Posts Tagged ‘Brass Beds’

Neoclassical Bedroom themes…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Neoclassical design has understandable appeal for anyone in search of a regal style that is eminently sophisticated and timeless in equal measure. As a décor theme suited for a bedroom or indeed most rooms within the home, it is versatile and appealing, yet also stately with a calming vibe, although not as opulent in nature as some of the more lavish French Renaissance styles that are a close cousin. The key to style success here is to begin with an essentially simple foundation, and then add classical elements through furnishings and accessories, resisting the temptation to introduce too many elements that are over-ornate, lavish, or oversized.

Neoclassicism, also referred to as Louis XV1 style, was popular in France and Europe during the latter half of the 18th century, and was a decorative trend marked by the revival of classical architecture and art forms which manifested itself in the form of décor that was invariably ornate and rich, featuring architectural elements inspired by old-world Europe. Fabrics, patterns, colours and furnishings saw a great Greek architectural influence, and pieces from many other European styles may be successfully incorporated into authentic neoclassical design. Empire, Greek revival, Rococo, and Baroque styles are all relevant in this respect…

Prepare the foundation for a neoclassical room or bedroom by applying a light and warm wall colour such as vintage whites, faded pinks, or a gentle gold that creates a welcoming and calming feel to the room, whilst offering appealing background contrast for furnishings and fabrics. A large area rug can become a colourful accent piece in the richer tones of crimson, purple and green, with patterns that incorporate typical Greek influenced designs, such as scrolls and bold geometric patterns. Natural and artificial lighting is also important here, as architectural advances during this period saw the introduction of larger windows which allowed in plenty of natural light. Accentuate windows with deluxe floor length curtains hung high to the ceiling, lighting the space well artificially during periods of dusk or darkness.

When it comes to furnishings, proportion and form is a major consideration, although large and grandiose is not the preferred route for an authentic flavour. Instead create interest and variety through pieces of various weight, sizes and forms. An ornate wooden bedstead is likely to form the focal point of the room, or you might prefer a French style iron bed painted in a rich gold patina finish for a slightly different, if less authentic twist. An oversized carved wooden headboard featuring columned detailing or an ornate frieze, might emulate the architectural elements typical of neoclassical buildings, whilst other rich furnishings, such as a chaises longue, are also at home here together with other more slender furniture pieces to strike a balance. A nightstand or a pair of bedside tables with thin fluted legs, add an element of the craftsman-quality cabinetry and woodwork that was prevalent during this era.

Finalise the neoclassical theme with accents and decorative ware that continues this luxurious style in a grand way, yet which don’t overpower the room. Grand Greek urns and classical-style prints and paintings can’t fail to evoke the ancient Greek aesthetic, and consider showcase paintings in ornate gilded gold frames on an accent wall. Stack or line bookshelves or a mantel with leather bound classical novels for a formalised vintage appeal, incorporating a variety of textures and materials for visual interest and authenticity. Marble accents, carved stone décor, high quality wood inlays, together with rich velvets and silks, will all evoke the neoclassical mood. Incorporate them in the form of smaller room accents and traditional bed fabrics, whenever your taste or budget doesn’t allow for them to be included on a grander scale.

Another twist on French Country Shabby Chic décor .

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

For those of us that are fans of warm and casual décor style, French Country Shabby Chic room design is one look that never falls from favour. As a versatile and charming theme, it enjoys a loyal following across both genders and all age groups with a mix of warming colours and textures, mixed-matched patterns, and comfortable furnishings for enticing and timeless appeal. Set the scene and enjoy pulling together a unique room look by blending antique store finds or heirloom pieces with nature inspired hues and elements for a bedroom style that is sure to please…

Pastel tones and creamy shades are appropriate for the backdrop here for that French country farmhouse flavour, but why not consider a bolder approach with a medley of richer colours, inspired by nature that showcase a collection of fine furnishings and vintage pieces? Shades such as burnt orange or gold, fire red, lavender, cobalt blue, or a sunny yellow are all colours that bring the outside in, creating an instant link with nature and the rolling landscapes of France. Think sunsets, vineyards, the ocean and fields of poppies and wildflowers for colour inspiration that is sure to awaken the senses. Incorporate them in the form of wall paints or wallpaper treatments, in furniture fabrics, or as a bed throw on a beautiful distressed vintage iron bedstead.

