Bedroom DIY: Q&A with interior designer Hamish Dodd

  • 19/06/2023
  • Sponsored by - Resene
Bedroom DIY: Q&A with interior designer Hamish Dodd
Photo credit: Getty Images

Whether you're wanting to update the current look of your bedroom or starting a DIY project, it can be overwhelming if you're not quite sure what to do. We've asked interior designer Hamish Dodd to share some of his best tips, tricks and advice so you can be prepared before you make a start.  

1. What are some things I should consider before I begin designing my bedroom?

The first place to start really is the space you have available. Newer homes tend to have slightly larger bedrooms, at least ones that have built-in wardrobes with them. Older homes tend not to have wardrobes at all. So you need to think about this when you are sitting out your new sanctuary.

The size of your bed is of massive consideration. The number of times I have gone into smaller bedrooms that have king-size beds shoehorned into them when a queen size bed would work far better in the space is quite surprising.

The position of your bed is the next thing. This is particularly important when it comes to the placement of lighting and power points. We never have enough power points now beside our bed so think about getting a switch that has USB ports integrated into it. Hang on that makes me sound a bit old doesn’t it, perhaps we should be looking for stuff that has USC points.

Positioning of the bed also becomes very important with regards to lighting if you are wanting to have pendant lights next to your bed. Remember if possible bedrooms don't just have beds in them. Side tables are important and if your space is slightly smaller, you could simply get a set of floating shelves and mount them on either side of the bed. If you don’t have wardrobes then you’re going to need to think about freestanding options.

If you were going to head out furniture shopping, it wouldn’t hurt to draw a scale drawing of your bedroom space with your bed in position, so you can measure different furniture on site while you’re looking at it.

So, to summarise, scale is important, lighting is important and position is important.

2. Can you share some of the top trends we're seeing in bedrooms for 2023? I need some inspiration.

Trends can vary depending on personal preferences and individual styles. Here are some bedroom trends as I see them. No matter what quality bedding is always at the top of my list.

Bedrooms and my favourite room in the house. They should be a sanctuary and however you define that is what you should end up creating. Do you want the bedroom to have a sense of elegance and currently a spa-like feeling is what is on trend. Comfort is a massive priority, and as I've said quality bedding is something that should never be overlooked.

Texture and softness are incredibly important so how your bedding feels is probably one of the most important things to consider. Layering is still super important. So don’t be shy about putting on that comforter and using duvet covers still.

And for the people out there who hate cushions on the bed, sorry they’re still around however they no longer need to be as uniform as they used to be. You can have a variety of shapes and sizes and still be on the money.

Mural Wallpaper is still very much on trend in bedrooms, as is bringing in timber finishes. Plush, upholster bed heads are certainly still a thing and will be for a while, however, it’s just not the bedheads that we are seeing your posted. It’s also the bed bases and frames.

Window treatments have been a little Spartan in the last few years, we’ve been getting away with the old roller blind. Time to start layering the windows as well. Floaty sheers paired with lush curtains are certainly back. Something else to remember is people now mix and match the bedroom furniture. We will not be seeing a lot of complete bedroom sets used.

Remember that these are general trends and your personal preferences are what you should go for. It's always a good idea to consider your own needs, and budget when designing your bedroom.

3. What are the do's and don'ts when it comes to bedroom design?

In my opinion, not a lot. A bedroom is truly one room that you do purely for yourself for you and your partner. It is truly one of my favourite rooms of the house to work on. No rules apply. Have some fun. If you want a minimalist bedroom go for it! If you want something theatrical go for it! Just have fun and make it the kind of space that you feel comfortable in. There are plenty of other rooms in your house where you can worry about what other people think. The bedroom is not one of them. Happy designing.

4. What are your thoughts on hanging pendant lights vs traditional bedside lamps?

Okay, so here are my thoughts on hanging pendant lights versus traditional bedside lamps. The hanging pendant lights concept has been around for quite awhile now. Do I think it’s going away? No, not for a while. They have real benefits in the fact that they can frame the bed well And can work in a space where bedside tables are not practical or are too small to have a lamp sitting on them and all the treasure that we like to have as well. If you’re into tidying and hate having cords, then they can work on that front as well. I am still a massive fan of sidelights and in particular lamps sitting on bedside tables. Freestanding lamps offer you a greater variety when it comes to the style of the lamp itself I feel, and it can really add something to the space. At the moment I would say both work really well and it is up to what you like aesthetically. Hanging pendant lamps need to be wired in making side lamps, probably an easier option.

5. I want to add some colour in my bedroom but I'm scared of going overboard. What are some easy ways I can incorporate colour into the bedroom? 

Easy ways to add colour into your bedroom by simply painting the wall behind your bed. You could easily paint walls should you choose, in which case I would use the wall opposite the door as well. Bedding is another obvious option. Whether or not, it is just with scatter cushions and throws. All going all out and having fun with the duvet cover as well. You can also bring colour in with floor rugs. With a big shift towards hard flooring throughout the home leaves of course double giving you some softness when you get out of bed in the morning and another option for personalising your space.

6. We are really struggling with storage space in our bedroom - we don't have the space for a dresser so everything goes in the wardrobe. What are some tips for keeping this area organised?

Yeah, this is a tough one. Most people would say they struggle with the sort of issue in the bedroom. The first thing I would do is take a look around the room and find out exactly what it is that is there but does not need to be. Tackling excess clothing that is in the wardrobe can help a lot. I went through recently and did my own as I seemed to run out of space and it was amazing what I actually got to get rid of. Sometimes sorting out the wardrobe is the biggest issue. Perhaps invest in a wardrobe system that is actually designed with the kind of clothing and storage. You need it in mind. Another option is to swap out your bed base for one that has storage built-in to the bottom of it. These are not always that cost-effective, and you do need to be mindful of getting a relatively good quality one. If you’re short on space, I wouldn't look at big chunky side tables as they really don't store that much.

Resene has a large range of paints and wallpapers available on their website. Ask your friendly Resene ColorShop team if you can borrow wallpaper books or order samples – it's important to view them in your own home to see how they work with your space, style and different lights.

Article created in partnership with Resene.