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Archive for the ‘Bedroom Furniture & Design Ideas’ Category

From the design files of Heather B – Replacing Granite Countertops

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Design Question

Hi there…The countertops in my kitchen are granite. Two counter sections are fine but the granite counter between the stove and the fridge is pretty scratched up. Should I replace all of the countertops or just the one? And I don’t think I want granite again – if I wanted to replace all of the countertops so that they match are there any alternatives you would recommend?

Design Answer

Thanks for writing in. You might want to give replacing them some more thought. As a construction material for kitchen countertops, granite has more pros going for it than cons. It is a hard, nonporous stone, which makes it durable and heat resistant: you can take hot pots off the stove and place them directly onto a granite counter without having to use a trivet or a hot pad and being able to cut food on the granite itself eliminates the need for buying separate cutting boards.

As for the scratches, have you considered consulting a local retailer that features granite products? Because granite is so durable, often granite countertops, even severely damaged ones, can be repaired and restored. It might be less expensive than have to replacing all three countertops in your kitchen.

Should you need to choose new kitchen countertops, there are plenty of different types to choose from – one isn’t necessarily better than any other. It largely depends on personal preference. Three main factors to keep in mind when selecting a construction material for kitchen counters are: cost (how much you’re willing to spend; appearance (does it blend with cabinets and the other décor elements in the space); and lifestyle (you love cooking for friends or you can never remember to grab a hot pad when taking a casserole out of the oven).

Also take into account that each type of countertop material has its own set of pros and cons. Laminate kitchen countertops are economical and most versatile, but isn’t as durable as some kinds of stone counters. Stainless steel is very easy to clean but can be easily scratched if not sealed.

Come back next week when I will answer another one of your design questions. Don’t forget to keep sending them to. I don’t have a one-question rule; you can ask as many design question as you want; just remember to send one per email.

Contemporary Loft Furniture Ideas for the Bedroom

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Often the first image that springs to mind when “loft” is mentioned is an industrial space with high ceilings and plenty of room that has been converted into residential use. But loft apartments come in all sizes and shapes, from small to large to multi-level. No matter what size of loft apartment you are decorating, contemporary and modern are the two most popular styles when decorating a loft apartment. If you’re proud of your new home but you’re wondering where to start, today I begin a new style series that focuses on contemporary loft furniture ideas for the bedroom.

A loft apartment is all about the space; not just in terms of how much room but the physical space itself. Because of its industrial or converted nature, the appeal of loft living is the unexpected – it could manifest itself in high ceilings complete with ducts or pipes; exposed wood or steel beams; or long expanses of brick or concrete walls interrupted only by large windows. Since loft design is typically open concept, your “bedroom” will be seen from the other living areas in the space. Don’t be intimidated. Allow your imagination to soar and celebrate the possibilities.

 Pick a Spot

In some loft design floor plans, the bedroom is enclosed but usually it isn’t. If there is no designated area for the bedroom, you will have to select the area you would like to place the bed. Take advantage of the windows by placing the bed in front of them for maximum natural light or across to take advantage of the view.

Another common place for a loft bedroom is up. In a multi-level loft, the sleeping area is only accessible by staircase. Before going shopping for contemporary bedroom furniture for your loft apartment, even if you plan on purchasing RTA (ready-to-assemble) furniture, make sure that you will be able to get your bedroom furniture pieces up a loft staircase.

Create the Illusion of Walls

While open concept design is fine for the rest of the loft apartment, when it comes to the bedroom, most of us like a little privacy. You can create the illusion of a standard bedroom by using bookcases, shelving units or stackable organizer cubes as “walls” to separate your sleeping area from the rest of the apartment. Another option is a room divider or decorative screen. Choose a type of bookcase or room divider with an “open” or transparent design; you don’t want to block out light or make the space dark.

Loft Bedroom Furniture

Select furniture for your loft bedroom that will be in scale with the other furnishings in the space. This simply means don’t think you have plenty of room for oversized nightstands and a king size then find out you only have room a loveseat and a small end table in your living room.

