Guys, Here's Your Ultimate Bedding Cheat Sheet

The right bedding can make or break your bedroom design. Guys, we've got you covered.

Figuring out the perfect color combination for a masculine bedroom design isn't always as easy as it seems. There tend to be fewer choices, both with pattern and color, and even materials can be a bit confusing. (Linen? Flannel? Sateen?!)

Tufted Leather Headboard in Contemporary Bedroom

Tufted Leather Headboard in Contemporary Bedroom

A tall tufted headboard in black leather draws the eye in this contemporary gray bedroom. The bed is dressed in complementary shades of black and gray bedding, topped with a striped faux-fur throw. Matching nightstands and table lamps flank the bed.

Photo by: Matt Dayka Photography ©Matt Dayka Photography

Matt Dayka Photography, Matt Dayka Photography

To help, we've put together a quick cheat sheet to make sure that your bachelor bedroom always looks on point.


Purple Modern Master Bedroom With Masculine Vibe

Purple Modern Master Bedroom With Masculine Vibe

This modern master bedroom features light purple walls, a platform bed and bedside pendant lights. Minimalist artwork, gray bedding and dark wood tones create a subtle masculine vibe in the space.

Photo by: Caitlin & Caitlin

Caitlin & Caitlin

With the right color combination, even a color that is traditionally not a no-go when thinking about dude design can look chic and fresh. Enter this purple bedroom. Pairing a cool-toned gray with purple is the perfect way to balance them both.

Gray is a particularly great choice when you don't quite want to dive into a dark palette but know that you want something other than white. This hue allows you to add flavor to the room but in a subtle and more understated way.

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Sophisticated Bachelor Apartment in NYC

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Clean Contemporary Living Room With Track Lighting

Designers Lindsay Boswell and Ali Levin of LABLstudio aimed for a masculine living room that emphasized clean lines and maximized space for entertaining. They hit the mark with this mixed-use living space featuring contemporary furnishings and versatile track lighting.

Open Living Space With Warm Parquet Flooring

Wire chairs and a glass-top dining table are contemporary counterpoints to this open living room's parquet flooring.

Plush & Comfy Sectional

Layered textures define the easygoing seating area. A velvety sectional is topped with an assortment of throw pillows, while a thickly woven area rug anchors the space.

Photo By: Matthew Williams

Stacks of Vintage Magazines

The collection of vintage Esquire magazines which inspired the design add personality to the living room and reflect the vibrant reading tastes of the homeowner.

  1. magazines

Photo By: Matthew Williams

One Room, Two Spaces

The custom shelving unit delineates the dining room from the living room while providing storage space on both ends. Pale gray walls are offset by warm and lively accents across the room – a coral armchair, an electric fireplace and a potted fern – creating a cozy and eclectic whole.

Contemporary Built-In Wine Rack

A custom built-in provides ample storage in the open dining room and sets the stage for entertaining. We love how the piece integrates storage for both wine bottles and glasses in a simplistic fashion.

Hand-Painted Ceiling Detail

The hand-painted ceiling in the foyer mimics the geometric design of the custom shelving unit in the living room. The two-toned copper pendant adds a sense of warmth to the cool gray space.

Photo By: Matthew Williams

Shades of Gray in Contemporary Bedroom

Gray is the color of choice for the bedroom. The varying shades lend an edgy and uncomplicated look. A red throw pillow adds a contemporary splash of color to the tone-on-tone bedding.

Cozy Contemporary Bedroom With Brown Accent Wall

The bedroom is cozy and inviting thanks to a rich brown accent wall and upholstered headboard. Sculptural lamps and a neon wall hanging keep the look decidedly cool and contemporary.

Comforting Textiles

An unadorned dresser keeps a low profile at the foot of the bed and makes room for a mounted flat-screen. Below, a knobbly area rug anchors the space, while sheer window panels soften the bright windows.

Photo By: Matthew Williams

Arrow Wall Decor

Painted metal arrows add both interest and functionality to the hallway.

