Ask A Designer: Long Bedroom with Contrasting Wall

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Q. I would like your opinion about a few ideas for my new bedroom. The room is long with a sitting area on one side. I plan to place the headboard on the smaller wall even though the model has the bed going the other way. My bed is a platform bed with lights around the headboard. I want to make the wall a contrast wall—but I don’t want a busy wall covering, because it would take away from the lights.

I have art, but I’d rather treat the wall and keep it simple. Is there a color of paint or another idea you would suggest? The room will be all grey and white. I plan to use hotel-quality duvet and pillows. I would buy another bedcovering if you think I should. I’m hot-natured, and I would rather keep it simple, but all white is too boring. How do I keep the look sleek and simple but still sophisticated and interesting? — SS

A. Actually, I like the bed placement best the way you have it. Seeing the headboard from the doorway is desirable. Your idea of treating the whole wall is harmonious with the furniture, because it fits neatly from wall to wall. Ideally, the light from the headboard creates an interesting halo effect and pleasant ambient light. I agree that patterns would compete with the lights; but a simple paint color is not enough, especially when the room is to be monochromatic.

Wall coverings are available in subtle streaks and organic looks that are attractive. Since it is a small space with a very specific need, I’m thinking a decorative painter could create a look that is more unique and appropriate. Ideally the entire wall would enhance the bed. A painter can adjust the scale to the usage. To create some drama and contrast, I think the wall should go darker than the furniture.

White sheeting for the bed covering is nice and bright. I think we can skip a decorative bed covering if we add some finishing touches to the bedding like monogramming and some clean lines with either contrasting flanges, banding, or embroiderered lines. Straight lines in grey will help define the bed and keep it from looking soft and puffy. So, the wall and bedding give you the full range of white to almost black, a very polished and handsome look. u

Note: We welcome all questions related to home design—ask us about color, room arrangement, planning for a new home, selecting furnishings, lighting, flooring, and more. Answers provided by Tanna Espy Miller, B.F.A., M.B.A., who has operated her award winning interior design practice for 26 years. You may also contact Tanna at 615/ 601-0552.

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