Posts Tagged ‘Bedroom Furniture’

Lime Green and Hot Pink teen bedrooms…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

We’ve touched before on the extrovert personality of lime green room décor. It’s not a theme or  colour-style on everyone’s wish-list, and yet as the basis for a contemporary space makeover there is much to recommend this vivid summery shade. Flexible enough to evoke a retro vibe or to create a splash of verve in a master bedroom, this is a colour that really comes into its own when paired with other complementary tones such as  blue, purple or sunshine yellow. For a teenagers room or even that of a slightly younger son or daughter, the pink and lime green combo is where it’s all at, so we are going to have a quick look at this most funky of colour-ways. Get the colour balance right here and hold back on the temptation to include too many prints and patterns within the room, and vivacious lime green and smoking hot pink kid’s room style becomes a breeze.

A really popular and effective way to establish a funky lime green and hot pink room theme is to use a room chair rail as a natural divider to achieve that all important colour balance. Paint the chair rail black or white with a lime green paint job beneath the rail with pink above to the ceiling, or vice versa. Alternatively you might wish to paint the area below the rail either of the two colours with alternating pink/green stripes above. For rooms without a chair or dado rail, an adhesive paper border in an appropriate design serves the same purpose to divide the room into two, whilst for a bold approach suited to larger rooms, paint the entire room in one colour with the window frames and other woodwork in the combination colour of lime green or pink, extending this décor theme to other accent pieces such as scatter pillows, lamp shades or a bedside rug.

A natural way to continue the lime green and hot pink theme is to incorporate modern bed and furniture designs as well as accessories that are finished in these colours. You might be able to track down a bean bag, funky pink chair or an upholstered bench or bed in a pink or green fabric, or consider some re-upholstery work on an old chair or ottoman for a cost effective and personalised touch. If you can’t find the furniture styles that you are looking for in these colours, repurpose tired old pine furniture or cheaply bought wooden pieces with a couple of coats of spray paint, for instant retro revival.  Other furniture styles that will work well within this décor scheme are silver or chrome contemporary metal bed designs, or those finished in a satin black finish to ground the scheme. White iron beds and matching furniture are also at home here with low rise white painted wooden beds offering a different but equally appealing proposition.

Ultimately the finished room persona has to be a matter for personal taste, although the best results will rely on achieving that all-important harmony when it comes to the colour mix and the sympathetic use of fabrics and décor accents that pull the room together into a cohesive unit. So by all means incorporate some favourite fabric patterns and style motifs within the curtains, bed throws and pillowcases, but counterbalance with those vivid lime green and pink solid colours, using the furniture and accessory selection as a way of reigning- in any visual overkill. The internet and interior design magazines will throw up all sorts of interesting style propositions. The rest is down to personal inspiration and a vision for bold artistic interpretation…!

Mission style bedroom décor

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Widely recognised and respected Mission style originated from two major design influences; that of its namesake, the Catholic Missions of the American west, and the Arts and Crafts movement that had its roots in England at the end of the 19th century. The synergy was one that was to have enduring appeal and significance as the Arts and Crafts movement that favoured simple handmade objects worked in perfect harmony with the plain furnishings of the Californian missions, designed by the austere Franciscan monks that founded them. Both were destined to be the perfect philosophical match for each other’s ideals.

Typical Mission furnishings feature little ornamentation and are primarily composed of straight lines and a certain symmetrical formality with a combination of square and rectangular detailing. Furniture would have been crafted from solid hardwoods such as oak or less commonly used mahogany and walnut, stained rather than painted. The finest mission furniture features wood with heavy grain patterns, stained in light to medium shades to allow the grain to show through. Simpler Mission styles would have been simply waxed or oiled without any other staining treatments for a totally natural look, assembled in true craftsman style with wooden dowels rather than metal screws or other modern methods. Such construction detail is a true sign of the piece’s authenticity with darker wrought iron accents often in evidence. Modern reproduction Mission style wooden beds should replicate this design integrity for maximum authenticity in a bedroom setting for a traditional bed style that is instantly recognisable.

