Staging the Bedroom

For a faster, more profitable home sale

Monochromatic master bedroom with blue accents.Note how the room colors have been selected from the neutral-colored area rug. Photo by Houzz.com

Staging the bedroom before placing your house on the real estate market WILL make your home stand out above all the other competition out there. 

The fact is, most buyers are looking for a move-in-ready home and a staged home certainly looks occupant ready!

All of the bedrooms in your home should be nicely staged, but it's especially important that the master bedroom looks its best in order to entice buyers to make a quick offer on your home.



At this time, home buyers are looking for a calming master bedroom that will offer them a good night's rest in addition to a relaxing get-away from the cares of the world.

A dark neutral color can often work in a master bedroom, as long as the room is not too small. Many people find a dark color very restful.In this bedroom by Home Depot, a navy wall creates a stunning backdrop for the bed. Dark neutrals are acceptable for staging as long as your bedroom isn't too small. Balance a dark color with light-colored bedding, furniture and/or carpet.
  • A master bedroom should appeal to both sexes. Going too feminine or masculine with your color scheme and design could possibly lose you a sale.
  • Avoid "taste specific" designs, with ruffles, swags or lace; tropical or sports themes; and steer far from that hunting lodge motif with a moose head mount over the bed.
  • Replace worn-out carpets or wood flooring, as buyers will likely negotiate for new flooring. Worn carpets, shabby furniture and dim lighting are often viewed by buyers as a reflection of the condition of your home.

With proper furniture layouts, neutral paint colors, plush bed linens and accessories, you can create the look that most home buyers want. 

Keep reading for diy home staging tips that are sure to sell your home faster and for more money!

Before we dive deeper into this topic, if home staging is something you want to learn more about, then take a look at the home staging courses and home staging certifications from the Home Staging Institute. They have a range of online courses that will teach you all you need to know about either becoming a home stager, or starting your own home staging business.

The best colors for staging a bedroom

Neutral colored bedroom. Socalhomebuyers.com.Calming neutral tones provide a restful atmosphere in this well balanced bedroom. Photo courtesy of socalhomebuyers.com.

Cool blues, greens, grays, beiges and varying shades of white will work well in any bedroom, especially a master bedroom.

If buyers don't like the bedroom wall colors they will only be thinking about all the repainting they will have to do.

Soft neutral colors and luxurious fabrics appeal to both sexes. Monochromatic and monotone color schemes are the most restful room designs and best for use in small rooms, as they have an expansive effect.

Add an area rug to your bedroom

Area rug size and placement. Staging the bedroom.An area rug will add color, warmth and texture to your bedroom. Photo courtesy of Rugs Direct.

How to find the right size area rug for a space

An area rug will add color, warmth and style to your bedroom decor. One of my favorite decorating tips is to pull colors from a favorite rug to design a room's color scheme.

Determining the right size and placement of an area rug can be a challenge, though.

Generally, a minimum of six inches and a maximum or 18 inches of space should exist between the rug and walls for the best effect.

Check out this simple guideline by Rugs Direct to find the correct rug placement and size for your space.

Placing the bed in the room

Neutral colored bedroomOften, the only bed placement option is in front of a window. See how the window treatments and room decor turn this bed into a beautiful focal point!

If your bedroom has a great focal point, like French doors, a fireplace or a beautiful window, place the bed opposite it, if possible.

  • Ideally, the foot of the bed should be placed furthest from the door so it's the first thing you see as you walk in. Sadly, this isn't always possible due to architectural details like windows, doors, closets or simply the size of a bedroom. 
  • When staging any bedroom, your goal is to present home buyers with a beautifully dressed bed as they enter the room. 
  • Don't place the bed across the doorway, as this can make a bedroom look smaller.
  • The ideal bed position allows you to walk around each side of the bed.
  • Small bedrooms often have no unique features, in which case, the bed becomes the focal point merely because of its size. Positioning the bed in a small bedroom often presents a challenge. Placing the bed sideways against the wall or angled in a corner is often the only option.
Feng Shui tips for bed The best feng shui tips for bed placement.
  • If you don't have a wall without a window or door, try placing the bed in front of a window.
  • The best spot to place 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 want to apply feng shui to your staged bedroom, place 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.


Coffin Position

According to feng shui principles, a bed lined up with the doorway is called the "coffin position." Yikes! For more on this intriguing subject, see feng shui home staging.


Stage your bed with a headboard

Bedroom with a beautiful quilt as a headboard.How beautiful is this quilt headboard? It makes a stunning focal point in this bedroom. Pinterest.

Let's face it. The average bedroom is basically four walls, a closet and maybe one or two windows.

How can you spice up a bland bedroom to get your house sold?

A headboard!

A beautiful headboard is a great way to create a focal point in a bedroom that lacks any interesting architectural features.

A striking headboard can add drama and turn an otherwise boring bedroom from bland to beautiful.

This doesn't necessarily mean you have to go out and spend money on a brand new headboard.

Because many of us just don't have the means to go out and buy a new bed with an amazing headboard.

