Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tips for a Bedroom Oasis

For so long we used to focus solely on areas of the house that we use for entertaining- think kitchen, living room, dining room. Master bedrooms were just a place we would go for a few hours of sleep between our jam-packed workdays. It's no wonder that we don't feel rested. There is nothing restful or relaxing about spending time in a room that is in disarray, has a hodge podge of furniture and is painted a bland shade of beige.  Finally the bedroom takes center stage. It is becoming a priority over other ares of the home.  We crave a space we can go to when we want to shut out the rest of the world, unwind, and be ourselves. Here are a few ways we can achieve that on any budget:

-Create a focal wall at the head of the bed. Typically, I am against accent walls but not in this case. I think back to the last hotel I stayed in- the Marriott in Indianapolis- the entire wall that backed the headboards was covered in a gorgeous wallcovering. The wall created drama and made the beds the focal point of the room. That same concept applies to our personal bedrooms. We always make the bed the focal point with beautiful bedding, so let's take it a step further and compliment that bedding with a bold paint color or a stunning wallpaper. The goal is to say "wow" whenever you walk into the room. A focal wall can fit any budget.  The cost of primer and paint to cover just one wall is a minimal $50- $100. Wallcoverings vary in cost but only a small amount is needed so it's cost effective compared to covering a whole room and would likely run about $500 or less to complete.

- Incorporate a headboard with personality. Headboards allow for so much creativity. The options range from a beautiful stained wood to scrolling ironwork to a stately upholstered piece. The important thing to remember is that the headboard needs to make sense with your personal style and with the feel of the space. In bedrooms that can't spare the space a headboard requires, I've seen unique ideas like painting one on the wall (think trompe l'oeil) or taking an old door and attaching it to the wall above the bed. Both are great options since there's no extra space required to attach it to the bed frame. Depending on your skill level and your familiarity with Pinterest, you could make a headboard out of wood or fabric for $300-$500. If you are lucky enough to have an old door lying around that just needs a little paint makeover, your budget could be less than $100.

-Pillows! Shams and throw pillows are a major part of creating a luxurious bedroom. I recently took simple white shams and had them monogrammed with large black letters to dress up my bed. Layering those with smaller toss pillows from Home Goods and a custom covered bolster with a bold pattern on it completed the bed. Mixing custom pillows with inexpensive ones makes the project easy on the wallet and on the eyes.  The average cost of a project like this is $100.

- Have a foundation. There is nothing worse than hopping out of bed in the morning and landing on a cold floor. Brrrr! Be sure your new bedroom oasis includes a rug that feels good underfoot. Beyond the extra steps of warmth it affords you, it offers another layer to complete the room. The colors and pattern in the rug should serve as the foundation for the space. Make the right choice here and build everything else around it. The fiber content and size of the rug will typically dictate the price. Wool will be more costly than a man made fiber but it is worth the splurge. An average 8x10 costs $700-$900.

- Dress your windows. The most forgotten element of a room is window treatments. Walk into any house and look at the windows. Chances are they are stark naked! Don't let the same be said about your master bedroom. Much like a rug, fabric treatments on the windows are another way to incorporate color and pattern into the space.  The entire room should feel like it was well-thought out and put together with care. That said, well-thought out does not have to equal big bucks.  Many times drapery panels found at local home stores can serve your purpose. Be sure to take the panels from floor to ceiling to make the window and the room feel larger. This is especially helpful if you have crown molding because it draws the eye to that architectural detail. Most retailers offer varying lengths of panels so finding the right height for your window shouldn't be an issue. But if it is, you can add additional fabric to the bottom to lengthen the panel and it creates the color block look that is popular right now. Store bought treatments often cost $50 per panel. If the sky is the limit for your project, I recommend having motorized shades installed under your draperies. With one push of a button you can lower all the shades and block out light for a good night's (or day's) sleep. These treatments can run upwards of $700 per shade depending on the size of the windows in the bedroom.

-Veer away from matching sets. Resist your urge to pluck the entire bedroom suite off the showroom floor. Instead be more creative. Use small chests and interesting side tables in place of ordinary nightstands. Thrift stores can be your best friend for smaller furniture items with a unique twist for $200-$500 each.  Mix and match pieces with purpose. The key is to have elements of continuity among all the pieces whether that be wood tone, hand painted features, or coordinating drawer pulls.  If you are looking for a must-have piece, I suggest buying a dresser with a mirror that also houses your TV. Flat screens have done wonders for the modern world and now they offer a solution to the debate between husband and wife about the television sitting on the dresser. Simply slide the flat screen into the designated opening on the side of the mirror and with a click of a button allow the mirror to go transparent and the TV to be viewed. When the time comes you can click the button again and the reflective quality returns to the glass.  As you can imagine these dressers are not inexpensive and can cost $3000 or more depending on the furniture maker.

Any one of these changes can create an impact on their own, so certainly implementing all of them would completely transform a space. For smaller budgets, prioritize the changes you want to make and work your way through the list as money allows.

Excerpts from this post can be found in the May 2012 issue of Kentucky Living magazine

No comments:

Post a Comment