Part of the inherent charm of Mission furniture is its honest plain-ness but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a source of visual drama. Often this drama arises from the size and weight of the furniture and there is no denying that many Mission pieces are quite large and thus not suited to every bedroom. But where space does allow, choose a strong Mission bed design with headboard and foot board to act as the room focal point. An armoire or large chest can also make an imposing statement whilst for smaller bedrooms choose Mission styled bedside tables or nightstands with a less imposing bedframe, perhaps with delicate iron scrolling or a traditional iron bed for a pleasing twist. Keep walls a warm natural tone such as cream or vintage white, whilst textured plaster is the perfect backdrop for Mission style furniture and accents for true authenticity.

Select accessories that accentuate rich wooden Mission furniture tones, and lighting fixtures should be appropriate to the style generally with golden or off-white glass shades. If you prefer a splash of colour, Tiffany style lamps look particularly effective in Mission styled rooms as the relatively plain nature of Mission furniture encourages the use of colourful accents and brightly coloured bed linens. Extend the colour theme when desired with cheery Persian rugs, Indian silks or even African Kente fabrics for an appealing contrast and touch of comfort…

American Bedroom glamour, 40s style…

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Whilst the decade of the forties brought its fair share of trouble and hardship on the global map, it was also noted for more than just a touch of Hollywood-style glitz and glamour on the American scene, with styling and décor influences that remain relevant today. For those of us looking to bring a little of that optimistic classic look into the home, the bedroom might just be the perfect room to give our artistic ambitions a free reign. It is the oneroom in the house where you really can have fun with furnishings and colour, combining style and function, playing with textures and accents that might not flow quite so harmoniously elsewhere. So indulge a little, and consider those fundamental 1940s concepts and characteristics, to create a glamorous retro bedroom that is timeless, defying more ubiquitous modern day mainstream trends.

Opt for bright colours to define the very essence of the age. The 1940s was synonymous with a jewel-toned style which extended to wall and fabric treatments. Bright pinks, blues, purples, greens and yellows will all evoke the spirit with a powerful glamour message, so think bold and be liberal with colours that pack an assertive colourful punch. This extends to wallpaper treatments and a classic 1940s style wallpaper helps to tie the whole room scheme together. Common patterns would include stripes, plaids and over-sized floral designs, which you might like to incorporate in the form of window treatments if you don’t favour the wallpaper option. Chintz curtains will fit the bill here, made from cotton and often with a semi-shiny finish. Once again, brighter colours and floral patterns will strike the right decorative chord.

Look out for colonial-style furniture that captures the mood. In America this decade was booming with this design, often in the shape of wooden beds or wooden four poster beds with canopies attached. Iron bed designs were also popular. Choose traditionally styled or transitional metal bed creations that capture the romantic vibe, and team up with vanity units, armoires or imposing chests of drawers and wardrobes. The contrast of the bright jewelled colour tones and more planted colonial influences,being an interesting and direct nod to the impact of the Second World War.

Complement the bed with fabrics that have ornate ruffled detailing, selecting similar colours and patterns as those in the curtains to tie the room scheme together. Extend the look with wall to wall fitted carpeting, popular at the time, once again choosing a colour with a complementary shade, although in more neutral plain designs to add balance without overpowering. For a more earthy flavour or whenever fitted carpet options are not an option, large area rugs will do a fine job too, to add warmth to the room and soften bare wood floors.

Add a little extra authenticity by incorporating the history of the time, by framing reproduction posters from the era advertising films such as “Casablanca” or “The Shop Around the Corner”. Part of the joy of creating a retro bedroom is in hunting down those little accessories that bring the scheme to life, so keep an eye open in antique arcades and second hand stores for 40s memorabilia that adds a dose of vintage glamour. Old perfume bottles, a silver vanity set and decorative handheld mirror, will all fit the bill, whilst some modern wall art is also totally in keeping for those who prefer a more contemporary stance. This look became increasingly popular as the decade unfolded and epitomises an era of great contrasts that was to manifest itself in many areas of mid- century lifestyle and design evolution…

More Vintage Bedroom thoughts…

Saturday, April 28th, 2012
Blyth brass bed from Original bedstead.

Blyth brass bed from Original bedstead.