Indeed rustic, well-loved and worn furnishings are the order of the day here, going hand in hand with the informal country aesthetic that we are looking to create. Half the fun is to be had in scouring antique arcades, attending clearance auctions, or trawling the internet for vintage finds that fit the French Shabby chic brief. An eclectic mix of accents is to be welcomed as long as there is an element of “French-ness” in them all that ties the theme together. In the bedroom bring in worn painted wooden dressers and cabinets and an old brass headboard or heavy brass bedstead, or perhaps an antique style iron bed in a simple and functional, yet undeniably charming design. A faded upholstered bedroom chair or worn leather armchair will also look the part here, whilst wicker elements and a robin’s egg-blue side table or bedside tables create a pleasing counterpoint with wrought iron or metal beds and other accent hardware and room elements. Include an old wooden bench to sit under a shuttered window or at the foot of the bed as the perfect spot for discarded clothes or bedding or a place to linger awhile or put on shoes.

It’s those little finishing details that tie the look together, with visual, interest on the walls such as wrought iron sculptures or artwork that features French landscapes with fields of lavender, vineyard scenes or still life oil paintings. Vintage pottery and ceramics such as bowls for a fruit display or ornamental plates and vases all have their place here. Crushed velvet cushions and bedthrows or a patchwork quilt add comfort and shabby chic style to the bedroom theme, and you might choose window dressings in a gingham or French toile design to continue the Gallic mood. Bring warmth and softness to natural bare wooden floors with a braided throw rug at the foot or to one side of that vintage metal bed, and feature bouquets of wild or dried flowers in simple chipped ceramic vases or a metal pitcher as a final French Country chic flourish…

Moorish style bedroom décor…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Moorish style is a term used specifically during the 19th century to describe a predominantly western design movement based on the architecture and decorative arts of the Muslim inhabitants of North West Africa (the Moors) and between the 8th and 15th centuries of southern Spain. It is also a term used imprecisely to include Arab and Indian influences. Although the Moors rule in Spain finally ended in 1492, their presence remained indispensably part of the European vision of the East. It’s a style woven intrinsically with the Moroccan aesthetic and in most cases they are indistinguishable as one and the same. Earthy spicy colours combined with jewelled tones, repeating patterns, decorative iron work and intricately patterned fabrics define the look, for a rich, exotic, and enticing room style.

Within the bedroom or any Moorish room scheme, colour is crucial to set the scene. Rich jewel tones such as emerald green, sapphire blue, ruby red, amethyst purple and topaz yellow will strike an authentic chord, with the earthy tones of rust and cinnamon vying with such spicy colours as paprika and saffron. Mediterranean blue was another firm favourite for Moroccan and Moorish décor, and you can combine a selection of these colours for a vibrant extrovert effect, or just a few shades from one colour group for a more planted style. Where the mood intention is one of decadence and luxury, choose those jewelled tones, whereas earthy and spicy colours create a more subtle flavour. The combination of blue and white, or creamy hues, establish an airy summer vibe, reminiscent of the Mediterranean Sea regions.

Elaborately embellished and carved woodwork comes together with hand painted, highly lacquered furniture pieces such as armoires, solid wooden bed designs, and heavy chests or coffers, in the Moorish tradition. Furniture is often low to the ground, and seating invariably consists of a scattering of large ornately patterned floor cushions. Add a touch of wrought iron in the form of a small accent table, or a focal point wrought iron bed. Tables often feature brightly coloured mosaic-tiled tops, and whatever room you are decorating don’t skimp on lashings of luxurious fabrics for window dressings, bed covers, or wall features. Silk and rich chenille’s are all appropriate here with Persian style rugs scattered across a natural wood floor, to create a richly textured and colourful space.