Photo By: Matthew Williams

Rustic Bench & Haunting Artwork

Rugged accents help to balance the plush textures in the living room. Beyond the seating area, a rustic leather bench is paired with a hauntingly beautiful piece of artwork.


Ace Hotel Bedroom

Ace Hotel Bedroom

Who wouldn't want to stay in this rustic style hotel room? The main feature in this bedroom at the Ace Hotel is an exposed black brick wall. A platform bed made with white and black linens anchors the room and side tables with black table lamps act as bedside tables. The room's hardwood is laid in a zig-zag pattern, Chevron-like pattern and an antique table and stool act as a work station.

Photo by: Robert Stolarik

Robert Stolarik

You really can't go wrong with choosing crisp, white linens for your space. And the great thing about white is that it truly goes with any and every color scheme and style. White is also a super flexible choice because you can keep a variety of blankets or throws in other colors that can be easily switched in whenever you'd like to change up the look.

To add a bit of extra spice, you can also try to find some white sheets that have other accent colors or a bold band.

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Beachy Bachelor Pad Makeover

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Starting Fresh in a Rental

When Gregg Steiner was looking for a fresh start, he wanted a place where his kids could feel comfortable visiting and he could relax after long days running his technology services business. To achieve his vision and calm the space, he opted for a sisal rug, slubby woven couch fabric and nautical accents.

Landlord-Friendly Updates

The stained carpet was updated with a hard-wearing laminate floor and a high-quality underlayment to keep noise to a minimum. A sandy blonde color works for the landlord and the current renter with his beach-inspired decor.

Multipurpose Living

Extra storage can be found in this underused nook with a wipeable storage bench to house overflow home items.

Double-Duty Dining

A drop-leaf table makes for a convenient space for Gregg to sit by himself, or open up to seat three when his kids are staying with him.

Playful Message Board

To bring the whole kitchen together, a black chalkboard was painted on one wall of the galley kitchen to complement the black appliances.

Neutral Remix

To enlarge the space visually, we painted a wide horizontal stripe on two walls in a glossy cream color. The flat white wall paint and the glossy stripe add a rich, layered feel.

Nod to Nautical

The bathroom walls were painted a khaki color, giving the space a coastal feel. Gregg's nautical inspiration came from vintage travel posters, framed and hung here over a storage bench.

Blue and White

With permission from the landlord, the aging vanity was updated in a navy blue semigloss paint. The original hardware stayed on for a pop of white.

Shower Curtain Quick Tip

Want a quick way to disguise aging metal framed shower doors? Hang a bold striped curtain on a rod in front of your shower doors to add color and texture to a bathroom instantly. If you're renting, consider using a tension shower rod so you don't have to patch walls when you leave.

Beachy Storage

In a small space, woven baskets can offer much-needed storage for extra towels. Greg stocked the bathroom with oversized outdoor pool towels in neutral colors.

Anchoring the Design

For a masculine touch, the brown leather bed is a dark anchor to Gregg's bedroom space. Tall mirrors and glass lamps in a sepia color balance out the height of the bed, reflecting light around the dark space. Keep your fabrics and linens casual and soft in a beach-inspired space — select items you'd love to come in to straight off the beach and take a nap with.


Loft Bedroom With Brown Duvet Cover and Brown Rug

Loft Bedroom With Brown Duvet Cover and Brown Rug

This loft bedroom features primarily neutral tones — except for the eye-catching skull art. The bed, draped in a dark duvet cover, feels extended, expanded and even more lush with the addition of a similarly colored area rug below. A clever perforated wall separates the bedroom from the closet without disrupting the feel and flow of the loft.

Photo by: Kelly Sutton Design

Kelly Sutton Design

Going with a dark-toned sheet set or blanket can bring a lot of warmth and coziness to your space. Dark shades of brown, blue, green and even black work very well in a more masculine space. Try pairing two dark colors together for even greater impact, such as brown and black or black and green. Dark colors also work well with gray palettes.

