Now more than ever, there’s nothing like stepping away from it all and retreating to a cocoon-like bedroom for quality hibernation. Interior designer Thomas Hamel is based in the sunny climes of Sydney, but he’s no stranger to creating intimate spaces for his clients in destinations the world over, particularly spots that could benefit from a little extra warmth and softness, such as a ski home in Innsbruck, Austria, and another in Niseko, Japan. “Bedrooms are the least public rooms in the house and very personal spaces,” says Hamel. “We should work toward making them feel that way.” When it comes to adding some extra-cozy touches, it’s all about embracing the Danish concept of hygge, a word used to describe a feeling of warmth, coziness, and comfort—something the Danes, with their long dark winters, hold dear. Design-wise, hygge calls for candlelight, soothing textures, soft earth tones, and rich wood accents. So whether you’re set on overhauling your sleeping quarters or just want some low-effort, big-impact pointers to create a homey refuge, consider these cozy bedroom ideas to get you started.
Whether your bedroom is tiny or oversize, incorporating wood on the walls is the perfect way to add a sense of warmth. “It can be as simple as a board cladding or as elaborate as limed oak paneling,” says Hamel. “When true wood is not possible, there are brilliant wallpapers that simulate wood cladding.” Choosing wood furnishings and accents can also help create that feeling of coziness in spaces where you can’t add paneling or wallpaper.
A cozy bedroom needs light, but not just any kind of light. “There is nothing worse than a harsh ceiling downlight shining on you while you’re in bed,” says Hamel. Turn off the overhead fixture after dark and concentrate on low light. The key to an intimate mood is incorporating various sources of lighting, including soft bedside lamps and strategically mounted ceiling lights for a touch of drama. But of course, the best light source of them all will forever be natural light. See below for what our dream bedroom would be.
For the ultimate cozy feeling, anchor the room with a four-poster bed. If you’re not a fan of curtains or frills, opt for a streamlined version with simple posts and no crossbeams or fabric. “I find four-posters enclose and emphasize the bed in a larger bedroom, and at the same time make a smaller bedroom have some scale and drama,” says Hamel. “Always go for a large scale—it should dominate your room.”
When it comes to textures and colors, think soothing and calm rather than bright pops of color. “Bold graphic patterns do not rest well in bedrooms,” says Hamel. “I would rather focus on smaller intimate patterns that work together while introducing rich, sensuous textures.” Quilted throw pillows, faux-fur throws, and comfy knits in neutral tones are all great starting points. Layer in these soft elements throughout the space for a welcoming feel.