Bedroom oasis ends reign of design by democracy

Marcia is my No. 1 fan. She has seen every episode of “Divine Design” and has memorized all of my makeovers. Yet her own home, which she shares with her husband, Frankie, and their four children (and dog and parrot), was a design debacle. The family moved into the house two years ago and the place has seen nary a paint brush or new window treatment.

The main problem is a peculiar family trait that has stopped them from finishing any single room. They decorate by family committee, and they all have distinct ideas about how things should look. However, the whole family did agree on one thing: It was time for me to intervene.

I decided there was no better place to start than at the top, with the master bedroom: a neglected room with bright purple walls, barren windows and little else. With demanding jobs and a busy household to look after, Marcia and Frankie really needed a space to call their own. So I put an end to “designing by democracy,” took things into my own hands, and got set to give the couple the restful bedroom escape they desired.

Marcia was looking for neutrals and clean lines in the new space, while Frankie longed for bright, vibrant colors. Fortunately for me they both love modern and minimalist design, so I used that as the template for the room and tried to give them each a little of what they most desired.

I started out by painting three of the four walls in a light color I knew Marcia would love. On the fourth, I created an accent wall for Frankie in fiery red. I left the floor alone, but added a beautiful beige rug for a bit of texture.

I carried this color scheme throughout the rest of the room with neutrals (beiges, creams and browns) for bed linens and upholstery, and splashes of red on pillows and accents.

On the window, I put up sliding panels of sheer fabric with woven jute and linen bands. The three panels can be pulled back for light or pulled together for sleeping.

I then designed the furniture for the room. I created a focal point around a new platform bed. The bed is propped up on gorgeous dark wood base, but it is the headboard that creates the wow factor. I put up three panels that make the wall pop: a top and bottom panel of tight-grain ash, and a middle panel made of a cool, recycled pressed-wood material. On either side of the bed I put in floating side tables with built-in sconces, and at the foot of the bed I put in a bright red ottoman.

On the feature wall opposite the bed I put up a floating dresser (which houses Marcia’s beloved television) with lighting underneath. I also created a little reading nook with a funky chaise lounge.

To give the room some added sparkle, I put up the most amazing fixture above the bed that is comprised of small, acrylic balls that refract the light.

Lastly, I put in some accents and accessories — red lattice-patterned throw pillows, bold artwork and family photos — and the room was complete.

This master bedroom was finally out of its design rut. Using streamlined furniture, modern finishes and a neutral scheme with dollops of vivid color, I designed a minimalist retreat that’s perfect for my No. 1 fan and her No. 1 one man. Now that’s divine!

Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV’s “Divine Design.” For more ideas or information visit Her column is syndicated by Scripps Howard News Service.

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