Elevating the Unloved Bedroom by

Issue 95 · Gothic Influence · October 24, 2013

Elevating the Unloved Bedroom

Issue 95 · Gothic Influence · October 24, 2013

Bedrooms are often the least loved rooms in the house; it's all too easy to leave their decoration for last, focusing first on more public areas of the home. But the joy of bedrooms is that they rarely require a complete overhaul; often, a little attention—via a few cushions, table lamps, and the right coat of paint—can transform a bedroom overnight.

Here, seven of our favorite designers (many of whom are members of our Architect/Designer Directory) share their tips and tricks for taking the bedroom to the next level. Their polished boudoirs have several things in common: They all start with a timeless, easy-to-update bed, a single great bedspread or blanket, and a fresh coat of paint in a calming hue. From there, cushions, reading lamps, and framed artwork seal the deal.

Ben Pentreath Old World Bedroom with Twin Beds and Map and Beadboard Paneling, Remodelista

Above: London designer Ben Pentreath believes bedrooms are places of retreat and should be painted in neutral shades of off-white and gray. Here, he added a wall of beadboard paneling to cover an unsightly chimney, creating a cabin feel in the room. 

Calm Rustic Bedroom with Linen Sheets and Burlap Curtains by Geremia Design, Remodelista

Above: This modern, rustic bedroom by Lauren Geremia of Geremia Design fits a couple who travel constantly and love the outdoors. Says Geremia, "We chose art, furniture, and finishings that are harmonious with a nature lover’s lifestyle."

GoHausGo "Before" Bedroom Photo, Remodelista

Above: Blogger Emily May of GoHausGo updated her own bedroom. Here, the "before" photo.

GoHausGo Modern Colorful Bedroom with Floral Bedspread and White Bed Furniture, Remodelista

Above: The "after." Says May, "For me, the bedroom really started to work when I began to embrace its difficult features (the large off-center window, the fireplace, the orange-y oak laminate). I won't even tell you how long I tiptoed around those items!" Once she made peace with the room's quirks, her task became easier. "Finally, I threw up my hands and used the large window as the focal point behind the bed (with strategically placed curtains to hide the asymmetry), painted and added logs to the fireplace, and picked colors that complemented the floors."

SIMO Design Bedroom with Dark Wood Floors and White Sheets with Purple Wool Throw, Remodelista

Above: This bedroom by SIMO Design makes deft use of a common recommendation for bedrooms—to limit variety in color. Dark blue nightstands and rug, black-and-white artwork and lamps, and a purple-gray throw and shams make the room look polished but still calm.

2 Michaels Bedroom "Before" Photo, Remodelista

Above: The "before" photo of a bedroom in need of help from New York City designers 2Michaels Design.

2Michaels Bedroom with Gray Fabric Headboard and Noguchi Lamp, Remodelista

Above: The "after." Their client wanted a crisp, fresh bedroom but wanted to avoid an overly "decorated" look. Says designer Jayne Michaels, "The bedside tables don't match, neither do the lamps. The combination of light wood furniture and pale Swedish colors pulls the room together organically."

Western Style Bedroom by Howells Architecture in Portland with Pendleton Blanket, Remodelista

Above: Architect Michael Howells of Howells Architecture + Design in Portland, OR, believes the crucial bedroom element is the bed itself. Says Howells, "A well-made bed spruces up a room instantly. Add a patterned blanket if the rest of the room is muted. Contrast keeps things interesting." Photo by David Agnello.

"Before" Bedroom Photo, Remodelista

Above: A bedroom-to-be awaiting a renovation by Dash Marshall in NYC. Says the architect of his clients, "They had too much stuff and wanted to be able to live in serenity, without being reminded of their earthly possessions on a daily basis."

Minimalist All White Modern Bedroom by Dash Marshall, Remodelista

Above: Marshall wrapped the bedroom in walls of built-in storage so that everything has its place. The resulting bright, über-minimal space won the award for Best Professionally Designed Bedroom in our Considered Design Awards.

Have an opinion? Care to comment? We'd love to hear what you have to say.