The term ‘master bedroom’ is quite an odd one really. After all in this day and age we don’t talk about masters and mistresses. But when we talk about a master bedroom, we don’t only mean ‘man’ (as in master), we also mean the principle or main thing, or in this case room for sleeping
A master bedroom is in fact the main bedroom in the house. Often master bedrooms are also rooms that are established en suite to a bathroom, meaning that the bathroom is connected to, and can be entered directed from a bedroom. So it stands to reason that the master bedroom is a bedroom meant for one or more adults.
For many people, the adult bedroom is a place for solitude, and so it is therefore only accessible to those who are close to one another. For married couples, or those in love, this is the ultimate place for sharing. For those with children, the master bedroom is often the only room in the house where couples can be alone. But apart from that, the master bedroom is as variable as the meals that people eat and the games that children play.
Similarly, decorating ideas for the master bedroom are vast and varied. They range from suggestions for establishing a specific style in the bedroom, to various ideas relating to the display of objects and pictures, and ways to use soft furnishings in a decorative and attractive manner.
How to find your own bedroom styles
Before you buy beds and plan storage and other mundane aspects of the master bedroom, decide what you want it to look like. If you have a clear picture of want you want, even if you have never done any decorating before, you are more likely to succeed.
There are many established styles that you can adapt for the master bedroom, but you don’t have to copy other people’s concepts in detail. Rather borrow ideas and make them work within the context of your own home. Here are a few ideas.
If you live in a low-budget, compact home, you might like to use the idea of cottage style. This works particularly well if the room has small pane windows and the space is small (although a really cramped room can be difficult to decorate). Décor should be simple and unpretentious, which means it should not cost a lot to do. But you should also aim for a charming, comfortable look. Paint walls white or color-wash them in low-key pastel hues, or wallpaper them Laura Ashley style. Glowing pine is ideal for furniture, although iron and brass beds will also fit the genre. Plain, patchwork or pretty printed soft furnishings work well and you can display china, family photographs and just about any other pictures that take your fancy, from botanical prints to seascapes and landscapes.
If you enjoy the cottage-style look but live in a large, grander-style home, you could aim for a farmhouse or perhaps a more elegant country style. The farmhouse look should breathe country, even if you live in town. Natural wood is the order of the day and there should always be a bowl of fresh flowers in the room – daffodils, daisies, or a colorful mix of blooms. Appropriate finishes are those that will mellow with age and good honest textiles like calico, linen or soft muslin suit the style. Country style – whether English or French, Australian or American – is more chic and sophisticated than farmhouse, and you can aim for a nostalgically romantic feeling in the master bedroom. In its purest form, country style is found in grand country houses where heirlooms and family memorabilia combine with antiques and artworks to create a gracious living environment. But it should also be unpretentious and stylishly understated. Even one really good item of furniture, a chest of drawers or writing desk for example, will help to create the style. Have a Persian or Oriental rug on the floor, or even a simple kelim, that invokes the idea of a rich tapestry.
It is very easy to create the look of Oriental (or more specifically Japanese) simplicity in the bedroom. For example, if you are looking for decorating ideas for the master bedroom planned in this style, the first rule is less is more. A low-set pine bed with a plain cotton-covered futon and very plain matching curtains or blinds will set the scene. If you don’t like sleeping on a futon, use a thick cotton bedspread to hide a conventional mattress and bedding. Avoid ornaments – or select a single picture or sculpture for effect. If you want flowers in the bedroom, display one flower rather than a bunch, or pop a sprig of cherry or apple blossom in a simple vase in spring. Architectural plants are acceptable within this style, as are screens and bamboo blinds.
What to display in the master bedroom
Perhaps this should be what NOT to display in the master bedroom. The quick answer to that is dirty clothing, especially underwear and socks. By all means have a doorless cupboard, but then be sure the cupboard is always tidy. Otherwise keep clothes and personal belongings behind closed doors, or even behind a curtain. If you are practical and organize your storage space imaginatively, you will find it a whole lot easier to make the room look attractive and comfortable when it comes decorative touches later on.
The next question relates to where you are going to display items. This is important because it will help you decide what to display. If you have blank walls, you can hang a mirror, or even a collection of mirrors. Grouped photographs of family and friends work well in this environment, as do favorite paintings and prints. If you like the idea of collections, think laterally and be imaginative. How about old handbags hung on the wall? Or grandma’s old tapestries she slaved over all those years ago?
By the time you start looking for decorating ideas for the master bedroom, chances are you will already have – or at least decided on – the furniture that will be in the room. If you have bedside tables of some sort you can use these for lamps, a bedside clock or anything else you want close to you at night. This is also a good place for flowers and perhaps a favorite photograph.
A chest of drawers can be used to display many different items, from plants to photographs, ornaments and other treasures. A bookshelf would be used for books, but you can also stack a pile of books on top of a chest or other firm, flat surface. If you have a freestanding cupboard, that in itself might be decorative, but you might want to consider putting something on top of it, like baskets or an old travelling chest or trunk.
Work with what you have and be on the lookout for items that attract your attention. Don’t run off and buy things just for the sake of buying. Remember that your bedroom is the place where you spend your first and last waking hours every single day. So you need to really like and appreciate the things you keep around you.