What determines whether you should decorate above the bed? There are a few simple guidelines that can help you decide.
I am in the process of redecorating my guest room. Even though I’m not done, I know that one of the finishing touches will be decorating above the twin beds. Yet in my primary bedroom, I’ve always left the space above my bed empty.
First, let me say that I don’t personally believe there are any “rules” in decorating. I like to think of them more as guidelines, and even then, they are open to interpretation, personal preference and artistic license. After all, that’s what makes each of us different and keeps life so interesting!
But when I look at my bedrooms and make a determination as to whether I should have something over the bed, there are a few guidelines that I follow for my style of decorating.
The Focal Point of a Bedroom
Keep in mind that in a bedroom, the bed itself is almost always the focal point of the room, meaning that upon walking in, our eyes are drawn to the bed first. From there, our eyes are then usually drawn upward to the wall before they scan around the rest of the room.
As such, if the space on the wall above the bed is empty when it shouldn’t be, the space can feel “off.” Likewise, if it’s filled when it shouldn’t be, it can feel too crowded.
So here are my thoughts to help decide whether to decorate the space.
Looking for ideas as to what you should actually put above your bed? I’ve rounded up almost 30 Beautiful Ideas for Decorating Above the Bed
When You Should Decorate Above the Bed
Here are some situations in which it’s best to decorate above the bed.
1. When the headboard is low or the ceiling is tall
In both situations, there is ample wall space that can sometimes, look empty if there is nothing on the wall above the bed. Hanging something over the bed can help keep your eye moving around the room.
2. When the bed is framed by windows and you don’t want the windows to detract from the bed
Sometimes, in order to keep the bed as the focal point, it’s necessary to create height uniformity with the surroundings. This is especially true when the combination of windows, bed and ceiling create a “frame” around the wall space above the bed.
3. When your goal is to create a focal point above the bed and not just on the bed itself
One caveat in this situation…Be sure that what you hang above the bed doesn’t compete with what you might be using on the wall behind the nightstands.
When You Should NOT Decorate Above the Bed
It’s not always essential to decorate above the bed and in fact, sometimes it’s better to leave the space empty!
1. When the bed takes center stage
Sometimes, you want the bed frame itself to be the focal point without any other distractions.
2. When the headboard is tall and the ceiling low
This is the situation in my master bedroom and while I’d love to put something over the bed, anything I put there will just look like it’s squished into the space. If there’s not enough room, best to leave the space blank.
3. When your nightstand decor is enough
Sometimes, the decor on your nightstands is enough to balance out the bed and anything you hang on the wall would just compete with your other decor. If that’s the case, leave the space blank!
4. When you can’t secure something to the wall properly
Okay, this one might seem a little silly, but I live in earthquake country so being able to secure something to the wall properly is extremely important and always a consideration for me, especially when it’s above the bed! If you decide to decorate above your bed, always make sure that you anchor items to the wall securely; otherwise, leave it empty! Better to have an empty spot on the wall than risk it falling on your head.
Whether you hang something above your bed will also depend on the other walls in your space. If they are empty, consider adding something over the bed. If all of your walls are filled, maybe leave the space above your bed empty to create some negative space. Again these are just guidelines and you should use your best judgement and artistic eye when deciding how you want to accessorize your space.
So now I’m curious, if you’ve decorated above your bed, how have you decorated it? Art? Mirrors? Plates? Let me know!
More Decorating Rules
- Design Guide: How To Determine The Chandelier Height Above A Table
- Need to Know Bathroom Measurements
- 25 Need-to-Know Decorating Measurements for a Beautiful Home!
- 5 Decorating Rules to Ditch
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