Walls have a textured rustic appearance that can be easily recreated with textured paint or faux paint techniques such as crackle glazing and sponging. Alternatively cover the walls with fabric for an ultra-luxurious feel, or create an exotic Bedouin tent flavour with softly draped sheer fabric cascading down the walls or enveloping that enticing traditional bed. Tiles featuring a traditional geometric design referred to as “zellige” can be incorporated for wall and floor treatments, and floor tiles are either painted and glazed or have a natural finish, with terracotta tiles the order of the day whenever a more understated look is desired.

Finalise the Moorish aesthetic with the inclusion of accents and accessories such as Moroccan lamps and tea light holders, mosaic candle sticks and candles and wrought iron candelabras and wall sconces. Moroccan ceramics and porcelain in bright colours will strike the perfect tone here. Carafes, pitchers, large flower vases and bowls are all true to the theme. Team them up with copperware and silverware and hammered metal detailing on a low bedside table or as decorative accents on an imposing wooden headboard. Include a hookah pipe for a whimsical room touch and a hand tooled metal framed Ketama mirror for that authentic Moroccan vibe…

Travel themed Bedroom ideas…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Allow the imagination to wander with a travel themed bedroom scheme that might just transport you to anywhere our fantasies choose. Creating such a scheme not only allows us to wave farewell to more pedestrian room themes but allows a little indulgence away from the cares of everyday life. For adult bedroom with a travel story, draw inspiration from the late Victorian era of world travel when the wealthy and adventurous were taking to the high seas or from the 20s and 30s when global travel was at its most chic and sumptuous. Such a room theme can be created in such a way that it is sophisticated and elegant, but it is an aesthetic that lends itself well to a child’s room also, where bright colours and worldwide maps and images turn the space into one which is fun, inviting and educational.

Choose a colour mix or combination for walls, woodwork and trim that evokes images of a favourite holiday or location or one that exudes an exotic tropical flavour. The Greeks paint their doors, window shutters and particularly domed roofs a brilliant blue to create a link with the skies and the heavens, whilst warm yellows, oranges, purples and rich reds are typical of the vivid colours so intrinsically associated with Moroccan spice markets. Mediterranean blues and greens are also very emotive, whilst terracotta and burnt orange shades are perfect for a Tuscany inspired room scheme. Scour the internet and Interiors design publications for inspiration and pull together a palette of colours drawn from images of those well-loved landscapes. Begin by painting one accent wall in a deeper colour to form the backdrop for a focal point traditional bed design, from which the remainder of the room scheme can draw inspiration.

Look out for an original Victorian inspired iron bed, which evokes thoughts of colonial travel to far outposts, or maybe a rustic wooden bed creation to form the centrepiece for a Mediterranean or Tuscan bedroom theme. Decoupage dresser drawers, bookcases, or the top of a bedside table with yellowed vintage luggage labels for a hint of old-world travel. Images of old luggage stickers can be tracked down and printed off the internet or you can purchase specialist books with reproductions of the same.

A steamer trunk at the end of that heavy metal bedstead complete with labels and travel stickers conjures images of faraway travel as well as providing a great functional storage solution for blankets, clothes and general bedroom clutter, as might a collection of old weathered leather suitcases of varying sizes, stacked to form an impromptu table or stashed away on top of a wardrobe to create additional storage solutions, whilst continuing thetravel theme.

