5 Steps to Designing the Perfect Bedroom for Two

couple's bedroom with seafoam green walls and bedding
Photo: Balchugova Maria/shutterstock
Try these tips and tricks to decorate a shared space you’ll both love.

Moving in with your significant other is a big milestone. But let's be real—it's not as easy as just combining all your old stuff and calling it a day. You'll want to balance your personality and aesthetic with your partner's, and that can be a challenge. So what's the key to decorating a room you'll both enjoy beyond just sleeping (and, ahem, other stuff)? Check out these five secrets to creating a seriously blissful bedroom for couples.

1. Pick a cohesive color scheme

When it comes to textiles, select two to three colors for your bedding, curtains and rugs, including at least one neutral tone. Sticking to just a few shades—especially in a smaller room—will help it feel more harmonious and restful. Sound boring? It's not! You can mix it up with patterns and textures to add interest or change the look seasonally with different linens and throw pillows.

Design tip: Cushions are a quick, affordable way to freshen up your look, but oversize ones can also make a great alternative to a headboard. Adding fluffy faux fur throws will instantly turn your bed into a snuggle-worthy sanctuary.

2. Paint walls a dark color

Choosing a gender-neutral paint shade doesn't need to mean limiting yourselves to drab beige or dull white. A bold blue or moody gray can give your bedroom a warm, intimate vibe while helping other aspects of the room stand out, whether it's interesting artwork over the bed or a natural-wood nightstand. But if you're worried painting every wall in the same dark shade will be too intense, stick to an accent wall (or two).

Design tip: If you go the accent-wall route, paint the wall behind your bed and windowed walls in the darker color. This will let natural light shine on and reflect off the lighter walls, brightening the room.

3. Think about your sleeping style

Everyone has a different way of approaching a comfortable night's sleep, so it can be tricky to mesh your individual styles when you're sharing a bed. Start with a base you'll both sleep soundly on, like a foam mattress—it's designed to absorb movement and is hands down the best option for couples on different snoozing schedules or when one of you tosses and turns throughout the night.

Design tip: Rather than choosing your pillows based solely on filling and thickness, select a type that best supports your spine in its natural sleeping position: Side sleepers should go with firmer, higher pillows; stomach sleepers can opt for a lower pillow with less filling; back sleepers should go with a medium-height.

4. Turn on lights that set the mood

Bringing in different types of lighting is an easy way to adjust the atmosphere while also adding a little decorative personality. It's a good rule of thumb to have at least a few points of light in every room (think: ceiling, wall and table lamps). When it comes to the former, you can't go wrong with an eye-catching chandelier; it projects subtle patterns onto the ceiling and walls. You can also bring in a floor lamp and bedside lamps to add just the right amount of cozy lighting for drifting off to sleep while Netflix bingeing or reading a book.

Design tip: Fact: The wrong lightbulbs can make or break the mood. Look for ones that put off a warmer, more flattering light, and go for dimmable bulbs if you're installing a dimmer switch (which you definitely should do).

5. Designate a place to sit (that's not your bed)

Separating your room into distinct activity zones (for example, for watching TV, reading and getting dressed) is a great way to make your bedroom more than a place to rest at the end of a long day. You don't even necessarily need a ton of space to make that happen. Adding two chairs and a table at the end of the bed creates an instant reading area, or just create a spot to sit and put on your shoes. Curl up and unwind with a good book in an oversized chair and keep your cup of tea and other reading materials on a chic yet compact side table.

Design tip: To unify the look, match the accent pillows or throw blankets on your chairs to the ones on your bed. This will help create a relaxing room you'll always feel comfortable in.