Design

Reader Decorating Question: How Do I Decorate And Accessorize This Bedroom?

Today, I want to see if we can help Julie with her master bedroom. She has a colorful pillow that she’d like to use as a jumping off point for the bedroom decor, but she’s having a hard time doing that with the rug she chose. Here’s what she wrote:

Julie’s Question:

My issue is finding pillows/window treatments/possible artwork that match the rug in the master bedroom. You’ll see that the furniture is dark and fairly ornate and I have chosen a rug of dark and light blue. 

First, some orientation: when you walk into the bedroom, the office space is on the far right, separated by a half (?) wall, ending in French doors that lead to the screened-in pool; the bathroom/shower/closet is on the left. There is no door to the bathroom area proper, only a closet door and one to the actual toilet space.

Here is the sticking point….notice the floral pillow on the bed….(it’s in the shape of the state of Missouri, where my husband is from). It was a gift–I love the colors, and would love to use those colors as a starting point for decorating the room. BUT….the navy in the pillow is much darker and….crisper (?) than the blue in the rug. The blues of the rug seem “dusty” when compared to the pillow. 

I bought the larger square bed pillows to go with the floral pillow, but I need to somehow bridge the blue gap between the bed pillows and the rug. Can it be done? 

As for the rest of the room, I plan to put something on the window to the left of the bed. That’s the only window in the room, if you don’t count the adjacent bathroom (glass block) and office (French doors). I was thinking of a faux Roman shade valance alone (which I’ve done in the family room), but I have a feeling you will recommend drapes, which I am open to. There also seems to be room on either side of the headboard for narrow framed artwork. 

Yes, the comforter is bright white–perhaps it’s too bright? I do like the crisp contrast of white against the dark furniture. The walls are off-white or cream (they were like that when we moved in, just over a year ago), but there are other white elements in the space (bathroom cabinets, baseboards, clock above entrance to office). For what it’s worth, the bedsheets match the lighter blue of the rug beautifully, but you don’t see the sheets when the bed is made. I actually really love the look when I can see the sheets (bed unmade and messy LOL) against the white comforter and the dark wood. I didn’t have a picture of that, but I will take one now and add it to the second email. So now you will have 15 photos Emoji

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Julie’s Current Bedroom:

Her furniture is dark stained wood in a very traditional style. The floral pillow on the bed is the one that she’d like to use as a jumping off point for the colors in the room.

Here’s a look at the rug that she bought for the room, but now she’s wondering how to blend the rug with the pillow(s).

She found sheets that coordinate perfectly with the rug…

To the left of the bed is the one single window in the room.

Connected to the bedroom is a smaller area which is used as an office, and that room has French doors.

And then opposite the French doors is the bathroom…

My Suggestions:

A few things stand out to me in this bedroom.

1. Placement of the bed

First, I can’t help but wonder if the bed is on the wrong wall. It seems strange to put a bed on a wall that has one window off to the side. It’s a strange arrangement that will always feel unbalanced, especially if you put draperies on that one window.

If this were my bedroom, I’d put the bed on the wall where the dresser currently sits.

While I don’t have measurements, it looks like there would still be plenty of room for the bed and two side tables on that wall. And because there’s no window requiring a window treatment of any kind on that wall, the whole look could be more balanced.

With this arrangement, the one, single, offset window won’t be an issue.

You could create a reading area around that window. Hang curtains, bring in a comfy chair, floor lamp, small cocktail table just big enough to hold your book and cup of coffee.

2. The matching set of furniture.

Your furniture is lovely, but it’s very dark and heavy. I wonder if you might be willing to swap out one or two pieces for something else to create a more collected look rather than an all matching look. This will give you an opportunity to bring in other colors and textures, and to lighten the look of the remaining dark furniture.

If this were my bedroom, and I were trying to break up the look of the set of furniture, I’d do it one of two ways. Either (1) I’d keep the headboard and replace the existing bedside tables, or (2) I’d keep the existing bedside tables and replace the headboard with a large, diamond-tufted upholstered headboard. And then the piece(s) you decide not to use in here could always be used in a guest bedroom. But just because you have them all doesn’t mean that they all have to be used in the same room.

Again, the whole purpose of that is simply to break up the look of the five matching pieces of furniture, and to bring in some additional color and texture.

3. The rug and accessories.

So regarding accessorizing in a way that will bridge the current rug with the other colors on the pillow that you would like to use as a starting point, you asked, “Can it be done?” To be quite honest, I don’t think it can. You specifically mentioned that you love the colors in that pillow and wanted to use those as a jumping off point, so I think you should stick with that. Those are very strong, bold colors, and to try to marry that dusty blue rug with those bold colors, especially on something so front-and-center as a large area rug, would seem unintentional and forced.

I think if you love the colors of the floral pillow, and want to use those as a jumping off point, then you would be much better off sticking with that. You can move the rug into a guest bedroom as well (it’s a very nice rug, and would actually make a good starting point for a guest bedroom), and then bring things into this room that you don’t have to fight with or force them to work when they don’t want to play nicely with the colors you want to use.

Here’s what that may look like.

Your current white bedding is perfect, and I agree that the strong contrast looks good with the dark headboard. So maybe add in some shams in a white and navy blue. This bedding is from Crane & Canopy.

Then I would anchor the bed with a large rug in navy and white (cream), like this navy Turnstone Rug from Serena & Lily. You could then pull out a color from the pillow, and select draperies in that color for the one bedroom window, as well as the office area French doors. I chose the terra cotta color and found these cotton velvet terracotta curtains from West Elm. To lighten up the look of the other dark wood furniture pieces in the room, I would add some light wood bedside tables that also bring in some natural texture, like these Sausalito nightstands from Pottery Barn. And then to bring it all together, I found these coordinating pieces of artwork– Coral Sky 1 and Coral Sky 2 in coral, navy and gray by artist Jennifer Goldberger — that could hang over the nightstands. And finally, you could bring that terracotta color onto the bed with some pretty pillows, like these from Target.

So if this were my room, that’s how I would tackle this. I do think that the dusty blue rug that you currently have is holding you back from envisioning how the room could be decorated using the colors in that pillow as your jumping off point. Once you allow yourself to move that rug into another area of the house, and bring in a rug that is more in line with the color palette that you’ve stated you want to use, I think that will free you up to decorate the room in the colors you want, and just using that pillow to guide you on colors will make the process much easier.

Alright, folks! What suggestions do YOU have for Julie?

(Are you stuck with a DIY or decorating problem and want input? Click here to submit your question. I post/answer the questions in the order that they’re received, so please don’t send questions if your contractor is on the way to your house right this minute and you need immediate advice. 😀 )

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