Interior Design Room of the Month - Bedroom Essentials

Top on my list of interior room design schemes that brings out the romantic in me is the bedroom. While some constraint must be exercised in a home’s public spaces, those design rules need not apply in the bedroom. It’s a private oasis, an inner sanctum that few are given entrĂ©e and so gives license for complete personal expression. A bedroom can exude your character and personality, designed any way you want.

So although general rules of design don’t apply, there are certain key elements to include that will achieve the perfect retreat for relaxation and renewal, not just for sleeping.

A soft, warm rug to greet your feet when first getting out of bed mornings is far more pleasant than stepping onto a cold, hard floor. Wall to wall carpeting is one option, but many of my clients prefer to maintain continuity and install stone or wood flooring throughout their homes. One solution is the addition of an area rug that creates a neat border around the bed, although ¾ of it is under the bed, thus lost from view. A less expensive and more practical alternative are runners or small area rugs placed on each side of the bed. This choice is also preferable if you plan to use a bench at the foot of the bed.

Clients who opt for a single area rug often make the mistake of purchasing one that’s too large. A border of 30-36” is all that’s needed on the bed’s sides and foot end. It should reach up to the night stands without extending under them. It gives the arrangement a trim, more contemporary look.

Wasted space is one of the biggest bedroom design issues. With the availability of building well-outfitted closets, and purchasing night stands with drawers, there's no need for traditional bedroom furniture - dressers, armoires, and the like. By eliminating these oversized, unnecessary case goods, There’s plenty of space available to create a cozy conversation/reading area or add a desk/vanity.  

Night tables flanking the bed are a must for storage, and easy access for things needed during the course of an evening. I place an alarm clock, note pad and pen for midnight inspirations, a coaster for a glass of water on top, and keep a box of tissues, book, flashlight, remotes, and other necessities in a drawer. Reading lamps are essential whether placed on the tables, or if space I want to save space, I wall-mount swing arm lamps or install recessed ceiling pinpoint lights with a bedside switch.

Speaking of lamps, layered lighting offers total control of the bedroom’s atmosphere. All fixtures should be on dimmers. For drama and romance, I love the look of a chandelier in the center of the ceiling. A floor lamp or table fixture is needed to illuminate the desk or reading area. Sconces would look charming flanking a mirror hung over a vanity table.

The purpose of window treatments is to augment the bedroom’s design scheme or to
frame a beautiful view. Keep them simple but interesting; they shouldn’t be a focal point. Choices are limitless. Some options include drapery panels, shades, and shutters in fabrics, matchstick, or wood. Choices depend on the style of the window and personal preference. If you want the room to appear larger, opt for a color that blends with the wall, but use textured or patterned fabrications to avoid the room from looking bland. Window treatments in contrasting colors break up long stretches of walls of a large room. Small windows can be made to appear larger; uneven windows can be camouflaged to look symmetrical. Blackout shades need not be heavy or cumbersome for light control. Light weight shades provide complete darkness, and roll up out of sight when unneeded.

 If I were to have a signature element, something I use consistently in every interior design
project, it’s a mirror. I believe almost every room should have one, if not for checking out your image, but for reflecting a beautiful view, reflecting light, adding a sense of space and sparkle to a room. Standing screens, decorative or fully mirrored, can be moved anywhere, and are very effective in brightening a dark corner.

Upholstered headboards work for any interior design style. They add a feeling of soft luxury to the room. For a cohesive and trim look, I like to have the headboard and box upholstered in the same fabric, and avoid using a dust ruffle. Tufted textured fabric adds interest and is both tailored and elegant. Leather is masculine while jacquards and prints are more feminine.

This brings us to color. Both body and mind need rest and the opportunity to unwind. One
way to achieve both is a space for the eyes to gaze in a quiet way, moving gently around the space without anything jarring to interrupt the flow. I use few colors in bedrooms. For walls, I use colors like the soft, mellow yellow of the sun, the blue of the gentle movement of water, rolling hills of lavender, or vast fields of lazily swaying stalks of wheat. Perhaps wallpaper in a soft toile, a tone on tone stripe, or diamond pattern in calming earth tones. All provide soothing and restful images.

Regardless of the design scheme or color palette, I use bed linens in shades that range from pure white to creamy ivory. White, yes… bland, no! Textural interest, colorful taping or embroidery, passementerie, and other unique touches add a beautifully custom look.

A bedroom is your private domain. It is here where design expresses its greatest value and supports our deepest needs.

For more inspiration and ideas, browse my website or view my portfolio.

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