Consider storage: you might have lots of open space but only one main closet. Choose nightstands with all drawers instead of ones with just legs or a shelf. Buy a bed or platform bed with an underbed storage system of some kind. As well as the standard bedroom set, find ways to add case goods like an armoire, lingerie chest or chest of drawers to your loft bedroom design.

Designing a loft bedroom and selecting the right bedroom furniture for the space will payoff big dividends in terms of comfort and style. Come back next Friday for Contemporary Loft Furniture Ideas series pt 2.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Black Mantle Headboard

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Design Question

Hello. Construction on my new home is almost complete. I have in my bedroom cove ceilings and my bedroom furniture includes a black mantle headboard bed. In my bedroom I am also going to be adding a red leather loveseat. Can you give me ideas of what color(s) I can use to paint my bedroom? I am horrible at selecting colors and plus this is a brand new home I don’t want just plain white walls. Any help is so much appreciated.

Design Answer

Congratulations on your new home! Your bedroom sounds gorgeous; I’d love to see pictures of it after it has been completed. Yes, choosing a paint color is not a particularly easy task, but there are ways to simplify the process so that you end up with a paint color that will work for you. I suggest a neutral shade like gray and have selected fo ur just to give you a starting off point. Here are some pointers that will help you find the ideal color for your master bedroom:

  • Match the paint color to something in the room such as the window treatments; a predominant shade that appears in your bedding or a favorite picture or print; or an accessory piece like a piece of sculpture or a vase. For example, a pale hue of green like sage or even forest or silver crest 1583 from Benjamin Moore would complement the red in the room.
  • Unless it is your personal preference to leave it white, plan on painting the ceiling as well; typically one or two shades lighter than the color you have chosen for the walls.
  • Choose a neutral color – this in no way is an endorsement for beige or cream. Colors like gray, silver and hues of navy blue can go with almost anything. While navy blue isn’t strictly a neutral color, it works like one, in that it “plays nice” with most other colors in the spectrum.

Thanks for writing in. I hope this was helpful. Let me know how it turns out. Next week I will be answering another design question – please keep writing in!

British Colonial Style for the Bedroom

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Like many interior design styles, British Colonial style has its regional distinctions. Largely due to the fact that it evolved over a period of roughly a century and touches most continents, this style, while firmly rooted in traditional design principles and certain, distinct traditions, has many faces. The look we often readily associate with British Colonial is the eclectic appearance of bedroom furniture that arose from the active colonization period of the some of the islands in the Caribbean during Queen Victoria’s reign. But we mustn’t underestimate the influences other exotic locales like India, China and East Africa brought to bear on British Colonial style. No matter; whatever regional emphasis you choose, British Colonial style is ideal for the bedroom because of its lavish, exotic nature.

Color and Texture

In the Old Country where Victorian style held sway, colors were heavy and rich. But once in the Caribbean or in the Orient, walls were typically painted lighter colors. Softly hued walls made the perfect backdrop for the richly embroidered fabrics of India or China; the floral patterns of the Caribbean islands or exotic organic elements like wicker, rattan, antlers, zebra prints, coral and shell. When painting a British Colonial style bedroom, select gentle shades of the sea, the forest, the sun and the desert.

British Colonial Style Bedroom Furniture

The occasional bedroom furniture piece made of metal or one that has metalwork accents is perfectly acceptable. However to get the look, British Colonial style furniture, especially the bed, is made of wood. Since they were so far from home, local woods were used instead. British Colonial bedroom furniture is typically made of tropical woods such as mahogany and teak with dark, rich finishes. Because the expatriates were often moved from posting to posting, furniture pieces were smaller in scale and tended to be lighter in weight than their Victorian counterparts. British Colonial style furniture might have been scaled down, but decorative detail was still lush and ornate, while profiles consisted of sweeping and curvy lines. Case goods like armoires, dressers and nightstands often included cane insets, louvered doors or panels or bamboo accents.

Accessorizing British Colonial Style

Use botanical prints for fabrics for bed benches, curtains, bedding sets and upholstered occasional chairs. Accessories for a British Colonial style bedroom are sophisticated and can incorporate travel-related items such as trunks, suitcases or sepia photographs in burnished metal or cast iron frames. You can also incorporate objets de arte that reflect the flavor and customs of the region like drums, pottery pieces or brass hurricane lamps. Table lamps often have tropical motifs like pineapples, palm leaves and sea shells.

