A bedroom is a very private space. Hotels know this and add a beautifully wrapped chocolate on the bedside table for that personal touch. The bedside table can tell a lot about a person. I love decorating these spaces because they are so personal. Bedside tables are important because they're the last thing you see when turning in for the night and the first thing you see when you wake. These small intimate spaces have to pack a visual punch by adding color and texture. At the same time they serve practical needs like holding our alarm clocks and eyeglasses. They come in all shapes and sizes different colors and styles. I've been asked many times about accessorizing these spaces. Here are some ideas for what I call the bedside vignette or in simple terms nightstands and the stuff we put on them. This is the area where you can really make a statement with lamps. I find that square lampshades or round lampshades that are 14 inches or less in diameter work best against a wall. Drawers are always great for storing things you need but don't want to get up for. I love this alternative lighting detail instead of a table lamp. A hanging chandelier on either side of the bed provides beautiful symmetry and frees the nightstand for other personal accessories. A pendant works just as well as a chandelier visually. The light wattage is lower though so I suggest using a pendant light in combination with can lighting. Stacked books look great with their colorful binding facing the room and are also good for elevating alarm clocks. This beautiful vignette is perfectly balanced with a lamp family photos fresh flowers and a candle.
An assortment of books. One of the most enjoyable pastimes when visiting someone else's home is rummaging through their book collection. Whether you have a full wall of shelving or a slender cabinet or case stock it with a variety of reading material that appeals to all tastes: mysteries bestsellers nonfiction short stories and more. Don't forget to add bedside lamps or reading lights as well as a cushy spot in which to curl up. A folding luggage stand. This hotel‐inspired touch saves guests from having to squat all the way to the floor to rifle through their suitcases. Stash it in the closet when you're not expecting company or leave it open as a design detail. Here it takes the place of a bench at the foot of the bed. Piles of pillows. Some like them flat some like them fluffy. Some prefer down while others sneeze at the mere thought. Keep an assortment of pillows on hand to satisfy guests' individual tastes. And while you're at it invest in a couple of good blankets (one light one heavy) and the best bed linens you can afford. Hooks and hangers. Unlike you your guests don't have a designated spot in your home to tuck away purses and hang car keys. Make it easy for them by mounting hooks and wall racks (might we suggest the Eames Hang‐It‐All?). And make sure that there are plenty of coat hangers in a closet or an armoire.
I love the inventive way a screen has been used here. It's a hugely flexible item too; if bought cheaply in poor condition it can be creatively re‐covered in wallpaper or fabric. The brass bed often appeared in Victorian bedrooms. If you like the design but the finish feels a little too traditional then get out your paintbrush. White makes for a soft and romantic aesthetic or go for a bold and contrasting color choice to get a more eclectic look. Bedside tables were seldom matching as this was not the era of uniform bedroom sets. Try using one plain table covered with a tablecloth or lace and an antique table or old military chest for the other side. Traditional Victorian bedrooms also had a washstand – a free‐standing piece of furniture with a marble top a bowl and a water pitcher. Put a washstand to good use in your en suite. They can even be converted to hold modern plumbing. Fixtures and fittings in a Victorian bedroom would have been much the same as in the rest of the house including architectural moldings and a fireplace of course. Many houses have had fireplaces taken out or blocked off but the recesses make for great storage and the mantel is ideal for a mirror. While open fires can be messy in a bedroom consider a gas alternative for a convenient and clean flame. Pure indulgence and in true Victorian style the perfect spot for an armchair. Finally don't be a slave to your Victorian bedroom. You can keep all the traditional features and throw in some glamour and contemporary pieces for a gorgeous eclectic look. I'm sure Jane Eyre would approve.
However if you live in a predominantly hot climate you might want to scale back on the warm hues and use them as accents against cooler neutrals. If you live someplace that tends to be cloudy cool and rainy for long periods at a time (I'm looking at you Seattle!) then layering several warm hues in different shades tints and tones will give you a cozy sanctuary that you might never want to leave. Red being a warm color is often paired with other warm hues. Shake it up by mixing it with cool neutrals instead as demonstrated in this modern and elegant bedroom. It's a great way to inject red into your bedroom without making the space too energetic. Pink gray and black make an unexpected and striking combination here. This super‐stylish bedroom would be perfect in a warmer climate as the cool neutrals help chill out the pinks. This rendering of a stylish bedroom features a daring shade of orange. Using the hue sparingly inside the headboard niche draws the eye toward the beautiful bed wall. Because everything else is neutral the orange glows without overwhelming. You don't always have to go with wood‐tone or neutral furniture. The orange shelf at the foot of the bed brightens up this otherwise neutral room. With orange yellow and green (analogous colors on the color wheel) in the bedding the effect is colorful yet balanced. When I bought my first fixer‐upper many years ago I took great care to pick the perfect shade of red to paint all four walls in my dining room.
