Don't let the sloped ceilings and awkward architecture of the attic throw you off – with a little know‐how you can transform this often‐underused space into cozy sleeping quarters. Whether you're in need of a guest bedroom or simply want a brand‐new space for yourself check out the following professional tips for setting up a fabulous attic retreat. Arrange your furniture carefully. "Factor in space to sit and stand around main pieces of furniture like sofas chests and desks” says interior designer Meredith Heron. "Be sure to place the bed somewhere that you can get in and out comfortably.” Use sloped ceilings wisely. "Dormers are great for window seats desks or reading nooks” says Heron. "These types of activities don't require ceiling height so where things are constricted they provide extra function to that space.” If you're short on storage built‐in shelving is another wise use of the space where a sloped ceiling meets the floor. Consider skylights when arranging your layout. Do you like to read the morning paper in bed? Place your bed beneath the skylights. If you'd prefer natural light while getting ready for the day arrange your space so your vanity sits under the windows.
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.
Campaign furniture has become such a well‐loved interior element that it's easy to forget its workhorse roots. Developed for field use during military campaigns these pieces – chests tables desks and more – are easy to break down or fold flat so they were convenient to transport as soldiers migrated along with battle lines. Although there's a strong market for antique campaign pieces modern reproductions are just as popular and perhaps none more so than the Italian campaign canopy bed. This shapely style burst into the spotlight some years ago when retail giant Anthropologie debuted its interpretation and launched an instant classic. Unlike traditional British and French campaign furnishings which tend toward heavy woods and decorative flourishes this wrought iron bed has a spare profile that belies its imposing presence in a room. Whether you pile it with fabric and pillows or take the minimalist approach to bedding it mingles well with any decor. It's hard to get this bed style wrong – there's just something about it that defies design blunders. Although draping fabric over the canopy of an Italian campaign bed softens the look its svelte gently sloping lines look especially striking when left bare. Modern and minimalist spaces call for an unadorned canopy but you could take either approach in a more traditional room. This bed showcases the draped look to artful effect and prevents the otherwise spare room from feeling hollow. Imagine this bedroom without the campaign bed. The bed acts as an elegant anchor that adds structure to the space. A white finish lightens up the bed frame making it ideal for a young girl's room.
This gray and pink room is perfect for a sweet little baby girl. But switch out that crib and add some toy storage and it's also perfect for a growing girl. The books and knickknacks on the shelf will change but the bright colors multipurpose furniture and neutral walls and floors can grow and morph until college. A black wall makes for a very sophisticated nursery (with lot of opportunity for bright pops of color). Use chalkboard paint and this becomes the perfect graffiti wall for ages 2 to 18. Another black accent wall in a nursery. With the classic Eames rocker and the simple neutral decor this baby room could could last through college. Bright walls and fun patterns make sense for a long time. The black and white ceiling stripes stimulate an infant's brain and they still make sense for a teenager who wants to turn the room into a punk rock palace. More classic furniture combined with bright color. The Frames wallpaper by Taylor & Wood transforms the wall into an interactive constantly changing canvas.
You can find old painted shutters at any salvage shop. Just remember to seal them before using them as a headboard. Unpainted shutters add to the earthy exotic feel of this room. A large framed piece of corkboard does double duty as a bulletin board and as a ... well as a headboard. Hurray for pallets! They are often free (check first before taking) and they make excellent places to hang stuff on as well. Old fireplace mantels are salvage shop treasures that frame a simple upholstered headboard beautifully. In many places earthquakes prevent hanging anything remotely heavy over the bed (lest it fall on someone's head during the next tembler). This fabric art looks like an extension of the plain nearly invisible headboard here and adds a danger‐free way to decorate the wall.
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.
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.
Think of a classic color palette for a young boy's bedroom and you probably imagine navy and denim blues reds khakis and tans and dark wood accents. And while there's a reason so many boys' spaces default to those hues (they're cheery yet masculine and they work for all ages) a less expected palette can feel just as appropriate. Check out the fresh fun examples below. Cocoa brown and turquoise punch up this lively boy's space. The zebra‐print rug and striped wall treatment are kid friendly yet sophisticated and they'll still look up‐to‐date when the stuffed animals give way to sports gear and electronic equipment. Here's another variation on that same color scheme. Because it's limited to just one wall the robot‐print wallpaper would be easy to strip and replace with a more adult pattern down the road. Hot orange sparks this otherwise neutral boy's bedroom. Orange is a terrific color for kids – it's youthful and energetic but not at all childish. This orange white and gray palette gives a sports theme a chic spin. It's proof that you don't have to drench your room in the colors of your favorite team to show your spirit. Red and khaki look fresh all over again with a liberal dose of black. Mod accents such as these pendant lights are often winners in a kids' space – they have an inherent whimsy that suits young ones well. This chocolate and citron palette takes its cue from tennis balls. The round accent pillows are an especially fun touch. Tangerine safety‐cone orange and neon green combine for a zesty zippy toddler's space.