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Stylist Notebook For National Bed Month

March heralds the beginning of spring but did you know that in the world of interiors it is also known as National Bed Month! So with bedrooms in mind, we asked stylist Jess Contomichalos to look at three different bedrooms she styled for our recent shoots and explain the different looks and different carpet colours for bedrooms…which one are you?

A Sweet Slumber

When planning any room scheme you need to design all the elements to come together as a whole and nothing is more important for setting the tone for a scheme than the flooring. The floor is very often a large expanse in a room so if you are looking to create a light bedroom scheme then you’ll need to choose a pale coloured carpet. White carpets are stunning, but unless they are kept spotlessly clean they can quickly start to look grubby and so can be quite impractical in some spaces.  A neutral carpet, like the one we used here, can be a good choice as it instantly adds warmth to the room whilst retaining that feeling of light and air.

How would you describe this look? This is a dreamy scheme, romantic and feminine with a contemporary edge. The baby blue wall and pale pink accessories combine beautifully and work harmoniously together. In fact, these two colours work so well together they were named as Pantone Colour of the Year in 2016! The blue and pink hues echo nature in all its glory (think pale blue skies that melt into marshmallow pinks at sunrise and sunset!) - What better colours to provide a calming backdrop for a bedroom scheme.

But pink and blue sounds a bit twee – how do you avoid it looking too sickly? It’s important to balance the colours and how they are used. In this pretty room, the carpet acts as a neutraliser and the blues and pinks are broken up with areas of white. Keep the skirting boards white for freshness and use the crisp, frilled bedlinen to provide more breaks in the colours to create that ‘girly’ look without being too over the top.

With all the pink and blue – how come it doesn’t look too sugary? By choosing a muted floorcovering, together with contemporary art and furniture, the scheme is lifted and neutralised - it would be a very different story if this scheme was teamed with a Louis XVI floral patterned chair instead of a contemporary Eames-style chair, or if the art work was a 50’s style floral explosion! It’s all about good balance, careful choices and juxtaposition!

Stylist Tips:

Try to find cushions that blend all the colours and help knit the scheme together.

Paintings and prints don’t need to be hung on the wall, leaning them up against the wall or on top of furniture offers an informal appeal.

Painting skirting boards in the same colour as the walls is a very popular trend at the moment but sometimes it’s nice to stick to white as it really helps break up the colours and creates a bit of visual space.

Stylist Tricks of the Trade – by painting the wall blue and accessorising with pink the room is instantly more adaptable – if the walls were pink and the accessories blue….it might be a less flexible look so think before you paint!

The Big Sleep

What sort of look did you have in mind for this room? This room was designed with contemporary urban living in mind – a monochrome palette makes it essentially quite masculine but there are other elements that soften the look so it could also work well for girls! There is a big expanse of floor in this room, so to keep it light and not too overbearing, the carpet is a subdued grey which creates a good base for the darker coloured walls.

Although there is a lot of black in the room it still seems light and airy – how come? By keeping the woodwork and the door frames white, it is then possible to add hints of black in the room whilst retaining an overall bright but atmospheric feel.

Creating a bedroom that is peaceful doesn’t go hand in hand necessarily with dark colours – how does this room work so well? A bedroom should be somewhere tranquil and relaxing – a sanctuary away from the bustle of everyday life but that doesn’t mean to say it can’t have a bit of mood about it. This room looks stylish and modern and whilst it’s not minimalist, it is simple in design and practical. It’s very easy for this kind of look to become too sterile and lacking in character, to make sure a room has some personality in it remember the little details. It’s all about adding human touches so framed prints, succulents and a selection of throws and cushions all help to give this room a more relaxed and fluid appeal.

Stylist Tips:

To give the room a loft living style – explore the possibilities of not using a headboard – this instantly gives the room an informal feel.

If you use coloured bedlinen – add some white pillowcases as well to help keep the bed looking fresh and clean.

Add a feature chair – something unexpected to the scheme that will jump out and add definition to the room.

 Stylist trick of the trade: By choosing a deep grey wall colour that has more pink in it than blue, instantly helps the room look warm…blue greys are cold and perhaps less inviting – so bear that in mind and check out your colour wheel when making paint choices.

Eclectic Dreams

What is the inspiration for this room? Comfort that doesn’t compromise on style - this room has an eclectic feel, it’s slightly mismatched and combines a collection of individual elements that when put together create an interesting and very appealing look.

The walls are so dark – how come it still looks inviting? Choosing a carpet for this room was the starting point. The overall colour scheme needed to be grey and it was important to create a room that was rich and interesting without being stuffy. By choosing a silver carpet which is at the paler end of the grey colour spectrum you’ll see how the light reflects off the carpet and creates an injection around the room, making sure that the grey isn’t overpowering – it’s really just a clever balance of colour.

Bedrooms are usually quite symmetrical – this bedroom is different, it has symmetry but not throughout – how does that work? Perfectly symmetrical bedrooms work well in many cases, but this room needed to be eclectic and informal. So, the bedside tables are the same and the lamps are too – but notice how nothing else is – the cushions are different colours and even the print is off-centre and this really creates added interest and a slightly quirky style.

It is a really “luxe” looking bedroom - even though there is nothing particularly opulent in the scheme; Why is that? Creating a room that has just enough glamour to portray something luxurious but understated is not always an easy task! In this room the deep grey wall persuades your eye that this is a rich, sumptuous room, the velvet cushions and the silver carpet with its deep pile and shimmer really help to convey this illusion. Angle poise lamps, woollen throws and very plain curtains wouldn’t be a natural choice for an opulent room, but somehow, they offset the other areas of the scheme and give a lasting vision of luxurious style.

When you dissect the room bit by bit, it suddenly seems odd that the scheme actually works – how do you get the room to blend so well? By keeping the hues and tones very muted and in varying colours of grey it is possible to inject some other colours into the mix. So, the cushions are purple and lilac, adding colour interest...but what really helps is the use of the colour cream. The room gels beautifully as your eye goes from bedside table, to curtains, to the fringe on the throw and back again to the table – this is a very good tool for creating a harmonious room scheme and forms the ‘glue’ that holds a scheme together.