Fittest loser
Article posted: 2/9/2014 5:45 AM

Ask a designer: Creating a multifaceted master bedroom

Natural light is the focus of this remodeled bedroom. Designer Brian Patrick Flynn replaced small windows with 6-foot-tall French doors that open to a deck, instantly turning what was a lackluster space into a relaxing retreat. To capitalize on the light, Flynn painted the walls and ceiling with a faint shade of blush in an eggshell finish.

Natural light is the focus of this remodeled bedroom. Designer Brian Patrick Flynn replaced small windows with 6-foot-tall French doors that open to a deck, instantly turning what was a lackluster space into a relaxing retreat. To capitalize on the light, Flynn painted the walls and ceiling with a faint shade of blush in an eggshell finish.

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS/BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN

This bedroom designed by Brian Patrick Flynn and featured on HGTV.com demonstrates the designer’s use of hefty chests and dressers next to beds rather than small night stands. Flynn suggests chests as an alternative due to their scale, especially in bedrooms with tall headboards.

This bedroom designed by Brian Patrick Flynn and featured on HGTV.com demonstrates the designer's use of hefty chests and dressers next to beds rather than small night stands. Flynn suggests chests as an alternative due to their scale, especially in bedrooms with tall headboards.

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS/BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN

Designer Brian Patrick Flynn layered his windows with blackout shades from Texton and custom drapery panels lined with blackout liner in his own bedroom in Los Angeles. The layering helps with the noise control and the blackout liner helps him to sleep in on weekends.

Designer Brian Patrick Flynn layered his windows with blackout shades from Texton and custom drapery panels lined with blackout liner in his own bedroom in Los Angeles. The layering helps with the noise control and the blackout liner helps him to sleep in on weekends.

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS/BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN

Designer Brian Patrick Flynn often installs pendant lights beside beds, directly above chests or nightstands rather than using table lamps.

Designer Brian Patrick Flynn often installs pendant lights beside beds, directly above chests or nightstands rather than using table lamps.

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS/BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN

Four poster beds, while beloved by many homeowners, are tricky to get right, says designer Brian Patrick Flynn.

Four poster beds, while beloved by many homeowners, are tricky to get right, says designer Brian Patrick Flynn.

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS/BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN

 1 of 5 
 
text size: AAA
By Melissa Rayworth, Associated Press

We're told a well-designed master bedroom should be an oasis of romantic calm. It's also supposed to be the practical place where you store clothing and get a good night's sleep, and it may also be where you watch television, pay bills and even set up a home office.

That's a lot to ask of a single room.

Advertisement

On the bright side, says interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn, you have plenty of decorating freedom. "Since bedrooms are all about self-expression and comforts," he says, "you can break the rules as much as you want."

We've asked Flynn, founder of Flynnside Out Productions, and two other design experts -- Betsy Burnham of Burnham Design and Molly Luetkemeyer of M. Design Interiors -- for tips on breaking those rules with style to create the ultimate master bedroom.

Only the calmest colors

Forget trendy shades or your favorite bright colors. Burnham advises sticking to a soothing palette of ivory and white, evoking a luxury hotel room. "You can layer color into that if you want to," she says.

If your idea of peace and quiet involves deeper colors, Flynn suggests navy blues or black-brown tones.

And if you really want bolder color or patterns, Luetkemeyer recommends using a single pattern throughout your bedroom. This "en suite" look involves using the same fabric for curtains and bedspread, and even covering the walls in the same pattern.

"Even a busy pattern won't feel too chaotic if you're consistent" in using it throughout the room, she says.

Big beds in small rooms

Think your medium-size or small bedroom can't handle a gorgeous four-poster bed? Burnham says a bed like that can serve as "a statement piece" that brings lots of style. It actually frees up space, because you won't need any extra, decorative pieces of furniture for pizazz.

Flynn agrees, as long as the bedroom isn't extremely small and the nightstands are in proportion. One of his pet peeves is a large bed flanked by tiny tables, which can make the tables look like they belong in a dollhouse.

Soften everything

These designers are seeing a trend toward upholstered beds and headboards, and even upholstery fabric used on walls.

"It's this idea that you're being completely cocooned and buffered from the world," Luetkemeyer says. For some clients, she has also upholstered the inside of armoires or other storage pieces to create a complete sense of softness.

With softness in mind, Flynn suggests using more than one layer of window treatment: "I usually layer blackout shades with custom, pleated drapery panels," he says. "This softens the hard edges of the room, helps with noise control and also allows the homeowner to sleep in as late as they want."

If you're worried that all that softness will make the room too feminine, Burnham suggests adding just a few sharper, cleaner lines for balance. Choose sleek, midcentury vintage lamps to place on either side of an upholstered bed. Or opt for a dresser with simple, clean lines rather than a piece that's ornate and curvy.

Banish electronics

It may sound radical, but Luetkemeyer hears from clients now that they're ready to remove the TV and all gadgets from their bedrooms. "People are saying, 'I'm in such overload all day long, and I'm reachable within an inch of myself," she says, "and I want to have one place where it's really mine.'"

Burnham sees the beginnings of a similar trend, though for many people the habit of checking email in bed or watching TV before they go to sleep is a hard one to kick.

If you have a desk in your bedroom, consider relocating it. And try plugging in your phone and other gadgets somewhere else in your home at night so you won't be tempted to check them.

Skip nightstands

Flynn suggests using 30-inch-tall dressers or chests instead of traditional nightstands: "I'll hit up flea markets and find two different chests with very similar proportions," he says, using these less expensive pieces to flank a more expensive custom headboard or platform bed.

Luetkemeyer agrees that closed storage at bedside is a wise move for most people. It keeps necessities handy, but hides clutter to make your sleeping area look organized even when it isn't.

Pendants and sconces instead of table lamps

Chandeliers are often used in dining rooms and entryways to add glamour and drama. Flynn's tip? They "work just as well in bedrooms."

"I often install pendant lights over nightstands instead of using table lamps," he says, "especially if the headboard is tall and dramatic. Whenever possible, I try to use sculptural pendants, which introduce interesting shapes to the room and I always, 100 percent of the time, install them on dimmers."

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.

This article filed under

Latest Video

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    MarketsReport

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity

    BusinessDirectory

    Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

    Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.