Category Archives: Bedroom Design

Things We Like: Asian Inspired Bedroom Design

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

Asian inspired design embodies most of the traits I look for in a bedroom: minimalistic furnishings, clean lines, and an overall feeling of tranquility. While Asian inspired design can take some careful planning to pull off, especially when you’re designing a bedroom, the rewards can be bountiful.

To help you achieve Zen in your bedroom, I’ve put together my top five cornerstone elements of Asian design.

1.    Asymmetry

Several weeks ago I discussed the different ways to achieve balance, which is one of the main principles of design. To recap, the three types of balance are: Symmetrical, Asymmetrical, and Radial. Asymmetrical can be difficult to implement, but it creates the most visually interesting space.

A common example of asymmetrical design in the bedroom is the use of differing nightstands. When planning an Asian inspired bedroom, you may try to include a single nightstand on one side of the bed and an iconic sculpture (e.g., Buddha), or decorative lamp on the other You may also use two of the same nightstands, and place different objects on top of either.

2.    A Touch of Nature

Asian inspired design almost always includes natural elements, such as the use of stone and wood for your furnishings and floors. A natural wool rug can also be a nice addition to an Asian themed bedroom. While it is against the general principles of Feng Shui to include living plants in the bedroom, a small plant in a large bedroom may be perfectly acceptable; it all depends on your particular space. Orchids and bamboo are two examples of smaller plants that you can incorporate in your Asian inspired bedroom.

3.    Chinoiserie Furniture

Chinoiserie is the French word for “Chinese-esque,” and represents a style of furniture that emerged in France around the 18th Century. Often Chinoiserie furniture comes in dark lacquered colors with painted decorative scenes. Replicas should be easy enough to come by, and the sky is the limit if you’re planning to use real antiques. When selecting furniture for your Asian inspired bedroom, aim to keep it simple. This furniture tends to be very ornate, and you can quickly overdo it and make your bedroom feel busy.


4.    Clean Lines

Clean straight lines, coupled with circular décor are what will help tie the look of your room together. Rectangular platform beds, and long straight furnishings will help keep your eyes on level. To keep the look interesting, you can include circular motifs throughout the room. The circle is an important symbol in Japanese culture, and is associated with Zen and enlightenment. Circular mirrors and sculptures are a great way to spice up the straight lines of your bedroom.

5.    Minimalistic

Asian inspired bedrooms imbue a sense of minimalism. An uncluttered bedroom is essential to capturing the serenity that you should feel while in your bedroom. This is a prime example of, “less is more.” It can be easy to go overboard with purchasing interesting objects to decorate your bedroom with, but think of this as an exercise in self-restraint. If you can follow this singular rule, you’ll be well on your path to enlightenment!

These are just a few of the major points for designing an Asian themed bedroom, and the possibilities are almost limitless. The Asian cultures are diverse, and you may either choose to encompass a sort of melting pot of Asian design, or stick to one country or culture exclusively. Most importantly, designing an Asian themed bedroom should be fun.

What do you think are the essential elements of Asian design? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Bedroom Design: The Vanity: The Fairest of them All

Post by Erin Sears.

Growing up, I thought that all fancy women had vanities, also known as dressing tables, in their bedrooms.  After all, my grandmother had one and my lovely mother has one too.  When I was a young girl, I definitely wanted to be fancy, so my mom got me a vanity for my bedroom. It was powder-coated white iron and glass perfection. I lined up my hairbrushes and Wet and Wild brand makeup (you know you had some too) on it for a few years until adolescence and the grunge era took over and I abandoned the vanity completely.

Now that I’m grown, I long to be fancy again. My current humble bedroom and meager wallet cannot facilitate purchasing a vanity now, but when I bust out of this little apartment (and bust out I will), I know exactly what vanity I will buy and the look I want to create.

Here are some ideas for the perfect vanity. Perhaps one of these will strike your fancy?

Source: http://msmadeulook.blogspot.com/

Whoa! Now if this vanity isn’t fancy, I don’t know what is! I would like my life to match this fit-for-a-princess piece of furniture please and thank you. I love that this vanity comes with a matching bench and has been accessorized with presumably treasured framed art and decorative boxes. Like other surfaces in the home, your vanity is for more than just storage. It should be a place to display some of your most special items.

