Decorative String Lights for Bedrooms

Create a warmth and romance in your bedroom with decorative string lights, which come in a wide range of styles and can be tailored to fit your decor.
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Your favorite color is pink but your roommate hates it. There are ways to compromise on a color scheme without getting stuck with a palette you don't like. Talk with your roommate before moving in and decide if you want to coordinate. That doesn't mean you have to match exactly, but you can decide on a color palette to avoid clashing. In this dorm room, a violet and peacock-blue palette is open-ended enough so each girl can express her personality while still keeping the room pretty and balanced. Photo courtesy of PBdorm

By: Gina Hannah

Decorating with string lights doesn't have to be limited to the holidays or your outdoor entertaining areas. In the bedroom, these lights can be a budget-conscious way to create a magical, romantic or playful effect while providing the ambient light you want.

Choose small, clear lights, also called fairy lights, to add a touch of romance to your bedroom. These lights look pretty when paired with sheer fabric. Create the look of a headboard by hanging the lights with sheer drapes on the wall behind the bed, or hang them across the frame of a four-poster bed for a dreamy canopy.

A Little Disney Magic Makes Three Wondrous Kids' Rooms

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Underwater Wonderland

Hinson kids Ashton, Hannah and Cohen try out the "turtle bed" in Ashton's new bedroom — with decorating themes based on the Disney animated feature Finding Nemo.

Fairytale Dream

Hannah and Emma's room gets the Disney treatment with inpspiration from the animated classic Cinderella, and a nod to Disney's iconic and fanciful fairy, Tinker Bell.

Hanging Out With Nemo and Friends

The wall mural in Ashton's room was inspired, not only by Finding Nemo characters like Dory and Marlin, but by the designs on the building exterior at Disney's Art of Animation Resort at Florida's Walt Disney World.

Making Bubbles

Host Brandon Johnson hangs Christmas tree ornaments to emulate bubbles, creating part of the underwater illusion in Ashton's Nemo room.

Ashton's Room, Before

The plain gray walls in this bedroom are about to be transformed with a striking mural featuring some of Ashton's favorite Disney characters. It's just one of the inspired elements that's about to work magic on this ordinary child's room.

After: A Subaquatic Refuge

Among the highlights in the new room are a unique bed based on the sea-turtle character Crush, a vibrant Nemo-themed mural and a custom fold-down "surfboard" desk/bed combo.

Oceanic Friends

Ashton's turtle bed was based on the Turtle Talk With Crush attraction at Epcot's Living Seas Pavillion.

Hannah and Emma's Room, Before

The two sisters share a princess themed bedroom. The walls adorned with prints of Tinkerbell and Cinderella hint at the girls' love of Disney characters, but that's just a glimmer of what's to come with the full-fledged fantasy makeover in store for this room.

After: A Room Fit for a Princess...or Two

A fairy-tree bed for Emma on one side of the room, and a royal throne bed for Princess Hannah on the other. The portion of the wall mural adjacent to Hannah's bed is designed to give the illusion that Hannah's looking out from her own castle toward a neighboring one in the distance. The throne bed was inspired by the Tiana suite at Walt Disney World's Port Orleans Royal Resort.

Forest Enchantment

Special touches make for an enchanted fairy tree for Emma. The loft bed is supported by four eucalyptus posts, and the twin mattress is surrounded by a bed rail made from branches. The leaves and branches were selected to tie into the wall mural, creating the impression that the bed is part of a living tree.

Visions of Sprites and Pixies

Kelsie Hinson looks on as feisty fairy Emma takes in the view from her woodland perch in her very own fairy tree.

Room for Creativity

Kelsie enjoys a moment with daughters Hannah and Emma as the try out their new drawing table tucked underneath Emma's loft bed.

A Fairy Tale With a Happy Ending

Kelsie Hinson gets a group hug from Hannah and Emma after the girls have just seen their new room.

Cohen and Brendyn's Room, Before

Cohen and Brendyn share a room with a traditional bunk bed. At the end of the day, it takes a while to get the brothers to settle down for bed. The room transformation will include a new bed with more space for snuggling and story time — and a few more surprises.

A Revved-Up Red Bedroom

The new boys' bedroom is based on the interior of the transportation truck, Mack, from the Disney feature Cars 2. The walls of the bedroom are decorated with a variety of automotive-themed memorabilia.

Cohen and Brendyn's Room, After

With an assist from dad, racecar enthusiasts Cohen and Brendyn play with their new scale-model race track. The track is mounted on a diamond-plate trundle that rolls under the bed and disappears when not in use.

A Very Disney Family

Kelsie and Jeremy Hinson with children Ashton, Hannah, Cohen, Emma and Brendyn.

Fairy lights may seem like the go-to style for the bedroom, but don't stop there. If you can dream of a design, there's a good chance there's a string light that has it, from lanterns to lighthouses to flowers to dragonflies. If you like do-it-yourself projects, you can even make your own lights, using silk flowers or other novelties to fit the theme you want.

Create a whimsical theme in a child's bedroom with animal, sports or arts-themed lights. Flowers are a good choice, as are airplanes, boats and ballet slippers. Let your child choose based on her interests.

Consider draping or winding lights along a curtain rod installed over blinds, or across a headboard or mirror. You could also hang a row of string lights along a wall or window for a special touch, or to visually separate a room.

You can create your own unique fixture by inserting a string of lights into a vintage hanging lantern, empty Mason jar, wine bottle or glass brick. For a mystical touch, particularly in a child's room, twist strings of fairy lights into the shape of tree branches.

While incandescent bulbs provide a warm glow, you may want to consider light-emitting diode (LED) lights, which are more energy efficient, run cooler and last longer. Keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Use newer lights that have thicker wiring and safety fuses to prevent wires from overheating.
  • If using lights you already have, check wires for fraying.
  • Don't overload electrical outlets or link more strands than recommended by the manufacturer. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.
  • Don't drive nails, staples or tacks through wiring insulation.
  • Occasionally check the wires to be sure they are not warm to the touch.
  • Unplug cords when you string lights.
  • Do not leave lights on unattended. Unplug or switch off your lights before going to sleep.
  • Route cords inside your home so they won't trip anyone. Don't place them under rugs, furniture or other appliances. If covered, cords can overheat or become frayed and can cause a fire.

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