The bedroom is the most intimate of spaces, where you start and end your days, and there are a few key pieces needed to bring this room to life – no matter how big or small the square footage. We created a checklist, if you will, with the help of Brady Tolbert, previously the creative director of Emily Henderson Design, and current rock star interior designer and prop stylist. Here he walks us through the essential items that bring form and function to any bedroom. Take note!
It’s more than just a room – it’s a bedroom. The distinction is important – and, thus, so is the bed itself. It’s the piece of furniture you use every day, for hours at a time. It’s where you relax the body and mind. It’s also the design item that anchors the room…so why haven’t you invested in a quality bed frame again??
Enter Interior Define. The direct-to-consumer brand known for superior-crafted, customizable sofas recently added a line of bed frames to their portfolio. Simply select a frame style and then choose your fabric, color and legs. The Harper frame, here, has an elevated look and timeless silhouette.
“The bed is a super important piece that’s the heart of the room.” says Brady. “I recommend a neutral frame for versatility. You can style it using other neutrals for a minimalist look, or you can amp it up with colorful bedding accessories, like we did here. You’ve got options for years to come.”
Bedding and Pillows
Prioritizing your sleep experience goes beyond the bed frame: Your mattress and bedding will also impact your health, productivity and general happiness. So find the pillow density that’s best for your sleeping style and the fabrics that feel good on your skin.
Again, opt for neutral bedding that can be punched up with accessories. We’ve been brainwashed into thinking that bedrooms have to be one-note, but play with color and texture! “In this example, we mixed linen, matelasse and velvet. We kept everything in a warm palette with saturated, tone-on-tone combos – creating visual interest without having the color combo feel chaotic,” explains Brady.
Lighting should not be an afterthought, but, rather, a key design consideration from the start. Pay attention to both the size of the room and its natural light when selecting your fixtures – how much extra lighting will you need? Don’t overlook wall lighting, either, because it’s often the key to saving space – and to making a statement.
“This bedroom is small, and we wanted to free up some space on the nightstand. This sconce by Rejuvenation is perfect; on a practical level, it opens up more floor space. The shades emit a soft glow from the top and brighter, targeted light below,” Brady explains. Separately, its streamlined design plays off the lines of the midcentury Mengel dresser, and the matte black ties back to the lamps on the other side of the room. “Choosing something more modern-looking balanced the brighter bedding accessories, and really elevated the entire look of the room,” Brady explained. Let there be (wall) lighting!
You don’t need a lot of furniture in your bedroom (sometimes less is more), but a standout dresser – like a bed – is imperative. The dresser should balance the stature of the bed and should accommodate your wardrobe essentials. Because you’re likely to use this piece of furniture every day, invest in craftsmanship (preferably hardwoods, with dovetail joinery in the drawers). This vintage dresser by Mengel is cherry wood and adds a unique touch to the more contemporary pieces, like this hexagonal mirror from The Citizenry, featured elsewhere in the room.
Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting if you can (more on that here). A rug, on the other hand, adds warmth and texture to a room, and you can achieve different looks by layering and/or adding sheepskin throws. “I love round rugs for bedrooms,” Brady shares. “They soften hard edges and can accommodate difficult layouts. They open up the space, and, yes, ‘really tie the room together.’ Armadillo & Cors complement the Parachute assortment beautifully.”
Dress the windows for a finished look. It’s amazing how dramatically drapes or curtains can change a room – and the quality of your sleep. “Tonic Living is one of my favorite new vendors,” Brady dishes. They offer pillows, fabrics and sewing services to designers, decorators, and home decor lovers worldwide. “We matched the white linen bedding with white linen roman shades to create an airy, welcoming, calming environment.”
Finally, fill in any gaps in the bedroom with greenery and flowers. Indoor plants are proven to boost moods, decrease stress and filter indoor air toxins (#winning). And they kinda just make an entire space more beautiful. Try a large, architectural plant for a more dramatic effect, then place smaller, in-season flowers on available surfaces to brighten the mood. A little goes a long way.