Of all of your home’s spaces, the bedroom might just be the most sacred. It’s your sanctuary, your refuge, your retreat—and it should feel luxurious, even if you don’t have the cash to back it up.
The good news: Tricking out your bedroom space doesn’t have to break the bank. We’ve consulted with the nation’s best design experts to uncover their top-secret tricks for creating a plush-looking bedroom without draining your wallet. Heed these tips, and then sit back and relax in your new luxe space.
1. Remove things instead of adding them
Sometimes making a room look high-end is more about what you eliminate than what you add, according to Holly Bogdan, an interior designer for bedding accessories company Malouf.
“You don’t have to fill your bedroom with things to make it look luxurious,” she says. “Incorporate a mix of textures and finishes. Contrast is always good.”
Decluttering is tough, we know; we’re probably not the only ones who hide all our junk in the bedroom, where only we have to see it. But one way you can keep clutter from cheapening your space is to choose storage pieces that pull double duty.
“Add hidden storage under your bed, or bring in a bench that opens to reveal a hiding place for knickknacks, use secretaries rather than desks, or bedside sconces instead of reading lamps,” says designer Carolyn Rebuffel of Workroom C. “Clutter makes your home feel less expensive, so make sure you have an easy way to keep everything clean and clear.”
2. Use mirrors
“Nothing says luxury like space,” Rebuffel says. And in that regard, mirrors are your best friend.
Now, we’ll admit: Feng shui experts say you should keep mirrors out of the bedroom, or at least away from where you sleep. We’ll let you make your own choice on whether to use them and how extensively they should play a role in your decor. But there’s no argument that mirrors can make a small space look bigger, and add a touch of luxury to an otherwise ordinary room.
Choose a beveled mirror for optimal upscale impact, says designer Sam Jernigan.
“An oversized mirror is a splurge that can visually anchor as well as expand a space,” Jernigan says. “Especially if your bedroom has 8-foot ceilings, leaning a 5-foot or taller floor mirror in a corner will add a strong vertical line as well, which is always helpful in a lower-ceilinged space.”
If you’re crafty, Jernigan recommends the following DIY hack: Buy a mirror cut to your specifications at a glass shop, and then purchase lengths of molding from a lumber or specialty store.
“Simple mitering with a handsaw, glue, and frame fasteners are all that’s needed,” she says. “And then finish in a rich stain, metallic, or embellish with some luxurious vintage lace.”
3. Layer your lighting
For a pulled-together, anchored space, choose a variety of lighting sources. Start with a large, attention-grabbing overhead fixture, which will “instantly make a bedroom or bathroom feel more expensive,” says San Francisco–based designer Ann Lowengart of Ann Lowengart Interiors. But don’t stop there: Add sconces, task or table lighting, and floor lamps throughout the room to create a soft, layered look.
4. Add brass accents
Brass, that decor staple from the 1970s and ’80s, is back in a big way, according to Janet Ramin, who teaches the interior design course at the New York Institute of Art and Design. If you choose the right accents, this metallic look can give instant pizzazz to a space.
“Adding a few touches will give warmth, sparkle, and elegance to the room,” she says. Her favorite tricks? Add a gold-finish sunburst mirror over the bed, or source end tables or nightstands with visually interesting brass legs or bases.
5. Layer your bedding
Resist the urge to buy the “bed-in-a-box” matched set, and select your linens carefully, Bogdan says. Choose a mix of quality sheets, duvets, and quilts to make your bed look (and feel) plush, inviting, and opulent.
“A space that looks high-end has beloved things that have been acquired over time,” she says. “Invest in really good linens, like French linen sheets, with their casual elegance, or Egyptian cotton with a simple finish.”
Ramin recommends adding faux fur, silk pillows, or an embroidered coverlet for more texture. To complete the layered look, consider folding a fluffy comforter at the foot of the bed (laid over your regular duvet cover), says Lowengart.
And above all, don’t forget about the pillows—cheap, flat ones look, well, cheap and flat.
“Good pillows hold their loft,” Bogdan says. “They don’t just look better, they feel better when you sleep on them.”
6. Upgrade your headboard
If a new bed frame isn’t in your budget, consider springing for a new headboard instead. It’s one of those small things that will make a huge difference in the look and feel of your space.
“For most people, the bed is the focal point,” Bogdan says. “And you don’t have to have a huge sleigh bed or elaborate poster bed for the ‘wow’ factor. You can get an upholstered headboard for $300 that will transform a plain-Jane metal bed frame into a gorgeous, modern bed.”
7. Paint your ceiling
Love a pop of color but afraid to fully commit? Rebuffel recommends painting your ceiling in a light-colored lacquer. “This will add depth to your room without overwhelming it,” she says.
Pros recommend painting the ceiling in a color at least one shade lighter than the walls and using high-gloss paint to reflect light.