Dream Sweetly in These 5 Serene Bedrooms

Neutral palettes, luxurious linens and soft lighting produce only the sweetest of dreams in these five serene bedroom retreats.

I’ve been working hard lately, and if there’s one thing I need to round out my efforts it’s more naps. My bedroom is long overdue for a design refresh, and I've had my eye on these swoon-worthy rooms.

Neutral Tropical Bedroom With Grasscloth Walls

Neutral Tropical Bedroom With Grasscloth Walls

Tropical rooms don't always boast bold colors and palm printed furniture. Here, a subdued, beige color palate makes this beachside retreat feel and look relaxing, yet sophisticated. Grasscloth walls and a beadboard ceiling give the space subtle tropical flare.

Photo by: Jessica Klewicki Glynn

Jessica Klewicki Glynn

Neutral bedrooms make for peaceful spots for rest, but neutral does not need to mean boring. Amy Weaver used highly textural neutral features, such as grasscloth wallpaper, bamboo roman shades and patterned fabrics to add visual interest in this master bedroom while keeping the colors soft.

Modern Master Bedroom Features Lounge Area

Modern Master Bedroom Features Lounge Area

This master bedroom features floor-height windows with a small lounge area looking into the woods. A warm, wood-paneled accent wall doubles as a headboard, and light oak floors complete the design.

Photo by: Eisner Design

Eisner Design

I love the way this room by Eisner Design embraces elements of nature. The wood paneling in the bed niche speaks to the beautiful view of trees through the windows. The windows are equipped with custom-fit coverings to block out the light when it’s time for rest. 

Gorgeous Transitional Bedroom With Gray Upholstered Bed Frame

Gorgeous Transitional Bedroom With Gray Upholstered Bed Frame

This luxurious master bedroom features a framed accent wall behind a gray upholstered headboard. White bed linens are given some accented texture with a faux fur throw. A pair of sophisticated neutral chairs are trimmed with nailhead and decorated with graphic throw pillows. A baby blue rug adds a soft touch of color to the design.

Photo by: John Woodcock Photography

John Woodcock Photography

Master bedroom or luxury hotel suite? J&J Design Group achieve the look of luxury with well-tailored design features, such as the upholstered wall detail, nailhead trim on the bed and armchairs and crisp, white bed linens. The faux fur throw adds a cozy, homey touch. 

Impeccable Master Bedroom With Slatted Wood Backdrop

Impeccable Master Bedroom With Slatted Wood Backdrop

Designer Claire Paquin incorporated an unusually slatted wood accent wall as a focal point for this modern-styled master bedroom. She continued this serene atmosphere by keeping the elements of this room neutral, such as the white viscose rug, simple bedding and matching white lacquer nightstands. Pulling from the purple and chartreuse modern artwork on the wall, the designer added similarly hued pillows as colorful accents in the room.

Photo by: Claire Paquin

Claire Paquin

Small spaces can be serene too. Claire Paquin kept the design minimal, using the artwork and slatted wall feature to add interest without taking up space. A slatted wall feature placed in front of a window can block out unpleasant views while letting peaceful light filter into the room.

Transitional Master Bedroom Is Stylish, Inviting

Transitional Master Bedroom Is Stylish, Inviting

Paired with sleek wood nightstands and contemporary lamps, the vintage bed in this updated master bedroom looks chic and stylish. A metal globe chandelier and a metal and wood bench add industrial flair to the room — a nod to the loft's urban setting.

Photo by: Debbie Perez

Debbie Perez

This bedroom designed by Debbie Perez is another great example of how to use texture to keep neutral colors from feeling too boring. Perez also brings in plenty of natural elements, including a large piece of driftwood that just might inspire you to “drift” off to sleep.

Create a Serene Bedroom

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Get tips from designer Brian Patrick Flynn on how to use muted colors to create a serene bedroom setting.


To create a calm sleeping space, this modestly sized bedroom was painted a muted shade of lavender that borders on mauve. The room is layered with different shades of plum to play up the purple undertones of the wall color. Although considered one of the hardest colors to decorate with, purple can be understated and elegant when used sparingly.