A British Colonial style bedroom is the ultimate in luxury, with its hint of adventure and the trace of tropical sea breezes. Come back next Friday for British Colonial Style part 2.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Oak Furniture Help

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Design Question

Our oak furniture is too large for our bedroom but I have no choice but to keep it. So I would like to at least make it look different. My original plan was to paint the bedroom furniture black and distress it; paint the walls a steel bluish color; and use white bedding. I am now rethinking that design because I am scared that the black of the furniture will just make it pop and be that much more noticeable that the scale is too large. Any suggestions on paint color for the furniture, paint for the walls both bedroom and bedding? My trim is white and I really would like to keep it because it would be a lot to paint. I also have an attached master bath that I would repaint as well to match or blend with the bedroom. Thanks for your help!

Design Answer

You have good instincts – the original plan you describe sounds simple yet sophisticated. By using neutral (black bedroom furniture, white bedding) and cool (steel blue walls) colors and tying the white already in the room to the bed through white bedding, you are essentially diminishing the effect of the oversized furniture in your bedroom. Cool or neutral paint colors move the walls away from you, creating the illusion of a larger space.

You might have no choice but to keep your bedroom furniture, but does it all have to be in the same room? For example, can you manage with a single nightstand or can the nightstands be replaced by glass side tables that will add yet another “neutral” element to the room? Are there other small changes you can make that will “open” up the room?

Thanks for writing in. I hope this has been helpful. Let me know how it turns out. Return next Monday when I reply to another design question.

Lavish Traditional Style for your Bedroom

Friday, January 28th, 2011

The bedroom is the one room of your home that should be as luxurious and indulgent as you want it to be. Those little flourishes typical to traditional bedroom furniture such as bun feet, cabriole legs, scrollwork, pilasters and ornate brass or carved pulls are right at home in a bedroom environment designed to pamper and renew you. While grand, formal or stately (or all of the above), opulent traditional style layered for function as well as for show can be comfortable and comforting in its lavishness.

Set the Stage

This is the bedroom we’re talking about! Any type of traditional style bedroom furniture that you choose will provide enough “drama” in the space. Keep the walls neutral, earth-toned or tranquilly pastel hues of heritage shades such as damask, rose, jade or delft blue.

Traditional Style Bedroom Furniture

Traditional style bedroom furniture has a timeless, comforting appeal because it is typically crafted from woods that have rich finishes,  either polished (shiny) or distressed (matte). There is something about a traditional style armoire, poster bed, lingerie chest or storage blanket chest that is sumptuous in a charming Old World sort of way. It is the elaborate detail – a shell motif, an inset medallion, carved pilasters, fluid decorative molding – that inspires one to hand these bedroom furniture pieces down through the generations because they possess the look and feel of heirlooms. Some traditional sub styles such as Queen Anne, Chippendale, Sheraton and Victorian have an undeniably romantic sensibility which is ideal for a lavish traditional style bedroom design.

Accessorizing Lavish Traditional Style

Go with as many extras as will fit the space. A well-placed accent chair will add functionality (a place to sit when putting on shoes) and luxury (a place to sit and read or meditate).

Anywhere there is fabric involved, it should be as lavish as you can afford. Select bedding sets with a high thread count for a soft, luxurious place to sleep.

Pile on those pillows – using accent pillows not only will make the bed more comfortable, it also adds texture to the room’s focal point (the bed), especially when they are made from different types of material.

Make your window treatments stand out with fabrics such as silks or brocades that include gold thread.

Come back next Friday when I start a new 3-part style series called British Colonial Style.

Plastic Furniture You’ll Want to Show Off

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Let’s face it – plastic furniture has a not-so-good reputation. When talking about outdoor furniture, most people agree that it is an economical and functional choice when choosing chairs and tables for the backyard, deck or balcony. But when purchasing furniture for the rooms of your home, that’s when plastic furniture gets a really bad rap, with words like “cheap-looking” and “flimsy” immediately springing to mind. But many designers like the creative freedom and challenges plastics give them when designing furniture pieces that will capture your imagination as much as your eye.

