Category Archives: Bedroom Design
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
While most people have a general idea of the way they want their bedroom to look, many use the wrong words when trying to describe this vision to other people. While minor differences in terminology go mostly unnoticed when talking amongst friends, the same words carry distinctly different meanings to professionals in the design community. To help you nail down the terminology, we’re going to discuss contemporary, modern, and traditional design and the main differences between each.
Contemporary design, also called transitional design, can be described as a mix of modern and traditional design. Unlike modern design, which describes a specific style from a particular era, contemporary design embodies what is “in” today. Indeed, the word contemporary means “with the time, “or “modern, characteristic of the present.” Contemporary can even be further described in terms of its geography. Thus, today’s contemporary design in California may be very different from today’s contemporary design in New York.
Some of the cornerstone elements found in contemporary design today include shiny, reflective surfaces like glass and stainless steel. Contemporary furniture is a bit bulkier and more rounded than modern furniture, but is more minimalistic than traditional furniture. Contemporary design often features very artistic lighting fixtures, which are commonly used as the statement piece in a room.
Modern and contemporary design are often confused and while they are similar, modern design refers to a specific era of design while contemporary design changes with the present. Modern design refers to an era of design from the mid 20th Century (1920s – 1970s) and many of the most famous furniture pieces and designers from this era are referred to as 20th Century Classics. Modern design incorporates clean lines, bright and open spaces, and the use of natural materials. During the mid 20th century, the idea of “form follows function” was prominent, and you’ll find that modern furniture is surprisingly comfortable—even if it doesn’t look like it will be.
While it’s rare to confuse traditional design with modern or contemporary design, it’s important to briefly hit on traditional design since contemporary design often blends traditional with modern.
Traditional design often uses heavy, bold furnishings with rich earth tone colors such as brown, gold, or dark green. Traditional design is very ornate also, for example: claw foot chairs and embellished four post beds. Traditional pieces draw their inspiration from 18th and 19th century Europe. If you can picture it in a castle, it is likely traditional.
So there you have it: a brief introduction to contemporary, modern, and traditional design. Understanding the differences between these design styles, especially modern and contemporary, is important when describing your vision to interior designers, furniture sales people, and other members of the design community. As always, the best way to get a feel for design is to see how other people have done it.
What type of style do you like? What elements do you feel distinguishes these different design styles? Let us know in the comments below.
Post by Stephanie Noble.
The first rule of any design show makeover of a bedroom is more pillows! Not just the pillows you rest your head on while you sleep, but ambiance pillows of varying shapes, textures and patterns.
I’ll admit to being a reformed pillow fanatic. I wanted my bedroom to look like a hotel room every time I walked in. But, with a long commute, a full time job, a 19 month old son and a never ending stream of laundry to fold; my husband and I are lucky if the bed gets made. There is simply no time for complex pillow schemes. So we’ve streamlined our cushion display to three sleeping pillows each and a turquoise satin embroidered pillow. My great grandmother started the pillow in the 1920s. My grandmother worked on it at some point during the 1960s and my aunt finished it in the 1990s. This family treasure is the only decorative pillow in our cushion lineup.
That’s not to say I do not notice other pillows. I do, all the time. They are such a quick and easy way to freshen up a room. They’re also an easy nod to a holiday without going overboard. Although, I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, I’ll admit to being attracted to Valentine pillows. Here are a few of my favorites.
These Scrabble-inspired pillows are all over Etsy.
This personalized tree initials pillow cover is available in five colors from Red Envelope.
This love postcard pillow cover is available online only from Pottery Barn.
It’s not too late to add a Valentine flair to your room.
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
A few weeks ago we discussed the various ways to achieve balanced design in your bedroom. To briefly recap, balance can be achieved in one of three ways: symmetrical, asymmetrical, or radial. Symmetrical balance is usually used in more formal spaces, while asymmetrical balance is often thought of as a more casual type of design. Radial balance can be either formal or informal, though it is most commonly used in dining arrangements where chairs are arranged in a circle around the dining table.
This week, I want to take a moment to discuss another fundamental principle of design, rhythm. Rhythm, also called repetition, is a way of timing your eyes’ movement through a space. While it is most often thought of in terms of music, rhythm is equally applicable to visual design. Rhythm is often the glue that holds the overall look of a room together.
Rhythm can be employed in a number of ways: linear rhythm, repetition, alternation, or progression—each of which will be discussed briefly below.