Mixing Old and New

The entire bedroom is made up of a mix of old and new pieces. A tufted armchair, previously covered with a muddy-toned, dated fabric, is a family heirloom. To update it for its spot in the reading corner, a faint shade of lavender – very close to the wall color -- was used. The armchair is paired with a transitional style side table featuring a gold-leafed steel base and travertine top to keep the space feeling up to date.

Traditional-Modern Mix

Although the armchair is traditional in style, the upholstery fabric pattern is modern. Many designers suggest updating traditional pieces with modern fabrics to create a style referred to as updated traditional; conversely, some modern furniture pieces can be made more traditional with strong graphic patterns such as plaid, tartan and stripe.

Tone-on-Tone Layering

One of the most successful ways to keep a muted space from falling flat is to layer in several shades of the same color using pillows and throws. The large-scale butterfly pillow in the armchair has slightly more purple in it than the upholstery fabric, resulting in a subtle, sophisticated layering effect. When layering shades of mauve and lavender, it’s important to stay away from those with beige undertones: they’ll end up reading more in the pink or flesh tone family.

Organic Materials

While bold-colored or high-contrast spaces rely on high-energy color or pattern to create a more-is-more look, subtle spaces rely on a mix of interesting materials. To disrupt the monotony of this room’s color scheme, travertine and gold leaf were introduced through a transitional side table.

High-Contrast Black and White

Artwork can play a huge role in the design of a muted space. Since the overall intended effect is tranquility and subtlety, it’s wise to stick with black and white photography or paintings because they provide high contrast without straying from the overall tone-on-tone palette.

Drapery Wall

The less-is-more approach to decorating works well with muted style, especially when there are architectural elements to play off of. While the furniture and decoration are kept minimal in the bedroom, the charming pair of windows becomes the focal point, also dictating the overall space plan.

Framing With Draperies

By framing each window with grape-toned linen draperies, the windows instantly become the focal point of the room.

Ready-Made Hardware

When it comes to mixing high and low for window coverings, keep in mind that ready-made hardware is instantly elevated to custom, high-end status when paired with custom-sewn panels. To keep the budget in check, two pairs of single-width drapery panels with top-pinch pleats were sewn from $11-per-yard linen, then attached to basic pewter rods and rings purchased for less than $30 per window.

Single-Width Panels

Custom draperies are priced with three elements in mind: panel width, pleat style and lining. For rooms geared toward subtle, serene aesthetics, one pair of single-width panels per window often does the trick. Solids work best in achieving a less-is-more look; if you do choose a pattern, limit your selections to patterns with small or medium repeats.

Bed Wall

In subtly decorated sleeping spaces, bed ensembles offer a great opportunity to play with texture, pattern, sheen and tailoring. To create a layered effect, several shades of lavender and plum were added to the bed using sheets, throw pillows, shams and a duvet cover. Sheen from the mercury glass table lamps, antique mirror nightstands and gilded starburst mirror also plays a big part in the decor.

Fabric Mix

Visual tension and faint contrast were added to the bed ensemble with custom-sewn pillows made from organic woven fabrics. When having custom pillows made, keep in mind that the proper insert has a huge impact on the overall look. Although more costly than polyester inserts, down-filled inserts are worth the money for their fuller effect.

Texture Play

The addition of texture and pattern to a tone-on-tone space adds needed depth, and while the contrast of pattern and texture is visible from the bed itself, it remains subtle when viewed from a distance.


Sophisticated palettes often call for sophisticated details. Tailoring is an excellent way to add a polished touch to any space. When choosing pillow shams, for instance, consider those with embroidered borders.

Desk Wall

To add storage for clothes as well as important documents and papers, a small antique heirloom desk was used in the room rather than a standard dresser. A wood refinishing shop updated the old wood finish with a pecan finish appropriate for the style of the desk. Now the historical value remains intact, but with a fresh look.

Framed Art Grouping

Muted spaces are all about a well-balanced, calm aesthetic. Rather than hanging high-energy artwork above the desk, a clean, classic grouping was made with framed photographs and women’s apparel. When grouping art and objects together in a saloon wall style, be sure to take scale and proportion as well as textural values into consideration. All the textures found in the framing, mat and woven hat play well together since they’re all from similar color families. Scale and proportion are kept in check by keeping spacing similar between objects.

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