How to Decorate Your Bedroom – Lighting Basics

Your bedroom is your sanctuary. It should be inviting and restful, a quiet retreat at the end of a long day. Lighting is an essential part of achieving that Zen-like atmosphere. You probably use your bedroom for lounging, reading, working on your laptop and, of course, getting dressed. Creating multiple layers of light can help you accomplish specific tasks while softly illuminating the entire space.

There are three types of bedroom lighting that help create varying levels of light:

General Lighting

An overhead fixture bathes the entire room in light for when you need lots of it, like when you’re trying to find that matching sock. You can carry the theme of your bedroom’s style through in your lighting choices, so think of your overhead fixture as a stunning accent piece. For drama, choose a chandelier or a lantern. If you have a modern aesthetic, go for a chic pendant. Regardless of the style you choose, it’s always a good idea to use a dimmer in the bedroom, so you can control the amount of light you need.

If you hang your chandelier in the middle of your bedroom, hang it so that the lowest point is at least seven feet from the floor. However, if you choose to hang it centered over the bed or close to the foot of the bed, go ahead and hang it a foot or two lower, since there’s no danger of head bumps.

Task Lighting

Bedside lighting provides focused, close-range light you can easily switch off from bed. Coordinating table lamps and bedside tables on either side of your bed is always a classic option that brings a sense of balance to the room. Space-saving wall sconces are a great choice if you want to leave room on your bedside tables for other items or if you don’t have room to fit in a couple of nightstands.

Keep your lamp in scale with the bedside table and your bed for the most visually appealing look. The smaller your nightstand, the smaller your lamp should be. However, if your bedside table is a lot shorter than your bed, use a taller lamp to even the scale—and vice versa. In general, for 24-inch to 30-inch tables, the ideal height for a lamp is 27 to 32 inches tall.

Mood Lighting

Mood lighting creates an intimate atmosphere in the bedroom. Employ multiple sources of light at different heights to really create ambiance, such as a floor lamp stationed near a lounge chair or desk, a lamp on a dresser and even candles. Or, if you have a large piece of art, you can use a wall-mounted sconce to highlight the work.

What are your favorite ideas for lighting a bedroom? Share with us in the comments below. And for more inspiration on how to decorate your bedroom, check out our Dreamy Bedrooms board on Pinterest.

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.