August 26, 2011

Ask A Designer: Jazzing Up A Dull Bedroom

Q. I need a new look for my bedroom; I just moved in and it feels a bit drab. I’d like to make it fresher-looking. As far as furniture goes, I like the bed and want to work with it. Would a chest of drawers fit in the space? And do you have any suggestions for good reading lamps?

— S.J., London, Ont. (To submit your own question, see our Ask A Designer™ page.)

A. The simple retro shape of your upholstered headboard makes your bed the perfect jumping-off point. Let’s start by painting the walls. It might not sound very fresh, but I’m going to suggest you consider Embrace (P5246-34) (shown) by Para. Although it’s a grey, there’s a bit of blue in it, so it doesn’t feel dreary. However, if you’re worried, you could go with a warm butter yellow like First Serve (P5051-24D) (shown), also by Para.

Your headboard is rather dark, so look for bedding in lighter shades. DwellStudio’s Batavia Citrine (shown) is an updated, looser ikat in a sophisticated pale yellow and taupe palette that’ll complement either wall-colour option. Add some inexpensive and unfussy throw pillows, like this one from Bouclair (shown), to up the cosiness; its lemon hue will work with the bedding, and it’s solid, so the bed will look layered but not busy.

Bringing texture to a bedroom is a great way to add depth, like the woven headboard in our Inspiration shot. Since you don’t need a new headboard, use two handwoven wicker and rattan storage cubes as bedside tables; Crate & Barrel has some great ones.

Structube’s Vogue dresser (shown) offers lots of storage, and the white-lacquered finish and metal legs keep it visually light. I also like how streamlined it is without any hardware.

Wall-mounted lamps are great in a bedroom. Always a favourite of mine, Tolomeo’s Basculante Parete (shown) from Artemide has an adjustable polished-aluminum arm and a parchment-paper shade that diffuses light nicely. It’s a modern classic.

To soften the window, replace your blinds with a fabric roller and neutral linen wall-to-wall drapes hung from an iron rod installed tight to the ceiling. Finish the room with framed artwork or family photos over the bed.

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1. Tolomeo lamp, Artemide. 2. Impression throw pillow, Bouclair. 3. Batavia Citrine duvet set, DwellStudio. 4. Vogue chest, Structube. 5. Paint, from left: First Serve (P5051-24D), Embrace (P5246-34), Para Paints.