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Traditional Master Bedroom With Masculine and Feminine Style

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The Finished Space

After a one-week redesign, this master bedroom received a major overhaul with minimal mess and disruption. To lighten and brighten the room, the dingy carpet and padding were both removed in four-foot strips before a whitewashed wood laminate floating floor was installed over the subfloor. The walls were painted a bold shade of teal along with a multi-tone tray ceiling. When originally asked what they wanted their updated bedroom to look like, the homeowners stated, "We want bright and cheery. Even though it's a bedroom, we still want it bright. And graphic."


In its original state, the mint-toned master bedroom was sparsely furnished with feminine elements including a toile-covered chair and a mirrored side table. To reinvent it as a fresh designer space with masculine and feminine appeal, the wall-to-wall carpet was replaced with white laminate flooring; a layering of languid blues introduced a bright gender-neutral palette; and a mix of masculine patterns added a graphic, tailored touch.

Haute Headboard

To create a designer space on a reasonable budget, a mix of high and low was used throughout the redesign. A seven-foot-tall headboard was custom made from 6 yards of a woven fabric picked up at a discount fabric store for $12 per yard. Overall, the bed ensemble is masculine, including a navy blue sateen duvet, pinstripe pillow shams and throw pillows featuring a tone-on-tone geometric print, as well as a traditional zigzag pattern. To balance the height of the headboard, a pair of black French demilune tables (picked up at the outlet of a high-end European furnishings retailer) was used rather than standard nightstands. For proper illumination with vintage flair, the tables were topped with ceramic midcentury modern lamps updated with a sprayed-on coat of semigloss latex paint.

Mixed Bed Patterns

A mix of patterns brings designer flair to the bed ensemble. While layering different prints may seem intimidating, interior designers say the key to getting it right is to achieve the proper mix of scale. To keep the layered look from becoming too busy, use a mix of small-, medium- and large-scale patterns and stick with a cohesive color scheme. By keeping the colors similar yet slightly off from one another, the result is sure to be successful.

Nailed It

The biggest splurge in the master bedroom was the custom upholstered headboard, which grounds the space and keeps the scale and proportion of the main pieces in check. Although the fabric used for its upholstery came to less than $100, the nail head detail was triple that price. The nail heads themselves are not expensive (usually priced by the 1000 unit box), but the labor and time involved to apply them as a custom pattern comes at a high cost. To create the pattern, a template is first made from paper, then laid in place along the upholstery. Referring to the template, a skilled upholstery professional applies each nail head by hand using a rubber mallet, ensuring even placement and perfectly level lines. Altogether, nail head application for a headboard this size may take as much as two full days to complete.

A Colorful Transition

In addition to various shades of teal, navy blue also makes its way around the master bedroom, starting with a wallpaper-covered vestibule that separates the 225-square-foot space from the home's great room. During the initial design consultation, the homeowners stated, "We don't want any abrupt transitions between the common areas and the private rooms. Everything really needs to flow." Since the common areas of the home are navy blue and white, this wallpapered transition ensures good flow. To counterbalance the overall masculine vibe of the entry, a steel Queen Anne chair was placed just inside the door.

Playful Art

For a play on masculine and feminine style at the room's entry, rustic logs were cut to size, sanded, then painted with circles featuring different shades of blue as well as pink, yellow, coral and purple. While the rustic texture of the bark is masculine, the poppy pinks and corals add feminine flair.

Rehabbed Vintage

To keep costs down, many of the master bedroom's furniture pieces were purchased through flea markets and thrift stores, then updated with paint and fabrics. For extra storage and extra seating, an inexpensive vintage dresser was updated with white paint and two slim wingback chairs were reupholstered with men's pinstripe suiting fabric.

