This bedroom with its liberal dose of aqua blue and spring green is such a happy space. I would love to curl up in that green chair with a good book – even the dreariest day couldn't bring me down. Another bonus to using such vibrant colors is that this room needs no additional artwork or accessories. It's very clean and simple but in no way dull or lifeless. These perky blues and the leafy‐green color work well together in small doses such as on fabrics accessories or painted furniture. The lighter cucumber green is a great choice for the walls. Clockwise from top left (all from Sherwin‐Williams): Mariner SW 6766 Cucumber SW 6722 Oceanside SW 6496 and Picnic SW 6731. Turquoise is a popular color right now and here it is paired with another color of the moment – intense orange. These two colors are opposite each other on the color wheel making them a striking and attention‐getting combo. But because the walls ceiling and floor are white the effect is cool instead of cacophonous. Punches of bright blue and orange used sparingly perhaps through a thick vertical stripe painted on the walls or easily changed‐out bedding look fantastic against a white backdrop. Clockwise from top left: Light My Fire AC211‐5 and Cool Turquoise KM3238‐2 both from Kelly Moore and Castaway DE 5738 and Tangerine Dream DE 5160 both from Dunn Edwards.
Antique and modern accents pay tribute to tailoring. The globe is an 18th‐century sewing table and the framed piece above is a shirt made out of a folded map of London. Dittmar designed custom bedding and pillows to conjure the crisp look of ties and pocket squares. From show house to your house: If you're stuck in a decorating rut try playing with a theme in one of your bedrooms. It can be something bold – like a sports‐theme kid's room – or something more subtle like Dittmar's design. But by giving yourself a path to follow you'll have less trouble deciding on what pieces to use. The amazing art installation in this bathroom is by artist Michele Pred who uses airport‐confiscated scissors and knives in much of her work. The design team worked with Pred to create a specific installation for this space – a bathtub full of silver scissors snagged by the Transportation Security Administration.
Find a quiet corner in your home where you can draw the curtains. This daybed with great light control provided by the Roman shades is perfect for a 2 p.m. date with the sandman. Use a light blanket to cuddle up with. You will have a hard time falling asleep if you are chilly. Be careful to not overheat with heaters and blankets as this may cause you to oversleep. Surround yourself with blue. Blue is associated with tranquility and produces a calming effect. It is good for the mind‐body connection. Think of the sea and the sky and the calming effect of being outdoors. Try to find a space in your home where you feel removed from everything that is going on. Ideally you want to be away from the noise of TVs cell phones and the doorbell. This cozy nook feels just like a nest and curtains provide a visual barrier.
The first time I saw a really fun kids' bed was in the 1980s on the show Silver Spoons starring a very young Ricky Schroder and Jason Bateman. Little Ricky's bed was a white racecar and every kid wanted one (we also wanted that train he rode around the manse). Today the racecars have been upgraded to high‐end Ferrari models and other thematic beds have followed suit from boats to wrestling rings. See if you can find one that might ease your time‐for‐bed struggles. A small car is a great transitional bed between crib and big‐boy bed (perhaps a future Ferrari). I am sounding sexist; of course a car can inspire your little Danica Patrick or Lella Lombardi wannabes too. Have fun with the bed and let it inspire the rest of the room. In this case the car is parked in swinging London. An overnight pit stop here with a hideaway loft overhead has all the fun of a motor speedway. A wall mural is a simpler way to put hot rods into context. Let you child count down the years until that driver's test with a mural of your hometown (in this case Atlanta). Canopy beds were invented to keep out cold drafts hundreds of years ago and royalty enjoyed them. Today they are still fit for a little princess. Nautical style can give bunk beds a boat‐cabin feel; a porthole window and marine lights add to the look. Bunk beds can take on all kinds of structures. Secret treehouse fort meets sleepy time in these tucked‐away bunk beds.