Linear rhythm relies on the movement of the viewers’ eyes across an individual line. A simple way to think of linear rhythm is to picture a sunset over the horizon; the horizon is the linear line that draws your eyes across the image. In your bedroom, you may hang your pictures at a certain height to create linear rhythm, or have a large headboard with a flat top as a focal point of the room.
Repetition involves the use of a particular pattern throughout a room to create a timing of movement across the room. Picture a wall with a lot of small pictures hanging very close to each other. Now picture that same room with fewer, larger pictures spaced further apart. In the room with the smaller pictures, your eyes would likely move swiftly across the room as they take in image, after image, after image, in quick succession. Contrast this with the larger, spaced out images: your eyes would likely move across the room much slower as each image commands more attention.
Alteration is a specific type of pattern that relies on a particular sequence of repetition. For example, your décor could alternate between large and small objects, or light and dark colors. Alternation is different than typical patterning, as it is not necessary to recreate the exact element throughout the pattern. For example, you could alternate between gold and blue stripes throughout your room, with each stripe being of a different size.
Progression is achieved by gradually increasing or decreasing the characteristic of an element throughout the room. For example, you could place a set of vases linearly and arrange them according to size, or color.
When thinking about the rhythm of your bedroom, don’t limit your thoughts to one perspective of the room. Rather, you need to be mindful of the overall feel of the room. The best way to see how to successfully employ rhythm in your bedroom’s design is to see what other people have done. As usual, Houzz is an excellent resource for this, and you can browse rooms that scream rhythm here.
How do you use rhythm in your own design? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Ah, darkness. To the reasonable adult, it is a welcome thing, indicating that sweet sleep might be just around the corner. To a child, it is little more than cover for bone-crunching, blood-sucking monsters, just waiting to pounce on their unsuspecting prey. Thank goodness for night lights! My boy has a couple lights he uses. We have gone through many more during our years-long hunt for the perfect light. Here are a few of the more interesting lights I have seen. Spoiler alert: my favorite is the Ikea “Totoro” light.
This is the Spöka LED night light from Ikea. I love it. My son loves it. It reminds us a bit of Miyazaki’s Totoro. That is what my boy calls it. The best part about it is that is holds a charge which allows your kid to take it to bed if so desired. My kid so desires. It’s even kind of soft! Also, it changes color, from blue to green and everything in between.
I found this turtle light at the Goodwill and it put me back a whole $2.99. I was skeptical whether it would actually project stars on the ceiling but it really does. It’s pretty great. It stays lit for about half an hour and works like a charm.
Spider-Man’s decapitated head on a spring. I thought this would scare the bejeezus out of my son, but he actually likes it. Go figure.
Post by Laura Cheng.
My bedroom is easily cluttered. Items somehow drift from the kitchen and living room into the bedroom. The laundry is never where it should be. Clothes pile up and stray socks are strewn outside the closet hamper. Why is it that adopted dogs can be taught to sit and fetch, but my partner cannot be taught to put work socks into the hamper? Does it really require that much more effort to open a closet door? As a result, my bedroom philosophy never loses focus on any available minimalistic options. Anything to de-clutter the clutter is considered. Nothing is more simplistic than a simple line. Translated into bedroom furniture, a shelf above the bed can be an ideal solution to display art, photos and books without making a large footprint in the bedroom.
A wall to wall shelf above the head of the bed is used in this bedroom to display a collection of photos. One drawback to a shelf is that it is an open storage solution. This means it could easily backfire and actually increase bedroom clutter. The use of the same color frame is essential here. It keeps the look neat and tidy even though the photos may be different sizes and of different mediums. The real estate of the room is increased with the additional overhead space. Furthermore, using a colored shelf adds interest and a fun splash of color to an otherwise drab and grey bedroom.
There’s nothing wrong with natural shelving though. The right type of wood can be just as aesthical. I really like shiny and sparkling things. hint hint diamonds. All this bedroom shelf is lacking is a nice coat of shellac or lacquer to bring out its true brillant potential. As it, its varying shades of au naturale takes minimalistic design to another meaning. What’s really great about shelves is that every household probably has the materials they need to put one up and the cost of materials is relatively cheap.
Open shelves above the head of the bed is a controversial topic, especially if you reside in areas where mother nature just will not allow it. In that case, there is always the possibility of pushing it aside to another wall. I really like this creative bedroom fabric shelf idea. It’s a catch all for everything that may find its way into the bedroom.