High-Gloss Updates

This early 1900s American bow front dresser was bought for $125, then updated with two coats of a sprayed white lacquer finish. That not only modernized the dated piece but also helped the bronze hardware stand out. The key to getting a great finish on an old piece is using a sprayer instead of brushes or rollers. Most home improvement stores rent HVLP (high-volume low-pressure) sprayers at a daily rate between $75 and $100. What sets HVLP sprayers apart from others is a fine mist tip, the key to achieving a professional look.

French Fusion

The master bedroom was lacking in ambient light, so its existing ceiling fan was taken down and replaced with a wood and iron French chandelier. French chandeliers usually evoke a feeling of femininity, but due to its black painted finish, the chandelier used in this master bedroom takes on a more gender-neutral appearance. For modern flair, globe bulbs were used rather than standard flame bulbs.

Wall of Mirrors

From the start, the homeowners stressed how important brightness and an abundance of natural light was for the new look of their master bedroom. For feminine flair, a grouping of different framed mirrors was hung along the interior wall opposite the windows. In addition to reflecting light and helping the room feel more open and airy, the mix of frame finishes adds to the intended well-layered look.

Layered Blues

Layered blues are prominent in the master bedroom's seating area. From the navy blue of the draperies and the teal tone of the console table to the blue-violets and peacock blues of the chair upholstery and pillows, this layering effect adds depth and keeps the otherwise tone-on-tone color scheme from falling flat.

Chair Flair

Bergère chairs are iconic to classic French interiors. Known for their deep, wide seats, loose cushions and padded armrests, bergère chairs continue to remain popular both for stylistic and comfort reasons. For this makeover, to put a fresh spin on a pair of bergère chairs found at an estate sale, their wood frames were stripped, then refinished with black oil paint in a semigloss finish.

Tweed Touches

For a menswear touch, the bergère chairs were reupholstered in peacock-blue tweed. Often used for men's coats and pants, tweed is a classic fabric that can introduce tailored, well-structured style to a room.

Fashionable Fabric

To juxtapose the masculine upholstery of the bergère chairs with a touch of femininity, flame stitch Missoni womenswear fabric was used to create graphic throw pillows. Many interior designers suggest shopping at apparel fabric retailers to save money and add touches of high fashion to a room's decor.

Artful Frames

Another splurge in the design was custom framing for the fine art photography. Black lacquered framing was chosen to coordinate with the black accents of the room, while an inset turquoise fillet — the accent molding that fits inside a larger frame and usually sits on top of the mat — helps highlight the blue tones in the art. Since the room receives ample sunlight, non-glare acrylic was chosen rather than glass to protect the art from UV rays.


Bold Blue Master Bedroom With Red Accents and Abstract Art

Bold Blue Master Bedroom With Red Accents and Abstract Art

Although the generously-sized bedroom can spatially accommodate a king size bed, a queen was chosen so as not to crowd the space visually. Taking inspiration from its colorful abstract art, the room received a new identity with shades of blue accented with fire-engine red.

Using pattern can have a big impact within your bedroom. The key to using patterns in a smart and sophisticated way is to balance it with a hefty dose of white or other neutral colors. The bright blue walls and white accents are a beautiful complement to the organically-striped bedding. Tip: If you choose a patterned sheet set, pair it with a solid blanket or duvet and vice versa.

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Master Bedroom Design for a Bachelor

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Total Transformation

Prior to the makeover, this master bedroom was in contractor-grade condition, from its neutral carpet to the beige paint on its walls. Taking inspiration from its colorful abstract art, the room received a new identity with shades of blue accented with fire-engine red.

Dresser Details

The overall design for the updated room included a mix of dark blues, texture, midcentury-modern lines and masculine touches. These elements were brought in through accessories including white ceramic sculpture, coral and plaid pillar candles.

Cool Sheen

Since the wet-look paint finish was meant to be the room's standout feature, its walls were sparsely decorated so as not to cover up the custom sheen. A small white resin moose head and graphic train station signage break up the monotony of the blue without overpowering the reflective finish of the walls.

