Expert Advice: How to Mix and Match Bedroom Furniture

How to Mix and Match Bedroom Furniture
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Mixing and matching bedroom furniture is a great way of combining different styles, textures, patterns, to give your room a more eclectic and personal feel.

"If you are mixing and matching, know that you are making your bedroom far more interesting and dynamic," explains interior designer Tanya Lacourse of Violet Marsh Interiors.

“Mixing bedroom furniture ensures an authentic appearance, rather than one that appears to have been purchased directly from a catalog, but it can be intimidating,” adds Rachel Waldron, founder and interior designer at Waldron Designs.

When it comes to mixing and matching, you can easily run into trouble if you haven't got an expert eye helping you to create a bedroom design that works. Styles can clash, colors and patterns may not mix well, and overcrowding can be a real problem if you say "yes" to every piece that catches your eye.

This article will help you understand how to mix and match bedroom furniture effectively, helping you to create a unique, yet cohesive look. You'll understand how to match bedroom furniture and work with different materials, furniture colors, and more, to create your perfect space.

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Mixing And Matching Bedroom Furniture: 8 Expert Tips

When it comes to knowing how to mix and match bedroom furniture pieces, it's important to get an expert pespective to help you understand what works and what doesn’t. Whether you want to mix bedroom furniture or find matching furniture styles, these top tips from expert interior designers will certainly help.

1. Do your research

First and foremost, it's essential that you're doing the research beforehand, from exploring bedroom essentials to bedroom decor ideas on Pinterest and seeking out new styles and trends. There's a lot of information and knowledge gained just by doing a bit of online research to help you nail down the perfect room look.

If you prefer to look at physical imagery, check out architecture and interior design magazines. This may help you find the style you like and the furniture pieces you require.

For those that haven't created a custom space beforehand, it's a good idea to get a project book or look-book created so that you can start gathering all your research in one place. That way, you can refer back to it as and when you need to.

Bedroom furniture
Design by Kimberly Horton, Photo by Allegra Anderson Photography

Inspiration can be found not just online and in print but in real life too. So, take a nosey at your friends' places or local furniture stores  and showrooms to see if there are any creative ideas you can steal.

When it comes to starting out, try to find one piece you love. “Always start with something that you love as inspiration," advises Tanya Lacourse. “This could be a piece of artwork, a fabric, or a piece of furniture you already have.”

2. Measure and consider your room's features

Before you start coming up with furniture ideas, it's important to measure your space in order to find out what furniture pieces will actually fit. Your room's features may be unique or unusual, which means you may have room to being all of your bedroom ideas to life.

"Scale is so important in designing a space. Make sure you gather your measurements and develop a plan,” advises Kimberly Horton. “Try using free floor plan apps to make sure all of your items fit with room to move around. When in doubt, consult with a designer who can guide you a bit further.”

"Scale is so important in designing a space. Make sure you gather your measurements and develop a plan."

Take a good look at your room and identify any points where the room curves, for example, or where you may have smaller areas that limit certain furniture pieces – for example, you may have a recessed area that's ideal for a wardrobe, chest of drawers, or bookcase.

Along with the room’s features, Tanya Lacourse recommends thinking about how you’ll use the room and what you want from it: “Think about how the space will function: where will you need light, how will the sunlight be controlled etc. Other than sleeping, what else might the room be used for? Do you need a place to read, to meditate, to work? Make it functional," advises Lacourse.

3. Start with the bed frame

"Start with your bed (this is often the biggest investment), and then add the side tables, and any other storage furniture, or a bench or seating if you have the space," advises Tanya Lacourse.

The bed frame is important because your bed, in general, tends to be the focal point within the space. With that said, it's important to have a bed frame that stands out or blends in with the vision you have for the rest of the room. "[Once you have the bed] layer in the linens, window treatments, mirrors, art, lighting, and accessories. The feel of a room is created by the total sum of these layers," adds Lacourse.

Bedroom Furniture
Design by Waldron Designs, image credit Catie Bergman Photography

There are also lots of different bed frame options available, from mid-century modern beds to upholstered bed frames, storage beds and platform beds that don’t require a box spring. If you're struggling for inspiration, then you may want to look at some of the fantastic bed brands on the market that can give you inspiration when shopping for bed frames.

“The bed can be a bit of an anomaly. This is our focal point and is allowed to stand on its own."

And if you want to make a statement, Rachel Waldron says the bed is the perfect piece to do this with. “The bed can be a bit of an anomaly. This is our focal point and is allowed to stand on its own. Our suggestion here is to go for a complete contrast, or work to tie it in in some simple way (usually style - a modern bed can look great with traditional pieces, but it takes a good eye to establish that proper mix),” explains Waldron.

Make sure that you're designing the furniture around the bed frame itself. From the bedside tables to mirrors and vanity areas, it's important to work the space you have and design the rest of your bedroom furniture around the bed — though you definitely don’t need a matching bedroom set to make the space work.

4. Think about texture, and patterns

Even if you’re mixing and matching bedroom furniture, a theme or color palette can help keep your room feeling consistent and provide you with more direction.

Consider what textures you want to incorporate into the space too. This is also important because different wood tones can create different feels in the room. Neutral tones may be acquired by picking more basic materials, like veneer table tops for your matching nightstands.

Eclectic Bedroom Furniture
Design by Kimberly Horton, Photo by Allegra Anderson Photography

When it comes to getting started, Horton recommends you “always start with your core piece.” This can be your area rug, artwork, headboard, or any other item that will be the statement piece of the room. “To achieve a cohesive design thereafter, pull colors from that item and pair them with different textures," says Horton.

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5. Think about colors and finishes

When you're selecting bedroom furniture for the space, it's useful to think about how your color scheme is going to flow throughout.