Add accessories and decorative-ware that adds depth and interest to the travel story. Potted palms evoke that plantation or Colonial mood and ornate lamps and lanterns have an exotic edge that hints at Moroccan, Arabian, or Indian adventures. Framed copies of antique maps, old travel advertisement posters, or your own emotive personal travel photographs cannot fail to add interest and liven up an accent wall. Hunt through antique arcades and bric-a-brac stores for any old pieces that catch the eye that paint a picture of distant shores, while an antique world globe placed on a side table offers the perfect finishing touch…

Fresh contemporary bedroom style…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Giving the bedroom a fresh modern update is a simple and satisfying project that need not break the bank, yet effortlessly lends the space a whole new persona; a more exciting environment to enter and a great boost to the senses to start the day. Bedrooms as a uniquely personal space offer great scope as a canvas for any number of contemporary décor themes, allowing a little indulgence and creative expression that might not be as appropriate in other rooms within the home. It enables the home designer to draw on colour and room style concepts that you might have seen and admired on home improvement TV shows or within Interior Design magazines. And whilst a complete makeover might be the task of choice, a “new” bedroom is in essence whatever this means to you, and might be something as simple as adding a few new pops of colour, replacing outdated furniture or a tired old wooden bed or metal bedframe, or adding artwork that has personal or emotional significance.

Colour schemes and wall textures, as always set the tone, and modern colour schemes tend to be modest and understated to enable the room accents and elements to do the “talking”. Black and white room schemes or those featuring shades of grey are always of the moment, and you can easily create a whole new room scheme by painting a bed head accent wall a deep shade of grey, splitting the effect with a horizontal black stripe, or adding vertical grey stripes to a white or off-white wall. Contemporary wallpaper treatments offer the same visual solution. If you are updating the bedroom from bland to upbeat, create a jewel-toned space by adding turquoise and ruby red throw cushions to a contemporary metal bed, or painting an accent wall an aubergine or purple shade, complemented with a side table and free standing table lamp with a jewelled rim shade.

Replace ubiquitous pine furniture with fresh modern designs that have a clean silhouette and simple lines that send out a stylish message by way of colour, form and stance. Low platform wooden bed designs, finished in lacquer black or with a dark wood grain, establish a minimalist yet enticing room focal point from which other room décor can draw inspiration. Consider also sophisticated metal bed creations finished in chrome or nickel for a high-end flavour, or low-rise iron bed designs with an ascetic vibe presented in black, pewter, or charcoal colour finishes. Add a splash of colour to the room with cherry red bedside tables and a dresser or bureau, distressing the piece should you wish, to customise. Comfortable furniture such as a chaise or love seat, upholstered in a warm shade of red or orange, will complement other rich brown or black furniture within the room, for a classic modern twist with great cross gender-friendly appeal.

Updated artwork for the bedroom might include such contemporary themes as 70s style geometric designs housed in a silver or piano black frame or a framed print featuring stripes or polka dots to liven up a plain wall. Limit artwork to one large print or metal wire sculpture on an accent wall or above the head of that modern bedframe, or a cluster of two or three smaller prints on a side wall to maintain that stylish modern vibe. For a truly personalised approach enlarge family or partner photos, framed and displayed on a feature wall, or favourite flower or landscape photos likewise, that evoke happy thoughts and memories. An ornately gold framed oil painting or print from a favourite artist, for a touch of antique style, offers a different twist to the contemporary mood should you prefer…

White Iron Bed room style…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Emotive iron bedstead designs stir the imagination. Traditional styling with ornate detailing and brass accents evokes memories of country bedrooms, a dusty Victorian attic, or British Colonial settings, with more contemporary designs at home in glassy townhouse apartments, gritty urban minimalist rooms, or a teenagers bedroom bolt-hole. Yet whatever the shape, size and style of bed, colour and texture defines the persona, and no more so than with metal beds finished in white or ivory shades for a look that is either bang up to date, or quietly traditional with a fresh colour twist. In essence, white iron bed creations are chameleons, adapting effortlessly to a myriad of room themes. So whether your bed is an authentic original complete with a few knocks and bruises, or as might be more likely, a modern reproduction oozing with style, there’s a host of colour and room décor options that are guaranteed to create the most enticing of bed room themes…

For the modernists amongst us installing a contemporary white metal bed design that is sleek and streamlined with a simple silhouette and a low-rise stance, is a fabulous option when minimalism is the order of the day. Pick one contrasting accent colour for the bed-head wall such as charcoal grey, dusky red, or taupe and finish the remaining walls in a neutral shade to pick up on the bed linens and window treatment colours. Euro- style furnishings in chrome or sensual black lacquer add plenty of high-key contrast, and select one showpiece decorative or arty touch to define the room such as an oversized orchid, lily or other floral print over the head of the bed, to add a soft touch and a splash of colour, repeated in the duvet and bedthrow, and again in an accent rug to warm up a natural wood floor.

