Blue may promote relaxation but it also brings a lively, fresh-faced look to this once bland bedroom. Most of us are guilty of it at some point: We expend all our energy and budget on making the public rooms of our homes look welcoming and personal. Then, we allow other spaces, those that should be our private retreats, to get the short end of the stick when it comes to thoughtful decorating. You start and end every day in your bedroom. Let’s give it some love.



If your sanctuary looks more like your old dorm room than a serene place to relax, like this space did, start with a signature piece to suggest a new color scheme.



A vivacious rug in blues and greens set the tone for our bedroom makeover. Look for clues in style or motif as well as color to guide your choices for decor and accents. The suzani-like pattern in the rug gave this room a global vibe, which led to bedding, window panels, and lampshades that played off the bohemian handmade look with embroidery, ikat, hand-dyeing, and applique.



With a color scheme and style figured out, it’s time to consider what furnishings would make your bedroom as cozy and inviting as it could be. Piles of pillows, comfortable furniture, vibrant textiles, and space-saving storage compose a stay-worthy spot to end the day.



A white headboard gives the bed presence and provides a backdrop for patterned pillows. High-contrast patterns on the bed create a dynamic interplay that is visually interesting without being busy. Spots of yellow and chartreuse bring warmth to the cool blue and green scheme.



Handmade details, such as the appliqued coverlet and felt blanket, inject personality into the bedroom. Look for gorgeous options like these on Etsy.



Do you like to kick back on the bed with a good book or knit while listening to music or watching an old movie? If so, include bedside storage that gives you a place to stash the stuff while allowing you to indulge in your relaxing hobbies on a whim.



A bedside bookshelf acts as a nightstand and gives plenty of real estate to favorite pastimes. A choice of books and a deep basket from IKEA filled with knitting projects ensures that a relaxing activity is within easy reach.



A chest of drawers on the other side offers visual balance and additional storage while providing an ample nightstand surface.


Colour check: Proof: Torkel Engstršm

The inexpensive 3-drawer chest from IKEA got a facelift, including a paint job to match the bookshelf on the other side of the bed. We removed a few inches from the legs before attaching them to the chest to get a good bedside height.



New shell and bead drawer pulls embellish the simple lines of the piece.



Barely-there lamp bases provide the texture and sparkle of pebbled glass without adding visual weight. The see-through bases allow shelf-top accents room to shine while supporting colorful shades that punctuate the wall with vibrant pattern.



If space allows, include extra seating to give yourself the option of a different perspective on the bedroom now and then. A comfy perch is welcome, whether for quiet reading or for donning shoes. The ceramic garden stool makes an admirable side table or extra seating as needed. Three framed maps echoes the trio of mirrors over the bed.


Blanket chest after painting

Once you’ve designed your bedroom as a relaxation station, the last thing it needs is clutter. Keep it tidy with lots of storage options. Look for furnishings that will add character to the room and if the finish isn’t what you want, give it a new look. Here’s how to wake up an old piece.


blanket chest before painting

Found at auction for $20, this vintage chest has great lines but a faded finish.


Painted blanket chest detail

How to revive a blanket chest:

Gather your materials

  • Blanket chest or other storage piece
  • Medium and fine-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • 3-inch-wide trim paintbrush
  • Large round white bristle scumbling brush
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: Paloma
  • Annie Sloan Soft Wax: Clear and Dark
  • Soft cloths for buffing or electric buffing wheel

Remove all hardware. Sand all outside surfaces of the chest using medium, then fine grit sandpaper. Wipe all sanded surfaces thoroughly with a tack cloth. Basecoat all outside surfaces of the chest and lid with Paloma; let dry.

Use a large round white bristle scumbling brush to apply clear wax. Use a firm circular motion to scrub the wax thoroughly into the painted surface. Apply onto small sections until the entire surface is covered; let dry.

Use a soft cloth or buffing wheel to buff the wax to a satin sheen.

To antique the chest, apply dark wax to molding, creases, and edges as desired; let dry. Buff again for a soft finish.

Products of Interest:

  • Headboard— Riverside Furniture Placid Cove Louver Panel Headboard from Wayfair,
  • Chest of drawers, basket—MALM 3-drawer chest in white and PJAS banana fiber basket from IKEA.
  • Bookcase—493W 30×32 Classic Console Base from Whittier Wood Products,
  • Blue box—Circles in Blue pattern from Quilted Koala,
  • Wallpapers in frames—York Wallcoverings, yorkwall. com
  • Paint and waxes for blanket chest—Paloma, dark and clear waxes from Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®,
  • Lamps, lampshades, curtain panels, sheets, chartreuse pillow, framed maps—Target, (product line varies)
  • Rug, bookends—Esperanza hooked rug and A to Z bookends from Joss & Main, (product line varies)
  • Appliqued coverlet—Bed cover in Applique Butterfly in Blue from Gypsya,
  • Blue chair, picture frame, pillow shams—Cost Plus World Market,
  • Garden stool, felt throw—One Kings Lane, (product line varies)
  • Mirror—Clarendon mirror from Crate and Barrel,
  • Embroidered pillows—Pier 1 Imports,


© Caruth Studio

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