Source: Pinterest user

IF I had an alter ego, it might live in one of those glamorous modern houses you see in magazines. My furniture would have clean lines, wood accents to warm up all of that metal and glass, and accessories that hinted at my love for global adventure. THIS is my alter ego vanity.

Source: http://www.decorpad.com/photo.htm?photoId=12611

It’s award season in Hollywood, dahhhh-ling and this vanity is perfect for any starlet. Using a lamp on your vanity is a great way to check out how you look in soft light and all of these mirrors are ideal for practicing your acceptance speech. ENJOY!

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Bedroom Design: A Belated Christmas

Post by Laura Cheng.

Is there anyone that is actually glad Christmas is over? Not me. I am still in Christmas mode. It may have something to do with the fact that this year, Christmas was nice and low on the stress-o-meter. I actually had the chance to treasure the time I spent with family instead of stressing about how their time was spent with me. So, in a last ditch effort to keep Christmas alive because I had such a wonderful one, and to wish all my readers a belated Merry Christmas, here’s to maintaining the holiday spirit in your bedroom with Christmas wreaths.

The epitome of Christmas decor, I could celebrate Christmas all year in the bedroom. A holiday message is proclaimed as it rests on a strand of green garland. Flowers in rustic pots provide a warm welcome. Snowflake needle point pillows remind you how cozy the bed really is. If there was a season for wrought iron beds, this is it. With Charles P. exclusive iron & brass sleigh bed, the same look can be achieved by tying a simple velvet bowed Christmas wreath to the foot of their classic detailed iron bed. Hot on every good little boy and girl’s wish list, a pair of sweet puppies cuddle closely. My next blog will be about how to decorate your bedroom with adorable puppies because well, puppies just go with everything.

Source: http://www.homegoods.com/blog/2011/11/30/christmas-in-every-room-plus-a-great-garland-secret/

There’s something that is just so modern, unexpected, and fresh about a square wreath. The square wreath in the bedroom below highlight out the architectural lines in the poster bed. Wreaths are even more appealing when they are zero maintenance. West Elm has just the right faux boxwood square wreath currently for $59. However, with the holidays coming to a close, my financial advisor recommends waiting to score the best deal.

Source: http://pinterest.com/pin/168251736049629634/

There’s no place that I cannot imagine a wreath being hung in my bedroom. I would totally tie one on right over my dresser mirror just like the inspiration below. Metallic decor on a mirrored surface will effortlessly bounce light around the bedroom and is sure generate enough sparkle into the new year. Merry belated Christmas.

Source: http://www.visual-spaces.com/christmas-decorations-with-style

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Bedroom Design: Begin Again

Post by Erin Sears.

Here it is, friends- 2013!  Aren’t you excited?  A new year is ahead of us and anything is possible! YAY!

Okay, that’s all the enthusiasm I can muster considering I woke up in a disaster of a bedroom this morning and my head hurts.  The truth is that I’ve let things go around here.  A few years ago, I completely redid my bedroom- new linens, bright rugs, awesome art.  I deep cleaned and smudged the room with sage until the past was but a wisp of a memory.  I vowed to keep the space looking tidy and lovely. However, the shine has worn off my once beautiful room and things have gotten messy. My grandmother would say that things are looking a little long in the tooth, so here we go! It’s time to begin again.

The New Year provides us with a fantastic opportunity to assess and evaluate our living spaces. Ask yourself the following questions about each room: Is it functional?  Is it beautiful?  Would I want others to see it?  Do I like being here? Do I LOVE it?


Source: http://wendypolish.bigcartel.com/product/heart-pillow

Take those essential questions and take a good look around. Sprucing up your sleeping space can feel overwhelming at first, so here are four areas to consider when beginning:

  1.     Clean your room!  A little bit of cleaning and purging can go a long way. You’re not in college anymore.  Futons and fiberboard “furniture” do not belong in your bedroom.  Get rid of anything broken or ugly.  Be honest. Let go.

  2.     Color and Pattern:  Adjust the palette of your room with new paint, new bedding or new curtains. Use your wardrobe to initiate color choices. What colors do you naturally gravitate toward in clothing?  What looks good on you?  You want to look gorgeous in your room.  You want to go to bed feeling calm and wake up feeling good.  Use color as your driving force.  Pattern can work in the same way, but be careful not to go overboard.  Just because you like flowers it doesn’t mean you want to sleep in a garden.  With that said, a well-placed stripe or print can really bring your bedroom to life.  Consider saving pattern for curtains, pillows or bedding.