We are all fans of vintage home décor. Vintage, retro and old-style shabby chic is all the rage right now and it’s a look, as we know, that translates particularly well within the bedroom with an appealing mix of comfort and good old world nostalgia. The style is so enormously versatile because it encompasses any number of styling options from the time period of choice. So whether you are after a dose of romance from the Victorian era or something with a rather more recent mid-century flavour, there is a look and distinct décor persona to suit all tastes. From the furniture you choose, to the fabrics, colours, textures and accents; all will make a welcoming vintage statement for a timeless room design that you can tweak with the seasons and truly personalise…

Unless you already possess a treasured collection of treasured valuables that you wish to incorporate within your room scheme, your first ports of call may well be your local antique arcade or auction room. Maybe you already have a few vintage or antique pieces which you wish to complement with some new additions, in which case you might have a pretty good idea of what you are looking for. However, keeping an open mind is a good strategy and often the loveliest finds are those that we were not expecting. Don’t discount garage sales, car boot sales or flea markets either as worthwhile hunting grounds, particularly for more recent retro style items. Often diligent hunting can yield surprising and bargain results. Think outside the box and consider repurposing various pieces to fit your needs. For example, a small kitchen table could become a bedroom desk or vanity table, and mix and match display units might make great nightstands. Just keep a unifying theme in mind and make sure that all your items have a common link in terms of time period and underlying style. If you are redecorating in a hurry and don’t have the time or inclination to hunt down old items, seek out reproduction pieces that evoke the look and feel of your chosen period. Ornate chandeliers and beautiful armoires are easily available and will strike the right tone, whilst for a glamorous centrepiece, fall in love with a Victorian inspired iron bed with antique brass detailing. Metal bedsteads and solid brass beds from this era will never date or fall from fashion and are sure to make the definitive room statement. Where space and budgets allow, you might even wish to splash out on a wooden or metal four poster bed for the ultimate romantic style statement.

When it comes to fabrics and linens to breathe life into the room and that enticing traditional bed, it can prove a difficult task to hunt down originals that are still unworn and usable. And anyway, it’s invariably nicer to incorporate lookalike fabrics that are fresh and clean, so purchase new linen that has that distinctive vintage look and feel. If you are a whizz with the sewing machine the possibilities for stunning vintage linen designs are endless, and you might even like to create your own bed quilt for cosy shabby chic cottage décor, or sew pieces of vintage lace to the edge of sheets and pillowcases for a Victoriana flavour. For an eclectic look feel free to mix and match with fabrics and linens that don’t match yet share a pattern or colour in common. Vintage scarves and handkerchiefs that are still in good condition can be called upon to embellish lampshades or curtains, with perhaps an original piece of lace deployed as a charming curtain tie-back.

Hunting down vintage accessories gives opportunity for great fun, and small finds such as knobs, hooks and handles can give instant accent interest. Attach knobs or hooks to the wall from which to hang bathrobes or handbags, and collect a variety of antique porcelain or brass drawer pulls or knobs and use them to transform the personality of a dresser or bedside table. A trip around the average antique centre is sure to unearth pretty collections or vases, cups and plates that can be displayed throughout the room and used to display everything from fresh flowers to jewelry. If you have old family photographs, you may like to frame and hang these as individual larger accent features or in a little collection on a bedside wall. And finally, and just as importantly, don’t overlookthose precious inherited heirlooms that tie in with your unique theme, to personalise the room moodfor a true sense of timeless vintage appeal…

Exotic bedroom moods…

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Escape the mundane and give your bedroom a lift with an exotic makeover with tropical colours and sensual fabrics and furnishings. Look to faraway lands for inspiration and give your imagination a free reign. From the fiery rich style of Morocco to the colours and heat of India, or the laid-back vibe of Mexico, there is an exotic mood to suit all tastes, or just mix and match styles for a personal touch. Design your personal bedroom space with an enticingly exciting flair and you’ll create the bedroom of your dreams that stirs the senses and fulfils your fantasies…

Colour is the key here, so take time to research your desired theme and choose a bold colour palette that evokes the right mood. The best balance of finishes often incorporates one primary colour and two accent colours, but whatever your choice keep them rich and exciting, as it is this backdrop that will add exotic spice to the room. Rich blues and a deep green are great for bedrooms with a Mediterranean twist whilst burnt oranges and turquoise would work well if you fancy a Mexican flavour, with rich reds, gold and aqua perfect for Indian inspired room themes. Use colours that inspire without overwhelming the room as a whole. The furnishings and room fabrics also have a big part to play and to swamp these accents would spoil the rhythm and flow of the décor style. For an alluring aesthetic you might wish to save your boldest colour for the accent bed head wall for example, with quieter complementary shades on the remaining walls.

