Making a Statement in the Bedroom- The Modern Canopy Bed

I’m working with a client right now on her master bedroom and I am just dying to install a canopy bed.  The room is quite large (almost 20′ wide) with a high tray ceiling and it is really begging for some kind of statement right in the middle.  Insert fabulous canopy bed.  I love the versatility of these beds; they can be traditional, modern, whimsical, bold.  When creating a layered bedroom I love pairing a traditional bed with more modern nightstands, or a clean metallic bed with rustic woods.  It’s so fun to mix and match around a canopy bed.

Here are a few spaces that are inspiring me while working on this design.

If it were my room, this would be my choice hands-down: chrome, chinoiserie, in-your-face gorgeousness.   But that’s a little bold for my client’s style…

chrome canopy bed with chinoiserie wallpaper behind

We will be keeping it more neutral, more soft, with subtle, selective doses of pattern and color.  I’d say this room is more in-line with the feel.  I love the patterned fabric behind the bed!

white poster bed with curtain fabric behindvia House Beautiful

I wish that we could fit a sofa or chair at the end of the bed.  It’s such a chic and cozy look!  (PS- how great does this bed look in a smaller space below?  We may do a different finish on the ceiling as well.)  Alas, we do not have the space, so we will need to do a bench or stools.

canopy bed in small space cozy symmetrical layouts

I considered doing a chrome bed as a modern statement in the middle of the room and pairing it with traditional finishes and furnishings.  It makes for quite the drama piece!

Angie Hrankowsky chrome canopy bedAngie Hranowsky

poster bed with floral

But ultimately it felt too modern.  The rest of the house has been decorated and we have to think about the flow and personality.  So while we are doing our own thing in the bedroom, I also want to be sensitive to my client’s tastes and comfort.  An iron canopy bed just felt more appropriate to me.

I love how iron canopy beds can be soft and strong at the same time.  They are a little rustic and romantic.

neutral bedroom with iron canopy bed


Because comfort is extremely important, we are considering an upholstered canopy bed.  It’s the best of both worlds.

iron upholstered canopy bed

Above and below is the bed I have in mind.  I love the soft curve of the headboard.  Imagine a gorgeous patterned paper behind it?

iron upholstered canopy bed with sunburst mirror above

We will want to do reading sconces next to bed.  This is a little tricky- between finishes and placement.  I’m thinking nickel or brass and inside the bed frame, like below.  (No curtain in the back, though.)

iron upholstered canopy bed with curtains at back and sconces

Our rug (carpet) will be more neutral, so I am looking to make a little more impact on the wall behind the bed.  Yep… WALLPAPER!  I only want to do one wall to really highlight the bed and not overwhelm the space with business.  Remember, this is supposed to be a serene and restful space.

This bedroom has similar elements to we want- natural iron bed, neutral textural capert, patterned wall, white bedding and color/patterns on the pillows, but the vibe will be totally different.

iron canopy bed paired with wallpaper behind

PS- I love this Galbraith and Paul paper and we may be using it elsewhere in the house!

What do you think of canopy beds?  Are you as smitten as me?

Green Velvet Sofas

So you all know I adore blue, but lately I have been having a love affair with green.  Weirdly, its a color I actually avoided in the past, but now I find it popping up in the interiors we design.  It started with grassy green lounge chairs in a family room, then a limey curved headboard in a bedroom, and now we are doing an olive velvet sofa in a formal living room.  This green velvet sofa is going into a room that has very little color- mostly blacks, whites, grays and camel- so it will really be a special piece.  I love the idea of anchoring a room in one colorful piece and letting textures, shapes, layers and a few great pieces of art create the rest of the intrigue.  Trust me, this room will be anything but bland and I can’t wait to share it with you guys.  In the meanwhile, here is the some of the inspiration we used during the design…

green velvet sofa lauren liess

It started with Lauren Liess’ green velvet sofa.  No one works green better than Lauren.  I never considered it as a neutral before seeing it in her home.

padma lakshmi green velvet sofa architectural digest

The sofa we are using will be closer to this color.  The room has a lot of dark woodwork, so we didn’t want the green to be too dark.

green velvet sofa with beni ourain and brass coffee table

I love how this room pairs green velvet with a modern brass coffee table.

We will be doing this, but the base will be more antiqued and we designed it custom(!)

green velvet sofa with asian ming chairs

I love how green velvet pairs with these ebonized ming chairs.

I couldn’t talk my client into this seating, but I did  convince her that the room needed something Asian.

We will be doing black lacquered Chinoiserie chests instead.  Yummy!

green velvet sofa in front of  the window

The sofa will be in front of a big bay window, just like this one.

green velvet sofa with black modern chairs nicole cohen

We were inspired by the modern mix in this room by Nicole Cohen.

Out space will be more traditional, but will have some key modern pieces mixed in.

* * * *

So that’s just a taste of our inspiration and a few ways you can work a green velvet sofa.

As for our project, we will be re-tiling the fireplace next week, then painting, then grasscloth, then the first round of furniture!