Keep reading for some homemade bed headboard ideas that you can make yourself:



Quick and inexpensive homemade bed headboard ideas

Create a headboard out of old window frames. Without the glass, of course.Find this clever window frame headboard and other great ideas at bobvilla.com.
  • Hang a collage of pictures over the bed;
  • Hang one large piece of artwork; a round mirror, a rustic clock, a beautiful quilt;
  • Place a folding room divider screen at the head of the bed;
  • Paint louvered closet doors in an accent color and hang on the wall at the head of the bed;
  • Attach window shutters to the wall-- sand off some of the paint for a rustic look;
  • Attach an antique wood table top to the wall at the head of the bed;
  • Hang a triptych, (a picture presented in three parts) on the wall;
  • Attach an old rustic door horizontally to the wall or arrange reclaimed lumber across the wall;
  • Hang a large tapestry or quilt on the wall above the bed;
  • Paint a large square the width of the bed in an accent color on the wall at the head of the bed.

For more headboard ideas, go to: https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/topics/headboards

Learn how to make an upholstered headboard by watching the video below by Sailrite.




What is Traffic Flow?

Traffic flow, or traffic pattern, is the natural flow of people traveling through a room, the paths in and out and through a room. You often see worn paths in carpeting where people walk the most.

It's important to establish your traffic pattern before placing your furniture. Also watch out for door swings and windows. 

  • 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 beautiful bed for home staging

Beautifully made bed in neutral colors.Layered bed linens create a luxurious look.

When staging the bedroom, your goal is to entice buyers to linger in that space.

Replace worn out bedding with linens in soft neutral colors. Aim for that high-end, layered hotel look that so many people desire. 

For quick and affordable bed linens, look for a “bed in a bag” set. These sets come with most of the bed-making essentials you'll need and take the guesswork out of trying to coordinate colors and patterns.

A "bed in a bag" typically includes a comforter, bed skirt, pillow shams, and often, decorative pillows.

Cozy bedding in pretty colors.Soft neutral colors and varied textures create an inviting retreat.

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 bed skirt
  • 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 bed skirt and sheets, leaving the top sheet untucked 1-2 feet at the top. Iron the bed skirt 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 the top sheet reveals pretty edging and makes the bed look more inviting.

For great tips on how to get that perfect, casual throw blanket to look like a professional arranged it, see How to fold a throw blanket like a stylest, by Better Homes and Gardens.


The Final Touch

As a last step, you may need to break out the steam iron to steam out any wrinkles in the bedding. Don't skip this step! This will give your bed a professional look.


For pro and elegant bed making ideas for staging, go to:  The Spruce

If you love duvet covers but struggle getting them over the quilt, take a look at the video below.

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



Staging bedroom furniture

Monochromatic BedroomHanging pendant lights are a good solution if you don't have room for nightstands.

Dresser: If you have room, place a dresser, preferably with a mirror above it, and a tall chest of drawers in the bedroom. Be sure to balance furniture around the room instead of all on one side.

If you have one of those enormous bedroom suite sets with multiple matching pieces, remove most of them to make your room look more spacious.

Nightstands: Place nightstands on each side of the bed if you have room. They don’t have to match, but should be similar in scale, color or material. Nightstands on each side will give the bed more presence. 

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

Nightstand vignette.Create a comforting vignette in the bedroom.
  • No room for nightstands? Hang wall light fixtures on each side of the bed instead. Or, hang pendant lights from the ceiling.
  • Keep wall art to a minimum-- you don’t need pictures on every wall-- leave some breathing space. Too many pieces of art will take away from the serene environment you're trying to create.
  • Use a mirror to bounce light around and to create a more spacious feel. If possible, hang it opposite a window where it will reflect nature and natural light. 
  • For children’s bedrooms, place a few cute stuffed animals and toys on the bed or shelving. 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!


Bedroom window treatments

Neutral colored bedroom with a bare window.Often it's best to leave a window bare, especially a small one like this.
  • Window treatments in a bedroom should diffuse light and impart a feeling of privacy. Sheers hung between ceiling to floor draperies will lend a feeling of elegance.
  • 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 filtered. Mini blinds or sheers will allow light in while screening an ugly view.
  • For a serene feel, match bed linens and window treatments to the wall color. 
  • To make low ceilings appear higher, hang curtain rods close to the ceiling instead of just above the window. Hang full length curtains that reach to the floor to create a strong vertical element.
  • To widen a narrow window and allow more light in, hang curtain panels alongside the sills rather than covering part of the window. Be sure that window frame edges don’t show, or the illusion won't work.
  • Many people use a portion of their master bedroom as an office space. If you must keep a work space in your bedroom while your home is on the market, hide it inside an armoire or cabinet, or separate the two areas with a room divider screen.
  • Hide a television inside an armoire in the master bedroom. 
  • Create good flow between a master bath and the bedroom by painting walls the same color, or a darker or lighter tone of the same color.

How to cheaply stage a spare room as a bedroom

If you want to stage a spare room as a bedroom but can't afford a new mattress, use inflatable mattresses. Stack them up and place on top of a platform, or use bed risers to lift them off the floor. Bed risers can be found at any home improvement center.

Whatever you do, don't place mattresses on the floor when staging the bedroom! This creates that down-trodden college dorm look that is very unappealing to buyers.

Cover the inflatable mattresses with lovely bedding. As long as buyers don't sit down, they will never know.

Which way should pillowcase openings face?

I've always wondered about this myself. For an interesting, (and informative) article regarding which way to turn pillowcases on a bed, read the following column by Dear Abby published in 2009.

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Updated 9-12-2022