Staging the Bedroom
DIY Home Staging Tips
for a faster, more profitable home sale

Beautiful bedroom interior design picturesWhat buyer could resist this luxurious master bedroom?

Staging the bedroom before placing your house on the real estate market will help your home stand out above the other competition out there. This is especially important with a master bedroom.

It helps to be aware of current buyer trends when staging all the rooms in your home. At this time, home buyers are looking for a master bedroom that offers a serene and relaxing get-away from the cares of the world, preferably a room with a "spa-like" appeal.

The spa look is still very much in favor, possibly because the soft neutral colors and luxurious fabrics appeal to both sexes. Create a master retreat that will entice buyers to make a quick offer on your home. 

Stained and worn carpets, faded bed linens or dated paint colors will cause buyers to think the rest of the house needs work as well. Buyers DO judge a home by the furnishings.

Bedroom design interior picturesNeutral paint colors and luxurious fabrics make this bedroom very appealing

When I worked as a real estate agent, I saw many people reject a home simply because they were thinking about all the painting they would have to do!

Keep buyers from negotiating the price of your house down by taking care of any problems before the home sale.

With proper furniture layouts, neutral paint colors, plush bed linens and accessories, you will move closer to creating that look that home buyers want. 

Follow the bedroom interior decorating ideas below to sell your home faster and for more money.

Before you begin staging the bedroom, be sure that you have properly decluttered, cleaned, repaired, and depersonalized before you move on.

Placing the bed in the room

  • If a bedroom has a great focal point, like french doors or a large beautiful window, your bed placement should acknowledge it. Place the bed opposite the focal point, if possible.
  • The foot of the bed should be the first thing you see as you walk into a bedroom and should be placed furthest from the door. This isn't always possible due to architectural details like windows, doors and closets, or simply the size of a bedroom. See small bedroom decorating ideas.
  • When staging the bedroom, you want to present home buyers with a beautifully dressed bed immediately as they enter the room. Avoid having the bed crossing the doorway as you enter, as this can make a bedroom look smaller.
  • The ideal bed position allows you to walk around each side of the bed.
Feng Shui tips for bed Feng shui tips for bed placement
  • Many small bedrooms will have no special features. In that case, the bed becomes the focal point merely because of its size. Positioning the bed in a small bedroom presents a challenge, but placing it sideways against the wall is one option.
  • If you want to apply feng shui to a bedroom, position the bed in the "command" position. This is where you can see the door while lying in bed, but aren't in direct line with the doorway.
  • According to feng shui principles, a bed lined up with the doorway is called the "coffin position." For more on that ominous subject, see feng shui home staging.
  • The best place to put the bed is against the longest wall. If you're lucky, the longest wall will be directly opposite the door, making the ideal setup for traffic flow around the bed.
  • If you don't have a wall without windows and doors, try placing the bed in front of a large window, just be sure that the bed has a headboard.

Interior decorating ideas for headboards

Headboards are a great way to accent a bed when staging the bedroom. A headboard can turn your bed into a stunning focal point, giving it some gravitas. A gorgeous headboard can create drama in a featureless bedroom by turning bland into beautiful.

Most of us simply can't run out and buy a new bed or have a custom-made headboard created for us. Following are a few affordable ways to create a headboard:

Quick and Inexpensive Headboard Ideas for Staging the Bedroom

  • a folding screen placed at the head of the bed;
  • louvered closet doors painted in a pretty color;
  • attach old window shutters to the wall-- sand off some of the paint for a weathered rustic look;
  • attach an antique wood table top to the wall at the head of the bed;
  • hang a triptych (a picture presented in 3 parts) on the wall, or a large wide painting at the head of the bed;
  • attach an old rustic door horizontally to the wall or arrange reclaimed lumber across the wall;
  • hang a tapestry or quilt on the wall;
  • paint a large square in an accent color on the wall at the head of the bed 

For more headboard ideas go to;

Learn how to make your own upholstered headboard with buttons by watching the video below by Sailrite.

Traffic Flow in the Bedroom

  • Leave 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 feet of space around a bed.
  • The space between twin beds should measure between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 feet.
  • To make small bedrooms appear more spacious, swap out a big bed for a smaller one.
  • Leave at least 3 feet of walking space in front of a dresser for opening and closing drawers.

How to make a bed for home staging

When staging the bedroom, your goal is to make home buyers want to sleep in that room. If bed linens are stained and tired looking, overly bright or heavily patterned, replace them with soft neutral colors. Aim for that high-end, layered hotel look that so many people desire. 

Inexpensive “bed in a bag” linens can be purchased for staging the bedroom. These bed sets are coordinating bed linens that come with most of the essentials. "Bed in a bag" sets usually include a comforter, a bed skirt, pillow shams and sometimes, decorative pillows. You can find sets like these at;,, echo bedding, amazon, macys, or JC Penny.

