An interior design blog with furniture reviews, interior decorating tips, DIY projects, and home furniture guides.

Posts Tagged ‘bedroom interior design’

Bedroom a la Shabby Chic

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

The appeal of shabby chic is its capacity for being both glamorous and comfortable at the same time. This makes shabby chic an ideal design style for the bedroom, because, while you do want a little glamor you want to be comfortable and cozy even more. To create a shabby chic bedroom, don’t be afraid to experiment: mix-and-match bedroom furniture pieces; pile on those pillows in a variety of fabrics; and accessorize to your heart’s content to add texture upon texture – the result will be an enchanting bedroom that will be really welcoming.

Shabby Chic Bedroom Hues

First decide what to do with the walls. A shabby chic palette is soft with a touch of the romantic. Select gentle shades of red, yellow and blue. Keep shades of green pastel and soothing. If you would like to wallpaper either all or one or two of the walls of your bedroom, choose neutral shades with small-sized patterns where lines are curvy as opposed to linear.

If painting isn’t an option, give your bedroom that shabby chic look with one or more of these wall décor ideas:

  • Framed floral or botanical prints
  • Antique frames displaying black and white photographs or sepia prints
  • A shadow or memory box with collectibles like porcelain figurines, dried flowers or other vintage items
  • A vintage or heritage quilt; one made by an ancestor or relative is even better

Shabby Chic Bedroom Furniture

To evoke the spirit of the shabby chic interior design style, mix-and-match bedroom furniture pieces that are made of wood and have a distressed finish with ones that incorporate metalwork or organic accents.

Popular types of inserts for shabby chic bedroom furniture and beadboard and louvered; often headboards or side panels of dressers or nightstands will include beadboard or louvered detailing.

Don’t forget to include bedroom accent furniture pieces like a bedroom vanity, armoire or accent chair.

Shabby Chic Accents

Accessories for a shabby chic style bedroom should have the look and feel of being comfortably vintage. A milk can in the corner of the room can display grasses or twigs. A water jug and matching wash basin would make a good conversation piece sitting on a dresser or tall chest of drawers.

Eyelet cotton or lace is an excellent choice for a pillow or window treatment fabric. Slipcovers are often used to change the look of bedroom vanity or accent chairs according to the season.

Hurricane lamps and railroad lanterns are popular choices for table lamps.

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!

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.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Daughter’s Bedroom Paint Color

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Design Question

We are remodeling our home and are building a bedroom (11′ by 15′) for our 8 year old daughter upstairs. The room gets somewhat low natural light from a fairly big window on the north wall. The ceiling is flat, but then slants down on two sides and has a natural (somewhat lighter) pine (wood) on it (pine looks a bit darker in photo). We put a forest wallpaper mural (all trees-lots of different greens) on one wall. Some of the greens in the mural are very bright green, which doesn’t exactly show in photo (a bit more yellowish in photo than what it actually looks like).

We are trying to decide on a color to paint the other walls. We are thinking green, only because green would be best with the mural (I think?), although I’ve gotten suggestions of beige instead of green. I would like it to be something more “grown up”, and not look like a little girl’s room. I’d like something that will not need to be changed as she gets older, yet she will like. We are going for a “nature” or “forest” feel for her room. I don’t want it to be too dark or too bright and I want to be careful that it is not too dull of a color. My daughter wants either green, or the color in our living room which is a brown called “County Cork” by Ralph Lauren. I think that brown is too dark for her room (especially since the trim is kind of dark – no white in the room) and I don’t know if it goes with the mural.

If green is not the way to go, I would be open to consider another color. I’ve looked at lots of greens and some beiges and none of them seem right. I’d like it to work with the mural and the pine ceiling. If I go with beige, I don’t want it to be too close to the color of the pine, as I’d like the pine to stand out somewhat from the wall color. I don’t know if green or beige is better or if I should do one wall green and the others beige? The focus is the mural, so I don’t know if it would look right to have 2 wall colors?

