Thinking about revamping your bedroom décor but don’t know where to start? Why not take some inspiration from the past? From the 1920s ‘til now, room design has taken some glamorous twists and gaudy turns, taking in the Hollywood curves of the 20s and 30s, the neon brights of the 80s and the homey crafts of the noughties, meaning there’s plenty to get your interior design teeth into.
Here we look back over the best room design ideas from the last 100 years of bedroom décor, helping you find your own retro bedroom vibe.
1920s to 1940s Bedroom Design
Fitzgerald Upholstered Bed Frame in Navy
During the 20s and 1930s, bedroom design took a big step away from the dark and imposing Victorian and Edwardian eras. With designers like Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto and Frank Lloyd Wright stepping onto the scene, interiors became more streamlined with simple colour palettes and clean, Art Deco shapes leading the way.
In the bedroom, however, we still loved a touch of decadence and the sharp Art Deco look was tempered by inspiration from the Silver Screen. Curvaceous shapes and a soft colour palette of pale pinks and soft greens were coupled with decadent trims in gold and silver. Think velvet buttoned headboards and mirrored dressing tables, fringed pouffes and swagged curtains.
Moving into the 1940s, the UK was forced to take a make do and mend approach to interiors following six years of war. Perhaps it was this, along with the burgeoning popularity of modernist designers such as Eero Saarinen, that inspired the simplicity of the 1940s bedroom and the bedrooms of the eras that were to follow.
Get the look
That luscious early Hollywood look has never lost its charm and we still can’t get enough of sage green bedroom wall décor and oyster pink velvet upholstery. To recreate the early 20th century bedroom with a modern twist opt for luxurious pieces like this Staples and Co Belgravia headboard. Alsop consider Art Deco inspired bed frame such as the simply fabulous, Fitzgerald Upholstered ottoman Bed Frame. Large gold-framed bedroom mirrors, marble surfaces and a touch of Chinoiserie also nod to the 20s and 30s.
Mid-century Bedroom Ideas
Ezra Ottoman Bed Frame
Over the last ten years we’ve really embraced the mid-century modern look first pioneered in the 40s, 50s and 60s and it’s not hard to see why. The 1950s bedroom had a clean, fresh aesthetic that couldn’t help but make you feel relaxed. Those Scandinavian designers who were beginning to make their mark in the 30s really softened the harsh lines of Deco and Bauhaus with soft blonde beech and warm teak wood pieces with narrow, rounded silhouettes.
Into the 1960s, bedroom décor was increasingly inspired by the space race. Interior designers looked to a future in the stars with ultra-modern furnishings, bold block colours and the sorts of shapes rarely seen before – egg chairs, tulip tables and ‘sputnik’ light fittings. Affordability was a buzz word in the 60s, with pieces mass produced using modern techniques. Injection-moulded plastics and veneered wood helped create a sleek finish on a budget, giving homeowners the opportunity to try out trends without long term commitment.
Get the look
Mid-century furniture is everywhere at the moment, including right here at Bensons for Beds where pieces like the Ezra ottoman bed and matching Ezra dresser desk can help you get that 50s Scandi look. Coupled with white walls, the mid-century look is truly modern while a dash of mustard yellow, mint green or even orange can provide authentic 1960s bedroom style. When it comes to finishing touches, be inspired by Mary Quant and Marimekko with graphic print bedding and abstract wall art.
Room Décor From the 1970s to the 1990s
Noble Divan Bed Set
Things only got bolder with the dawn of the decade that taste forgot. The maximalist 1970s bedroom boasted deep oranges and avocado greens along with a proliferation of pop art prints and shag pile carpets. Many 70s trends were informed by the environmental ‘back to nature’ movement, hence those earthy browns and reds and the heavy use of wicker.
While the 80s might have been decadent in many ways – big hair, big shoulder pads, big cars – in the bedroom we kept things relatively simple. Peach and grey tones were popular and softness was injected through frou-frou curtains and valances. White veneer furniture was a trend, as was glass brick, often used in the en-suite bathrooms that were becoming more common. This minimalism wasn’t to last though and in the 1990s brash came crashing back. The 90s bedroom was all about expressing personality through paint effects, stencilling and borders. A love for top-to-toe matching jewel-like purples, blues and yellows was the result of a nation obsessed with home makeover TV.
Get the look
Nothing says 70s/80s quite like cane and rattan, natural-look materials making a comeback in modern bedroom collections. The rattan-panelled Esme wardrobe is an ideal choice for a 1970s retro bedroom, while this Noble divan bed is a modern take on plush 80s simplicity. Add deep pile rugs for a 70s feel or bedding in baby pinks and blues for 80s calm. Ready to tackle the 90s again? We have two words for you: rag rolling.
The Modern Bedroom of the Millennium
Penelope Upholstered Bed Frame
The Millennium might have brought with it technology our predecessors could only have imagined but we couldn’t help looking back to simpler times when it came to our interiors. Shabby chic, vintage and boho were all buzzwords when it came to noughties bedrooms, with floral prints, upcycled furniture and mismatched pieces creating uniquely quirky interiors. As the new decade has moved on we’ve embraced an array of colours, slapping teal and fuchsia on our feature walls before toning down to the ubiquitous blush of Millennial pink by the 2010s, the perfect backdrop to a mid-century resurgence framed by monster a plants and macrame wall hangings.
Now in the 2020s, we’ve been fully influenced by the likes of Mrs Hinch, Marie Kondo and Studio McGee. Homes are clutter-free and streamlined with more than a touch of grey. Bedrooms of the 2020s are just as much about the convenience of clever storage and smart decluttering as they are about comfort and style, undoubtedly a response to our ever-smaller homes.
Get the look
When it comes to 2020s bedroom style, it looks like greys and silvers are here to stay. White is a perennially popular choice too, perfect for the mid-century furniture that remains popular as well as upholstered pieces, like this vintage meets modern bedside table, that we all love so much. Whichever colour you opt for in your bedroom décor, no modern bedroom is complete without an upholstered headboard and a plethora of plants.
Bedroom Ideas at Bensons for Beds
A 1920s bedroom straight out of an episode of Poirot, a 1980s pink and grey bedroom or bang-on-trend muted grey bedroom decoration… whatever look you’re leaning towards, Bensons for Beds can help you to achieve your dream look.
In addition to a wide range of beds, from vintage-look bedsteads to generously upholstered divans, we stock a great selection of furniture that can be purchased together for a cohesive look or as individual pieces for a mix-and-match scheme. With 0% interest-free finance and Klarna’s pay in three, we’ll help you to spread the cost of revamping your bedroom while flexible home delivery and services like mattress recycling make the whole process easy. So, all you need to focus on is choosing that perfect wallpaper to match.
Order your new bedroom furniture online, instore or over the phone by calling 0808 144 6160.