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.
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.
Trundle Beds Double Down on Style. I've always been partial to trundle beds. My childhood bedroom had a white iron daybed with a pop‐up trundle underneath and friends who slept over thought it was the coolest thing to have a "secret" bed that pulled out at a moment's notice. Originally designed as a sleeping pad for servants who remained by the family's side during the night trundles have evolved into a time‐honored solution for maximizing overnight quarters without taking up undue space. This trundle expands the functionality and spices up the design of a spare slim guestroom/office. The desk seems as though it would be more useful for storing nighttime reading than for doing actual work – you'd have to sit cross‐legged to type or write. Trundles don't always have to be concealed beneath a bedskirt or behind a drawer front. In this cheery eclectic bedroom the bright green of the bed frame is carried to the trundle box beneath left on display for another jolt of color. Here's another trundle right in the open. I like seeing the tiny hint of royal blue to break up all of the wood. What makes better use of space than bunk beds? Bunk beds with a pullout mattress underneath. This technique works especially well in vacation houses or for families who have relatives and friends visit frequently. Trundles beneath these twin beds double the room's sleeping capacity from two to four – a pretty nifty trick. Alternatively you could use the trundles for storage. Sleek and elegant this trundle blends so smoothly with the striated wood frame of the daybed that the handles are the only giveaway it's there at all. A trundle on rails pulls out and slides in smoothly and it's guaranteed to stay in place. What a great idea!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Repeat the pattern on twin or triplet beds. Here an electric paisley pattern repeated on three beds and window treatments enlivens the room. Use remnants for a unique patchwork design. Creative decorator Cherie Marcel didn't let her fabric samples go to waste; instead she used them to fashion a fabulous headboard. Allow the patterned headboard to be the star of the bedscape. Keep the duvet and shams solid and with minimal detailing like this hotel‐style bedding and use a minimal amount of coordinating throw pillows. Coordinate with a bed skirt or a bed platform to create continuity. Pay attention to the way the pattern relates to the headboard's shape. Here the vertical stripes emphasize the point at the top of the headboard. Note the way the stripes on the bed skirt and the headboard align. If you don't have a headboard create the illusion of one by hanging a quilt on the wall above the bed. It can cozy up a room and create interesting proportions with dramatic height.