I have gotten samples, put on big poster board and held it up on different areas and nothing I’ve gotten seems right. I have also gone to the Sherwin Williams and Behr websites and put in a photo of the room and tried different colors on the wall, but again cannot find anything. If you could give me any suggestions, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

Design Answer

What a great space! Many parents choose themes and colors for a child’s room that will “grow” with their children so that they do not have to constantly redecorate. A forest theme is a good choice. The room is such a beautiful shape and where you’ve chosen to put the mural provides the perfect accent.

That is the tricky thing about trying to look at colors in photos or in online color visualization programs; other factors come into play, including your computer monitor, settings, etc. Speaking of colors in photographs, I am curious about the green that is on the vents in the first picture. In the photo, it appears like it would be a good candidate for your daughter’s bedroom.

I don’t know which specific greens you were looking at but I selected four that I thought would go well with the forest mural. This palette I created uses greens from Sherwin Williams. You most certainly can use two wall colors in a room. The darker colors like the “festival green” or “pickle” would make great accent wall colors.

Depending on the intensity of the color, if you would like to use beige I would go more brownish than grayish. I would have to see how it works in the room, but I would tend to use cream instead of beige. Again, I selected some creams from Behr you might consider for your daughter’s room. I personally love the “pumpkin cream” because since green is a cool color, I thought that the orange (warm color) hue would provide balance. You’ll have to do your poster board test to see, but the orange cream might make the pine appear too orange. It might work as an accent color, though.

Thanks for writing in. Let me know how it turns out. Come back next Monday when I answer another interior design question. Keep sending me those emails and don’t forget to include pictures if you can.

Eclectically Speaking – The Bedroom Room Eclectic Style

Friday, September 10th, 2010

An eclectic style bedroom contrasts new with old; trendy with classic; distressed finishes with highly polished surfaces. It has the feeling and appearance of being transitional in nature. Eclectic style has the added advantage of being totally unique to you; the embodiment of your tastes and experiences. It’s also about layering and the use of different textures for maximum effect, which is perfect for decorating a bedroom, because it’s such a personal space.

When decorating a bedroom eclectic style, the spotlight is on you, the person doing the decorating. Since it’s all about mixing and matching different design and style elements, start with furniture ideas you like or plan to buy two or three new pieces of furniture in different interior design styles you enjoy, like a transitional style platform bed, a contemporary chandelier or floor lamp or a traditional nightstand. In addition to grouping furniture pieces of different styles together, an eclectic décor also gives you the freedom to use accent furnishings in surprising ways. Putting an accent chest like the Butler Specialty Artists’ Originals Console Cabinet in Tiger Stripe Finish in the bedroom is bold and dramatic.

While an eclectic style bedroom should look mixed and matched, it shouldn’t look cramped, cluttered or jumbled. Ultimately all elements – walls, furniture and accessories – should be balanced to make your interior design individualistic yet warm and comfortable. An easy way to accomplish this is to pair each element with its opposite. For example, each antique or reproduction piece in the room should be matched with something contemporary or retro. If you would like to create a really dramatic mood in your bedroom, use contrasting elements instead of furniture pieces and accessories that complement one another.

Carefully combining traditional, transitional and contemporary styles together will create an eclectic look and feel that is sophisticated and trendy, while being totally unique to you at the same time. Don’t forget that this is the one room of your home that should be a sanctuary; while it should be visually interesting, it should also be designed to relax and refresh. When decorating a room, but especially when decorating a bedroom, a particular mood is largely due to the delicate blending of soothing neutral and earth tone palettes with splashes of bold or unexpected color. Because of its diverse nature – a less formal approach to the use of color and shape – eclectic style possesses a casual elegance that is ideal when decorating a bedroom.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Small Teen Bedroom

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Design Question

My daughter wants to redecorate her room. My dilemma is that the bedroom is small. The dimensions are 11′ high ceilings, in a 13′ x 11′ room. One wall has sliding glass doors that lead out to the pool (we live in FL) which she rarely uses. Another wall has the room entrance and a large four panel louvered door closet, which basically leaves two walls with a corner in between to place her bed, dressers, desk etc. We have used in the past probably every possible configuration we can think of, so I was looking for some help or new ideas.