Stick to neutral solid color bedding when staging the bedroom. Solid colors create that high-end look that so many home buyers want these days. See interior colors for home staging.

To make a luxurious bed you will need:

  • Two standard-size pillows, (king-size for a king-size bed, one pillow for twin-size)
  • Two standard-size, or Euro-style square pillows with shams (three for a king-size bed, one for a twin)
  • One bedskirt
  • Blanket or bedspread (Optional)
  • A plush comforter
  • A duvet cover for the comforter (white, ivory, grey, green, blue, or any soft neutral color)
  • Fitted and flat sheets
  • Assorted decorative pillows in a variety of shapes and sizes, preferably in odd numbers 
  • A coverlet, shawl or throw for the end of the bed

In your normal fashion, make the bed with the bedskirt and sheets, leaving the top sheet untucked 1-2 feet at the top. Iron the bedskirt before putting on the bed. Remember to place the top sheet face down, because you will be folding it back to expose the right side. Folding back reveals your pretty linens and makes the bed look inviting.

Standard Rule of Thumb for Placing Pillows on a Bed: 

There are a number of different bed-making methods you can take at this point:

Cozy bedroom vignette design interior pictures

Place a bedspread on the bed, leaving about 12 inches between the top and the edge of the mattress. Fold the loose sheet over the bedspread to expose the layers.

Add the duvet, fold it into thirds and place at the end of the bed.

At the head of the bed, place your pillow shams upright against the headboard or wall as in the photo at the left.

Next, place the standard pillows against the shams. Add decorative pillows last.

Another bed making option:  

After sheets are in place, lay the duvet on the bed, then fold it back with top sheet about 8-12 inches from the head of the bed, revealing the layers. You can stand the shams and pillows upright against the headboard in the same manner as above, or lay them flat. Accessorize with accent pillows.

Try different combinations until you are satisfied with the effect. Lastly, drape a coverlet at the end of the bed, at an angle across one corner, or folded neatly horizontally across the end. Or fold a bedspread in half and place at the end of the bed for additional color contrast.

I love duvets, but if you're like me, placing a comforter inside a duvet is a maddening process! I've learned how to do it quickly by watching videos like the one below.

Watch the following video by Woman's Day Magazine on How to quickly put on a duvet cover.

Watch the video below for more ideas on making a bed and arranging pillows and duvets. Thank you Maria Adams for this instructive video.

Small bedroom interior decorating ideas

  • The most successful color combinations for small bedrooms are monochromatic room designs. This style uses only one color in varying shades, tints, tones and textures in the wall paint, draperies, furniture and flooring. A monochromatic room design successfully creates the illusion of a more expansive and calming space.
Small bedroom design interior picturesUsing a monochromatic color scheme in a small room will seemingly expand the space
  • Scale is the most important thing to consider when choosing furniture for a small bedroom. When staging the bedroom, you want your room to seem as large as possible. Don’t be afraid to have one or two large pieces of furniture in your small space when staging the bedroom. Using a bold piece of furniture, such as an upholstered armchair or armoire will actually make a small space look less cluttered then many smaller pieces.
  • When staging the bedroom, especially a small one, use armless furniture, which will take up less visual and physical space.
  • Select "open" furniture, like a metal bed frame or a nightstand with a see-through glass top and legs.
  • Hang a mirror where it will reflect the outdoors or a lighting fixture to give the impression of more space and light.
  • Take advantage of the vertical space in a small bedroom by using tall pieces of furniture instead of wide ones. You'll get the same amount of function without losing all that floor space. 
Complementary color bedroom design interior picturesFor small bedrooms, place the bed against a wall.
  • Downsize your bed when staging the bedroom. Replace a king size bed with a queen, or a queen with a double, and so on.
  • Stay away from sleigh and canopy style beds. These beds have a heavy presence and will take over your bedroom, appearing to shrink it in size.
  • Occasionally, angling the bed will work in a difficult space.
  • If you can't fit a bedside table with lamp on each side of the bed, try hanging a pair of lighting fixtures on the wall instead. Another option is to hang pendant lights from the ceiling.
  • Rather than placing one large area rug under the bed, place two identical rugs side by side and evenly spaced on each side of the bed. This will draw the eye outward and seemingly stretch the room horizontally. Using rugs with wide stripes will help elongate the room as well.
  • Avoid matching bedroom suite furniture when staging the bedroom. Matching suites can make a room look dated and crowded. Try using a mix of light and dark pieces for a fresher look.
  • Remove all the furniture except for the bed and side tables.
  • Lack of storage issues can be solved with the purchase of a bed with storage under the mattress. These pivot-framed beds aren't cheap, but worth it if you need more storage. Go to to find lift storage beds or beds with drawers underneath the mattress.