  3.     Furniture:

Bed choice:  Start here.  This should be where you spend the bulk of your money.  Choose a bed that inspires you and invest in a good mattress. It’s worth it.  Do not buy furniture sets.  They’re lazy decorating and rarely a true expression of self.  If you inherit a bedroom set and you love it, select the best piece for the room.  Repurpose, give away, or sell the rest.  Really.

Nightstands:  There are two ways to go with this- matching and not matching.  Matching nightstands can provide a room with balance and symmetry.  These are good things.  If you have more eclectic taste, you can go with two different nightstands.  My nightstands do not match.  One is a round French café table that I fell in love with at garden shop.  It’s large enough to hold a lamp and many books, but still in scale with the room.  My other nightstand is an old telephone table that I bought used.  It has wooden bead accents, a shelf, and two deep pockets on each side for magazines.  I took a pillowcase in a just right color to the paint store and had them match it and then painted the table in that dreamy shade.  LOVE.

Additional pieces: Dressers, vanities and other furniture pieces are space dependent.  We’re all looking for smart storage solutions and these can make wonderful additions to spacious rooms.

4.  Lighting:  Lighting is an essential component of any room.  In the bedroom, overhead lighting can make things look too harsh.  To avoid this, I opt for bedside lamps.  There are lots of ways to go with lighting and I’ll probably highlight them in another post, but like nightstands, your lamps can match or not.  I use two different lamps made of the same material with similar shades.  They coordinate, but are not identical.

Start by changing a few elements of your room and see where the changes take you. Remember, your room does not have to be finished all at once.  Great rooms are designed, developed, and edited over time.  The journey is part of the fun.

Happy New Year!

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Things We Like: Balanced Bedroom Design

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

One of the most fundamental concepts of interior design is balance. Balance can be achieved in one of three ways: symmetrically, asymmetrically, or radially. Regardless of which type of balance you aim to create, the primary goal of balancing a room is to equally distribute the visual weight of the objects within the space. Size and shape aren’t the only factors that influence the weight of an object; shape, color, pattern, brightness, and texture also play important roles in achieving balance.

Symmetrical balance is typically used when designing formal spaces, where each side of the room is equally split and weighted with your chosen décor. To achieve symmetry, designers often use identical furnishings on both sides of the room, though not always. A bedroom with matching nightstands and table lamps on both sides of the bed is a common example of symmetrical balance. While symmetrical balance is usually easier to achieve, especially if you’re purchasing new furniture for a square or rectangular room, it can be difficult to create a room that is both symmetrically balanced and visually interesting at the same time.

Asymmetrical balance, which is often considered less formal than symmetrical balance, can be a little more involved to execute properly. Instead of the room being split into mirror images, asymmetrical balance uses different furnishings and décor that roughly equate in terms of their visual weights. For example, you may have a living room designed with a large sofa on the right and two smaller chairs across from it. In this example, the two smaller chairs are used to balance out the larger sofa. While individual tastes vary, I find that asymmetrical balance is the most visually interesting, albeit a bit harder to do right.

One of the hardest parts about creating an asymmetrically balanced bedroom (that looks great) is to make the design appear effortless. Asymmetrical design can require a lot more thought, but you don’t want the room to convey that extra work to its viewers. An example of asymmetrically balance in the bedroom would be where you use a side table on one side of the bed and a mirror on the other. The trick is to make it look right, and appear symmetrical at first glance. Asymmetry can also save you money, especially if you’re buying used furniture or antiques that might be difficult to buy in matching sets.

Radial balance is the third type of balance, and is achieved by arranging furnishings around a central focal point. A common example is a circular dining room table surrounded by chairs. Unless you have a custom-shaped mattress, radial balance isn’t commonly used in bedroom design, except maybe when arranging wall-hanging items or in bedrooms with a lot of space and a seating area. You may also aim to balance your bedroom radially, with how you arrange your larger bedroom furnishings, e.g., you wouldn’t want to put your dresser, chest of drawers, and bookcase all in the same corner of the room – you’d spread them out around the bed.

The best way to understand balance is to look at examples of what other people have done. Houzz has several excellent channels that feature designs utilizing these three types of balance. The following links are provided to show you examples of how other designers utilize symmetrical balance, asymmetrical balance, and radial balance in their space.

What do you think: Do you prefer perfect symmetry or an asymmetrical bedroom? Let us know in the comments below.

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