One of the most basic ways to create an inviting bedroom retreat is to simply make the bed itself seem inviting. A padded and tufted headboard, as seen in the two photos below, sets the stage for a bed that appears sprawling, substantial...a comfortable place to spread out, a tranquil spot to relax on, a soft sensuous spot to roll around in...
A bed with an attractive base and headboard signals a sense of place and purpose.
In the first photo, the bed seems like a cushy cloud nestled on a plinth of warm, rich leather. Second image: the soft blue headboard and footboard by Jay Jeffers announces itself in this superbly relaxed yet sophisticated room.
Layering soft, sumptuous textures is another way to add a decadent sense to a bedroom. In the tactile room below, designed by Eric Kuster, we see hair-on-hide panels on the anchor wall, and a soft faux fur throw plays well with velvets and satins.
Speaking of fabrics, another way to soften a bedroom is to use fabric panels on the walls, a technique I have successfully used for clients (stay tuned, I will be posting a bedroom in which I used this marvelous trick). You can use drapery panels as a floor-to-ceiling headboard, like the first image. Or you can run panels along an entire wall, like Elizabeth Gordon did in the second image below. It's also good for dampening sound (wink wink).
A dark color palette in a bedroom says moody, exotic, and romantic. The first image below by designer Smith Boyd features a delicious palette of browns, taupes, and greys along with textures like leather. The wood-grain striped wallpaper creates a natural, slightly wilder feeling that is tipped a little to the masculine side. The feeling of the dark purple Arabesque wallpaper in the next image is carried through by the Rococo mirrors and night tables... it feels like a fantasia on Mozart's "Abduction From The Seraglio!"
And think about dramatic, steamy, over-sized photos for an addition of extra sass and whimsy. In the first photo, Amanda Nisbet's wild room for the Kip's Bay Showhouse uses a photo of pink glossed lips by Marilyn Minter. Another Marilyn, this one Monroe, presides over the bedroom of Brazilian architect Jorge Elias and his wife Lucila in the second image. I love how the lightness, curves, and playfulness of the photo (and its subject) contrast with as well as compliment the Chinoiserie feel.
And finally, I must report that I have tried to give equal time but I can't find an image of a bedroom that uses sexy images of men, which seems a little unlikely... there have to be some expertly designed bedrooms out there with a painting of a male torso or even a stylized Tom of Finland image. If any of my readers come across such a thing, let me know!
Above photo by Trevor Trondo
Above photo by Roger Davies
And notice how, in all of these images, extra pillows offer more visual comfort as well as more opportunities to introduce color, texture, and pattern. I hope I have inspired you to think about ways to enahnce your bedroom, and to make it even more of a special "destination."
Happy Valentine's Day and happy designing!