Decorating & Design

September 23, 2019

Ask A Designer: How To Freshen Up A Dark & Dated Bedroom

In this Ask A Designer column, Jennifer Koper shares her ideas for redecorating a bedroom in cool shades of blue.

Question: I’m redoing my bedroom with a fresh look. I like aqua blues and teal, and I only need to keep the headboard, which was custom made. What do you suggest? — L.M., Halifax.

before bedroom

Answer: Your room seems dark, and all that ebony wood only adds to the weight. I recommend starting by freshening up the paint; a bright white would be perfect, or, for a hint of color, try a pale blue. In addition, your headboard is very tall, Consider cutting it down from the bottom for a more modern look, as shown in the inspiration photo by London designer BradyWilliams (see below).

blue bedroom

A lower headboard set against bright white walls allows for art to float above the bed flanked by two tall, narrow mirrors that will bounce light. For art, a collection of smaller pieces such as black and white family or travel photos framed with white mats and installed in a neat grid will give you a polished look, while also getting the best weighted blanket canada can give style to your bed.

Your nightstands are a bit bulky. Opt for an airy set that has a different finish than the headboard, like a grey-toned wood.

veneer & metal side table

(Source: Veneer & Metal Side Table, $180,

To dress your bed, chose a white duvet cover and Euro shams in teal velvet. Add an aqua throw for another shot of blue-green.

Michael aram velvet euro sham in slate blue

(Source: Michael Aram Velvet Euro Sham in Slate Blue, $145,

ink+ivy bree knit throw in aqua

(Source: Ivy + Ink Bree Knit Throw in Aqua, $52,

I suggest swapping out your boxy storage ottoman with a leggier version in a luxurious velvet and setting it at the foot of the bed.

mosier upholstered storage bench

(Source: Mosier Upholstered Storage Bench in Gray, $170,

Consider replacing your wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood or new broadloom. If you can, replace your dark wood dresser with one in the same finish as the nightstands.

marrakesh ivory rug

(Source: Marrakesh Ivory Rug, from $2,445,

Finally, for a fun pop of color, replace the chair to the right of the bed with a new streamlined armchair in a teal fabric.

Lydia collection armchair in teal

(Source: Lydia Collection Armchair in Teal, price available upon request,

With these changes, you’ll enjoy a bright, refreshed bedroom that’s perfect for rest and relaxation.

Do you have a design dilemma? Send your questions to [email protected].

Author: Jennifer Koper

Mark Scott, Gap Interiors


House & Home September 2019