Boring beige bedroom becomes brown beauty

Laura couldn’t have been more pleased and more frustrated at the same time.

She had endured a year of renovation hell, living in her tiny basement while her 1940s bungalow was being transformed into a beautiful two-story charmer.

Her new bedroom on the second floor was roomy enough — and with its high ceiling and angled walls, it was nothing if not interesting. But it was also dull and lifeless. In a word, it lacked oomph.

Fortunately, Laura’s personal life hadn’t suffered the same fate. She had met and married James, and the newlyweds settled happily into the newly refurbished home. Although the bedroom was spacious, closet space was at a minimum. (His daily ritual included a scavenger hunt around the house to retrieve his clothes.) Laura dreamed of a bedroom that was chic and luxurious, yet warm and romantic enough to complement the intimacy she now shared with her husband. But she didn’t have the heart or the stamina for another round of renovations.

That’s when James contacted me.

The challenge — and it was a big one — was to somehow turn this boring beige bedroom with the high ceiling and quirky angles into a sumptuous, dreamy retreat. I gathered my crew.

With its many angles sending the eye in all directions, the room needed a focal point. Not surprisingly, the high ceiling was a trap for hot air, keeping the temperature in the room uncomfortably warm. I decided that a wall-mounted motorized fan system would not only be practical, but the oversized woven bamboo blades would subtly steer one’s attention to the most important element in the bedroom: the bed.

I installed a custom-made headboard covered in gorgeous, crinkly espresso velvet to create a sensational backdrop for the bed, which I covered in rich, luxurious linens, accent pillows and shams. I also added an elegant creamy paisley fabric that really takes the “boring” out of beige.

The room’s one window wasn’t small, but it wasn’t exactly tall, either. To extend its height, I topped it with a valance, then framed the window in beautifully lush velvet drapes with a lattice motif. I added a comfy upholstered cushion to the recessed window seat, then accented the cozy nook with soft cushions identical to those on the bed. And I placed on the existing beige broadloom an espresso-colored area rug with cream highlights.

A great way to create a sense of intimacy and warmth in a room is with lighting. With the room’s odd shape and high ceiling, I knew track lighting would do the trick nicely. To maximize impact, I attached halogen lamps to long stems to drop the light source closer to where the light was needed.

Since closet space was at a premium — and to save James from having to roam from room to room just to find his clothes in the morning — I brought in several right-out-of-the-box dressers. With the simple addition of polished mirror tops and classy translucent handles, these modest dressers suddenly looked every bit as exquisite as anything found in the poshest of hotel suites.

A final few elegant touches and Laura and James had the bedroom of their dreams. What began as blah and boring was now elegant, intimate and, well, downright sexy.

Now that’s divine!

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

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