Bold Design, Bold Colors for a Bold Bedroom Space.


Who says bedrooms must be done in pastels. This master bedroom brings many bold ideas together for a strong but restful space. Although the square footage for this room is not large, the bold patterns and colors create a welcoming environment.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the components. Pattern Mixing which includes wallcovering, drapery fabric, plaid bed throw plus the chair fabric is the strongest message from this room.

Design patterns of the wall covering and drapery fabric both have a similar curved design which creates continuity in the room. The addition of the red in the drapery fabric adds spice and warmth to the space plus it gives other areas of the room more colors to use.  

The mahogany colored bed frame is replicated in the ceiling, window, and fireplace trims. This creates a warm and cohesive feeling with the paint color being the “binder” feeling to the room. Now we can go forward with additional creativity. The plaid throw on the bed is a wonderful pattern mix to the other room colors and adds a little bit of “wow.” Don’t be afraid to mix plaids, florals, botanical or contemporary designs together. The key is the color groupings need to be similar.

The feeling of the room is traditional which is highlighted with the gold drapery hardware along with the mirror frame style. The addition of the traditional chest next to the bed is another nod to a traditional/eclectic space. But what might we change creating a more cohesive space? How about painting the ceiling color a very soft ivory/beige or maybe a soft gray/beige depending on the actual colors in the wallcovering for additional depth to the room? And although we cannot see the entire bed area…. more pillows created from the many colors in the room would be a good place to gather patterns and tones.


Addressing the seating area near the fireplace we see a warm and cozy area to read, have a glass of wine, and enjoy time before bed. Although all the wonderful elements from the bed area have mostly been replicated, a few changes might be made. Depending on budget, the etagere/bookcase to the right of the fireplace could appear to have a more custom look. A custom piece would be the entire width of the alcove although not necessarily the full height. A replication of the bed trim/color design might be incorporated plus gold tone touches from the drapery/mirror hardware as well as using details of the wallcovering thus creating a custom wall alcove with all the special design details of the room.   

The fabric on the chairs at the end of the bed might be changed out to be a stronger color tone and more in line with the colors already in the room. Perhaps an intensity (strength of color) more in line with other tones in the room would add to a feeling of consistency.

And of course, a few books, a dazzling fire and a glass of wine create a room for retiring. Go ahead, be creative and give each of your rooms your own design styles.

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Bold Patterns in Small Spaces

Image: House Beautiful Magazine

Many of us were taught design options for small rooms such as a powder room were limited to neutral paint colors and small wall covering patterns.

As times and designs have changed, so have these tired design ideas. Many homes now are being built or remodeled with the powder room used as a guest toilette area with bathrooms used for the family members.

Our blog photo from House Beautiful shows a powder room which rejects all the old design tenants replacing them with new bold colors and strong wall covering patterns.

  • Color selections are also updated using leaf green, eggplant and Tiffany blue creating the basic palette.
  • The tones in the wall covering are cooler meaning there is less warm or yellow/orange in the color range and the tones are very clear and clean.

Details are what make a small room design a success or not. This is where hiring a design consultant for a few hours will help create a true design success.

Where might I go wrong you ask…

  • Consider the selection of the stone sink surround, the fixtures, sink cabinet and sconces.  If visualizing the big picture of the finished space doesn’t come easily for you, you may choose these items based on your color and finish preference.  Perhaps you like a warm beige stone and oil rubbed bronze fixtures. If these choices are selected, you have a small space with both warm and cool tones creating a non-cohesive feeling.
  • A large-scale wall covering print in a small space creates a sense of warmth. A small-scale print feels busier and a little claustrophobic. Our design goal is a feeling of warmth and inclusion.  Each room has an atmosphere…. a message to those who enter…about its purpose.

Remember to let the space/room convey to your guest a sense of welcome. Go ahead, be creative and create your own splendor in a small space. Remember love is in the details!!

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Contemporary and Colorful

Pillow Galleria Blog #27 Contemporary and Colorful
Image: William Waldron

Many of us are true friends of the contemporary style. The photograph above from Elle Décor shows a contemporary space softened and warmed with neutral materials and rich paint colors. Contemporary styling means clean and simple lines to the room and furnishings. Light and dark neutrals plus glass and chrome evoke this style for most of us…leaving us often with a cool feeling. This room, however, uses clean and simple lines along with warm colors in the room itself and the furnishings for a more updated description of contemporary.

The walls are paneled in a warm toned wood. As you can see by the cuts on the panel faces, each is cut to the exact same size creating a measured and connected feeling to the space. Rather than add another textural element for window coverings the same cut panel size and material is continued on the windows. When the window panels are closed a seamless and consistent look is created.

The flooring is a short nap (height) carpet with a soft wavy line design across the width. The color tone from the wall/window paneling is carried through to create a very warm and color consistent “envelope” for the room.  Now with the surfaces designed in a consistent color palette, other elements can be shown attention. The ceiling continues the warm look painted a butternut color in a flat finish which absorbs the light coming from the windows.  

Because the room is small, the accessories are themselves smaller in scale and not meant to be the focal point, just an enhancement to the space. Reading lamps are on the wall, the pillows on the neutral colored sofa are also of neutral patterns with just the one piece replicating the color of the ceiling in the trim.  The coffee table/bench is perhaps the most visually forward of the accessories with its contemporary squared pattern of butternut and tomato red tones.

The design elements we have discussed above seem very consistent with a contemporary style.  However, we might pay some attention to changes of the two chairs. The blue/gray chair nearer the window has a very high back which works well as a contemporary addition to the room.  The back, however, would be equally effective if it were 6-7” shorter.

Rather than the traditional style wood frame chair, a textural selection perhaps woven leather in a lighter color and still small in scale would continue the contemporary feeling of the room.

It has often been said smaller spaces are the most difficult to design well to create a unified and cohesive feeling.  So, go ahead and create a space where you would love to spend your relaxing and restful time. Enjoy the process and remember, love is in the details.  

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