The furniture pieces involved currently are a dresser with a mirror, a lingerie dresser, an oversized night table, a corner desk, and a wrought iron full size bed. All the furniture is white. The walls currently are chocolate brown. Can we place the bed in front of the sliders? Or is that a just not done? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Design Answer

Arranging furniture in a small bedroom can be tricky, but not impossible if you follow a few general guidelines.

  • When redecorating a bedroom, the first thing to do is to decide what the focal point of the room will be. Typically in a bedroom, it is the bed. For a cohesive bedroom interior design, the other furnishings should be arranged around the focal point. Once you have chosen the room’s focal point, you can then decide how to arrange the furniture.
  • Start with the largest bedroom furniture piece in the room, which in this case from the great detailed description you gave will be your daughter’s bed. Choose the wall that will best accommodate the bed.
  • Make sure that your daughter will be able to move around each piece of furniture easily without bumping into something else. Ensure that doors and drawers can be opened and closed without impeding the room’s traffic flow.

There are no rules about using the sliders as a “wall” for the bed. As long as it is not one of the house’s escape exits in the event of an emergency, there’s no reason that the bed cannot be placed in from of the sliding doors.

If your daughter doesn’t use the sliding doors, another option is to put the corner desk in the corner formed by the glass doors and the wall, and then place the bed on an angle in the corner that was occupied by the desk. Sometimes placing the bed on an angle in a small space opens up the room by altering the focal point. See if this little trick will work in your daughter’s bedroom.

Hope this is helpful in giving you a workable solution. Thanks for writing in. Come back next Monday when we tackle another interior design question. Keep sending me those emails and don’t forget to include pictures if you can.

Inspiration from the Tropics for a Master Bedroom

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

For many of us, the bedroom is the one room of the house where we physically and mentally shut the door on a busy world that constantly demands our time and attention. The master bedroom especially should be a retreat that will relax, refresh and revive you. Don’t let space and your budget, (or lack thereof), stop you from designing the master bedroom that you deserve. There are ways to create the look of a luxury tropical resort without spending a lot of cash. When decorating a master bedroom, the overall look should be tranquil, comfortable and luxurious, so taking inspiration from the tropics makes perfect sense.

Traditional style as adapted by colonists, particularly British colonists of the Victorian Empire is the perfect example of how tropical materials and motifs were incorporated into bedroom furniture construction and design for a look that spells the ultimate in style and sophistication. The Tommy Bahama Home Island Estate Barbados 3 Drawer Chest brings a tropical feel into the bedroom interior design through the use of leather wrapped carved wood posts made to resemble bamboo. The lamp has a woven rattan shade, a common material found in tropical areas of the globe. It’s the little details that add up to a master bedroom that will be your own personal tropical retreat.

In a master bedroom, the bed will be the natural focal point of the room. Popular choices when choosing a bed for you master bedroom are the four poster bed, the canopy bed or the sleigh bed. Because of their imposing and commanding profiles – soaring posts for the poster and canopy beds, a covered frame top or draperies for the canopy bed and the sinuous “S” curves of the sleigh bed panels – any one of these types of beds will provide the perfect stage for layers of pillows and accent cushions in exotic fabrics silks and brocades. Ditto for when choosing bedding to dress the bed. Bedding and upholstered accent chairs or bed benches can also include exotic animal prints.

For a master bedroom to be inspired by the tropics, bedroom furniture should be constructed of tropical woods such as teak, mahogany and ebony or have rich, medium to dark finishes. Case goods like dressers, bachelor chests and nightstands commonly include pineapple motifs, faux bamboo posts and cane or rattan panels. Bedroom furniture accent pieces, including bed benches and armoires, can have louvered or open lattice doors or accents. Do you ever dream of retiring to your own tropical island? Well, just open the door to your bedroom.

