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Master Bedroom Design: The Beginning

Now that I've completed (or nearly completed) decorating our family room, I'm turning my attention to our master bedroom. Since any great "after" needs a "before", this is what I'm starting with right now. No, it's not bad -- and I am still very fond of the wall color (Farrow & Ball's Parma Gray, which is really more blue than anything), but it feels...imcomplete and just not as "wow" as I'd like it to be.

While the furniture and accessories from our old house were working just fine from a functional standpoint, the much larger scale of this room made things a bit awkward from a design standpoint. Not only is there a lot of wasted space, but the queen-size bed, two small rugs and tiny end tables look positively pint-sized. Hardly the cozy, sophisticated look I'm going for in the room.

So what am I keeping? Quite a few things actually: the paint color, the Japanese wood block prints, the Jonathan Adler lamps, the clean lined grey linen armchair and the very cool wingback chair I had reupholstered a few years ago in a fun Mod Green Pod damask. Everything else is going. The bedroom set I'm actually selling to my sister to help offset the costs of the redo. If you're interested in either of the rugs (a 2.5' x 9' wool runner and a 5' x 8' wool rug, both from Pottery Barn and in excellent shape) or the tall silver candlestick lamp, email me and I'd be happy to quote you a great price and provide more pictures.

In any case, after swapping out my existing bed, side tables, dresser and rug, the new floor plan will look something like this:

As you can see, a larger (king size) bed and (6 x 9') rug go a long way towards filling out the space. I also decided that swapping out a side table for a long, low dresser would further maximize the long wall opposite the door (and, I'll be honest, give me tons of space to stack all my books and magazines). So, armed with this general space plan, I set about looking for the specific pieces that would not only suit the space, but bring in some much-needed luxury and glamour.

I like to start a design out with a single, amazing element that ties everything together -- and that something is usually fabric or a rug for me. Having a one truly wonderful print or piece as a jumping off point makes design a room so much easier. After seeing a whole lot of things I just felt lukewarm about, I stumbled on DwellStudio's new peacock dove duvet a few weeks ago and realized that it was exactly what I was looking for. Not only does it pull in both the gray and blue tones of the existing paint, but it also brings in a wonderful Chinoiserie pattern that will play off beautifully with my existing artwork and the more modern choices I'll be making in furniture. And once I found my inspiration, everything else just seemed to quickly fall into place:

First off: the bed. The focal point of any bedroom and my first big "want" for this room. I decided to go with a spare, modern canopy in a dark wood stain to add some volume and strong architectural lines, both to create a cozy, "room within a room" effect and to provide a strong visual frame for the fussier, more feminine pattern. The too small 5' x 8' rug will be swapped out for a 6' x 9', which will enable me to comfortably fit two chairs on the rug itself rather than having them awkwardly hang half on/half off. When I saw this Madeline Weinrib rug's quatrefoil and greek key design, I felt like it was just meant to be. The darker gray will also play off of the darker gray ceiling, further tying the room together and enhancing the cozy feeling I'm going for.

Next, I'd like to do away with the heavy, dark wood side tables and dresser and replace them with some much more glamorous pieces. To up the glam factor, both pieces will be mirrored, and a great, bold contrast to the dark frame of the bed. Nestled between the grey linen chair and my wing chair will be a gorgeous greek key silver table that I picked up on the cheap from One Kings Lane to replace the heavy wood pedestal table and bring in yet another element of sparkle (and yes, even more greek key!). And finally: my big "wish" (and major splurge) would be the silver bamboo tufted bench for the foot of the bed. Given it's cost, I'll be holding off for either a sale or a finding a great lookalike.

Finally, I'll be adding curtain panels to frame out and soften the wall of windows and add some additional art (or maybe a screen?) on the wall across the bed to help balance out the room more. I'm ordering some wallpaper samples (including this one from Osborne & Little shown above) and may end up using one of the patterns to create a large triptych. Regardless, I'll keep you posted!

P.S. - I'd like to apologize for my sporadic posting of the past few weeks -- and even more sporadic reading/commenting on all my favorite blogs. There have been a lot of new (and good) developments both at work and at home that have kept me a bit distracted, but I promise to get back to blogging in earnest very shortly!

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