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.
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.
Vintage suitcases are the perfect nightstand alternative – they are readily available and full of charm. In my bedroom my husband's nightstand is four stacked suitcases we've collected over the years. You could easily place a single suitcase on top of a stool like in the image shown here and have an equally lovely vignette. Most of us have extra chairs lying around and if you don't they are an easy find on Craigslist or at thrift stores and make perfect casual nightstands. Old trunks make great nightstands because of the instant character they bring to a space and they're a nice big storage option for those of us with smaller spaces. Painted to match a room's decor a lovely drop‐leaf table becomes a spacious nightstand. An adjustable‐height vintage stool like this one is a nice alternative to the traditional nightstand. You can raise or lower the stool to work perfectly in its new function and even have a little room to store books underneath.
Decide which furniture to keep. As you are going through the room note which pieces you want to keep and which will be sold or given away. But before buying anything new consider updating existing furniture with fresh paint or knobs and look around the rest of the house (including in the attic and the basement) for forgotten treasures. Shop for new items. Look for pieces that can also be used in a first apartment (or dorm room) to get the most bang for your buck. Small side tables cushions throw blankets lamps and small‐scale armchairs will all be most welcome in those first digs away from home. Go on a "cool junk" hunt together. Make a date to hit a flea market or antiques and collectibles fair to see what you can find. Bring cash (only as much as you want to spend) measurements of key areas and a dolly or cart to carry home your finds. Wire storage lockers like the ones shown here are superversatile – use them for everything from shoes and scarves to craft supplies and books. Incorporate photos of friends. One of the downsides to taking mostly digital photos is that we tend to print photos less often. As part of this project be sure to give your teen the opportunity to have some recent pictures printed – some to frame and others to tape up in a rotating display. Japanese masking tape (also called washi tape) comes in a mind‐boggling array of colors and patterns is easily removable from most surfaces and can be used in tons of ways (like in the photo display seen here). A set would make a lovely gift for your teen when this project is complete. Try a small DIY project.
Don't overcrowd the space. Attic bedrooms are generally tighter spaces and if there are sloped ceilings the room can feel claustrophobic with too many furnishings. Add only what you need – less is definitely more in this case. Consider a two‐tone paint job. "Painting is always tricky when working with an attic space as the walls are often shortened and the ceiling space is greater than in most rooms” says Heron. "For a cozy feeling consider painting the walls a different color than the ceiling.” Or trick the eye by using all one color. "If you want the space to feel more spacious paint the ceiling and wall the same color but keep it to a light neutral or white” advises Heron. Nix the overhead lights. "Forget pot lights in the attic” says Heron. "Opt instead for table lamps or wall sconces; uplighting is a great way to play up a dramatic roofline".
While many dressing tables are fussy frilly or just too girly for my taste here I've gathered some of my favorite modern‐looking dressing tables to share with you. Whether you're planning to set up a dressing table in your bedroom in the bathroom or nearby these ideas will surely inspire your space. If you're on the lookout for a dressing table and crave sleek lines the deco design of the table shown here with its wood finish and simple design speaks to those of us with a modern taste. This dressing table in a room adjacent to the bedroom is glamorous without being fussy. If you're considering using a similar setup for your dressing area painting the two spaces the same color will unify the rooms. If you crave color consider purchasing an older dressing table and painting it to fit your needs. If a matching chair isn't included in the deal buy one that fits well with the table and paint it to match. The gorgeous natural light in this bathroom makes it the perfect space for a small dressing table. Medicine cabinet–style mirrors above the dressing table provide storage and give this dressing table a built‐in look. A dressing table chair is the perfect place for a nice bright splash of color. If your prefer to keep things monochromatic upholstering the dressing table chair in the same shade as the wall will make a simple statement.
Air plants and succulents are having a real moment in design and they have the benefit of being easy to care for. If you and your teen are in the mood to tackle a crafty project I love this DIY air plant terrarium tutorial on Houzz. It's chic and easy the best combination! Update the homework zone. Ground the work area with a creative and useful chalkboard wall or include a large bulletin board for pinning up lists photos and inspiration. Pay attention to the ergonomics of the space as well making sure the chair and desk are at the right height. Good task lighting is essential and any additional storage you can squeeze into the space will help maintain order. At least consider a small filing crate and a basket for recycling. Add an entryway. In my experience most messes come from the junk we put down as soon as we enter a space. Help prevent the big chaotic pileup before it begins with a few preventative measures: A coat tree or wall hooks will hopefully keep those coats and bags off the floor and a dresser or table placed near the door can be a drop zone for mail keys and other odds and ends. Provide hangout space. If you have the room bring in a retired couch from the basement or attic. If space is tight try a fluffy area rug with a few big floor cushions instead. Add an unexpected touch. Every room should have something that immediately catches your eye or makes you smile and your teen's room is no exception. Make the room glow with a cluster of cheap and chic paper lanterns scoop up a funky neon sign or a vintage marquee letter at the flea market or frame a portrait of a favorite pet. Give hobbies and interests pride of place.
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.