Country Living Cottage Style – Cottage Style Bedroom Ideas

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Interior design for a bedroom should be soothing, comforting and inviting, which makes cottage style perfect for the room that is the place where you relax and restore yourself after a busy day. A cottage style bedroom has a lived-in look that shares many similarities with both shabby chic and casual country. But cottage style has that little extra something else that reflects the timeless charm of a seaside inn or the nostalgic memory of a long-ago family vacation by a mountain lake.

Start with the walls. Colors typically found in a cottage style bedroom include the yellows of lemons, buttercups and sandy beaches; the blues of a summer sky, a seascape and twilight witnessed from winding country road; and the greens of summer grass, forests and country apples. Soft pastels in milk paint are a good choice. Using painting techniques such as glazing or stenciling are also some other ways to give the room a cottage style atmosphere with a little touch of country thrown into the mix.

The cottage style palette can also be brought into the room through furniture pieces like the Riverside Furniture Splash of Color California King Panel Bed. Cottage style furniture is commonly made of wood. Beds and other types of bedroom furniture like dressers or a chest of drawers might have beadboarding, decorative molding or scalloped aprons. Headboards and footboards commonly have round finials. Finishes are often distressed for an antiqued or lived-in appearance. While wood is the construction material of choice in a cottage style bedroom, a tufted headboard in off-white, cream or a soft pastel such as rose or mint would not be out of place.

When choosing fabrics for dressing the bed, window treatments and/or an area rug and accessorizing, cottage style does possess a certain country air. But expanding on traditional country choices, cottage style fabrics are a happy mix of fabrics: ginghams with silk, wool with velvet, plaids with patterned or striped linens. While they can also include classic floral motifs, cottage style bedding colors tend to be brighter and more intense.

The time to really solidify the cottage style look is when accessorizing by adding those details that matter. Use ceramic bowls to hold jewelry; spare change or small miscellaneous items. Select lamp shades with a floral pattern in pastel shades complete with ruffles or bows. Include candles or hurricane lamps for that real cottage style touch. Mirrors should be decorative with molding or metalwork accents. Cottage or country artifacts like enamelware jugs or porcelain wash basins are perfect cottage style accessories.

Visit again next week for the final part of this mini series where we’ll take a look at the cottage style dining room. Also if you feel so inclined, send me some interior design style suggestions for upcoming min series: I’d love to hear what styles you would like to explore further.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Bump Down Roof

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Design Question  

Hi Heather,

I have been reading through your blog, some really good stuff here. I am looking for a bit of advice on what to do with a tough room. The attached pic shows a room from three angles that will be used as a master bedroom. The room is about 14ft long x 11ft wide. It looks out on 3 acres of horse fields with a mountain rising in the background.

The palette for the house is still being worked out. The existing colors for the house are strong green for the office, a medium blue for the master bathroom, a light gray for the halls, and the secondary bedroom as a light yellow. We like the green and the blue. The rest of it we are indifferent to, open to ideas!

The lights, carpet, and paint are an obvious change, and the popcorn ceiling can be removed. The bump down roof though I just have no idea how to hide or minimize – any suggestions? We are fairly handy so if you have any wild ideas on how to improve shelves, we are certainly open to them.


Design Answer

Hi Toby,

Thanks for reading the blog and sending in your design question. While drop ceilings do serve a specific purpose – often used to hide wiring, ducts, pipes, etc. – having one in a room can pose some minor interior design problems, such as visually dividing the room; lowering the ceiling height in one area of the space; and as you previously pointed out, making the ceiling “stick out.” While your instinct (and it’s a good one since drop ceilings can look unattractive) is to hide or minimize the suspended ceiling, the flipside is that different ceiling levels in the same room can create visual interest. There are ways you can work the suspended ceiling or bump down roof into the room’s décor design that improves the visual flow of your master bedroom.