“You want a variety of finishes and the elements to be peaceful and inviting in a bedroom. Think natural wood, your favorite paint colors, metallics, and soft, cozy elements to bring restfulness to the space,” Tanya Lacourse.

When you mix and match bedroom furniture, pay attention to what design theme you have and ensure you encapsulate all of the different colors and textures within the space. This includes both the bigger and bulkier items, as well as the smaller furnishings like throw pillows and accessories.

Bedroom Furniture
Design by Kimberly Horton, Photo by Allegra Anderson Photography

Don't be afraid of making purchases that might not work. It's always good to be a little daring with your interior design, and you may end up finding something that works well.

“Choosing one continuous element can assist with this approach,” says Rachel Waldron. “In the one bedroom, we maintained a similar finish across all the pieces. We had boxy pieces, round pieces, tall, and short, but each item had that continuity in the finish. The key is drawing that connection from one piece to the next.”

“If you love dark wood nightstands, add in a lighter upholstered bed to off-set the heaviness of the furniture. If you love a low, modern bed, add furniture that is also low and modern. If you love a more traditional, taller bed, then add furniture that is taller and suits this scale,” adds Lacourse.

6. Try mixing different styles

Everyone has a different style or taste when it comes to their bedroom. Some may focus more on minimalist features to keep the space as bare as possible others might prefer transitional style or something more mid-century.

“We love to create unique curated spaces by mixing a variety of furniture styles."

Whatever you choose, get creative and don’t be afraid to experiment with more than one style. “We love to create unique curated spaces by mixing a variety of furniture styles. Our magic number is often three different styles for the large pieces,” says Daniella Hoffer.

Mix and match bedroom furniture
Design by Daniella Hoffer, Photo by Lisa Russman

“We may use one style for a bed frame such as an upholstered frame, two for night stands and a dresser, and then a final style for a desk. We may design a room with furniture all in similar colors and make sure they work together by layering finishes and textures,” adds Hoffer.

7. Avoid trying to perfectly match patterns and materials

If you’re not an interior design pro and trying to avoid out of the box room sets, you could be tempted to try to find alignment between pieces in your bedroom makeover. But Kimberly Horton advises against this approach:

"To keep things simple, it's best to avoid using a similar pattern or texture unless it's a perfect match,” says Horton. In most cases, Horton notes you actually want to do the opposite and utilize completely opposite styles and materials. “For example, a shag area rug and a smooth brass light fixture create interest. Additionally, a leather headboard would pair well with wood. Attempting to match never really works and ends up looking worse, so keep an open mind and explore your options," advises Horton.

Mix and match bedroom furniture
Design by Kimberly Horton, Photo by Allegra Anderson Photography

“It's very typical to get wooden bedside tables but where could you mix in other materials?  For example, combining glass, metal, and wood creates visual interest, depth, and dimension for a space. Whereas using all wood in a room seems to be very one note and falls flat,” concludes the Connecticut-based designer.

8. Consider scale

With a matching furniture set everything is perfectly aligned with just the right heights and angles. It can look great. But if you’re mixing and matching pieces you probably don’t want to be focused on finding the perfect fit style-wise. But you probably do want it to work scale-wise.

“You'll want to be mindful of the scale of each piece. My general rule of thumb is that if you love a piece, and the scale and function are appropriate, go for it,” says Tanya Lacourse.

When mixing and matching heights, Waldron advises trying to find balance with accesories so the heigh offset doesn’t massively impact the feel of the room.

“I find the key to mixing and matching is balance. When the bedside tables are different sizes, I'll focus on ensuring they are the same finish and the same hardware. In our Portage Residence bedroom, we used mismatching nightstands. They were a very similar finish, and we worked with the lamps to create balance, both in a matching red and one slightly taller than the other so that they hit at about the same height on either side. The continuity of the wall covering also worked to create balance and pull the pieces together,” explains Waldron.

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Bedroom Furniture FAQs

Do bedrooms look bigger or smaller with furniture?

It often depends on the type of furniture you place within the room and the way it's arranged. This is why it's great to rearrange the furniture in your room before you get started with any new furniture pieces. You may find that the answer to the perfect bedroom layout is simply by changing the way everything's positioned.

The type of furniture is something to consider if you're limited on space, or you're looking to fill up a big room without it feeling too overcluttered with items.

Can you have too much furniture in a bedroom?

This is typically dependent on a personal point of view. For some, you can have too much furniture in a bedroom, particularly if you're finding it hard to navigate the space.

However, there are those that believe you can never have too much furniture in the bedroom, especially if the room itself is on the larger side or the positioning of the furniture has been well thought out.

Where should a bed face?

A bed should typically face towards the windows to benefit from natural light where possible. Facing it away from the windows and perhaps in between the windows themselves can provide more alignment in the space and is ideal for those who are light sleepers. You can even place your bed in front of the window.

You could place the bed so that one long side is against the wall. While this might not work for every occupant of the room, it may be ideal when space is limited.

Get bedside tables that meet the height of the bed frame.

Bedside tables that go higher than the beds themselves or sit too low can be uncomfortable when needing to reach something in bed. They can also be a bit of an eye sore when it comes to aligning all the different furniture pieces together.

Measure your bed to ensure that the right height is achieved when purchasing matching sets of bedside tables. Think about the size of them, too, as you don't want to have a bedside table that takes up too much room or doesn't have enough surface space to fit all of your knick-knacks.

Written by
Ash Read
Ash is the founder of Living Cozy. He's been featured by publishers like MyDomaine, Realtor, Real Homes, Architectural Digest, The Spruce, Homes and Gardens, and more. As a writer his work has appeared in publications like FastCompany, TNW, and Entrepreneur.

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