Saturday, January 4, 2014 / by Jennie Jackson
“Your bedroom is the one room in the house that is entirely yours, especially when you have kids. It’s where you can close the doors and feel like an adult,” designer says. By:Alex NewmanLiving
The master bedroom is always the last to get decorated, says designer Jenn Hannotte. But after her divorce, it was the first place she turned her attention to — but not for seduction purposes
“Your bedroom is the one room in the house that is entirely yours, especially when you have kids,” she says. “It’s where you can close the doors and feel like an adult.”
Making it your own, though, requires looking at it with fresh eyes. She suggests clearing it out entirely, and then bringing back only what you need or love. The bed, she adds, is an obvious component, but beyond that it’s all “emotionally based esthetic decisions.”
And that’s where it can get exciting. “Take a chance. It’s your space, and where you can push your boundaries,” Hannotte says. After her divorce, she painted her third-floor sloped-ceiling bedroom a deep teal blue and floors in glossy black to create a “dark den of whatever ... to feel cocooned.”
She then brought in things she loves, including books and paintings stacked against the sloped wall. Her favourite chair — a Mid-Century Modern butterfly style —was hauled up from the living room. Creating a space that reflects you isn’t only good for you, Hannotte insists, but also for your family; “it gives your kids a sense of who you are.”
But before you start your bedroom re-do, you first need to devise a floor plan.
In the large Rosedale pied-à-terre that William Adler was designing for clients, the bedroom was large but had some challenges. Two of the walls were floor-to-ceiling windows, the third wall was a fireplace, and the fourth had doors to the dressing room and ensuite bathroom meaning there was nowhere to place the extra-long king-size bed against. So, Adler opted for free-floating it in the middle of the room. Given the room’s size, there was still plenty of space for a deep club chair and a Mongolian lamb-covered ottoman next to the fireplace.
Next, you need to get rid of clutter. Remove everything but the bed, including the laundry hamper, your kids’ schoolbooks and the perfume collection on the dresser. If you have large closets, you may not need the dresser and the extra floor space goes a long way to creating an oasis.
Purge the closet to create space to properly store things and then purchase a good closet reorganization system to increase the storage space. If you have no closet space, consider creating some. As designer and TV host Jane Lockhart says, “I’d happily take a smaller bedroom if it means getting a bigger closet, because I like to put everything away.”
Before you start dragging things back into the room, put them to the texture test — and the more seductive the better, says designer Alessandro Munge. In the bedroom of the model suite he designed at King Blue condos, he used about seven different fabrics on the bed alone. He was aiming, not for a design statement, but a feeling of warmth.
That’s also what Belleville designer Darlene Paradis was aiming for in transforming her client’s typical bland suburban master bedroom. The goal was a spa-like retreat. The existing blue bedding was very nice, had a great deal of texture, but the furniture was outdated and mismatched.
New contemporary furniture was purchased, including an upholstered headboard. It was placed on a chocolate brown feature wall, and then framed symmetrically by two end tables with shell lamps. At the foot of the bed a bench offers a place to sit and put on your socks.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BED
Sleep is such a precious commodity these days, you can never underestimate the importance of a good bed. So do your research, and then test them out, to make an informed purchase.And considering we spend about 3,000 hours in bed every year, it makes sense to spend a little extra on good sheets, says Joanna Goodman, owner of Au Lit Fine Linens. She still has sheets from when her mother first opened the shop in the 1980s and insists it’s not thread count that matters as much as where the sheet is made. Italian textile manufacturers are “the weavers of the world,” obsessively picky about quality and only use long threads (as opposed to short threads that break easily), she says.
White is always a safe colour with sheets — it never goes out of style — but if you really want colour, co-ordinate it with the room’s palette.
Bedskirts are needed if the bed sits on a frame. Go for tailored — it’s tidier and more stylish than gathered. But nice platform beds should go skirtless.
Proper care of sheets: Hot water won’t damage good quality sheets, but a hot dryer will, says Goodman, so she dries them only long enough to take excess water out — about 10 minutes — and then folds and hangs them over a rod to continue drying. She recommends using Sunlight or Ivory because they’re gentle, but not fabric softener because of the chemicals. A nice treat is to take clean sheets to the drycleaners for ironing (about $10).
Duvets are super easy covers — give it a shake and you’re bed is made. When choosing down, though, Goodman says read the fine print. Make sure the down is Canadian or European. Down is usually good quality goose, while the cheap ones are usually filled with chicken feathers.
Comforters are also easy but don’t have the same insulating qualities as a duvet.
Quilts, blankets and faux fur throws are great folded at the end of the bed. There’s a certain sybaritic pleasure in sneaking an afternoon nap under one.