For the Master Bedroom we will create a streamlined, sleek and calm space that is full of character. The first step in attaining this feel is by replacing your existing bed with a modern platform bed that has storage incorporated into the body of the piece. I recommend a hydrolic lift type of bed over any other sort out there. The kind with drawers under the platform can be difficult to open when you factor in a smaller scale space and bedside tables. I had this style of bed, they call it a “Captain’s Bed,” when I lived in Brooklyn and I had to move the bedside table in order to open the drawer… not ideal. There are several options available at all price points – starting at IKEA and continuing all the way up the ladder. Starting in the middle, we have a lovely bed from ABC Carpet & Home. This bed is beautiful in its simplicity. The gray fabric will look great with your current wall color as well as any other that you may choose in the future. Its style will look good whether you go modern or more traditional with the other pieces in the room. Another option is the Theodore bed from Mitchell Gold. This has a more dramatic, masculine feel with the tall, tufted headboard and the nail head detail. The height of the headboard would add nice visual variety. For this bed, I recommend one of the darker colors for a nice contrast against the walls. The mink would be lovely. One more option is to visit your local Flou store and take a look at the storage bed options they have there. Their website is not the most user friendly and it is hard to tell what is available in what configuration… it’s all extremely Italian! This is a very high end option but the quality of the pieces is exceptional if you are looking for that sleek, modern look.
Whichever bed you end up with, I recommend finding a beautiful Suzani or some other piece of embroidered fabric to drape over the headboard. This will add color and texture without having to commit to a wild upholstery choice that you may grow out of. All you have to do is swap it out should you grow tired of it down the road. A big change for minimal money and effort. Here are a two examples:
Suzanis can be found on ebay (search for suzani embroidery) for as little as a few hundred dollars. Like most things, you could also spend a lot more. It all depends on the piece’s age and heritage. Another option is a Kantha throw. These are made out of vintage saris and can have amazing color variation within a single piece. Kanthas also typically cost less and I have had good luck finding inexpensive options on etsy (search for kantha quilt) . Here are a few outstanding choices of each, don’t be afraid to be bold with color as you can always swap it out if you grow tired of it:
Now let’s talk about bed linens. I am partial to crisp white sheets as they look fresh no matter what decor changes the room may go through. You can get them anywhere at any price point, in fact you may already own them. Along with these crisp sheets, your bed will be adorned with a beautiful new quilt, shams and duvet cover. This is a good opportunity to add some rich texture and color to the room. For the quilt and shams you could keep what you already have as they are a very neutral color and the sheen dresses up the space.. Should you choose this option, it would be best to select something more dramatic for the duvet to add contrast. However, if you are ready for a change, one beautiful option is the Velvet Quilt and shams. Velvet gives off such a luxurious look when placed on a bed and it amps the cosy factor way up. Another suggestion is the Brittany Quilt and shams. It is much more casual and I am a big fan of the subtle texture. The pom pom detailing is so lovely. For the duvet I recommend a bold color since it will be primarily folded at the foot of the bed and therefore won’t overwhelm the room. Something like the Geneva Duvet would be perfect – it will add texture without being too much. Another beautiful choice is the Banjara Duvet. The red tones offer a pop of color and the small scale pattern is pretty. Once the bedding is in place, a beautiful accent pillow will polish the look. The color of this will depend upon what bedding you chose, but something with some pretty pattern would be fantastic and in a shape similar to the Fern Ikat or the Teal Pillow in the 12X24″ size. Etsy is always a good option as it has so many patterns to choose from.
On either side of the bed will sit a matching pair of bedside tables. The Petite Chest in either charcoal or ebony finish would be a simple, traditional choice. The color will stand out from the walls and the three drawers will give you plenty of options for stashing essentials close by. Another option is the Tanah Nightstand in either the grey or the brown finish. This table would look pretty in the room and add a different silhouette to the space.
