Bedroom

Interior Design Guide ROOM GUIDE - PART TWO
The Bedroom
The characteristic that most of us associate with a bedroom is restfulness. There are few experiences more pleasurable than falling asleep, or waking up in a comfortable beautifully decorated bedroom. It is a luxury which can be encountered daily by anyone who takes the trouble to introduce colours, textures and bedroom furnishings that please the eye and relax the senses.
Successful bedroom design relies on skilful use of colour. Drama can play its part in bedroom design but in a room that is to be used primarily for relaxation and sleep it is essential to create a colour scheme that is harmonious and well balanced.
Naturals A subtle blend of pale, natural colours will quickly create an atmosphere of tranquillity. In bedrooms of all sizes naturals are frequently used to excellent effect. For a soothing ambience stay with very light tints of your main colour. For a more dramatic effect choose one or two more strongly coloured items such as your bedspread or curtains to highlight a contrast in the room.
Accents A natural bedroom can soon become bland if you do not pick up and echo the base colour. For example with a light grey choose fabric in a deep slate grey or with a black background or print. Paint one wall, say the one behind the bed for example, in a much deeper shade of your base colour. Lift and almond natural with dark browns (maybe a leather headboard or dark wood Venetian blinds) and a pink natural with deep claret or burgundy. Remember the principals of tinting and shading colours. Tint a colour by adding white to lighten it, making it feminine. Shade a colour by adding black to deepen it, making it masculine. A clever but subtle way of adding definition to a neutral room is to add a few dark accents in the form of wooden or iron curtain poles and bosses, mirrors or pictures with dark frames or an antique bedstead.
Green is well known for its restful properties as it is the colour we most associate with nature, making it an extremely reliable bedroom colour. Indeed it was the theory of the famous artist Vincent Van Gogh that colours affect us psychologically. His studies and experimentation with colour lead him to believe that different colour groups affected us in different ways. Greens in particular, he discovered, had very calming and soothing effects on our mood; and whilst he considered yellows and oranges to be invigorating and lively, vivid red was labelled as ‘maddening’! Dark greens however, can be overpowering for bedrooms so stick to the mid-to light greens. Another virtue of this colour is that it will happily blend, or contrast well, with most others on the colour spectrum (check your colour wheel), and so is extremely versatile.
Seasonal Contrast By changing heavy, warm, interlined winter curtains for light cottons or sheer voiles and substituting a heavy, full bedspread for a delicate satin or taffeta throw, you can give your bedroom an instant make-over for the summer months without the need to decorate or make any structural alterations.
The Bed For a country cottage look choose a busy floral bedspread or a colourful patchwork quilt. For a more refined, classical theme choose wide, harmonious stripes or a plain colour. For the romantic look combine a brass bedstead with white sheets and finally for that dramatic opulent feeling to your bedroom deep burgundy with black accents balanced with a complementary amount of a neutral colour.
The position of a bed in a room can make a huge difference to its overall appearance. In a small bedroom the bed will be the dominant piece of furniture and the colours used on it will greatly affect the sense of space in the room. For example red makes things look bigger and would make the bed stand out from its surroundings. On the other hand if you choose a strong colour for the walls and a lighter shade of that colour for the bed, it will harmonize more discreetly with its surroundings.
Larger rooms can look sparse and under-furnished. Consider how you may most effectively divide the space. Create a small seating area or use rugs as a successful way of dividing floor space to separate different parts of the room.
Storage In an ideal world every bedroom would afford us the luxury of a walk-in wardrobe. An excellent way to store clothes and linen without altering the dimensions and available space in the bedroom. However, in the majority of contemporary homes, free-standing or fitted wardrobes are the norm. Fitted wardrobes run floor to ceiling and maximize storage space. Their downside is that they can alter the proportions of a room. Picking out the panelling in your wardrobe doors in a complimentary colour to the base colour is one way of counteracting this. Similarly introducing a subtle stencil design to the panels or painting them in a different colour to the frames would also add effect. Alternatively, doors without upper panels or with glass panels can be lined with simple patterned, or plain fabrics to create an attractive option that creates an opportunity to introduce co-ordinating fabrics to those of the curtains or other soft furnishings in the room.
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