I’ll probably share a few peeks on instagram.  Just need to pick the perfect hashtag for the project ;)

Moody Blue Dens

Recently two of my favorite blogger/designer/all-around-stylish-mavens were featured in design magazines and each spread included a gorgeous moody blue den.  It’s no secret blue is one of my favorite colors and I pretty much incorporate into every decorating job my clients will allow.  I love it for fabrics, rugs, but especially on walls when we want a little drama.  I am designing a formal living room right now that is going to be part lounge part play room and we are planning a dark blue for the walls.  We haven’t finalized the exact color but these two rooms below are serving as great inspiration.

blue millwork den meredith heron

Above and below is a den by Meredith Heron that appears in the February issue of House and Home.  She really went bold with high gloss blue/gray on the built-in bookshelves and fireplace mantel.  I’ve never done a colored mantel before, but now I’m kinda dying to do it.

blue millwork detail meredith heron

I love all of the moulding details, particularly the stepped mantel and subtle picture frame detailing above.  The curtains were also done in a similar hue, which makes to whole room flow well and feel a little softer.  Imagine the drapes in white… it would be a completely different effect!

blue den meredith heron

The Den was done in Benjamin Moore’s Lead Gray.

My monitor is showing this color to be much more gray than the pictures would indicate.

Of course its always better to get a real paint sample.

ben moore 2131-30 lead gray

Another fabulous den is that of Erin Williamson.  Her stunning home was recently featured in Bungalow magazine.  (See the whole spread here- page 99)  Her teal-hued formal living room/ play room has long been fave of mine.  I love the pairing of the leopard (cheetah?) rug with the teal walls and her fabulous art and lighting collection.

dark teal study erin-williamson

Erin also did the her bookshelves in high gloss in the same color as her walls.  They add just enough intrigue without being too loud.

I enjoy seeing how the foyer blends well with the living room while having its own distinct vibe.  Art is such a great way to tie spaces together.

blue den erin williamson

Erin’s walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Dark Harbor.

It looks like its a little green and a little blue.

dark harbor

I’ll be running out later today to test out both swatches.

Stay tuned to see how DM Loungey Playroom turns out.

One Room Challenge: Bachelor Pad Edition Week 1

It’s that time of year again!  I’m pumped to be participating in another round of  One Room Challenge.  For those of you not familiar with ORC, 20 talented design bloggers take a room and completely transform it in 6 weeks.  We will be posting progress every Wednesday morning with the big final reveal on November 6th.  I tackled my own master bedroom last time, but this time I’m upping the ante and sharing a client project.  I feel very lucky to have an amazing/generous/brave client who trusts me and is letting me break it all down for you guys as it happens.  Fingers crossed we get it done in time and that he loves it.

This design is a fun departure from our previous girly projects; its a Gentleman’s Bachelor Pad.  Think Modern, Sophisticated, Organic, Glamorous, Eclectic all mixed into a family-friendly home.  We were called in to transform the living and dining rooms into stylish, comfortable and practical spaces.  Yes, if all goes well we will be sharing TWO rooms.  Even though the last challenge nearly broke me,  I’m a glutton for decorating.  Adding to the challenge- this space is a RENTAL- so no major face-lifts here.  We will have to work magic with paint, furnishings and styling.

THE SPACE:  Here is a tour of the space we are going to makeover.  Plus a few of my thoughts when I saw it for the first time…

1 living room paneling before

The living room “focal wall.”

Oh the paneling, Oh the fireplace, Oh the blue!  Why the blue?!

Remember, we can’t change it, but we can paint it.


Hoarder’s Paradise

tables and chairs

When you complain about having too much furniture the common response is “That’s not a bad problem to have!”  But you know what? My first floor is a crowded mess right now and its stressing me out.  Forget Hoarder’s Paradise, this is more like a drive by furniture dump.

If you haven’t guessed, my wood table was delivered last week…

traditional wood table

It’s a nice little piece.  In theory, I like how it mixes with most of my stuff.  I like that its a family heirloom and was free.  I also like that it has leaves and expands for future dinner parties.  I say “future” because I have yet to throw a dinner party, but a girl can always dream she’ll turn into Martha one of these days.

So those are the pros.

Then there are the cons…  It’s too low: only 28″ high.  Chair arms (and thighs for that matter) do not fit underneath of the apron.  It needs to be refinished/ sanded / re-stained / painted?  Oh and it doesn’t really go with my new favorite vintage chairs.

traditional wood table with chrome and leather chairs

Too much mixology?  

What if I hoist it up 2 or 3 inches and paint it black?  Or strip it and do weathered wood?

Originally, before I stumbled upon the chrome and leather goodness, I was planning to purchase some (faux) Panton chairs or even refinish my original Tulip chairs to pair with my table.  I wanted to be all Vicente Wolf and do my dining room up like this…

vincente wolf ralph pucci dining room

or like this…

traditional wood table with tulip chairs

But in order to do that, I need to fix both my table and tackle my chair project.  That means an automotive paint job for the tulip chairs and new cushions.  So $$ and some $$.

And then, two weeks ago, I found my lovely chrome and leather chairs.  And I really like them.  But they really look better with a table like this…

nate berkus chrome chairs dining roomNate Berkus

chrome chairs round table ken fulk

Ken Fulk

David_Oldroyd_SF 1179

David Oldroyd

That last one is my absolute favorite.  I just need a tree trunk and some glass!!  That’s easy enough, right?  Then I would have 3 tables.


So I am in a quandary.  I obviously I need to get rid of a set of table and chairs because my basement is filling up quickly and my living room can’t handle this many occupants.

 What would you do?

And for those of you who like the Docksta/ Fake Tulip table… well honestly it looks like crap in person.  It’s always dirty looking and just brings down the quality and finish of my whole first floor.  So it may stay for a bit, but its not a keeper.