Cream organdy curtains drape around the bed to cocoon this Beacon Hill bedroom in calm. (The same fabric and drapery treatment decorate the windows as well.) Bedding is white on white. Even the headboard exudes snowy white comfort with its tufted upholstery. A whisper of color emanates from the walls, painted a gentle dove-gray. When the design goal is quiet, classic beauty, white is a best bet palette.

Interior design: Chris Drake and Lee Bierly

Walls painted the color of palm fronds lend a tropical mood appropriate for the master bedroom in this Florida home. But without overkill. The room is kept pretty, not theme-ish, thanks to a shapely white-painted bed and other white wood furnishings. All artwork is botanical for a breath of spring that nails the design as fresh. The botanicals’ white backgrounds and frames contrast with the green walls for a near-perfect pop that stops well short of explosive. Bedding is feminine—note the scalloped-edge white pillows, which are outlined in green welting, and the full bed skirt whose pattern matches the upholstered headboard.

Interior design: Elizabeth “Betsy” Speert

Art is arguably the most personal, and subjective, design decision you’ll ever make. Artworks for the bedroom can be more light-hearted and whimsical than those displayed in other rooms, to ensure a proper dose of “pretty.” Really, they’re for your eyes only, so if the pieces make you happy, mission accomplished. The botanicals displayed in this Florida bedroom imbue the space with a soft decorative flourish.

Tip: Arrange an art collection to wrap around the top of your bed. By defining your bed (especially if it has an unusual shape), the art dramatizes it.

Interior design: Elizabeth “Betsy” Speert

As your ultimate private escape, the bedroom demands decorating that showcases your favorite personal “things.” Its success can be gauged by how well it incorporates the collections, art, furnishings, and fabrics that speak to who you are. The master bedroom in this New York City apartment brings some of the owner’s most important American folk art paintings and collectibles to her bedside. The signed 1812 John Brewster Jr. portrait above the bed, in fact, is currently on loan to the Museum of American Folk Art. The khaki-colored modern upholstered custom bed is a modern and neutral counterpoint to the antique artworks.

Interior design: Eric Cohler

The bedroom you just saw in the previous slide includes a brilliant bonus: pocket doors that slide open to command a view of the adjoining library. This means that the owners’ favorite “things” aren’t limited to the bedroom’s conservative square footage. Other beloved collections including American Indian pottery and books are part of the bedroom’s view. Note: Even the TV is perfectly positioned on the library’s bookshelves for watching in bed.

Interior design: Eric Cohler

Damask drapery panels jumpstarted this bedroom design in the Junior League of Boston Showhouse. The fabric’s icy color established the room’s blue and gray palette as well as the its soft, luminous feel. Designer Laura Glen created a focal point with a wall-mounted corona from which blue-and-gray checked silk cascades down to cradle a white, Swedish-style headboard, upholstered in a stripe that reinforces the room’s pale scheme. The design’s cool Nordic beauty extends to the bed’s plump layers of pillows encased in white cotton with minimal blue embroidered accents.

Interior design: Laura Glen

Designer Laura Glen upped the glamour in her bedroom designed for the Junior League of Boston Showhouse with a tall, silver-leafed screen. Placed in the corner of the room to hide a radiator and pipes, the screen bounces light and reinforces the shimmery mood introduced by the damask draperies, starting-point of the design. A secondhand chair covered in the same silk check as the bed’s canopy features a flirty, short pleated skirt to complete the feminine theme.

Interior design: Laura Glen

Soft sage green walls set the stage for a master bedroom designed to exude natural beauty. The organic theme is expressed underfoot with a natural-fiber area rug from Van Dyke. An unframed painting by the homeowner’s mother is centered above a white-upholstered chair for a clean, understated elegance.

Interior design: Leah Richardson

The natural-style decorating in this Florida home extends to the master bedroom’s window treatments. Simple drapery panels in a neutral solid color are underscored by beautifully grained bamboo roller blinds that filter the bright southern sun. In addition to their functional purpose, the blinds contribute to the room’s textural mix of organic materials. A four-poster British Colonial-style bed feels at home in the coastal environment.