Plastic Furniture for the Bedroom

Plastics take many forms and a popular construction material for bedroom furniture such as headboards or bed benches is leatherette, a high-grade vinyl that has the surface look and feel of leather. While in some ways it is not as durable as leather, leatherette does have some lasting power and it is easier to maintain.

The Modloft New Ludlow Platform Bed in Black Leatherette displays strength of character and a Zen-like tranquility that is timeless. Visual interest is created by pairing the tall, tufted headboard with the low-profile design of the bed.

Plastic Furniture for the Dining Room

Plastic dining furniture has a modern vibe that is versatile and trendy. Lines flow; edges are smooth to the touch – there is something sleek yet energetic about an attention-grabbing dining chair or chic dining table made from one type of plastic or another.

The Global Furniture USA Neville Casual Dining Set transforms a space into a dining room where family and friends share a good meal, laugh together and exchange stories and ideas. The plastic dining chairs in different colors matched with the same colors in the base of the table adds a distinctive look that will give any dining room a contemporary (and fun) appeal.

Plastic Furniture for the Living Room

Don’t forget acrylic equals plastic too. Placing the Wholesale Interiors Baxton Studio Acrylic Magazine Coffee Table over a patterned area rug or in front of a colorful sofa will introduce a whimsical element into your living room interior design.

Molded and modern, the Avenue Six Slick Cube Modern Occasional Table is not only whimsical, it’s just plain fun.

Ditto for the Zuo Ripple Chair. Not only is this unique club chair a real eye-catcher, it is sure to be a conversation piece as well.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Can’t Get Organized

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Design Question

Hi Heather! I hope you can help me! I need help organizing my bedroom! It’s not just my mother nagging me about my messy room anymore. Now it seems that no matter what I do, I can’t find anything and it seems that I’m spending more time looking for stuff than relaxing or studying. When I get ready to go somewhere it’s very frustrating because I have so many pairs of shoes they’re all in piles on the floor of the closet or stuck under the bed. Not only is my closet small, all of the drawers of my dresser are crammed full. I am hoping that you could give me some ideas on how to organize my room so there is more room me and I can find stuff better. I could also use some ideas as to how to organize my make-up and my (many) bottles of nail polish and perfume. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! Danielle.

Design Answer

Hi Danielle. Especially when you don’t have enough storage space, things can seem to get out of control pretty quickly. The bottom line is you will need storage solutions that provide a place for everything so that you will have easy access to your clothes, shoes, make-up, etc. Since you didn’t mention a budget, I will keep my suggestions “budget conscious” but it sounds like you might need to splurge on a closet organizer of some kind as well as a couple of other storage solutions.

Storage Solutions for Clothes

The first thing I suggest that you do is sort through the clothes in your closet and in dresser drawers. I’m sure you will find items of clothing you have grown out of or no longer like to wear for whatever reason. After donating and tossing, I’m willing to bet that you will find some “spare” room.

How are your dresser drawers arranged? If everything is jumbled in together, you might try separating your clothes into like with like – all of your underwear in one drawer; tees, camis and shells in another; sweaters in a drawer of their own. When you group and store the same types of clothing together they lie flat so that you can fit more items into each drawer.

If there is room in your budget (and room in your bedroom) for a lingerie chest, this is a piece of bedroom accent furniture that is very versatile. A lingerie chest typically stands taller than it is wide, which means it can hold almost as much as your dresser but won’t take up as much floor space.

Is there another closet in your home that you can use? If the answer is yes, sort your clothes into seasonal, and keep what you are currently wearing in your bedroom. Store your summer clothes and shoes in the spare closet.

Storage Solutions for Shoes

Again, as with your clothes, go through your shoes – donate any pairs you haven’t worn in a year or toss ones that can’t be repaired.

Under the bed is a great place for shoes! Clear storage bins that will slide easily under you bed will allow you to see what’s inside while keeping them out of the way.

How small is your closet? See if some type of shoe rack will fit – it could help you organize the shoes you wear most often.