Leave your shoes at the door. Now that your bedroom is clutter‐free and clean it's time to commit to keeping it that way. Start a no‐shoes policy – in your whole house if you can but at least in the bedroom. Place a table or basket outside your bedroom door to remind you to drop work materials cell phones and other gadgets before entering your new zone of calm. Create an organic bed. If you are in need of a new mattress (and can afford to spring for it) by all means go for one of the wonderful organic versions on the market today. But if not that doesn't mean you can't green up your bed. Try topping your mattress with a natural mattress pad and adding organic pillows and sheets. Organic goods are so mainstream now they can be found at all price points. Consider the walls and floors. While it does take more effort than any of the previous steps addressing your walls and floors is an important part of creating a more ecofriendly bedroom. If you are looking to change the wall color seek out paint containing low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). If you have old peeling paint that may contain lead use caution and seek professional guidance for the best way to cover it. For the floor I recommend choosing hard flooring over wall‐to‐wall carpeting which is notoriously difficult to clean and tends to contain VOCs. If you already have wall‐to‐wall carpeting in place you can choose to have it removed or simply cover much of it with a natural fiber area rug. Choose the right color palette for your needs.
With a new school year upon us now is the perfect time to give that teen lair an overhaul – and hopefully eke out a bit of quality bonding time in the process. To make this a successful decorating experience it helps to keep an open mind about your teen's creative direction. Recognize that he or she has good ideas and at the same time set clear limits that work for you (a project budget paint but not wallpaper etc.) for results that will make both of you happy in the end. Start an ideabook and create a floor plan. Gather inspiration images and collect the best in an ideabook on Houzz. Just looking at all the images together should help clarify what your son or daughter wants. Once you have the general style nailed down sketch out ideas for the new floor plan. A taller‐than‐average bedside table can do double duty as a desk – a great space saver in a small room. Also think about adding a focal point over the headboard. A quirky sculpture artwork or a pretty textile are all good choices. Just be sure anything that could fall on the bed is very well secured and not too heavy. Think about color and lighting. Once you know the look you are after it's time to think about paint. Use extra‐large paint swatches or get sample‐size amounts to try out colors directly on the wall before buying enough for the whole room to avoid a misstep. Lighting can instantly make the biggest change in a room so now is also the time to create a lighting plan. Add ambience with café lights strung across the ceiling install a dimmer switch for an overhead fixture and don't forget proper task lighting for the homework area.
Envision a deeply restorative space. The best way to begin any design project is with a clear vision of your hopes for the end result. Take a moment to ponder what your ideal bedroom space would look like and how it would feel – the scent the textures the sounds. Create as clear a picture as you possibly can and hold that in your mind as you move forward with the project. Clean the air. Air quality affects health and wellness and poor air quality can impact sleep. The easiest way to clean the air in your bedroom is simply to open your windows. Commit to letting fresh air into your bedroom for at least 10 minutes each day and the air quality is sure to improve. To take it a step further you may want to add several potted plants and an air purifier. Limit technology and remove emotional clutter. When you visualized your ideal bedroom I'd wager that it wasn't filled with clutter or the tangle of wires dangling from your laptop. Giving yourself a break from tech devices at night will help promote deeper rest and is probably a good idea healthwise as well. Also take a moment to consider the things you have stored in your bedroom. Are there boxes of bills and paperwork that make your stomach knot each time you see them? Piles of clothes that no longer fit workout tools you don't use or photos of friends you have a tense relationship with? All of these things can contribute to stress and insomnia so out they must go. Clean thoroughly and naturally. Often our bedrooms fall way down to the bottom of our cleaning to‐do list simply because not many others have to see these private spaces.
However as I often remind myself that's no reason to settle for sloppy sleeping quarters. Here's a step‐by‐step guide to a well‐dressed pretty and polished bed. If you've got another great tip share it in the Comments below! Break out the iron. If you're anything like me you'd rather walk through Death Valley at high noon in a parka than put your iron to its intended use. (Full disclosure: The last time I unearthed mine it had cobwebs on it.) But pressed linens are crisp linens so face your nemesis. A standard ironing board is too small to handle sheets with ease – cover an inexpensive folding table or even a large sheet of plywood with heatproof foam or batting to give you more surface area to work with. Don't forget the bed skirt and shams while you're at it. Center and straighten the bedskirt. If your bed style doesn't require a skirt you can skip this step though you may want to invest in a box‐spring cover if your box spring is exposed. Pull the mattress pad smooth. Nothing ruins bedtime comfort faster than a lumpy bottom layer and pads are notorious for bunching in the center of the bed. Tuck the fitted sheet tightly. For optimal fit use an extra‐deep sheet if you have a pillow‐top or an especially tall mattress; otherwise a standard size should work fine. Pull it taut and tuck the edges beneath the mattress. Drape the flat sheet. Now the tricky part begins. Center the flat sheet on the bed with equal overhang on either side. Align the top edge with the top edge of the mattress.
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