The Bedroom

The secret to a beautiful bedroom is to make it serene and fresh, a restful retreat. I’m not a big fan of whiting everything out to achieve that effect. It works in some climates and seasons but mostly it has the effect of imparting sterility.

What does work are restful shades of blue, blue-green, putty, lavender, grey –lavender, and butter cream, depending on your taste. However, I have seen many gorgeous bedrooms in vibrant shades and probably one of my all-time favorites is the emerald bedroom Miles Redd created for Oscar de la Renta. Let’s face it, dark colors with the right accessories work really well in masculine rooms with few windows and little light. However, this is trickier to pull off.

So let’s say you’ve settled on a color that works well in the room, you’ve decluttered the closets, and cleaned the carpets. What’s next?

Declutter once more! Is your furniture overwhelming the room? Take some of it out, using our photographic trick to see what works and what doesn’t.

Do you have a nice headboard? If you don’t there are ways around this. An attractive painting, huge photo, reproduction on canvas without a frame, kilim, suzani, or screen create beautiful visual interest. Never leave the wall above your bed bare unless you have a four-poster bed.

Now, you are ready for new sheets. You can find top brands in gorgeous colors at discount stores such as T.J. Maxx. With new sheets come clean covers and bed skirts. If you feel safer going with a set, do it. Consequently if you don’t trust your taste where patterns are concerned, choose whites, deeper or lighter shades of your wall color, or complimentary colors.

Add a few decorative pillows in solid velvets, and a beautiful blanket or throw at the end of the bed to create the illusion of comfort and luxury. Did I mention that you should flip the mattress, so that your bed will appear tidy and unused?

Did your dresser, bed, and bedside tables come in a set? Don’t fret, you can lose that bland department store look with accessories. Solid color lamps with nice shades, fresh or silk flowers, pretty tissue boxes, books with attractive covers, clocks, china plates, mirrors, seashells, and coral all work beautifully in small doses.

If you live in an apartment and your computer table is in the bedroom, keep that area completely neat or remove it altogether. No one needs to see wires or messy papers in the bedroom.

Remember to always keep the bedroom aired out and your linens fresh.

Moving on to the other bedrooms, you can apply the same principles. It’s imperative that your teens  clear their clutter and your little ones put their toys in the toy box. Neat, tidy, fresh, and clean are the keywords. It’s not always easy to manage kids but do what you can to get them to contribute.

Do you have a spare bedroom that you use to store junk? You must remove everything. If you have nothing to put in there, try rearranging some of the overflow from the other rooms in a way to suggest an office, a play room, a screening room, or a hobby room.

What to do in the guest room if you never got around to decorating it fully? Again, accessories are the key, whatever your budget. A nice armchair, a writing desk/ vanity table, pretty vases with silk or fresh glowers, green plants, a painting, or a photograph printed on canvas that you can purchase online for under a hundred dollars, go a long way to making the guest room delightful and desirable. If you need inspiration, look up Garrow Kedigian to see how he blows up details of masterpieces and hangs them in his decorating schemes.

If you are a minimalist and take your bedrooms down to bare-bones white, you can create interest with texture. So mix it up! Velvets, mohairs, chenilles, faux fur, cottons, matte and shiny, perhaps some graphic strips on your throw, bare branches in a white vase all work beautifully-and even more so if you colorize the walls in a warm putty or a pale grey. If you do this in a girl’s room, ballet slipper pink works marvelously well on a few accessories-flowers, pillows etc.

I love navy in boys’ rooms. It’s beautiful on walls when you add accessories in red, camel, or white. If you need a primer on how to make this work, go to Pinterest and search for: Ralph Lauren, navy rooms.  His stylists can do wonders with navy walls, black and white framed photos, and rattan chairs. Add a potted palm in a basket and you’ve got chic galore.

Whatever your taste and style, I think Pinterest is the best resource for styling ideas. And it’s free to boot!

Next time, we’ll discuss the bathroom.

Guest post by Lily Temmer

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