How to brighten up a basement suite.
Q. I'd love some tips on how to make our basement bedroom feel more cosy.
— D.P., via email (To submit your own question, see our Ask A Designer™ page.)
A. Nothing says cosy quite like a quilt, and your bright and beautiful bedspread is the perfect jumping-off point for a lovely scheme.
Wallpapering only the wall behind your bed will give the room a strong focal point and an illusion of greater height, as in our Inspiration shot. Look for a small-scale print in a muted hue to bring interest without being overwhelming. I'd suggest Celano Vine in Aloe, Harbury Trellis in Aqua or Prescott Diamond in Sunlight (all shown) from Schumacher. Paint the other walls a soothing creamy neutral.
Your bed and side tables are on the modern side, but I think this space should be a bit more country. Plus, I find that low platform beds can amplify a subterranean feel. Choose a bed with a slipcovered headboard and tidy skirt,like the Vanvik (shown) from Ikea. Then, search vintage shops for a set of unique country-style side tables to replace your boxy ones. Don't worry if you find the tables but hate the finish — a quick coat of white paint will solve that problem!
Keep the table surfaces clear by installing a pair of wall-mounted lamps on either side of the bed. Robert Abbey's Real Simple 1836 Wall Swinger sconce (shown) has a matte black finish and white fabric shade that'll look great.
Finally, layer in more colour and pattern on your bed for an inviting bohemian feel. Spread a striped duvet over the entire bed and have your quilt folded at the foot. If you can't find a ready-made duvet cover, have one sewn in a fabric like Castle Lake in Linen (shown) from Robert Allen. A pair of Euro shams will finish the look nicely. Use a simple floral in a medium scale for these, like Romo Fabrics' Ava in Watermelon (shown) and in Honeydew.
When you can, introduce a carpet in a light-toned berber, like Elte's Chaplin Ivory or Kimble 1421 (both shown).
1. Wallpaper, from left: Celano Vine in Aloe, Harbury Trellis in Aqua, Prescott Diamond in Sunlight, Schumacher. 2. Carpet, from left: Chaplin Ivory, Kimble 1421, Elte. 3. Vanvik bed, Ikea. 4. Fabric, from left: Castle Lake in Linen, Robert Allen; Romo Fabrics Ava in Watermelon, Bilbrough & Co. 5. Robert Abbey Real Simple 1836 sconce, Click Lighting & Home.