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Bedroom lighting ideas: How to create a cosy space

Drawing heavy velvet curtains against the encroaching winter darkness, you plump a few cushions and light an essential oil candle. Inhaling the comforting aromas of sandalwood, frankincense and nutmeg, you feel completely relaxed and at ease in your cosy bedroom. Wrapped in a fluffy dressing gown, you pull on thick socks and sink into the soft mattress before picking up a steaming mug of hot chocolate from the bedside table. Topped with freshly whipped cream and mini marshmallows, you take a large gulp, smiling as cream dots the tip of your nose.

This comfy room is a restful retreat from your fast-paced life, and as you snuggle down under the chunky knit blanket, you feel your shoulders relaxing.

Image courtesy of @edwardian_love

What makes a bedroom cosy?

The dictionary definition of cosy is: giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation. So what can you do to evoke that feeling in your bedroom this winter? 

Adding softness to your bedroom with plump cushions, knitted throws, and thick rugs instantly makes it feel more comfortable. Natural textures like wool, velvet, chenille and suede all feel soft and warm to the touch, bringing sensory tactile elements to your interior. 

If you’ve got beautifully sanded wooden floorboards in your home, rolling out a large fluffy rug in autumn makes the space more homely and inviting. Plus, it feels warmer on your toes when you get up on chilly winter mornings. 

Changing to heavier-weight lined curtains during the colder months helps keep the heat in and the dark evenings out, cocooning you in your own cosy space. Materials like velvet and tweed are good options. Upgrade to thermal curtains for even more energy-saving benefits!

Umage white table lamp shade with feather shade on white metal tripod base against black background
close up image of tripod table lamp with brown feather shade against black background

Peppering table lamps around your room provide warm pools of light that are more relaxing for your eyes than bright ceiling lights. Fitting dimmer switches to your main pendant lights allows you to set the perfect restful ambience around your home.

If you’re on a budget, simply changing your light bulbs to soft white or warm white versions will make all the difference. If you’ve got a bit more to spend, opt for a couple of table lamps to switch on in place of your ceiling light.

How to create ambient lighting in a bedroom

Ambient lighting is the most significant influence over how cosy your bedroom or any other room feels. It’s all about creating the right mood with your bedroom lighting. Avoid harsh spotlights with blue-tone bulbs – next time you’re out after dark, look at other people’s houses and notice that some feel cosy and inviting while others look more like a floodlit football pitch – this is down to the lightbulbs they’ve fitted.

Warm, soft light is the most relaxing. A good rule of thumb is to recreate sunset shades or golden tones that prepare your body for restful sleep, sympathetic to your circadian rhythm.

Image courtesy of @kylejosephinteriors

What is bulb colour temperature?

Not all light bulbs are the same. Light has a colour temperature measured in Kelvins, and light bulbs can be cool or warm. To create cosiness in your bedroom, look for bulbs labelled warm white or warm glow. These yellowish bulbs will have a colour temperature of 2,700-3,000 K, whereas the cooler, bluish-toned bulbs will be over 5,000 K.

How to pick the right mood lighting for your bedroom:

  1. Place lamps on your bedside table and chest of drawers
  2. Fit wall lights next to your bed
  3. Use a dimmer switch on your ceiling light so you can dim its brightness in the evening
  4. Choose warm-temperature light bulbs. Soft white (2,700 to 3,000 Kelvin) is perfect for your bedroom
  5. Opt for lower-wattage light bulbs in bedroom lamps – they’re more comfortable for your eyes
  6. Use reflective or frosted light bulbs in table lamps to avoid being dazzled
  7. Fit lampshades to diffuse light – feather shades are great
  8. Wrap fairy lights around your bedhead
  9. Light some candles
Image courtesy of @styletheclutter

Best bedroom lighting

Choosing the best bedroom lighting means having a variety of light styles dotted around your room. Cosy lighting is soft on your eyes and doesn’t cause glare or dazzle you. Ultimately you want to create a warm and snug room that relaxes your body.

The style of bedroom lighting you choose is really a personal choice, but for the ultimate in cosiness, look for shades in natural materials like feather, wood and rattan. These look homely and stimulate your senses of touch and sight when layered with other natural textures in soft furnishings.

What colours make a bedroom cosy?

The colours you choose for your bedroom will significantly affect how relaxing it feels. Opt for a soothing palette of soft, warm colours to make your bedroom feel super-cosy. A handful of tints, tones and shades of the same colour will feel the most restful, and layering textures will ensure your restrained colour scheme looks attractive and inviting. 

Earthy shades and warm neutral paint colours will help make your room feel soothing and relaxing. Typically, these include cream, ivory, blush pinks, muted reds and peachy oranges. Essentially any colour with an orange, yellow, or red undertone. You can undoubtedly find warm blues, greens and greys, but they require more skill to achieve the desired effect. Because a cosy space is all about warmth, comfort, and relaxation, avoid choosing vibrant, energetic, clashing and bright hues.

Get plastered dusky pink paint tin on dark background
Paint sample colour card on black background

Luxurious details to complete your cosy bedroom

Making a home feel blissfully cosy does mean paying attention to the details. Anything jarring in your space will cause tension and ruin your zen-like retreat. 

In your bedroom, consider things like switches and sockets. Old and grubby white plastic ones will detract from your carefully curated look. You may need an electrician to swap them for you, but it’s well worth the effort. With so many gorgeous finishes available, you don’t need to settle for the boring. Chrome, black, white, copper and gold are all readily available and provide stunning finishing touches for your bedroom. Remember to go for a dimmer light switch in your bedroom!

How to make your bedroom more relaxing

Turn your bedroom into a relaxing haven this winter – a handy checklist:

  • Layer the room with soft, comforting textures
  • Replace cooler metal hues like silver with richer tones such as copper or gold
  • Add vases of faux foliage
  • Rearrange furniture to make your room flow better
  • Declutter
  • Add a few table lamps
  • Replace cool-hued light bulbs with warm white versions
  • Treat yourself to new pillows and a winter duvet
  • Paint it in a nature-inspired hue
  • Replace old switches and sockets
  • Fit a new ceiling light if yours is past its best
  • Fix or replace anything that’s broken
  • Light a candle
  • Diffuse soothing essential oils
  • Leave your tech in the lounge!

Show us your cosy bedroom lighting

We’d love to see how you’ve used our lighting to cosy up your bedroom. Tag @dowsingandreynolds on Instagram – we can’t wait to see your ideas!

Avatar for Lyz

Written by: Lyz

Lyz has always been into design and loves working with colour (just not wearing it!) and texture. She’s fascinated by how they have the power to completely change the feel of something - how combining textures and colours in varying ways can create vastly different effects, looks and moods. Lyz heads up our marketing & ecomm team and is probably one of the healthiest people in the world (probably).

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