As the centrepiece of a romantic hideaway, look no further than a charming white, ivory or light pastel coloured iron bed to establish just the right mood. Pink room themes are an option here if you desire a dreamy girly look or are decorating for a daughter. White on pink imparts a sweet and gentle flavour. But for a less feminine approach, graduations of periwinkle blue and lavender work equally well as do country cottage inspired pastel hues such as faded green or vintage gold. Any traditionally styled metal bedstead design will harmonise fabulously here and ornate styling will be set off perfectly against the backdrop of a darker accent wall. Introduce a swathe of restrained colour with a pink floral bed throw or duvet cover to continue the romantic theme, and look out for white wicker furnishings in the form of bedside tables, bedroom chairs and storage baskets, to complete the room furnishings. If these pieces are a little distressed in appearance then so much the better, for instant country house shabby chic charm.

For an equally appealing light and airy room scheme, be bold and consider a white-on-white room aesthetic that starts and finishes with the bed as the room focal point. For those romantic souls without grimy dogs or children in their lives, this might be the one and only time when you can indulge with a winter-white scheme to rival those of any interior design magazine showcase. A little more thought and planning is required here where texture variation and white shading mix compensates for lack of primary colours. Warm the room a little with a yellow tinged paint or cool it down with a subtle hint of blue. Mix fabric, bed linen and paint textures for visual contrast or wallpaper the bed head wall with a gentle white floral pattern that doesn’t distract the eye from the bed detail. For a touch of glamour break the all-white rule with a few gold-trimmed accents or agilt framed mirror and a brass cut glass crystal ceiling chandelier to hang above the bed.

As a final thought, consider incorporating wooden furniture within the room to flatter that white iron bed. There was a time when mixed media was considered a design violation, but actually your white bedstead can coexist perfectly with wooden room elements, the two materials creating a harmonious counterpoint. Cherrywood furniture is particularly suitable here with rich red undertones that parries delightfully with white tones for a classy vibe. Extend the look with a tan carpet or accent rugs and light mocha walls to showcase the bed, and include a dramatic arty focal point such as a large tapestry or dominant piece of art with a colour palette of red and browns to pick up on those lavish wood tones. The perfect conclusion to the most inviting of white iron bed room schemes…

Arts and Crafts Bedroom style.

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

The Arts and Crafts movement lasted from the late 19th century until the early 1900s as a counterpoint to the rather more fussy and heavily ornamental period of the Victorian era. It’s a décor style that draws on several design influences, but particularly those that we might associate with Oriental, Gothic and Medieval themes, with a simplicity that found favour with style afficionados of the time. Arts and Crafts furniture was handmade with simple detailing lacking in superfluous decoration, with methods of construction that often remained visible. Patterns on metalwork and wood were typically inspired by British flora and fauna using the vernacular or domestic traditions of the British countryside deploying a revival of old techniques, largely as a reaction to Victorian machine produced styles that had evolved during the time of the industrial revolution. Colours were muted and natural with accessories and decorative items crafted from ceramic, pewter, copper and iron. It is an undeniably classic and down to earth aesthetic that remains relevant today for décor themes within the home or accent pieces to harmonise with retro contemporary, or more traditional surroundings.