Storage Solutions for Make-up

Dollar stores are great places to find bargain storage solutions. Baskets can be your friend: choose ones that will easily hold items like blush, lip gloss tubes, mascara, etc. without being too big. You can sometimes find really good inexpensive items like small metal bins or pails that will be ideal for cotton puffs, make-up brushes, pencils and whatever else you need to hide away but keep organized and handy.

Thanks for writing in Danielle. Keep sending me your design questions. I love hearing from you.

Mirror Mirror on the Table: Decorating with Mirrored Furniture

Friday, January 7th, 2011

By now, most of us have heard of the “smoke and mirrors” decorating trick to make a room appear more spacious than it really is. But the mirror doesn’t have to necessarily be on the wall in order to accomplish this sleight of hand. One or two pieces of mirrored accent furniture not only will create visual interest in a living room, bedroom, hallway or even the bathroom, but it can also, depending on where it is positioned in, help the room feel a bit more spacious.

The reason why a mirrored accent chest or table can help make a room appear larger is because, like a mirror on the wall, it “throws” light around a room. Especially when the mirrored accent chest is placed across from a doorway or window, mirrored accent furniture creates the illusion of depth. It can also layer a room with even more texture by reflecting the colorful design of an area rug; the pattern of a sofa or arm chair; or the delicate design of a chandelier.

Accent tables and accent chests lend charm to a living room, hallway or den, but mirrored accent furniture pieces add an element of drama and sophistication to the décor. Harkening back to the 1930s, 40s and 50s of Hollywood glamour, a well-placed mirrored accent chest or console cabinet can introduce a chic and stylish secondary focal point into a living space.

Decorating with mirrored furniture can give the décor a touch of romance, particularly in a bedroom. Since accent chests and other types of accent furniture are available in a range of sizes and shapes, choose one with undulating lines to enhance its reflective surfaces to really bring out its romantic nature. It can also provide a room with an extra little splash or sparkle that will reflect your unique style and taste.

Wake up your Bedroom

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

The bedroom is the one room of our homes that should be warm, inviting and comfortable. It can creep up on us slowly, but one day our attention is drawn to the frayed edge of the bed skirt; the collection of miscellaneous stuff scattered across the surface of the dresser; or the hand-me-down chair that should have been removed and replaced a long time ago. When areas of your bedroom have become tired and worn or you want to give it makeover without having to spend much money, there are ways to breathe new life the place that should be a soothing and refreshing sanctuary.

Focal Point

The focal point of any bedroom is naturally the bed. Especially if the bed was second-hand, is past its prime or was never quite right for the space (it was too big or too small), you can revitalize the room simply by replacing it. If the bed happens to be the right size for the space, you can give the bedroom a whole new vibe by simply removing the headboard. This will make the bed (and the room too) appear larger. Before removing the headboard, ensure that you can do this with your bed’s frame.

If the bed hasn’t had any new bedding in past three to five years, perhaps now is the time. One of the easiest ways to “renovate” your bedroom is to choose a new bedding set with a fresher or brighter palette than the ones you have had in the past. Whether you replace the bed or not, new bedding will help transform the bed into the focal pint it’s meant to be.

Spring Clean (early or not)

It’s one of those things that can creep up on us – clothes we have no intention of wearing again pushed to the back of the closet taking up space; bits and pieces left discarded in nightstand drawers; or toiletries and beauty products left out on top of the chest of drawers or the dresser. Clear away unnecessary clutter, including areas of your bedroom that you have overenthusiastically accessorized. Limiting the number of pictures or the cluster of ornaments set out on the dresser is another way to de-clutter.

Find creative ways to store things out of sight such as under-bed storage boxes, closet organizers and decorative baskets. Consider some bedroom furniture ideas such as a bed bench with hidden or cubby storage; a small armoire or replacing the bed with one that includes storage options. Having a place for everything in a bedroom environment is a good way to get a good night’s rest.

To Paint or Not to Paint

If the walls aren’t damaged or marked, sometimes thoroughly washing the walls can make the room seem fresher. But if you are getting tired of the color or it’s been awhile since the bedroom has been painted, maybe now is the time; nothing wakes up a bedroom like a new color palette.

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