Above the nightstands will hang new light fixtures which will add a necessary layer of light as well as some visual interest. Depending on how much light you want from these fixtures you can go in a few different directions. For a more ambient, decorative style the Flynn Single Sconce is a pretty and modern option. The Cylinder Task Light is another small scale selection that would add a pop of personality to the space for sure. If you are doing a lot of reading in bed then you may want a fixture that will throw a bit more light. The Paulo fixture gives you the option of pulling the light closer to you when you need it and moving it out of the way when it’s not in use. Another pretty swing arm is the Griffith light. It is a bit more economical than the Paulo and the wall plate has a lot of charm with its clover design.
Next, we will replace the tall chest of drawers that you currently have with a lower profile piece that has some sophisticated style. The Three Drawer Chest On Legs is made from lovely burled wood and has brass detailing. It is a traditional feeling piece with simple lines and interesting hardware, quite beautiful. Another lovely option, one that would have a bit more dramatic contrast against the walls, is the Louis XVI Treillage chest of drawers. Neither overly masculine nor too feminine, this chest has a lot visual interest without being busy. It is also the perfect height to sit below a TV. One more option I will present is the Bone Inlay Dresser form Anthropologie. Bone inlay furniture is such a beautiful addition to a room and it adds wonderful texture without feeling too hectic.
The television can either rest atop this piece or, alternatively, you can mount it to the wall. The wall-mount option would free up the surface of the bureau allowing for some beautiful accessories to add richness and character to the space. A lovely tray, a bowl for pocket change or jewelry, a pretty memento from an adventure -so many possibilities.
On the floor in front of the chest is your existing traditional rug with the pinkish color background. This will break up the carpet and look so pretty in contrast to either of the bureaus.
I have removed the chair from the room as I got the sense from you that is isn’t needed. If you feel you would like a spot to perch then by all means leave it right where it is now. I would recommend giving it an update with a fresh fabric in a textural, rather than colorful, pattern. If this is something you would like to explore, let me know and I will happily make some suggestions. Either way, the spot to the right of the chest of drawers is the perfect place for a beautiful standing lamp with presence. Something substantial will hold its own in this spot. The Rococo floor lamp is a stunning choice. An option that is just as lovely but a lot more subtle in scale is the Astor lamp. Either would be lovely.
Next up is artwork. Your walls are very neutral and the furnishings are calm making a room that needs a little sense of its inhabitants. Art is such a personal thing that it is difficult for me to make specific recommendations. It doesn’t have to be expensive or “fine” to be art. Anything that you enjoy looking at will inevitably look great on your walls. I have had great success finding beautiful things for my walls at the online shops 20X200, The Tappan Shop and even Etsy. They all have prints as well as photos and some of the shops offer framing services… always a plus. Another way to begin curating a collection is to frame some art from your grandkids. I have some very abstract scribblings in simple, inexpensive frames up on my walls that people have actually asked me about. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all!
The last point of discussion is the topic of accessories. Accessories will make the space come together and feel like your own. Beautiful trays for surfaces act as catchalls for jewelry and pocket items and add visual interest to a room. Picture frames in beautiful materials like bone or marbled paper add warmth. Decorative boxes hide essentials and add beauty. A plate in a colorful pattern can rest under a potted plant. There are so many options available at so many price points and it’s hard to go wrong. You may even have some of these types of items stashed away somewhere… take a look. A vase in a pretty color or pattern is another great way to incorporate your personality and what’s the point of having pretty things if they are hidden away?
For the coffee table in your small sitting room there aren’t a ton of options out there that will double as a table to eat off of. I did find one option that might be a perfect fit. The Chiva table from BoConcept is made specifically to act as both a coffee table and a dining surface. From what I can tell, it is completely customizable from the finishes to the size… but I could be mistaken about the size part. It is worth a trip to the store to find out. The nearest one is on East 57th street. This is what it looks like:
existing living room chair
For the spindle style chair that sits in your living room, I recommend taking it to a shop to be reupholstered. They will rebuild the seat and back cushions as well making it much more comfortable. I think this is an opportunity to explore color a bit… it is a smaller surface area so you can do something that might be a bit too wild for a larger scale piece like a club chair. Below are some suggestions to use as a guide when you are selecting the fabric.
Alternatively, you could look for a wonderful old textile that speaks to you and use that. ABC Carpet&Home often has piles of interesting throws and fabrics… anything goes! Because the chair just needs the back and seat covered you don’t need a lot of yardage… that gives you a myriad of options.