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.
Tuck it under a low ceiling. A sloped ceiling helps to occupy some of the visual space that a tall headboard and piles of pillows would. Buttress it with furniture. This bed backs up to an integrated shelf and bench unit that makes the long narrow space seem snug. Orienting the bed against a wall also enhances the enveloping feel. Keep the scale large. In a tiny room even a double or queen‐size bed will feel massive and oversize scale translates to a feeling of comfort and warmth. You'll need enough room to walk on either side so don't squeeze it in too tightly. Stay low to the ground. A mattress that sits on the floor feels just right for curling up and lounging. Frame it with a four‐poster. Without canopies testers or other draped fabric treatments four‐poster beds can feel wonderfully spare. This one provides a visual framework that helps to create a cozy sense of boundaries. Warm it with color. Vivid tomato red keeps this floating bed from feeling sterile. Layer in texture. Nubby tactile linens and surfaces help to prevent a minimalist bed from feeling flat and one‐dimensional. Combine three or four textural yet comfortable elements such as the woven rug wooden planking and feathery plant in this space. Keep the color scheme basic to preserve the stripped‐down sensibility.
Try tailored and tucked‐in bunks. Without losing the getaway‐home element this room has a much more tailored look than most bunk rooms. The bedding is simple and tucked in tightly. The tone on tone of whites gives the room a clean and serene feel. Curtains are neatly stacked with a dense fabric. To get this look with a lighter fabric have the curtains lined with a heavier solid material to complement the pattern you are working with. Better yet give your guest bunkers a treat by lining the curtains with blackout fabric. Mix it up. Mismatched bedding can transform the feeling of a bunk room. When beds are snuggled into a small hallway or attic finding not a single matching sheet blanket or pillow brings you back to childhood when the cabin was heaven for old linens dishes and furniture that weren't being used at home. To create this look resist the urge to buy sets. See a pillow you like? Just grab it and continue your hunt. Visit antiques stores and look for old wool blankets and quilts. One trip to the dry cleaner and they're ready for bed.
A footboard this unique needs some spiced‐up artwork. Here two natural wood planks echo the shape and orientation of the bed but add a little curve to the formality of the frame. Another benefit: Those planks fill the tall angled wall from bed to ceiling and lead your eye toward the expansive space above. Traditional artwork would have left an awkward large white area. If you have a print you really love combine it with other accents for interest. This combination of artwork a horizontal architectural piece beautifully textured wallpaper and a great light fixture makes for an eye‐catching collection. If you have a long and low headboard think about bringing a vertical element into the space for height. These hanging glass bubbles are the perfect contrast to the long flat line of the headboard. Here's another option for spicing up your headboard. Hang art over a portion of the headboard and add a little DIY art to the wall behind. These two additions keep things visually interesting and unpredictable. Sometimes all a headboard needs is a little asymmetry. Here a small print balances the bed as part of a simple asymmetrical arrangment. The black and white print and frame complement the colors and shape of the bed.
Accessories are seldom bought all at once. Often they are a mixture of new and old – they add character to your room and say as much about you as the colors and style you have chosen. However don't underestimate their importance in styling or in practicality. A mismatched or incorrectly placed piece could destroy the look you have been trying to achieve or hinder your day‐to‐day use of the room. If you have a traditional bedroom think vintage‐inspired accessories and textiles rather than chrome and high gloss. Go for crisp white cotton sheets with a statement throw and matching cushions sparkling crystal and pretty flowers vintage mirrors and lighting and definitely some vintage rugs. A plush chair. If you have the space make sure you have a comfy chair to retreat to when chaos reigns elsewhere in your home. I love the way the stripes used here reflect the light from the Venetian blinds. Stripes are a good choice for traditional styling and neutral colors suit both men and women. Stripes and florals were made for each other so add a pretty floral cushion in matching tones and you'll have a spot you both love. Extra mirrors. Mirrors are a practical necessity in any bedroom but try to think creatively when positioning them. The mirrors above the bedside tables here reflect the light from the window and will also look pretty when the bedside lamps are on. If your room isn't very wide they'll also add depth. A posy vase. No traditional bedside table is complete without a posy vase. Fill it with fragrant sweet peas or simple country garden blooms and they'll be sure to lift your spirits when the alarm goes off.
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.
Skylights often come into play as do white walls and floors. Built‐ins help with space constraints as do funny little closets and bathrooms that make use of seemingly impossible angles. There is something undeniably romantic about an attic bedroom. No matter what the style it has an away‐from‐it‐all feeling. Even with a low ceiling an attic room can feel open and airy. White paint helps a lot. So do built‐in cabinets and drawers for hiding clutter. This feminine beauty uses the odd angles to their best advantage – the chandelier is hung to emphasize the height of the ceiling while the space is kept cozy with low furniture floor pillows and wallpaper that extends to every wall. White and bright. The skylight provides the sunlight but the paint color provides the expansive feeling. A white floor is an easy way to lighten a room while taking advantage of the beautiful texture of the original old wood. This saunalike wood paneling keeps the attic‐y feeling while creating a fresh space. Just add furniture. White white and more white and then one big splash of color. So simple and so elegant. You could have a lot of good dreams in this room. One accent wall of horizontal wood paneling accentuates the architecture in this weirdly shaped room but also keeps things simple and spare. Hey if you've got it flaunt it.
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.
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