Choose stylish but comfortable furnishings that mix functionality with exotic intrigue that breathe life into the room setting. A focal point traditional bedstead with rustic or ornamental styling provides inspiration for the room scheme as a whole and can be integrated perfectly with other exotic room décor. An iron bed frame in a dark finish would pair well with a mahogany armoire, and dark wooden bed designs are ideal for a Moroccan theme. Mix wood tones or iron and wood furniture pieces together for an eclectic look should you prefer. Ornate styles are going to be in keeping here whatever the décor message and consider rich or sheer bed drapes or canopies, suspended from the ceiling to tumble down the side of the side and head of the bed for a touch of sensual drama.

Fabric choices, whether for the bed or windows or elsewhere within the room, should add colour and texture to extend the exotic theme. Silk is ideal because it is both a little decadent and comfortable, whilst animal prints are great for an African safari theme. Shop for window treatments with the same intent, with options again including, silks, sheers or rich and heavy brocades. Linens also work well with a variety of room styles because it is such a versatile fabric, and look out for curtain rods that add faraway flair. Forged iron or brass rods with ornate finials draw the eye upwards and create interest, and simple bamboo shades are a suitable option for safari themes.

Set the room lighting to suit the décor. Free standing table lamps create warmth and are versatile when it comes to varying artificial light intensity at any given time, so be generous with your ceramic or iron lamp collection so that it becomes easy to transform the mood from normal background light to something a little more dark and mysterious at the flick of a few switches. No exotic room scheme would of course be complete without a candle and oil lamps collection to provide a cosy sensual touch, and be imaginative with intriguing accents and accessories to complete the exotic vibe. Look out for interesting weaves at craft fairs or ethnic markets to hang on the wall or provide accent interest on the floor. Likewise, richly coloured tapestries dress up such room schemes instantly with Tibetan-inspired rugs lending a mysterious style. Wooden carvings and bamboo accessories are also pleasing here and chancing upon pieces that are “just right” is half the fun.

With an exotic themed bedroom, night time is just the start of the adventure…

Vintage bedroom chic…

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

The term “vintage” summons up any number of different images, and it is the very uniqueness of the vintage style of decorating that makes this room theme so bespoke and appealing. Personalise a vintage style bedroom with antiques, accents and enticing colours, for a makeover that showcases your creative style and individualistic good taste. Whether it’s shabby chic, old Hollywood glamour, a feminine floral vibe, or any number of different variations that you enjoy, create a look that is all your own, for enduring, timeless appeal. For inspiration wander around antique arcades, car boot sales, bric a brac stores or research online or within decorating magazines for the perfect bedroom scheme. Sometimes a great find such as an antique armoire or rusty iron bed will create inspiration for the whole room. Take your time in your search for the perfect inspirational piece, as this part of the process is half the fun, and will make the transformation process all the easier as the correct choice of complementary accessories and fabrics falls into place.

Start by drawing a scale plan of the room and incorporate scale cut-outs of the pieces of furniture that you hope to buy or have already acquired. If you have an interesting architectural detail in the room such as a window seat or archway, you may wish to accentuate it and allow it to become the focal point. Alternatively you would most probably choose the bed as the likeliest largest room element to place centre stage, and inspire the room theme as a whole.

Select vintage style wallpaper for a great oldie feel, to offset the furniture collection and create the perfect mood. For a sophisticated and formal look choose damask floral wallpaper in a floral or crest design, or a vintage tropical leaf design for a Palm Beach look. Retro floral wallpaper designs are appropriate for a feminine bedroom style, whilst for a son or daughter’s bedroom look at old style images of zoo animals, or trains, planes and classic cars. Faded yellow wallpaper colours are a popular choice for a child’s room, with pink and green being particularly suited to floral feminine schemes. Silver damask is one to consider for a glamorous silver and white vibe.

Use that glamorous antique or reproduction iron bed or wooden bed to become the room focal point, in true Victorian or 20th century vintage spirit. A spectacular Rococo style wooden bedstead would be eye-catching, and canopy beds or an antique four poster bed will undoubtedly inspire a vintage room theme. Antique style brass bed designs are also wonderfully in keeping here, and will harmonise nicely with vintage style wooden dressing tables and writing desks, with antique armoires and wardrobes providing ideal storage solutions.