Interior design: Leah Richardson

An under-the-eaves bedroom with limited space makes the most of every inch with a design that’s sleek, sensual, and packed with surprise. The first is underfoot. The wood floor is painted with an unexpected oversize diamond pattern whose large scale actually expands the perception of space. Touch-me lamb’s-wool pillows add a sensual accent atop the bed. Stationing the bed in front of the windows utilizes space wisely, as does placement of a glam French-style mirrored dresser in the dormer niche.

Interior design: Robert Wrubel and Carmina Renedo

Designed for the Pilgrim Hall Museum Showhouse in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the compact under-the-eaves bedroom by Robert Wrubel and Carmina Renedo lives large and lovely. A variety of clear blues blends with creams and taupes in a serene and space-enhancing scheme. A Lucite table lets in the light and presents minimal mass. Along with a streamlined chaise, it attends to the need for an area other than the bed for reading and lounging.

Interior design: Robert Wrubel and Carmina Renedo

Touted as the favorite color of the majority of people, blue beautifies this bedroom from top to bottom—literally. Designer Chris Benson, who designed the space for the Junior League of Boston Showhouse, left virtually no surface untouched by blue. She daubed the defining color on the ceiling and carpet; glued it to the walls as a paper patterned in a delicate Chinese landscape; finished off the furnishings with a blue velvet ottoman. She even painted her custom tester bed pale blue.

Interior design: Chris Benson

Baby blue looks all grown up in this Junior League of Boston Showhouse bedroom designed by Chris Benson. The fragile Chinese landscape depicted in the traditional blue wallpaper contrasts with the sharp-edged modern shape of a Parsons-style desk, finished with cream-colored stria. The desk serves as a platform for a contemporary painting in a shade of blue that almost disappears into the wallpaper behind it. An 18th-century French caned desk chair brings the design back to a more traditional bent.

Interior design: Chris Benson

A well-designed bedroom bears looking at, again and again. The master bedroom’s wall of variously sized convex mirrors in this Traditional Home’s Built for Women Showhouse assures a second look—and a third and a fourth. Defining the wall behind the bed as a focal point, the mirrors’ reflective sparkle adds a note of glamour while staying safely within the realm of traditional style (not too Hollywood “out there”). Black frames on the mirrors also relate to the black bed and black curtain rod, making this dark shade the accent that binds the design.

Interior design: Barbara Westbrook

The master bedroom of Academy Award winning actor Sidney Poitier is a gilt-dipped design fit for a star. Decorated by his wife, Joanna, it continues the formal traditional style of the public rooms with its rich velvets and silks and glowing gilded wood. The bed is the pièce de résistance: gilded classical architectural columns tower towards the ceiling where they are met by a bridge of lavishly carved crown molding for a one-of-a-kind headboard. In the space between the columns, an ornate gilded mirror is flanked by gold-leafed sconces.

Interior design: Joanna Poitier

Venetian plaster walls and warm desert light bathe the master bedroom of this Arizona house in a gentle golden glow. The design pays tribute to its Southwestern locale with a Native American-style kiva fireplace and displays of pottery, but elements like the wing chair, Oriental rug, and nailhead-studded antique leather trunk provide a traditional appeal that’s more universal.

Tip: In any region with a strong decorating style of its own, it’s fine to honor that style but it’s even better to enlarge it, including more universal features to help the style wear well without becoming tiresome or clichéd.

Interior design: Patty Burdick

This St. Louis home’s beautiful master bedroom is a celebration of beautiful proportions. The architecture is just right, from the dimensions of the coved ceiling to how the ceiling relates to the scale of the small-pane casement windows. The sweep of the poster bed conquers vertical space with just spot-on precision, and the bench at the foot of the bed adds necessary weight to keep the room balanced. Note how the chandelier’s large scale but delicate form is exactly what is needed.

Interior design: Marshall Watson

For a fun and idea-filled look at bedroom decorating, take a peek at our presentation of Pillow Talk.

 

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Beauty in the Bedroom

Ideas for making your bedroom beautiful

Written and produced by Candace Ord Manroe
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Touted as the favorite color of the majority of people, blue beautifies this bedroom from top to bottom—literally. Designer Chris Benson, who designed the space for the Junior League of Boston Showhouse, left virtually no surface untouched by blue. She daubed the defining color on the ceiling and carpet; glued it to the walls as a paper patterned in a delicate Chinese landscape; finished off the furnishings with a blue velvet ottoman. She even painted her custom tester bed pale blue.

Interior design: Chris Benson

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