November 28, 2008
How To Warm Up A Stark Bedroom
Q. Our principal bedroom in our new home is stark and empty-looking. Walls and carpet are neutral in colour, our bedroom set is dark cherry and the bedding is white. We get lots of light from a wall of windows. How can I make our bedroom feel cozier and less institutional-looking? I would like to do something with chocolate brown and I am thinking of hanging black and white photos. Help!
— J.W., Rockwall, Ont.
A. The easiest way to make your bedroom feel cozy and comfortable is to introduce more texture, layers and details to the space.
Layering pillows on your bed as you would see in a plush hotel suite (two euros at the back then four standard and one boudoir) will give your room a luxe, welcoming feeling. White pillow shams with classic, hotel style stitching in chocolate brown would work well with your current all-white bedding and help to incorporate chocolate brown into the space. Add another textural layer to your bed by topping it with a soft quilted coverlet that can be folded at the foot of your bed when not in use.
For added texture and interest, consider placing an area rug over top the existing carpet under your bed and bedside tables. Choose a rug with a neutral background that has a pattern in muted browns or sage green. If you don’t already have drapery that you are happy with, think about purchasing panels in luxurious pleated silk in a taupey brown to add drama and more luxurious texture to the space.
I’m not sure what you have for lighting in the space, but interesting table lamps in a warm finish will add interest. Consider handsome, boxy lamps that have a classic contemporary look and geometric lines.
Your idea of hanging framed photography in your room is a good one. However, if you are concerned with the space appearing too stark, sepia tone photography will appear a touch softer and warmer than black and white. Look for a series of three similar-themed framed photographs to hang above or on the wall next to your bed.
Finally, if your space doesn’t feel filled up enough with your current bedroom furniture, consider adding a sitting and reading area in one corner, preferably by the window. Place a comfortable armchair in the corner that works best, along with a small side table in dark cherry topped with a pharmacy style reading lamp in antique brass. With these simple pieces, you’ll create a welcoming spot for curling up with a cup of tea and a good book.