Dress the bed with fabrics and linens that bring it to life. Plump pillows, down filled duvets, bed throws, quilts and crocheted Afghans will introduce a lavish and comfortable feel to the room, with a thick accent rug at the foot or to the side of the bed to continue the theme. It’s easy to transform linens that you already own into a retro look by sewing crocheted lace detailing onto pillowcases and sheetsand using lace doilies as accent features on bedside tables.

Complete the vintage room theme with enchanting accessories that you may already own or have tracked down in your antique hunt travels. Antique mirrors with gilt frames, beaded lampshades, a vintage bird cage, or old wooden coat stand, will all incorporate beautifully. Antique water pitchers and bowls can be displayed on an occasional table, with a silver vanity hairbrush set on the dressing table for a generous helping of vintage charm, with such accents as pretty Victorian jewelry boxes, heavy glass candlesticks, and old fashioned hat boxes all adding to the authentic beguiling allure…

More 1920s Bedroom moods…

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Nearly a century has passed since the dawn of the 1920s and yet there are many elements and décor trends from that era which remain relevant within the 21st century western world. We’ve spoken of this period before and yet there are so many interesting design nuances and influences from those inter-war daysthat we make no apology for covering old ground. It was a time in history that embraced all things machine and industrial, with the beginnings of the modernist design period with the emphasis on form following function. Art Deco was to manifest this sensibility with bold colours, lavish textures, high contrast, and sleek, clean lines. In addition to the popularity of wood, glamorous lacquered finishes, and chrome, mirrored, metal and glass furniture, as well as animal print accents, epitomise the 1920s inspired bedroom…

Art Deco reacted against art nouveau’s passion for pastels, and instead focused on high contrast colours. If you fancy a less assertive room colour scheme, you might prefer sea green or a deep blue, whilst cream and silver or black is classic 20s Hollywood, as is burnt orange or rich reds for a slightly different twist. Consider also, chocolate brown, hot pink, pure white and ultramarine, which are Art Deco through and through. Remember to keep skirting board and crown mouldings in a deep accent colour in order to accentuate the geometry of the room.

1920s bedroom furniture featured straight clean lines with bullnose curves and simple ornamentation, compared to more detailed rococo and art nouveau designs. Sunburst bed headboards were common with inlaid corona rays in a high gloss veneer finish, whilst upholstered oversized headboards were also in vogue in shimmery fabrics or rich buttoned velours and animal print designs. Varnished wooden bedsteads featuring chevrons or geometric patterns were favourites, in exotic timbers such as ebony or mahogany, whilst mirror finish, chrome bed creations and transitionally styled metal bed designs were also on the art deco scene. Glass and mirrored furniture pieces also defined the era, and these elements would also be found in accents such as drawer pulls and lighting features. Glamorous highly lacquered furniture in piano gloss black, light yellow or deep red were also highly influential in art Deco bedroom decor trends.

Floor décor tended to continue the wood theme, so if you have hardwood bedroom flooring, leave it bare. 1920s art Deco style was all about polished and patterned wood features with chevron and diamond detailing. Fitted wall to wall carpet was popular as were Persian or Turkish rugs featuring geometric patterns. For a glamorous vintage touch include a zebra print accent rug at the foot of the lavish wooden or metal bedstead, and if you want high contrast, go for a bold coloured dark carpet. Some ocean liners even used black within their cabin designs, which was a common trim colour in the 1920s.

For wall treatments, look out for glossy finish paint or wallpaper to realise that authentic 20s style. Wallpaper was very popular and bold vertical stripes and Egyptian motifs reigned. For that Hollywood look, use light creams and tea stained hues for the backdrop tones, accented with gold and silver. Whilst for a more feminine touch consider art deco style floral motifs, as a gentler, but nonetheless authentic alternative room feature with a touch of romance…

Mid- century contemporary Bedroom style.

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

The mid-century contemporary design aesthetic developed as early as the 1930s here in the UK and across the Atlantic, but in fact is more commonly associated with the urban design and architecture of the 50s through to the 60s. Mid- century design celebrates simplicity and minimalism and a break from earlier ornate décor eras, by creating cohesive spaces with seamlessly integrated elements from floor to ceiling. Bedrooms that conform to this décor style exhibit clean, calm spaces through monochromatic colour schemes, sleek architectural lines and unfussy detailing with minimal embellishments on furniture and accessories.

