12 Things A Bedroom Should Have, According To Designers


Since we’ve already asked designers what to toss from our bedrooms and covered outdated bedroom trends, we decided it was time to ask them to weigh in on what the space should have. While many of these ideas, like embracing pattern and florals, are things that often weave their way throughout a Southern home, others are more specific to sleeping areas. Whether it’s combating the heat or leaning into tradition, these are the 12 things Southern interior designers say you should have in your bedroom.

Extra Blankets

You should never have to sacrifice comfort for design. “In the South, we often have warm days with cold nights in spring and fall, so we always include an extra blanket in a nearby chest or closet,” says Birmingham, Alabama, based designers Marguerite Johnson and Anna Still of Still Johnson Interiors. The design duo’s go-to is the All Seasons Cotton Blanket from Peacock Alley. “We absolutely love this item and include it in every bedroom of every project!” 

Your Monogram

What’s a Southern home without a monogram somewhere in sight? From monogrammed towels and shower curtains to napkins and silver, we’re all about heirloom-worthy personalization. “I’m a fan of a small monogram somewhere to provide a sense of place,” says Ashley Gilbreath of Ashley Gilbreath Interior Design in Montgomery, Alabama. The most traditional use in the bedroom is monogrammed bedding, especially shams. 

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Floral Accents

The design team at Schilling and Company, notes that floral elements feel like a nod towards tradition, which is why classic floral patterned fabrics are a go-to for bedrooms in the homes they design. And florals don’t always have to feel frilly either. “As Miranda Priestly snarkily deadpans in the movie The Devil Wears Prada, ‘Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.’ But florals in the bedroom need not feel pastel or overly feminine,” says Knoxville, Tennessee, designer Caroline Levenson of Caroline Levenson Design, who veers toward moodier, more masculine florals. “Botanicals in rich, deep colors feel lush and right at home in the bedroom, and add a romantic feel.”

Cozy Textures

As a room dedicated to rest and relaxation, comfort should always come first. “Mixing a variety of textures brings depth and coziness to a mostly neutral space. If you prefer calming neutrals in the bedroom, add interest with textural elements,” says Levenson, who recommends a plush bedroom rug, soft throw blanket, crisp sheets, and a tonal quilt folded at the end of the bed. “Hang delicate, sheer drapery that shifts in the breeze of an open window to create a space that will feel extra luxurious and serene,” she says. For a hotel-like experience, Emily Wyatt of Wyatt Designs in Atlanta, Georgia, suggests ironed bed linens.

Fresh Flowers 

Nothing perks up a room like a vase of colorful buds! Gilbreath recommends always having fresh flowers by the bed. Whether you pick up a bouquet from the store or clip blooms from your yard, all it takes is a few stems to brighten the bedroom.

Personal Mementos 

Gilbreath also suggests selecting a beautiful vintage picture frame to display beloved family photos or favorite documented memories on your bedside table. And while you might be more hesitant to fill frames with family photos on a guest room nightstand, consider placing one atop a dresser for a personal touch.

Caroline Trotter, Courtesy of Caroline Levenson Design

Plenty of Pattern

Whether layering multiple styles or swathing a space in a single design, patterns bring an intimate coziness to any bedroom. “When choosing fabrics for a bedroom, consider a moody floral mixed with a more structured stripe and perhaps an abstract pattern or vintage Suzani textile,” says Levenson. “Selecting patterns of varying scale in a complementary palette will keep the space soothing and peaceful.”

A Carafe of Water

“We know how hot a Southern summer can be which is why we love keeping a Sferra Sugahara Night Carafe filled with water on the bedside table for a night-time cool down,” says Still Johnson Interiors. And while we’re talking about refreshments, Gilbreath adds, “A piece of chocolate on the nightstand never hurts!”

There were no original wood floors here, so Williams covered the concrete slab with wall-to-wall sisal.

Brie Williams

Canopy Beds

The bedroom should be a calming oasis to retreat to from our busy worlds, and nothing creates that feeling like a cozy canopy bed. “A canopy bed feels like an inviting cocoon and adds drama and height to the space,” says Levenson. “Draped with a patterned, striped fabric, or simple sheers, canopy beds create an enveloping oasis for napping, reading, and the perfect night’s sleep.”

The Right Window Treatments

Bye-bye slated faux wood blinds! Whether you’re lucky enough to have a bedroom with a vacation-worthy view of the mountains or ocean, or just the ever-changing beauty of your own backyard garden, your window treatments shouldn’t cause a disruption. “Think of your view as a piece of art and window treatments as the frame,” says Levenson. “Floor-to-ceiling panels draw the eye to the outdoors and create softness in any space.” If drapes don’t suit your space, consider roman shades. And if your view is less than pleasing, the designer suggests planting a flowering tree or shrub to bring beauty from the outside in.”


An Additional Perch

“Every Southern bedroom should have a comfortable spot to sit that is not the bed,” says Atlanta designer Anna-Wooten Loggins of A. Wooten Interiors. “A chaise lounge, upholstered bench, or chair and ottoman pairing provide a spot to relax, read, or have coffee without having to unmake your bed.” And beyond sitting, it’s always good to have a temporary landing spot for miscellaneous items…or that pile of laundry you’re not ready to fold.

A “Me” Space

“We think a bedroom should have a small desk, writing table, or vanity,” adds A. Wooten Interiors. “We always need a calm, quiet spot to sit down to write a thank you note or just a place to review the week’s calendar.” It also doubles as a space to store or display personal items like jewelry, perfumes, or treasured keepsakes.


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