Speaking of Love … and Dreaming of Romance?
Because of Valentine’s Day, I generally use the February blog as an opportunity to talk about bedrooms. I’m not sure about you, but I believe bedrooms should be romantic, comfortable and restful. They should provide a sense of security and be an almost sacred place. In reality, our bedrooms are our private sanctuaries!
We go to bed every night, most of the time tired and sometimes stressed out. Occasionally, we go there during the day when we need to shed a few tears in private. Other times, we slip under the covers just to think through something that’s bothering us or because we want to relax with a good book. Have you ever enjoyed a short mid-afternoon nap to recharge? Such a luxury!
Unfortunately, bedrooms seem to be the most neglected room in the home. From my experience working with clients (and I admit that I’ve said the same thing myself), they tend to think, “Oh, I’m the only one who’ll see it. I need to focus on the living room, dining room, or the first floor in general because it will be seen by guests or visitors.”
If you’re planning to update the look of your home or moving into a new home, I recommend that the first project you undertake is to design the bedroom to be a beautiful sanctuary for yourself!
I am a firm believer in the theory that your environment has a direct impact on how you feel. To open your eyes every morning to a beautiful room that represents your style and your color preferences and contains some of the items you love the most, you’ll be in a great mood at the start of the day and you’ll have the energy you need to tackle the challenges throughout the whole day.
How to go about starting a bedroom design project? It’s just like when you plan any other design project!
Tips for Bedroom Design Projects
- What is your decorating style or preference? Do you like a modern look with clean lines? Or do you prefer traditional, old world, shabby chic, or ultra-contemporary? The most important thing is to know the style you’re after, and then prepare and plan ahead. For example, look at decorating magazines and save the images that you like or are drawn to, to help identify your style. This will make it easier to describe to your designer (if you are working with one), or to take with you if you are shopping on your own.
- Mix and match? Do you like to mix and match styles or are you trying to achieve an eclectic look but you’re not sure how to go about it? Here is what you can do to create the perfect eclectic style: As a rule of thumb, you need to follow the 80/20 rule to have a good mix. Meaning, for example, if you’re going 80% modern with 20% traditional, the main furnishings are modern but you add some traditional touches – such as paintings, nightstands or antiques from your grandmother – to represent about 20% of the furnishings. Most of the time, the eyes can be your guide. Be careful that you don’t “overmix.” As in many areas of life, one needs to know when to stop.
- The feel of the room: Do you want the room to feel cozy and comfortable with lots of pillows and soft-to-the-touch bedding? Or is your preference to create a romantic room with sheers around the bed and satin sheets? Interested in creating a serene, calm look with an open, airy feeling? Maybe your preference is the classic look. Consider what you want the room to feel like is important.
- Avoid costly mistakes: Many people are afraid to call a designer, worrying that she might break the bank! They go ahead and buy ready-made draperies and bedding, only to discover when they walk into the room that nothing really matches. This means they have to spend time and money to fix the problem it – and they often discover that it still doesn’t look good! Hire an expert for a one-hour consultation. You’ll get good advice and perhaps they’ll even guide you to the places where you’ll find what you are looking for. Design consultants are well worth it because they can save you time and money and they’ll help you find the best choices. Just think about the pleasure you’ll experience when you wake up to something beautiful every day.
- Buy your fabrics before painting: A common mistake that many people make is going to a store, selecting a bunch of swatches in colors they love, then taking them home and choosing the one they like most. Then they run to the store and buy few gallons of custom paint. But wait … surprise! The paint looks awful on the walls and it doesn’t work with the window treatments or upholstered sofa that you purchase later. Select your fabrics first, then decide on your main color for the paint. It’s so much easier to find the fabric first and then match the colors that will work with, it than it is to do it the other way around.
- The Rule of Three: The main color, the secondary color, and The main color should occupy approximately 60% of the room, 30% for the secondary, and 10% as an accent.
- The Color Distribution Rule: The eye level represents the walls, the mid-level represents the furniture, and the floor level is the area rug. The three colors selected will look dynamic if they appear on all three levels. One can create the beautiful mix of textiles selected for the furniture, bedding and area rugs. As for the walls, one can pick a wallpaper, faux paint with various colors, or one color of paint. It all depends on goal or purpose of the choices for the room.
- Northern exposure or southern?: Some believe that if your room faces the north, then your colors should be warm (browns, yellows, oranges and warm reds), and if your room faces south, then the colors should be cool (blues, cool grays and greens). There is some truth to this rule, but you can bend the rule and add warmth to a cool room with accessories, or by using warmer grays, greens and blues. The reverse is also true.
- The window treatment: Consider black-out window coverings for the bedrooms (unless you know you don’t want to go that route). The choices are endless in terms of both the type and the style of window treatments. If the choice is valances or cornices and you are very adamant about having black-out varieties, then my suggestion is to order soft side panels to block any leakage of light from the sides of the window. Same goes for using shades; side panels are recommended for the same reason. Selecting the type of fabric and pattern all depends on the overall design style of the room your personal preference.
- Custom headboards: The use of custom upholstered headboards is on the increase. The varieties are endless. The use of nail heads, leather, tapestry, a mix of carved wood and upholstery, and “bed surrounds” are just a few! The mix of an upholstered headboard with wood furniture for the rest of the room is beautiful, providing a nice break from the traditional full set of bedroom furniture. Unexpected mixes add interest and uniqueness.
These are basic tips to help you to start thinking of the master bedroom – or any bedroom. Before the month of romance ends, start a bedroom-design project. You deserve to feel pampered!