Showing posts with label bedroom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bedroom. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

From Dated to Divine

How to you redecorate rooms that are architecturally flawed? Play up scale and add eye-catching elements, recommends designer Marlaina Teich. That way, you refocus the design away from the room’s flaws and instead draw the eye to its best assets.

Part of a c. 1915 Italian Renaissance-style mansion, a bedroom suite by Marlaina was plagued by design dilemmas, including peeling paint, old fixtures, odd architectural angles and limited space. Equally daunting were the restrictions placed on how the rooms could be altered. To preserve historic integrity, nothing was allowed to be structurally removed from the rooms.

So how could she accomplish a complete transformation without gutting the rooms? “Always start with a plan,” Marlaina says. Her plan for the space was to “trick the eye” with the use of unusual materials and dramatic furnishings.

In the bedroom, Marlaina hid the fireplace’s odd angle and placement by embellishing it with unusual, light-reflecting wall tiles made from mother-of-pearl Capiz shells, thereby drawing attention to its scale instead of its position. To add more drama, she replaced the lighting fixture with a platinum and crystal chandelier. A custom-made etched glass fireplace screen is one more light-reflecting detail.

Turning to the problematic window wall, Marlaina continued to use the luminescence theme on the oversized headboard by upholstering it in pearlized leather.

The custom-made silk drapery that flanks the outer corners of both windows was specifically designed to pull the eye away from the fact that the queen-sized bed covers a portion of each window. For bold contrast, Marlaina used a deep, henna-colored paint on the walls.

By Bonnie Joy Flam

Monday, March 25, 2013

Inspiration for a Cottage-Style Bedroom

Photo: Thinkstock

The quest for shelter is one of the strongest human drives. When we imagine a place to keep the rain out and the warmth in, most of us picture the quintessential cottage, a small abode lit with a crackling fire, a soft place to sit and, at the end of the day, a comforting place to lay our heads down in easy slumber.

Cottages are scattered about in our collective consciousness, filled with memories of summer twilights, simmering soups on the old stove, cats curled on the window-seat and perhaps a tiny bedroom in the attic. Whether it was Grandma's house every Fourth of July or that memorable weekend house in the Hamptons, the cottages in our memories provide a benchmark for how we want our own everyday lives to feel.

Over the centuries, painters have been captivated by the unsung nobility of peasants and their way of life. Using their amazing talent to convey color and light, the masters, particularly the Dutch and the Flemish, depicted a highly idealized vision of the country life, showing thatched cottages with small windows and an entryway brimming with flowers and animals. Even today, modern painters attempt to capture the allure of a cottage in pastoral settings at various times of the day, with the ancient peasant-dwelling as their inspiration. And in these shared images and memories, you too can find inspiration for cottage style decor in your bedroom.

By Erika Kotite

Source: Well Styled Home Magazine

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bathroom Textiles and Linens

You may have spotted our Q&A on with Pandora de Balthazar, a master collector and textile expert who’s been sharing with us her expert tips for creating a luxurious bedroom. Curious about her advice for a lavish bathroom? Read on!

B&B: In the bathroom, where people don’t often think of textiles and linens, what are some of your favorite ways to use fabric?

Pandora: Hand towels are in residence daily. They are softer [than paper towels], have many uses and are much more genteel.

B&B: Also much more practical and healthful for the environment.

Pandora: Yes. And in my home, café curtains are de riguer; I can recycle those for use in the bedrooms and as door treatments when necessary. I also make shower curtains or drapes from antique sheets or bedcovers that are too small for today’s large beds. It’s a beautiful and simple look.

By Jickie Torres

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Ultimate Guide to Clearing Your Clutter: Author Q&A

A couple of energy traps in your home include stuffed bathroom cupboards and any beauty products lingering around the tub. Ready to get organized and clear that clutter? Follow Mary Lambert's advice from The Ultimate Guide to Clearing Your Clutter.

The bathroom should provide a private retreat for cleansing the body and soul. It needs to be an inviting environment where you want to linger, Lambert says. She suggests treating yourself a little in this room by having candles, perhaps placed around the tub, an oversized luxurious towel or a spider plant or fern to increase the room's energy.