By the end of the nineteenth century, arts and crafts ideals had influenced architecture, painting, sculpture, graphics, illustrations, photography, domestic design and the decorative arts, including furniture design and woodwork, stained glass design, leatherwork, lacemaking, embroidery and weaving and jewelry and ornamental metalwork. Such was the broad influence of the movement, that nothing remained untouched by this newly popularised style.

For a bedroom theme draw on these designs inspired by the most influential individual of the era; William Morris as well as the architect Charles Voysey and the writers, John Ruskin and Augustus Putin. Research these names for décor themes that translate in the bedroom through fabrics, furniture and colour. Pick colour tones that are natural and subdued to evoke the style with earthy warm qualities that are well suited to bedroom themes. Dusty rose, sapphire blue, mossy green, deep red shades, and burnished brown are all appropriate here, providing great contrast against neutral ivory and cream tones.

Hunt down original or reproduction Arts and Crafts furniture which create the mood. Traditional built-in carpentry was popular back then, but today look for high quality cabinetry and bookcases. A panelled wooden bed evokes the era, whilst a four poster bedstead is a must-have for larger rooms. There was something of a backlash against the ornate metal bedsteads and brass bed designs that had become an integral part of Victorian society, yet those iron beds with Arts and Crafts detailing and ornamentation remained relevant, with inspired styling that was unmistakably of the era. Look out for complementary Arts and Craft furniture pieces crafted from wood, such as broad wooden chairs with arms set wide apart in a formal rectangular shape, trimmed with leather and copper detailing and inverted heart carvings.

Choose wallpaper that continues the story. Both gothic and Oriental motifs were popular back then along with William Morris stylized floral and fauna artistry, and large-scale designs with repeat patterns was the norm. A wooden dado or chair rail might have separated the top half of the wall from the lower which would have been covered by tongue and groove boarding. Set the walls off with natural hardwood floors or dark stained parquet flooring.

Bring light to the room with Tiffany style stained lamp shades that glow softly against a hammered copper patina base, incorporating wall sconces and bedside table lamps that pick up on the same décor theme. Put the accent on accessories with stoneware, pottery, jugs and ornamental metal platters and plates. Pewter, iron, copper, bronze and silver, were all materials that were in favour during the era for decorative work and accent metals for larger room items. Add interest to the room with wall art featuring pastoral scenes or an accent oil painting to hang above the bed…

Mexican Bedroom themes.

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

The rustic charms of colourful Mexican décor lend themselves well to just about any space within the home when the time comes for a grand makeover, or if you are just looking to add a few accent features. As a style it is flexible enough to blend with such décor themes as French Country, Tuscan and bohemian chic aesthetics, and with a practical rustic quality, works equally well outside the home for patio, porch, and garden design features. Typically furniture is built solidly from wood with an eye on practicality but often features hand-crafted details such as ornate carvings and painted ornamentation. With warm earthy colours and these rustic hand-hewn furnishings, a Mexican inspired room combines geometric shapes and appealing textures to create a space that is easy on the mind and soul, which is an intriguing departure from more mainstream room themes.

For an authentic note, stick with the typical earthy tones of Mexican decorating colours, ranging from burnt orange to ocean blue in eggshell finishes, with terracotta floor tiles and warm yellow walls for a sunny flavour. If you are hesitant about incorporating too much wall and ceiling colour consider painting just one accent wall as a feature, with the remaining walls a coordinating neutral shade of cream or light beige. Alternatively a plaster texture technique can bring a lot of Mexican charm to the room space, making those terracotta floor tones feel authentic and inviting. It’s alook that might require the services of a professional decorator though, whilst a stucco texture is easier to apply and will hide cracks and holes in the wall. Wall murals are another interesting option and can transform the space with Mexican landscape vista paintings creating an accent wall for big impact.