See small bedroom decorating ideas for more small bedroom home staging diy tips.

For more ideas on making small rooms appear larger and correcting small space mistakes, watch the video below by Libby Landon.

More bedroom home staging ideas

If you want to stage a spare room as a bedroom but can't afford a new mattress, try using inexpensive inflatable mattresses. Stack them up and place on top of a platform, or use bed risers to lift the mattresses off the floor.

Don't ever leave mattresses on the floor when staging the bedroom. This creates that down-trodden college dorm look that is a real turn off to home buyers.

You can find affordable bed risers at Walmart, Target, Fred Meyer, Amazon, and most home improvement stores.

When staging the bedroom, cover the inflatable mattresses with lush bedding, and as long as home buyers don't sit down, no one will never know that it's not a real bed!

  • If you have the space, place a long dresser, preferably with a mirror above it and a tall chest of drawers in the bedroom. For traffic flow rules in the bedroom see space planning.
  • Dress the bed with an ironed bed skirt. This puts the finishing touch on the bed.
Bedroom interior design pictures
  • Accessorize the bed with accent pillows in a variety of textures and in odd numbers when staging the bedroom. (See art of accessorizing.) Make sure you have at least one smooth satin pillow to keep it from being boring. Don’t overdo it by filling half the bed with pillows. Keep colors soft, not overly vibrant and jarring. 
  • After you dress the bed, steam all the wrinkles out of the fabrics with a steam iron. This gives the bed a professional finished look.
  • Drape a coverlet, bedspread or shawl across the foot of your bed for that added touch of elegance. Coverlets in contrasting colors, white, or coordinating colors are all acceptable. 
  • Using light, cool colors when staging the bedroom. Pale greys, blues and greens create a peaceful mood, make the room appear larger, and appeal to both sexes.
Bedside table design interior picturesArrange bedside table accessories in odd numbers

Bedside Tables: Place bedside tables on each side of the bed if possible when staging the bedroom. They don’t have to match, but should be similar in scale, color or material (wood tone, for example). Tables on each side will give the bed more presence. 

Place matching lamps on each table. If you don’t have a matching pair, try to keep them similar in scale or "visual" weight. Matching lampshades can be purchased to give dissimilar lamp bases something in common.

  • If you don’t have space for bedside tables for placing lamps, consider hanging a pair of wall light fixtures on each side of the bed. Another option is to hang pendant lights from the ceiling.
  • Create a bedside vignette. Place a clock, a couple of hardcover books stacked up, or a vase of flowers, etc., on bedside tables or a dresser. Remember to arrange in odd numbers. Don’t over accessorize; you don’t want the effect to look too contrived.
  • When staging the bedroom, keep wall art to a minimum-- you don’t need art on every wall. Avoid hanging pictures on walls with windows. All you really need is something over the bed to accentuate it as a focal point. Too many pieces of art and accessories will take away from the serene environment you need to create.
  • Use a mirror to bounce light around and create a more spacious feeling. If possible, try hanging it opposite a window or sparkling light fixture.
Bedside table tea vignette design interior picturesCreate vignettes when staging the bedroom
  • For children’s bedrooms, leave out a few cute stuffed animals and toys for displaying on shelves. Make it playful. Stage the room with a cute rocking horse or child-size table with chairs. Set up a board game or doll tea party on the table to suggest fun activities.
  • When painting a child's bedroom, use gender-neutral paint colors. When I was a real estate agent showing buyers around, I heard more complaints about pink walls than any other color!
  • Window treatments should diffuse light and give the room a feeling of privacy. Sheers across the window with drapes hanging on the sides will lend a feeling of elegance. See window treatments for home staging.
  • Don't block a lovely view with heavy window treatments. If privacy is not an issue, simply leave them bare.
  • A window with a view of a brick wall, etc., should be creatively treated to filter the eyesore. Mini blinds or sheers will allow light to filter in while hiding an ugly view.
  • Many people use a portion of their master bedroom as an office space these days. Try to avoid this when staging the bedroom, as home buyers will see that there's no room for a home office in your house. If you must keep a work space in your bedroom while your home is on the market, at least try to hide it inside an armoire or cabinet, or separate the two areas with a folding screen. Keep the computer, messy paperwork, and especially, ugly wires hidden from view.
  • Use under-the-bed storage containers to hide the personal items you use daily.

