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How to decorate a shared bedroom

By Wangeci Kanyeki | September 3rd 2015
By Wangeci Kanyeki | September 3rd 2015

Decorating a master bedroom can prove to be a challenge. After seven years of having the same colour scheme in mine, I was bored to tears and up for a redecoration.

So I started hunting for a colour scheme that would completely overhaul my space. I got the paint brushes going, changed fabrics and curtains, replaced the accessories then re-arranged the entire room for a brand new look.

I observed it from a far and loved it until I saw the look on my husband’s face when he saw the room. The saying that opposites attract and attack was proved right by the fact that our colour palates are as different as night and day.

Unlike his car and wardrobe, my husband has an appreciation for decor colours from the warmer side of the chart such as yellows, browns and deep oranges, while I can basically work with a wider array of energetic, bolder colour schemes, some of which only I can imagine.

My love for the refurbished master room quickly dwindled because my partner in life could not quite view the room with the same enthusiasm as I did, thanks to the fact that I forgot to include him in the planning stage!

Well in self-defence — I was so sure he would like it. So here are a few tips when decorating a shared master bedroom to ensure you both have the same enthusiasm when you are done decorating.


Decorating can be an expensive venture so ensure you get it right the first time. Find two or three possible colour schemes you can work with and present them to your spouse or partner.

At least if one is rejected you have two other options to select from.

Prepare a budget and consider reducing the cost of refurbishing by working around existing dominant furniture pieces, such as the bed, which can be given a new lease of life by simply changing the headboard fabric.


Collect samples of paint, fabric and accessories for the three concepts on a mood board and display them to your spouse/partner so that they can see the effect. Watch their reaction to each of the concepts.

Paint a small portion of the wall and observe it for a few weeks to see how it behaves under different types of lighting.

Purchasing a one-litre sample is more cost effective that buying an entire gallon of paint only to find that your partner does not approve of it.

Present the samples on a mood board to your spouse or partner as though you were pitching a business idea to a client, explaining the pros and cons of each concept.

Accept critical feedback without taking it personally.


Pretty much like a workflow chart in project management, once the final concept is decided on, get your partner or spouse to agree to the concept (and if possible to approve).

Work in stages, keeping your spouse informed of each step. Get them to assess each stage before continuing with the task.

This could save you money and time as corrections will be made immediately and will not affect the entire project.

If your partner cannot visualize your ideas, use images from interior decoration magazines and the Internet to give them a good idea of what the finished product will look like. After perusing several images you will find concepts which you mutually enjoy.

Select unisex colours that you are both likely to enjoy. While a pink room may appeal to the female partner, the masculine partner may not have much enthusiasm for it.

The bedroom should be a space where you look forward to sleeping, waking and living in, therefore choose calm colours that will help you unwind, such as a pastel greens, blues or yellow.

Personal touch

Personalise your space with paired-up decorative items to reinforce the love nest theme, such as two bedside tables on either side of the bed, dual seats for an evening chat by a bay window or a twin seat at the foot of the bed.

Display objects you both love such as wedding photos, wedding rings or happy days at the beach and turn your sleeping room into a relaxing resort-ready master bedroom, which you will both love.

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