By Amanda Pollard, Houzz

When it comes to designing and decorating a bedroom for two, compromises are inevitable. Check out these nine common design issues, and find tips on how to resolve any disagreement. 

designing a bedroom

Run for the Hills, original photo on Houzz

1. Size of the bed.

The bed is possibly the most important purchase you’ll make for your bedroom, so you need to get it right. But what if you want a space-saving double and your partner wants a super king?

What’s the answer?

Go for the biggest bed you can afford that fits in the space. After all, you don’t want to spend sleepless nights squashed into a corner of the bed or even waking up on the floor. Measure the room and work out which other pieces of furniture you need, and consider compromising on the bedside table by going for small shelves on both sides or even a low “wall,” complete with a ledge behind, as pictured here.

designing a bedroom

Mailen Design, original photo on Houzz

2. Lots of light or plenty of privacy?

It’s lovely to have sunlight flooding into your bedroom in the morning — unless you want privacy (or to sleep in). If one of you is more modest than the other, it could be difficult to agree on window treatments. If you’re hoping to go for curtains with sheers underneath when your partner wants to retain the view, you may have a squabble on your hands.

What’s the answer? To let light in while retaining privacy, it’s worth considering shutters. The slats can be opened and shut easily, and although you can see out, the view from outside is obscured. Better still, opt for double-hung shutters (where they are divided into top and bottom panels), as shown here. The top section can be opened and the bottom section kept closed for privacy.

designing a bedroom

Clarke & Clarke, original photo on Houzz

3. Pattern or plain?

People have different ideas about what makes a perfect sleep space. Perhaps you like a minimal design with no jarring patterns to keep you awake, while your partner prefers bold, vibrant patterns to get going in the morning. Having opposing ideas about your decorating scheme can present a big problem, so how do you get round a sticking point like this?

What’s the answer? By being clever with your design, you should be able to find a compromise that works for both of you. Choose an overall scheme of plain neutrals to keep the minimalist happy, and then add bright patterned pillows, throws and possibly even a headboard to satisfy the color fan.

4. Television in bed.

For lots of people, watching TV in bed is a no-no, while for others, it’s the best way to relax at the end of a busy day. Many experts agree with the naysayers, believing that watching TV before bed interrupts sleep patterns. However, everyone is different, so if one of you is still adamant about having a screen in the bedroom, it may be time to find a compromise.

What’s the answer? If you’re not keen on the idea of a large screen taking over your sleep space, try to make it as unobtrusive as possible. You also could lay down some ground rules about when the TV is watched, perhaps even allocating certain evenings as screen-free.

5. Desk in the sleep zone.

Working from home is great, but when space is tight, your desk often must encroach on other areas. If your partner needs some room to work, you may resent having to share your bed space with an ugly desk and swivel chair.

What’s the answer? If you do have to fit a desk into your shared bedroom, it may sound obvious, but choose one that looks good in the space. Go for a design that matches the rest of your scheme, and ensure that there’s plenty of storage to keep the desk surface uncluttered. The elegant midcentury desk here looks beautiful in this bedroom and could even be mistaken for a dressing table.

6. Thickness of the bedding.

If you like to cuddle up with a hot-water bottle and your partner likes to sprawl out with just a sheet, the bedding could become an issue. We all experience temperature differently at night, and where one person gets cold in bed, the other is boiling hot.

What’s the answer? Avoid duvet battles by including a variety of linens on your bed. Layer your sleep area with a duvet, thin blankets and snuggly throws to provide plenty of options during the night. One of you can wrap up in the duvet, while the other can keep cool with a thin blanket.

designing a bedroom

Bertolini Architects, original photo on Houzz

7. Choice of art.

Just because you live together doesn’t mean that you have the same taste in art. There’s a high possibility that you’ll find it difficult to choose the perfect prints or paintings for your shared sleep space.

What’s the answer? This is a tricky one, but try to keep everyone happy by displaying a selection of artworks as a gallery wall. The bedroom here has incorporated a variety of prints and photos, but to keep the look calm and cohesive, the owners have gone for similar black frames and positioned them in a neat grid.

8. Wardrobe wars.

Are your partner’s clothes taking over your closet area? It’s a common, and maybe unavoidable, dilemma when you share a closet or armoire, as it’s often hard to stick to your allocated hanging zone.

What’s the answer? If it’s at all possible, the best solution is to opt for two closets rather than just one. If each of you has a place to call your own, you’ll avoid any disagreements about whose space is whose. If having two closets won’t work in your space, adding a slim divider to your existing one could do the job.

designing a bedroom

Cornish Interiors, original photo on Houzz

9. Carpet or hard floor?

Where some people might think carpet is the perfect soft option for a bedroom floor, others prefer wooden floorboards.

What’s the answer? If you’d love warm wall-to-wall carpeting but your partner is a stickler for a hard floor, consider an area rug instead. The floor covering here is big enough to extend around the bed but allows the attractive floorboards to show elsewhere.

Related Links:

Window Shutters for Light and Privacy

Space-Saving Office Chairs to Fit in the Bedroom

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