For a room makeover that follows this aesthetic stick with furniture that conforms to this discipline, avoiding ornate wooden bedframes or headboards that display significant carving or inlay features; a legacy from earlier furniture styles. Instead, select low-rise contemporary bedsteads in painted wooden designs or transitionally styled metal beds for a clean look and simple silhouette. Black, blue, white or red bedframes lacking any headboard or footboard ornamentation offer a simple sleeping solution, with matching minimalist box nightstands and bureaus to create cohesion. To add interest, choose small pieces of accent furniture such as a chair in an unexpected material such as brushed steel or plastic, but avoid the temptation to introduce too much furniture into the room, storing clothes and other bedroom related clutter in closets or under- bed storage units.

The landscape of the room as defined by the floor, walls and ceiling should be the canvas for a muted colour scheme with a restrained number of patterns and textures. Though carpet is a traditional choice for most bedroom schemes, avoid patterned or brightly coloured styles that might give the space a dated appearance. Very light or dark bare wooden floors or even solid coloured tile is a more appropriate choice, and likewise, keep wall tones simple and monochromatic, with neutral colours such as white, cream, slate grey or beige. Consider creating an accent wall behind the bed with a brighter statement colour such as lime or burnt gold, and match in other details such as the bedspread and area rugs colour-wise to create cohesion. Avoid textured ceiling treatments or harsh overhead lighting, keeping things simple with white or a light grey paint finish.

Fabric choice can dramatically influence the design aesthetic of any bedroom scheme, and because most mid-century modern bedrooms embrace monochromatic colour moods, we can indulge the décor with fabrics that introduce unexpected and bold colour accents and geometric patterns. Avoid floral or pastel patterns that are more in keeping with colonial or traditional room styles, and instead aim for curtains and bed dressings in rich colours such as sapphire blue or red, incorporating repeating geometric shapes into bedspreads or scatter cushions. A bed throw that offers a bold contrast adds colour dimension; for example, choose a black and red bedspread for a predominately white or grey room, or opt for a grey bedspread with neon yellow accents to bring colour to the space.

Conclude the décor scheme with a restrained selection of arty accents, but above all keep dressers, bedside tables, and desks free of clutter or superfluous items. Select a couple of dramatic and interesting pieces of art and display them in an area that will attract the eye. Modernist metal or wire wall hangings are appropriate here as are stone or bronze sculptures for visual and textural contrast. Reproductions of bold artwork by 20th century artists such as Frank Stella or Andy Warhol in simple black frames are mid-century contemporary to a tee. Include them to ensure splashes of colour, vibrancy and sophistication to your mid-century modern bedroom design.

Nautical bedroom themes…

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Nautical home décor might not be to all tastes, but for those with a penchant for the ocean or an affinity with sailing, it can evoke grand images of grand maritime adventures within a décor style that is a little different to the mainstream norm. So whether you are decorating a coastal home with the ocean on your doorstep, or a landlocked home in the suburbs, it is not difficult to incorporate this theme within the bedroom. The seaside images that accompany this room style can be very soothing, and thus particularly suited to a relaxed bedroom mood, whilst the more adventurous accents and accessories keep it interesting, to appeal to both him and her alike.

Incorporate nautical colours into the design which run through all elements of the room. Quintessential nautical inspired shades include the obvious; namely blue and white but might also include red as an accent colour. Using the patterns and hues in your bedding selection as inspiration, choose a blue shade or a white derivative that is appropriate for wall treatment. Paint all four walls navy blue or sky blue in a room where there is an abundance of natural light, or apply blue only to the bedhead wall if the room is small or a little gloomy. Accent the space with red and white pops of colour in subsequent layers of design, such as rugs, bed accessories and curtains, opting for darker rust red colour shades should you prefer.

For a room that is likely to have a crisp and clean appearance, pristine white furniture will harmonise perfectly with the nautical theme. Consider a focal point wooden bed in a painted white finish with wicker detailing or a romantic traditional iron bed straight out of the Victorian era for a touch of glamour and English charm. Darker wood bedstead styles will also work well against this backdrop, and a vintage style wooden bed in dark weathered oak, or indeed any type of antique finish, will inspire the room scheme as a whole and give the space a more lived-in flavour.