Quick-Fix Carpet

The timeline for the redesign of the room was six days, due mostly in part to the quick installation of the floor. FLOR carpet tiles were installed after the existing wall-to-wall carpet was removed along with its padding. All that was needed for installation was a utility knife with extra blades as well as an L-square.

Pattern Play

Pattern mixing is a designer's trick for bringing motion and depth into a space. From the overscale lattice-like shape of the FLOR tiles to the diamond stripes of the duvet cover and geometric print of the throw pillows, pattern is used to draw the eye up from the ground, onto the bed and up to the abstract art.

Budget Bedding

To mix high and low price points, the room's existing bed and mattress were outfitted with discount bedding found online and through local retail stores. The money saved on the bedding allowed for splurges on other elements such as the lighting, carpet tiles and custom wall finish.

Art As Inspiration

Initially stumped as to what color direction to go in for the bedroom's redesign, an original piece of abstract art was used as inspiration. After a full week testing different shades and tints of blue from Yves Klein to steel, the best fit ended up being a shade of midnight blue called Dark Night by Sherwin-Williams.

Modular Lamps

To add an element of modularity to the bedroom, a pair of table lamps from Jonathan Adler was chosen due to their interchangeability. The bases are made of 2-inch-thick clear acrylic which serves as a base to display different ceramics available through the artist/designer's website. Although the lamps currently feature a white dragon, they can be given new identity by simply swapping out the mythical creature for any of the other available Jonathan Adler pieces.

Bouncing Light

Dark colors, especially bold tones such as midnight blue, can be intimidating to most homeowners. A trick in using dark colors successfully — without causing a room to feel cavernous — is to introduce reflective surfaces wherever possible. This iron cigarette table used in the bedroom's reading corner helps bounce natural light from the windows up onto the wet-look ceiling.

Cutting the Cords

One of the most iconic styles of midcentury-modern lighting is the Nelson Bubble pendant. Made of vinyl and available in shapes ranging from spheres to lanterns and cigars, these collector's items can be grouped together for a one-of-a-kind look with a Nelson Triple Bubble Fixture Kit. Once the proper spacing is created, the cords are cut to size, and the kit is wired to the junction box.

Assorted Shapes

To play with shape and scale in the bedroom, three completely different shapes of Nelson Bubble pendants were used: ball, cigar and pear.

Tray Ceiling Trick

Many new-construction homes feature tray ceilings, a feature which many homeowners are stumped as to how to highlight. In this bedroom, the walls were painted with a wet-look effect, as well as a slight change in color from the walls to the ceiling.


Although the generously sized bedroom (approximately 15X18') can spatially accommodate a king-sized bed, a queen was chosen so as not to crowd the space visually. The extra 16 inches of space saved (queen mattresses have a width of 60" while king mattresses span 76" across) also allows for two small seating areas on each side of the room. The transitional style of the dark wood bed frame blends effortless with the midcentury-modern lighting and nightstands. With the plantation shutters open, the abundance of natural light streaming in from the windows keeps the otherwise dark-blue room feeling cool, open and airy.

Reclaimed Space

Privacy, Please

To keep the high-contrast look of the dark blue and the bright white consistent throughout the bedroom, its existing plantation shutters were kept white to tie together the chunky molding as well as the white seen in the FLOR tiles. Plantation shutters are a great way to add privacy and architectural interest to a room.

Revamped Mid-Mod

The high-low mix strikes again in the form of midcentury-modern nightstands. Picked up from a local flea market for a cool $50, the original finish was stripped with an orbital sander, and new life was given to each table with a sprayed coat of high-gloss fire-engine red gloss paint. In order to protect the water-based paint, two coats of clear polyurethane were sprayed once the red was dry.

Truly Transitional

Transitional design is best described as a mix of modern and traditional and it tends to work well with many other styles. The wingback chair used in the bedroom is upholstered in pinstripe wool and adorned with antique brass nail heads. The clean lines of the fabric give the otherwise traditional piece of furniture a clean, modern-day update.

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