How to Create the Ultimate Bedroom Retreat

Audrey Bruno
Written by Audrey Bruno
Updated January 10, 2022
A bright bedroom with a plant and breakfast served on bed
Photo: / Adobe Stock

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When you turn your bedroom into a soft and cozy space, don’t be surprised if you find yourself in the sheets at 8 p.m. Though you can splurge on amenities and additions, it doesn’t have to cost a lot to transform your space into a sanctuary. Little things like updating the lighting and adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls, can have a big impact. 

No matter your budget, here are some ways to create the primary bedroom retreat you’ve always dreamt of.

1. Remove Unnecessary Clutter

Even if your bedroom is decorated to the nines, any amount of clutter will make it hard to enjoy the retreat you’ve created. While there’s no denying how tempting it is to hop out of your clothes and into bed without clearing your space afterward, all that stuff is bound to pile up if left unchecked. 

Instead, save yourself the hassle of having to tidy up every day by assigning all your clutter to a different space. If you’re prone to leaving your clothes lying around, get changed in the bathroom or guest room, or keep a laundry hamper within arm’s reach. Have a pile of old magazines on your bedside table? Move that to your office or study. The key is to keep only the essentials for sleep and rest to ensure that your primary bedroom is a retreat and not a source of stress.

2. Set the Mood With Lighting

A bedroom with a warm bed light on a nightstand / Adobe Stock

The right type and amount of lighting is essential to creating the desired atmosphere in your primary bedroom retreat. Warm, gentle light will make it much easier to wind down at the end of the day than glaring fluorescents. But even those warm lights won’t be enough to make your space feel cozy if you don’t have the right amount to properly fill your space. 

Take a look around to determine which areas need the boost and which light fixtures will best deliver the results you’re looking for. Explore standing lamps, recessed lighting, and even string lights to find the right system for the various nooks and crannies of your primary bedroom. And don’t feel the need to limit yourself to just one option—sometimes having a variety of lights is the only thing that will do the trick. 

3. Add a Splash of Color 

If your bedroom feels empty no matter how many new elements you bring into it, it might be missing some color. Adding an accent wall to your space is a relatively quick and easy way to pump up the pigment, but it’s definitely not the only option. Everything from your bedsheets to your window trim has the potential to bring more color into your primary bedroom. 

4. Open Up Cramped Spaces With Neutral Colors

On the other hand, bold colors can sometimes have the opposite effect on a primary bedroom, especially if it’s already feeling constricted. In these cases, consider giving your walls a fresh coat of neutral paint to promote a sense of calm. Shades like beige and cream are light, easy on the eyes, and great at making a space feel larger than it actually is. 

5. Soften the Space With Area Rugs

A cozy bedroom with area rugs on the hardwood floor / Adobe Stock

Adding area rugs to your bedroom is a great way to make it feel cozier instantly. And these accessories aren’t limited to spaces with hardwood flooring. Even carpeted rooms can benefit from the extra textures that a new area rug will bring. Bonus: That extra coverage will better maintain your carpet for years to come. 

6. Invest in Your Sleeping Setup

Your primary bedroom will never feel like a retreat if your bed isn’t as comfy as possible. Take stock of your current situation: Do you wake up with a sore back? Are your sheets making your skin itchy? Then, change these aspects accordingly. 

Purchasing a new mattress is definitely an investment, but you’ll be reaping the benefits from it for a decade or more with proper care. And it’s not hard to find quality sheets at a reasonable price. Even building a bed frame or revamping a headboard is totally within reach for the average DIYer. 

7. Create a Hang-Out Zone

Though your sleeping setup is extremely important to a primary bedroom retreat, it shouldn’t be the only thing drawing you to that space. Having one (or more) additional areas with furniture will bring it to the next level. 

Create a cozy nook for reading with an armchair and a floating bookcase, or a lounge area with a loveseat and coffee table. Giving yourself more reasons to spend time in this room is what will truly turn it into a retreat. 

8. Consider an Outdoor Addition

A bedroom leading to a patio and a pool
Bruce Shippee / Adobe Stock

If you have the budget for an addition, consider bringing nature into your bedroom. Adding a balcony or patio isn’t cheap—you’ll pay between $600 and $6,000 for the cost of labor and materials—but it’s an investment that will both increase the resale value of your home and your quality of life. And it will really make your bedroom feel like a vacation destination. 

9. Spring for an Accessory You’ve Always Wanted

Though many reserve special objects and home accessories for spaces where they’re more likely to be seen by guests, these items are also deserving of a spot in your primary bedroom. What could be better than waking up to a view of your favorite piece of art or a piece of furniture you refurbished yourself? Everything from installing a fireplace to a clawfoot tub is fair game for your primary bedroom retreat.

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