A nautical theme just begs for a collection of interesting accessories so include within your scheme a few wall mounted shelves or bookshelves to provide extra display space for decorative items and book collections. These will help to keep other surfaces such as bedside tables and dressers clutter-free. Include also wall paintings of sailboats or lighthouses or framed vintage nauticalor world maps. You may wish to display also a small collection of ornamental lighthouses or for a more natural look, display little collections of seashells, driftwood or pebbles in a jar. Antique arcades also make happy hunting grounds for nautical treasures. Look out for old ships clocks, navigation lights in brass casings, old oars and lobster pots, or even an antique brass porthole that you could convert into a mirror.

Bedding choice should tie in with the theme as a whole so keep your three main colours in mind and play with these until you come up with a combination that looks just right. It may be that you have already replicated the duvet colours for the wall treatment, but vertical navy and white stripes can work very well on the bed, and this simple design can be accented with throw pillows that incorporate varying shades of blue with touches of red here and there for good measure, or a rusty red bed runner at the foot of the bed to catch the eye…

Resist the temptation to go overboard(!) with trinkets and accessories, but instead allow a few accent treasures to do the talking. Enhance the room set with speciality lamps to cast a gentle glow, such as table lamps with boat rope detailing or weathered antique brass bases. Reproduction ships lanterns or originals, if you can track them down, can be converted for bedroom use or might accommodate some tea light candles for when the mood dictates. And lastly, ship style caged wall lights installed either side of a large dresser or flanking the traditional bedstead is a fabulous way to further accent and introduce a mellow nautical vibe into the room, without distracting the senses with too much visual clutter…

Exotic Chinese bedroom themes.

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Timeless Chinese décor lends itself perfectly for use within the bedroom with beautiful and exotic room schemes that draw on Chinas rich culture, history and tradition. At its very simplest, Chinese décor can be ascetic and modest or far more elaborate in design, but one thing that is common whatever the style, is that the elements of the room must work together in harmony to create a calm and peaceful environment. With a close attention to detail, and careful selection of colours, textures and room accents, comfortable and inspiring room sets are possible that calm the senses and eclipse the stresses of the day.

Do a little research on the internet and by trawling through Interior magazines for inspiration to select a pleasing colour palette for the room. Traditional colours used in Chinese décor are symbolic: red for good luck, yellow for long life, green for peace and harmony, purple for spirituality, and browns, ranging from light tans to rich mahoganies, for grounding. A bold wall colour is appropriate here although lighter neutral tones might be better suited to the bedroom theme. Combine with tapestries and screens as an authentic alternative.

Chinese style furniture is traditionally low and boxy with clean lines and would often be mixed with ornamental pieces for impact. Dressers, trunks, benches, occasional tables and chairs, are all in their element here, whilst a low modern beds, platform style finished in a light wood or a contemporary metal bed design will form the perfect focal point within the room scheme. High gloss oil painted or lacquered furniture offers a sleek look and is always very popular, as are high-backed elaborately carved wooden chairs, or a grand ornamental headboard featuring mother of pearl or gold inlays, as an alternative to the platform bed option.

Add texture to the room with natural woods such as bamboo, and traditional fabrics such as silk. A silk or bamboo screen is the perfect addition to any Chinese themed room, and embroidered fabrics with a mixture of contrasting colours featuring traditional Chinese designs such as dragons, peacocks or flowers, will always look the part. Incorporate such designs in the form of wall hangings, area rugs, throw cushions and bed and table runners. Allow the theme as a whole to be illuminated naturally with simple window treatments, such as bamboo shades or carved wooden shutters, whilst for added ambiance, include some Chinese lanterns to hang within the room.

Avoidthe temptation to clutter the space or crowd it with furniture. A minimalist approach is the way forward here. Instead pick a few interesting pieces that relate to each other in terms of style, colour and materials or that incorporate the Chinese designs described above. Each piece should have a specific purpose so don’t squeeze in any more than you need. Strive for symmetry, balanced colours and evenly placed furniture and accessories, so that each piece makes an impact in the area where it is sited.

Finally, add accessories that carry the theme through, such as wall hangings that feature scenes from Chinese mythology, delicate bamboo umbrellas, a large fan, or Buddha statues. High gloss pottery or granite carved pieces can also work well, but whatever you select, go for quality rather than quantity. One large accent wall tapestry or a single colourful dragon statue placed prominently on a low occasional table where it catches the light, is far more effective than lots of little trinkets scattered about. Achieve the perfect balance of colour, texture and furnishing harmony, for results that are wonderful on the eye,creating  a welcome place of calm away from the pressures of the day…