Furniture selection gives the room identity and grounded flavour with rustic wood and wrought iron striking the perfect tone. A heavy weathered wrought iron bedframe has all the right design cues, or look out for a chunky wooden bed design with carving detail and iron decorative hardware. If you don’t want to invest in a traditional bedframe or perhaps are tight on space, consider creating a Mexican style headboard from some wrought iron gates or railings mounted behind the bed or old painted window shutters mounted likewise for a similar effect. Side tables, dressers and bedside tables should be crafted from light woods with rugged wrought iron trim and drawer pulls, or you might like to repurpose old pine tables and bureaus and paint them a traditional Mexican colour such as turquoise, terra cotta or blue. Distress the furniture with a sheet of sandpaper to reveal the wood below on corners and touch points, for a vintage vibe.

Linens and upholstery bring comfort and colour into the mix, although be careful to avoid incorporating too many patterns that might result in a kitschy look. Instead opt for solid colours that pick up on the wall tones such as cream or light sand-coloured sheets on that traditional bed, and an ocean blue or brown duvet cover or bed throw so that the bedding does not steal the limelight from the bed or headboard design. Toss a traditional Mexican blanket as a runner at the foot of the bed for a splash of colour, and keep the fabric mood simple with curtain materials that echo the bed dressings, avoiding anything with a pattern. Incorporate bamboo shades at the windows or old antique shutters for privacy should you wish, or simple nylon sheers for an airier feel.

More 1950s Hollywood bedroom style…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

It’s pretty difficult not to be aware of the popularity of vintage and retro style right now. From the catwalk to the way we furnish our homes and accessorise our lifestyles, retro style is all around. No wonder then that the Art Deco look of old Hollywood remains so popular on the home décor scene. Opulent, glamorous and undoubtedly a little indulgent, Hollywood glam lends itself particularly well for bedroom décor for a splash of decadent creativity when other rooms within the home might be through practicality or decorative necessity, a little more restrained. Whether the bedroom scheme is to please a teenage girl, single young woman or a romantic couple, Hollywood Glamour styling or Hollywood Regency as it is also termed, can be gloriously retro or cutting-edge modern. And whilst it looks rich and opulent it’s a design theme that needn’t cost a fortune. The keys to success here are really just all about understanding the style “signatures” and then making decorative choices in keeping with the needs and desires of the bedroom’s “starlet” or leading man.

The golden age of Hollywood is the inspiration for a design aesthetic that stretched from the early thirties, through its heyday and up to as recently as the 1950s, by which time some of the Hollywood glitz had started to tarnish a little. Hollywood set designers inspired the style with the grand luxurious backdrops for stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Joan Crawford, walking down dramatic staircases highlighted by crystal chandeliers, or pampering themselves in front of mirrored surfaced or brightly lacquered vanity tables. As actors that were larger than life, the set designs had to be grand enough to showcase them without outshining their presence. And so it is with any modern-day interpretation, where luxury and extrovert personality is the order of the day, but not to such an extent that it overwhelms.

Any Hollywood Glamour bedroom is never going to be complete without a few well-chosen furniture pieces that define the look. There is no minimum or limit within reason, so work with or repurpose your existing furniture pieces, or better still incorporate a grand-scale highly polished wooden bedstead, or an imposing solid brass bedstead crafted perhaps from square brass tubing to evoke the Deco styling trend. Think large and oversized with tall corner leg posts or something with an over-height headboard, and you are on the right lines for a focal point signature piece that will influence the room scheme as an entity. Exclude at your peril a sumptuous chaises longue upholstered in leather or buttoned velvet, as no self-indulgent starlets bedroom would be quite complete without such a décor touch to sit at the foot of that glamorous bedstead, or to define a corner of the room. A vanity dresser is another essential piece of furniture in high-gloss tourtoiseshell , black lacquer or mirrored finishes, complete with a silver vanity hair set and vintage perfume bottles.

Likewise, no Hollywood bedroom is complete without a chandelier and large wall mirror; on par with the bed and chaises longue in terms of room elements that establish the Hollywood mood. If a crystal chandelier isn’t within your budget, there are many fabulous look-alike replicas out there for not a lot of money. Consider those with black glass detailing also with wall sconces that match, to flank that majestic glamour bedstead or free standing bedside table lamps in a similar design. A large over-the-top wall mirror is an essential, as ornately framed as you wish, and big enough to form the focal point of whichever wall you choose to mount it upon. Over the head of the bed is a good spot, but should you prefer something a little more restrained, consider a vignette of several smaller mirrors on an accent wall instead.