After attending approximately 30 weddings in the last couple of years I'm approaching the baby‐boom stage of life. And with that come nursery inquires from friends. No matter what anyone's style age or lifestyle is I recommend Jenny Lind–style cribs and beds. Their whimsical spool detailing can easily work in a traditional transitional or eclectic home. A white Jenny Lind crib pops against the nursery's purple flat‐panel wainscoting. Pink paisley pairs with white Jenny Lind single beds to create the bedroom of every little girl's dreams. Thanks to its simple design Jenny Lind furniture is easy to pair with vibrant patterns. The white crib chain‐link rug and whimsical Roman shade fabric in this nursery prove just that. A pair of Jenny Lind single beds contributes to the vintage feel of this sporty bedroom. With customized bunting a white Jenny Lind crib a pouf and a butterfly mobile Parker's nursery is bursting with personality. The functional Jenny Lind trundle acts as an extra bed for sleepovers. Featuring Delta's Jenny Lind crib this nursery is brimming with charm. Stark white bedding makes a contrasting statement as it dresses a classic navy Jenny Lind crib.
Notice also the delicate layers of pattern in the tone‐on‐tone wallpaper. A rod (versus chain) installation creates a crisp and somewhat masculine aesthetic that works very well with these drum shades. This eclectic bedroom stretches the limits of minimalism by blending the pendants into the wall. The result is pure function as the aesthetic is more about what is not there. Now this is what I meant by "secret weapon." This otherwise simple bedroom is kicked into high gear with these fabulous pendants. When design goes outside the box magic happens. A guest bedroom is a great place in which to sport a bedside pendant that is unique and memorable. These great pendants look like fancy dinner napkins. The result is a whimsical one‐of‐a‐kind environment for a lucky houseguest.
I never had a headboard until I made my own. A few years ago I followed Real Simple's step‐by‐step instructions (reproduced here) and in one day created my very own custom‐made special‐to‐me piece of furniture (or is it an accessory?) using a staple gun some cut‐to‐order plywood foam batting and a fabric scrap I picked up at my favorite upholstery shop. If I were more patient I could have added upholstery nails for added glam. A headboard can really make the room. It's like a piece of jewelry for your bed and depending on what you do with it it can also be a piece of art. All you need to make a grid of small covered panels is plywood a staple gun some batting and some good picture hangers. Her spectacular homemade headboard shows that choosing the right fabric makes all the difference. This was made in much the same way I made mine (plywood staple gun foam batting and that stunning fabric) but with a fancier cut on the plywood. If that seems daunting just keep in mind that this would look amazing as a big rectangle too. Here's her very helpful how‐to. A trifold room screen – minus one panel – set on its side and painted. Voilà. An ornate wooden room screen makes a perfect exotic headboard. A salvaged garden trellis give this pale room its shabby chic cherry on top. As with anything that has peeling paint spray a piece like this with a sealant to keep potentially toxic flakes at bay before using it in your bedroom. This is a freight elevator door turned on its side (notice the "Danger" stencil). Consider going muted and simple on the headboard and a little wild on the wall. Here what's behind the headboard is just as important as the headboard itself.
Unlike in a kitchen a living area or a den private papers and materials stay private in a bedroom and distractions tend to be fewer. The trick of course is to create an office that doesn't disrupt a bedroom's restful feel or take up more than its share of space. These homeowners and design pros have managed to come up with a happy middle ground. Take a look at how they made it work. A desk takes the place of a nightstand in this bedroom yet it blends in so smoothly that it doesn't immediately read as a work area. Keeping the finish and style consistent with the bed helps to integrate the two visually and the large piece of artwork mounted above takes some of the focus off the computer. This setup takes a similar tack. Trimming out the bulletin board with molding helps it to feel like a thoughtful part of the design rather than an incidental. Bedrooms are often designed so that windows flank the most natural spot to orient the bed which can make furniture placement tricky. If yours is the same way choose a low desk that won't obscure the sunlight and the views. The key to this bedroom office: the glam mirrored desk which blends into the space because of its reflectivity. Although it's perfectly functional stylish accents mask its workhorse side. The key to this bedroom office: the glam mirrored desk which blends into the space because of its reflectivity. Although it's perfectly functional stylish accents mask its workhorse side. If wall space is limited go vertical. Custom or prefab shelves which you can paint the same color as the walls maximize every inch.