to sleep

Let’s go step-by-step with our decorating ideas, starting with the main purpose of the room in question: the bed. If you’re going to invest in any type of home decor, make it your bedding, says Kaleigh Foy, Head of Interior Design at Landing.

“When you think about your bedroom and where you spend the most time, it’s going to be your bed,” she says.

When it comes to sheets, Foy and the Landing Home Design team recommend choosing ones made from 100% cotton that feature a sateen finish for a cool, cozy feel no matter the season. Plush pillows are a must, especially if you don’t have an upholstered headboard. No worries if you only have a bed frame for your bed—simply line up a pillow or two along the back wall the mattress is up against for an instant coziness boost. Of course, if you do have a tall four-post bed, you can drape a piece of gauzy fabric over them for a dreamy canopy.

Since the bed will likely be the largest piece of furniture in your room—even if it’s not a four-poster style or a king-sized bed with a massive headboard—it’s important to choose a design or color scheme that you’ll like. That’s not to say that you can’t change things up, of course. You might want to opt for a bedspread, comforter, or duvet in a neutral or light-colored shade and add some pizzazz with a patterned or jewel-toned blanket that you can drape at the foot of your bed as a useful decoration.

Foy says to find the colors, patterns, and textures you like, then play around with them to add dimension and layers to your bed. Not only will it look attractive, but you’ll create a laid-back, cocoon-like spot to curl up and watch TV at the end of a long day, as well as sleep.

Speaking of TVs, if you have one in your bedroom, the best place to put it would be at the center of the foot of the bed for the best sightline.

Make your bedroom furniture do double-duty

It’s a good idea to choose space-saving bedroom furniture and decor in any room to reduce clutter, but it’s especially vital in small spaces that likely don’t have the benefit of a spacious walk-in closet. Some small bedroom ideas include adding a small bench or ottoman that doubles as built-in storage. You can tuck away your towels or bedding, or you can put next season’s clothing in there.

The same goes for a bedside nightstand that has a drawer—provided you don’t fill it with unnecessary items, says Foy. If you want to avoid the temptation of having a junk drawer in your bedroom, she suggests choosing a less-bulky side table that won’t take up as much space.

If you are concerned about cluttering up a small bedroom, decorative baskets are the way to go—even for your laundry. While a laundry basket does need to be utilitarian, Foy recommends choosing one that might actually look attractive, like a statement-making basket left in the corner of your bedroom or even out in your hallway. It might even encourage you to do your laundry more often or at least put away your clean clothing more quickly!

Let there be light (when you want it)

A natural, light-filled room is a good thing from a feng shui perspective. But if the sunlight gets intense in your main bedroom or guest bedroom, you’ll want to be able to draw closed a curtain, shade, or another type of window treatment when it’s time for some shuteye. Thermal curtains are a must-have for keeping out intense sunlight and heat/cold, especially if you live in a more seasonal climate. Choose a color you like, then try to coordinate with other accents throughout your bedroom. Remember, you can always add a wall sconce or table lamps on your dresser or nightstand if the light gets too dim once you close up the curtain.

Don’t forget about the floor

You might love the feel of your bare toes in plush, wall-to-wall carpet, but most apartments will likely feature hard flooring instead. Your best bet? Lay down an area rug that warms up the floor of your master bedroom and adds some texture to the room. Whether you go with a bold design that serves as a focal point on its own or a more muted neutral, try to incorporate your rug into the color scheme of the rest of the room for a cozy, put-together look.

Deck the walls

If you are permitted to paint the interior of your apartment—check with your landlord first!—you might want to paint an accent wall in your bedroom. If it’s a small bedroom, avoid anything too dark, as it will make it appear smaller. Whatever color you choose, just keep in mind that you will likely have to repaint it or pay out of your security deposit to restore that bedroom wall back to its original paint colors when you move out.

Depending on how long you plan on renting, painting might be too much of a laborious task. However, you don’t need to be stuck with boring beige or off-white walls for the length of your lease. Wall art is an easy way to add splashes of a vibrant color palette and hints of your personality throughout your bedroom design.

Chloe Crist, another interior designer for Landing suggests using peel-and-stick wallpaper to add some color and visual interest to all-white walls. There’s even peel-and-stick shiplap if you prefer a more rustic look. The bonus? This is one of those bedroom decor ideas that’s easy to apply and remove, so you won’t have to worry about damaging walls.

If you opt for framed wall art or posters instead, Haley Moore, an interior designer at Landing, suggests using temporary hanging solutions like 3M’s Command strips or mounting putty to hang them without damaging the walls.

Be “smart” with your accessories

Our tech devices make day-to-day living easier, but some of them can double as decor in their own right. The Google Nest Mini or Apple Homepod Mini, for example, add cute pops of color to your bedside nightstand, dresser, desk, or other furniture surfaces. If you have a small room, you could opt for wall-mounted smart devices so that you don’t have them cluttering up your much-needed surface space.

Leverage your library

If you love books and have a lot of physical copies on hand, they can serve as decor, too. Consider arranging them by their spine color to add an interesting design element to your shelves.

Keep in mind that they don’t all have to be placed in their upright positions. Stacking a small pile of books—perhaps your current to-be-read pile?) on a shelf is a great way to change up the look of your shelves. If you own heavy hardcovers, stacking them this way could even serve as bookends for your other more lightweight paperbacks.

Add accents with other bedroom decor

Add some decorative accents that reflect your interests, personality, or even just your favorite color. A small potted plant in a hand-painted pot adds life—literally!—to your room. Just be sure to get one that will thrive in the lighting that’s available in that room. Rather than place small room decor items haphazardly on surfaces—a surefire way to misplace things!—gather them up on a colorful small tray that you keep by the door.

Candles are a great option for adding both beauty and fragrance to a room. Some are so potent that you don’t even have to light them to experience their scent, but if you do, make sure you don’t leave them unattended and place a coaster underneath them before leaving them on any heat-sensitive surface. You should also double-check your lease to see if candles are prohibited.

Remember your loved ones with personal photos

What’s more personal than adding photos to your primary bedroom or a guest room? Whether you place them in frames on surfaces or create a gallery wall, you’ll feel surrounded by the love of your family and friends no matter where you are in this world. You might think it’s pricey to download photos from your camera phone onto actual paper, but there are options that keep this form of decorating much more budget-friendly.

“Personally I find a really great and affordable way to decorate is to use a printing service such as Shutterfly or tinyprints and order your own photography from travels,” says Kyler Karstens, an interior designer at Landing. “I find that I can save hundreds and it makes for a really fun incentive to take artsy photos when I travel!”

Your bedroom, your rules

The great thing about these bedroom decorating ideas is that you don’t have to go over the top and do everything all at once. You can add to your overall bedroom decor little by little—a small lamp for the bedside table, an eye-catching piece of wall decor there—until you’ve got the one-of-a-kind look you’re aiming for.

If decorating your bedroom seems like a lot of work, you may want to consider renting a fully furnished apartment, instead. Landing offers furnished apartments in over 375 cities throughout the U.S., all with flexible leases that make it easy to move on your terms. Learn more about what a Landing membership can do for you today!

Barbara Zito

Barbara Bellesi Zito is a freelance lifestyle writer from Staten Island, NY, where she lives with her husband and their dog. She covers real estate and home improvement for a variety of digital publications including Apartment Therapy, Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, and of course, Landing’s blog.