And finally, with respect to all-important colour selections, remember that during the black and white era of Hollywood movies, set designers often used lush or reflective materials to create depth in the absence of colour. White was used in abundance then and now, but not without Art Deco inspired black, and variations of blue, yellow and green and undoubtedly, rich red tones. Popular materials that will strike the right chord were, and have always been, any gloss, chromed or mirror finishes. High-gloss ebony black and silver is also a favourite, whilst for curtain, bedding and upholstery, velvets, silks and satins are Hollywood Glamour to the core, not forgetting that zebra print bed throw or runner, for a touch of retro chic…

Springtime Shabby Chic…

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

With springtime in full flow and the advent of some welcome floral colour in the garden and hedgerows, we are inspired to contemplate some bright and fresh décor ideas for the home that capture the essence of the season. The shabby chic design style is one such aesthetic with huge vintage appeal that can be used to create an elegant, yet extremely comfortable, informal space. Recognised by light or white painted furniture pieces and gentle floral fabrics, it exudes enticingly fresh spring-time qualities with a timeless quality that is easy to introduce into the home without breaking your décor budgets. And there’s no better time than now to consider a bedroom makeover when the outdoors best mimic the light, airy, and floral elements that give this design theme its unmistakable signature style…

Along with a fresh coat of cream or faded pastel wall paint, one of the fastest and easiest ways of giving your room an instant shabby chic makeover is with furniture slipcovers. Not only is this an instant and inexpensive way to update that that tired old chair, sofa or chaises longue, but it is also a very authentic design element within the shabby chic style. Look for slipcover materials made from natural fabrics, preferably in solid cream, white or pastel colours, that you can bring to life with numerous and gorgeous floral throw pillows. If you are handy with a needle and thread you might like to create your own slipcovers including such dressmaker details as pleats, rosettes and ties, created such that a hint of the furniture detail beneath is still visible. If you are creating a shabby chic feel in a very small bedroom or one that has no seating, apply the same principles to the bedding atop a charming vintage metal bedstead design or an old cottage-style wooden bed, using white or cream natural fabrics to allow the design of the traditional bed to shine through, and not compete with more ornately patterned accent pillows or scatter cushions.

Those pillows, cushions, and throw-overs are great for creating springtime splashes of colour, just like the spring flowers in the garden. Throwing together a wide variety of pillows and cushions in various shapes, sizes and textures works well for a shabby chic theme. Large or small floral prints mixed with striped or coordinating materials will do just nicely as long as you don’t select fabrics that are too perfectly matched. After all, the key to visual success here is an eclectic mix of vintage fabrics and room elements that give the impression that the room style came together over the course of time with different antique pieces and maybe inherited items, rather than having been put together as part of a design project. Use original vintage fabrics within the mix if at all possible for true authenticity, or create pillows with old lace handkerchiefs and tea-stained fabrics.

Another good reason for a springtime shabby chic makeover is that you can bring elements of the outside into your bedroom scheme, by incorporating some outside-style pieces within the décor. White wicker patio-style furniture is particularly appropriate here as an inexpensive solution that you can freshen up with paint or even distress down if desired. Wicker with its natural hand-crafted qualities mixes well with other room furniture or that focal point wooden or vintage iron bed, and even a couple of well- chosen pieces such as a little chair or bedside table, can dramatically transform the overall feeling of the space. Dress a small wicker table with a little floral-patterned tablecloth and consider also a weathered wooden and metal garden bench which you can place at the foot of the bed or against the wall and decorate with floral cushions, as the perfect spot for discarded clothes, a bed blanket, or a quiet reflective springtime sit-down…