“Ignore” the divided ceiling vibe and deal with the space as a whole. Plan to arrange the bedroom furniture as though the “canopied” section is not there. For example, placing some of the furniture in the drop ceiling part of the room and then the rest in the other half of the room would definitely break up the living space and draw negative attention to the suspended ceiling (bump down roof).

You mentioned you like blues and greens, which are cool shades that I think would work well in this space. The color currently in the room is a warm color; from the picture it appears to make the room, especially the part with the drop ceiling, look a little cramped. Pick two colors, one color would be the main wall color and the second one would be the accent color. The accent color is typically brighter, darker or bolder than the main color you have selected. The accent color would go on the wall with the single window. Then paint the supporting posts and the side of the drop ceiling in the same color. Both ceilings would be the same neutral shade you choose for the trim (baseboards, windows, doors, etc.). Using the same accent paint color on both one wall and the drop down ceiling visually connects it to the rest of the room.

The lights currently in this space are a good example of how the space can appear visually broken up, making the lower ceiling appear separate or not part of the room. Choose matching or complementary lighting fixtures, one for each ceiling, and hang them so that they are the same height. Again, it’s another way of “tricking” the eye into making the room appear cohesive.

You mentioned being fairly handy. Just from the picture, especially in a master bedroom, the closet doesn’t look like it would be as functional as it should be, particularly for two people. I would definitely plan on removing the bench-like shelf currently in the closet and designing some sort of organizer that includes shelves and cubbies while giving you someplace to hang clothes. You might also want to investigate ready-made closet organizers; some manufacturers offer basic closet organization systems that can be conveniently customized and sometimes at a price that would be cheaper than making one from scratch.

I hope this has been helpful. Let me know how it turns out. And keep sending me your design questions.

From Coast to Coast – Coastal Style Bedroom

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Since coastal style does its best to imitate the easy living, laid back atmosphere of a seaside cottage, it is a perfect interior design for a bedroom. The bedroom is the one room of your home that is meant to be a sanctuary after a long and busy day. The room’s atmosphere should also be conducive to refreshing and rejuvenating you. Because it brings the peaceful feeling of a deserted sandy beach or the prism shades of blue of an afternoon ocean into a room through color and shape, coastal style bedroom stimulates the senses while soothing the spirit.

 Incorporating coastal style or a beach theme into the master bedroom also allows you to contrast soft neutrals of earth and sand with corals, ocean blues and sea greens. When choosing a color palette for your bedroom, take some cues from the a day spent sailing (white and blue), the scenic view from a resort cabin (beach sand with cloud white) or a classic surf and turf combo (bold greens and blues paired with warm browns).

To make a coastal style bedroom truly comfortable, think of ways you can give it seaside resort atmosphere. Choose furniture, like a headboard or dresser mirror that incorporates organic materials that reflect a coastal lifestyle. Dress the bed in cool linens, either in crisp whites or in bold colors and pile on the pillows. Not only will a variety of accent cushions and pillows make the bed a comfortable place to rest and relax, it will also make the bed more of a focal point by defining the surrounding area and adding texture. Drape the windows in mosquito netting-like sheers. Lighting should be evenly diffused throughout the space; a balance of ambient (overhead) and task (bedside lamps) lighting that is practical while not being intrusive.

Anywhere there is a coastline or an ocean, the resulting lifestyle is unique to that region. The west coast, for example, has an entirely different flavor from the east coast, while the California coast is distinctive from the rest of the Pacific coastal region. When decorating a costal style bedroom, mix and match different coastal styles with care. The focus and atmosphere of the room should be calming and harmonious. While coastal style does possess an eclectic element, it shouldn’t be so “mixed-and-matched” that the overall effect is busy or cluttered. A coastal style bedroom is one that is exudes tranquility and will give you the feeling of a seaside vacation year-round.

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