Bedroom Design Don'ts

Get expert decorating solutions that, no matter what your decorating style, will help transform your bedroom into the sanctuary you crave.

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When you picture a private sanctuary, do you envision piles of newspapers and drawers too stuffed to shut properly? We didn't think so. "Clutter equals stress, so the bedroom should be clutter-free," designer Shelly Riehl David says. The key element for creating a no-clutter zone: good storage.

Having a place to stash everything imparts a sense of calmness and order, so integrate hidden storage wherever you can:

  • Instead of puny bedside tables, choose generously sized nightstands with drawers or doors that let you hide books, magazines, reading glasses, lotion and other sundry items out of sight, but within easy reach. In fact, small dressers on either side of the bed serve the same function as nightstands, but have much more storage space.

  • Opt for a trunk or a storage bench at the foot of the bed to conceal extra bedding and throw pillows when they're not in use.

  • Consider a headboard with built-in shelves or sliding panels, or a bed with slide-out drawers underneath. Some clever new models even have mattresses that lift to reveal a large storage cavity.

  • And though it can be pricey, a built-in closet system will utilize every inch of potential storage in that space, helping you keep clothing chaos contained and out of the bedroom proper.

If new furniture or a closet re-do aren't in the budget right now, "storage boxes that slip under the bed and are hidden by a dust ruffle are a good solution," suggests Beverly Hills-based designer Lori Dennis.