Master bedroom interior decorating ideas

Bedroom design interior picturesStage the bedroom with a cozy sitting area
  • Hide televisions inside an armoire in the master bedroom when staging the bedroom. The master bedroom should feel like a peaceful and romantic retreat, not a media room.
  • If you have room, set up a comfy chair and floor lamp to suggest a cozy reading area.
  • Master bedrooms should appeal to both sexes. Don't go too feminine or masculine with your colors and accessories. Stay away from ruffles and lace, or sports memorabilia motifs. Paint walls in a neutral cool soothing grey, pale blue or green, all which appeal to both sexes.
  • Paint the master bath the same color as the bedroom, or in a slightly darker or lighter tone of the same color to create good flow between the two rooms. 
  • Match your bed linens and window treatments to the color of the wall for a peaceful look. This also eliminates a cluttered look and makes the room appear larger.
  • Keep window treatments simple and neutral in color in the master bedroom. Ceiling to floor window drapes will make ceilings appear taller and impart a feeling of luxury to the space. If you have an ugly view or need privacy, hang sheers to filter the view.
  • Shades and blinds are another option for window treatments in the master bedroom. They come in so many beautiful colors and textures and can be used alone or in combination with other window treatments.
  • Your goal is to maximize the natural light coming in when staging the bedroom. The best option is to open bedroom window treatments to allow the most natural light in. If your bedroom has beautiful windows or view and you're not worried about privacy, just remove them.
  • To make low ceilings appear higher, hang curtain rods close to the ceiling instead of just above the window. Use full length curtains that hang to the floor. This will add a longer vertical element to the room, making the ceilings seem higher.
  • To widen a narrow window and allow more light in, buy a rod that extends beyond the frame. When you pull the curtains back, more of the window will show. Your goal is to have curtain panels hanging alongside rather than covering a portion of the window. Make sure the edges of the window frame don’t show though, or the illusion will not work.
  • To make a window appear taller, install the rod closer to the ceiling. Add a valance to cover the gap between the rod and frame and the window will look taller.

For more window treatment home staging diy tips, go to window treatments for home staging.

An interesting article about pillowcases...

Dear Abby: Which way should the pillow opening face?

By Jeanne Phillips, Published: Tuesday, Oct. 6 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

Dear Abby: "Pillow Talk in Abilene" (July 24) had to have been written by my husband, Dick. I went looking for him and asked if he had written to you. When I held up your column, he was shocked. We laughed so hard I had trouble reading the piece to him.

This scenario must be universal. I make the bed with the pillow opening on the outside; Dick makes it with the opening on the inside. We always thought it was funny because we do many things differently. Thanks for the dose of morning humor. — Pat And Dick in Spring Hill, Fla.

Dear Pat and Dick: I'm pleased to have started your morning on a light note. Read on for more — as well as some practical explanations:

Dear Abby: There's a very good reason why the open end of the pillow faces the inside of the bed. When I was 3 or 4, I realized that placing the open end toward the inside would prevent monsters from getting into my pillow. It has worked like a charm for 55 years. — Resting Easy In Kansas

Dear Abby: I was in the military, and bed-making is one of the things you learn in boot camp, in addition to how to properly fold T-shirts, underwear and bras — yes, folding bras. The mantra for placing pillowcases is, "Seam and Slack to the Center of the Rack," open end to the left (which indicates the outside edge of the bed). So there you go — straight from Uncle Sam himself. — Shellie In Chicago

Dear Abby: It sounds to me that "Pillow Talk" and his wife have too much time on their hands. If all they have to do is debate which way to turn the pillows when they make the bed, how do they feel about the epidemic of belly-button lint? What difference does it make which way the pillow edges are turned? They're usually hidden by a comforter or spread anyway. — Practical in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Dear Abby: In nursing school we were taught that the opening of the pillowcase should face away from the entrance to the room. The reason is when you walk, germs and particles from the floor are kicked up and can enter the side of the pillow, which increases the potential for infections and disease through the capture of microorganisms in the pillow opening. — Sandy in Arizona

Dear Abby: I didn't think your readers could top (or bottom) the great toilet paper debate (over the front or under the back), but the question about the direction of the pillowcase opening has done it. Most of us are preoccupied with worrying about health care, the economy, the two wars we are fighting, our jobs and putting food on the table. That couple needs to get a life! — John W., Lexington, Ky.

Dear Abby: As a young girl I was taught the "proper" way to make a bed was with the pillowcase opening facing the edge of the bed — not the middle. Back then, this was done so leaking feathers wouldn't end up inside the bed but on the floor. — Inger in Portsmouth, N.H.

Dear Abby: My husband and I had the same argument, until he explained why he wanted the edges facing out. When he put his arm under me to "spoon," he would get caught in the pillowcase if it faced in. We solved the problem by making the bed up for "looks," but when we turn it down for the night, we flip the pillow around. Now we're both happy! — Mindy In New Mexico

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. 

Return from staging the bedroom to home page

Small bedroom decorating ideas