Author Q&A

We asked Lambert how to let chi flow freely via improved bathroom organization. Here's how she answered: "In the bathroom, do not store too many products around the bath as this inhibits the flow of chi. Make sure you have enough cabinets for these products. Regularly check cabinets holding health products and discard any products that are out of date."

When we asked for simple feng shui cures to energize the bedroom, she replied, "The first thing you need to do is clear out any junk you have. Beware of mirrors opposite the bed as they are too energetic for the bedroom and can cause restless sleep. Electronics, including TVs, should be removed as they have the same effect as a mirror. If you can't live without it, make sure it is turned off when you sleep and covered with a cloth or scarf. Open the windows regularly."

And for those of you set to clear the clutter from your life, here are Lambert's words of wisdom: "The hardest thing for people to overcome is to change their mindset. It is liberating to clear your clutter, but it can often only be done with the help of a consultant. Once the clutter is cleared it can easily come back, so regular checks are needed. Also, by setting up good storage systems the clutter should disappear. A problem area is the paper junk--flyers, leaflets, notes. Be sure to put them straight into a recycling bin if you don't need them."

But what if you're skeptical? Junk doesn't affect me, you think. The Ultimate Guide to Clearing Your Clutter can help you, too. Lambert provides great quizzes and tips that make it easier to personalize your experience. Her book addresses a wide range of needs, from organizing solutions to completely adaption your house to the flow of chi. Your home is your sanctuary, and this book will guide you toward creating an efficacious environment that inspires your confidence, health, relationships and career.

By Lauren Vikander

The Ultimate Guide to Clearing Your Clutter by Mary Lambert, published by CICO Books; visit For our complete review, visit

Monday, January 14, 2013

How to Balance Black & White

Balance Black and White Bedroom

Q: I love decorating in black and white, but I’m finding it difficult to create balance in my bedroom. The result is always either too dark or insufficiently dramatic. Any expert tips?

A: Professional home stager and design consultant Sarah Macklem suggests “mixing patterns and textures, and combining them with soft, muted neutrals. I love to use black and white accessories to become a feature, as opposed to overpowering the room. Another way to soften the look of black and white is to combine it with natural textures like dried hydrangea, for example. Black and white décor is timeless. One way to keep a space from appearing too dark is to use a lighter complementary color, as well as white and cream, to provide contrast.”

By Rebecca J. Razo

Monday, January 7, 2013

Color and Pattern Basics

Q: How can I mix and match colors and patterns without overwhelming the eye?

Photograph courtesy of

A: San Francisco interior designer Tineke Triggs of Artistic Designs for Living offers her expert tips, emphasizing balance to keep from weighing down a your bedroom decor: “A typical design mistake is to employ multiple solid colors into a design without any patterns; however, you also have to be careful not to have too many different things competing with each other. You don’t want too much of any one pattern overtaking a space. For example, you don’t want to have all stripes, all florals or all damask patterns. Choose one floral, one stripe, one solid and one trellis or damask in complementary colors, and then distribute them evenly throughout the space. Additionally, use big prints to make bold statements in just one or two smaller pieces, such as a throw pillow or a chair, which can be easily replaced if you decide that you don’t like them.”

By Rebecca J. Razo

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cottage Kitchens: A Great Starter

Cottages Kitchen
 In 1976, they were a young couple looking for a starter house. What Ginette and David Williams found was a 900-square-foot 1950s tract house. They figured it would be fine for a while. And 34 years later they’re still there.

“We have always loved it here. My husband and I grew up in this neighborhood, and my parents, who are now 88 and 90 years old, live four blocks away. I am so glad that we’re nearby,” Ginette says.
Located in a sun-drenched neighborhood, shaded by mature trees and just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, there’s a lot to love about the house. “Originally, the houses around here all looked the same,” Ginette says. “But over the years people have added on and altered them so much that you can’t tell.”
Kitchen table
When they bought it, the Williams home had two bedrooms, a bath, a small kitchen and a living room. In a twist on typical ‘50s ranch architecture, the kitchen area was recessed, and the resulting roof extension created a front porch. It provided an outdoor living space that the family enjoyed. As their two sons were growing up, the couple thought about moving, but they couldn’t give up the convenient location, their garden, neighborhood and the schools, so they opted to stay and add on to the house.

