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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Having to navigate an obstacle course of furniture to get to the closet, or sharing the bedroom with an abundance of dusty accessories are not elements that lend themselves to the tranquil, soothing vibe you're trying to create. Instead, keep the bedroom simple and serene. Remember: The look you're going for is beautifully spare, subtly sophisticated and elegantly understated.

"For smaller bedrooms, use only the furniture you absolutely need: A bed, nightstands, maybe a cozy chair and a small side table," designer Aimee Kim advises. "Put your dresser in the closet so it doesn't take up valuable space in the bedroom." When placing furniture, make sure to leave at least three feet between the bed and walls or tall pieces, such as armoires, and at least two feet between the bed and low furniture like tables and dressers. Do your best to keep traffic paths in the room unobstructed, too — if you have to circle around the bed to get from the bathroom to the closet, for instance, you may want to consider repositioning the bed.

When it comes to tchotchkes in this space, less is definitely more. "A lot of people over-accessorize in the bedroom," Kim says. "Be really judicious with accessories — one great piece of art and a few simple accents are all you need. And make sure that accessories work with the style and theme of the room." That means simple, minimal accessories in a modern bedroom, and maybe a beautiful seashell or two in a coastal- or beach-themed space. Kim also warns against using "visually disturbing" heavily tasseled, fringed and gathered window treatments and pillows.