Designing in Stages
Their first addition was a master bedroom and another bathroom at the back of the house. Next, they added a deck and a bay window, which enlarged the dining area in the kitchen. Finally, years later, they decided to expand the kitchen further to create more work space. Of course there was a lot of planning that needed to occur before any building could be done, but Ginette experienced a moment of realization that gave her a clear vision.

Sun pours through the kitchen’s bay window. Ginette has commemorated her love of the light with a motto from Wall Words.

 “I was visiting a friend who lives in a great big house in Georgia,” Ginette says. “It is so beautiful, but I thought to myself, ‘My house is a little cottage. It’s never going to grow up to be a big house like this.’ I remember that moment because I realized that all the things I liked are cottage style: white, pastels and lots of sunshine with sheer curtains. I’d always wanted a beach cottage, and even though we are five miles from the ocean, that was how I decided to decorate.”

Beach motifs lend the feeling of the seaside to Ginette’s kitchen.

A Kitchen Come to Life
Ginette and David knew they would need help in turning her vision into a functioning kitchen, so they attended a free kitchen-planning seminar. “It was the most expensive free seminar I ever went to,” David says with a laugh. There were a number of designers speaking, but Ginette sought out an assistant and asked which designer would be the right fit. After some conversation, the assistant recommended Monica Ledesma from Friedman’s Appliance Center. “Monica just ‘got’ me right away,” Ginette says.
 “When I visited David and Ginette’s home, I immediately knew that the bay window had to be the focal point of the kitchen,” Ledesma says. “Apparently, Ginette had met with a few other designers who wanted to rip out the window. We knew right away that we understood each other.” The space that Ledesma designed pushed the front of the house out four feet where it had been recessed before. “We brought the walls out to be even with the roof-line,” Ledesma says. Although it wasn’t a huge addition, the difference it made in the kitchen layout was enormous.

The bay window not only floods the space with sunlight but also provides a cozy seat and handy storage. The floors were finished with an engineered hardwood for easy care.

 “It was a galley kitchen before,” she says. “Now there is room for a center island and terrific traffic flow.” Although she didn’t alter the bay window, Ledesma replaced its cubby-hole doors and hardware. She added new windows on the side and over the sink, and replaced the back door, spreading even more sunshine through the room.

Cottages Room
Before: The William’s kitchen was much darker and smaller.

The kitchen now has room for a center island.

Ledesma designed the layout of the custom cabinets with white-stained beadboard lower doors, a double-stacked crown molding and ogee feet to lend a furniture-like feeling to the pieces. Upper cabinets are fitted with crackled-glass doors that help to maintain the airy feel of the room. Most of the countertops are made of Santa Cecelia granite in a soft oatmeal shade, except for the work island, which was finished with a walnut top created by David. He built the dining table too. “In a small house, space is everything,” Ginette says. “I wanted a table long enough for six people, but not too wide. David worked it out to fit our space.” David also crafted the stained glass panels for the transoms in the bay window.

Before: The kitchen nook was weighed down by darker wood shelves and furniture. Fresh paint and new windows brightened it up.

To finish the room, Ginette and Ledesma included beachy touches such as starfish, shells and even a little mermaid sculpture, to add visual interest to the soft butter-yellow, cream and light-blue color scheme.

Never Done
Where many people recall their home-renovation stories like tales of Gothic horror, Ginette’s sunny disposition relates only the bright side. “The project was so enjoyable. My builders were wonderful! They came in whistling every day and were so nice. I look back and say ‘that was fun,’” she says. So much fun, that the couple is presently working with Ledesma to renovate the master bathroom, which is 25 years old. It may have been a starter home, but Ginette and David aren’t finished yet.