In tough economic times, the master bedroom is a refuge, not an office.
“The bedroom still has a serene environment — a retreat where you can get away from the hectic pace of life,” says Joyce Konstantinow, owner and designer of Blooms and Rooms Design Studio in Lakemoor.
Carmen Boyer, president of White Oak Interiors in Algonquin, says clients are less interested in wired, functional master suites.
“They don’t want computers, iPhones or iPads in the bedroom,” she says.
Instead, comfort, simplicity and affordable luxury are the hottest trends for master bedrooms, and that starts with a stylish padded headboard.
Though they’ve been around for a while, the newest headboards incorporate a variety of textures, upholstery, trim and shapes, including horizontal and vertical. The new headboards look great alone or with wood frame beds.
The footboard is gone entirely, replaced by seating options like ottomans, chaises or small chairs.
“It’s nice if someone travels because they have a place to put their luggage while they pack,” Boyer says.
Seating areas add to the relaxing ambiance, either for reading or intimate conversation. Stuffed chairs, alone or in a pair, ottomans and chaises all offer luxury and comfort.
“We also include a reading light and a surface to set a cup of coffee or a glass of wine,” says Lynne Wickham, president of Wickham Interiors in Crystal Lake.
Wickham adds that the bedroom’s view influences both furniture choices and room layout.
“If there’s a lot of morning sun, someone may want to have their coffee there and read the paper instead of in the kitchen,” she says.
While electronics are de-emphasized, they aren’t gone completely.
“Most people still want a TV, but hidden inside an armoire or wall-mounted flat screens covered with folding doors,” Wickham says.
Basic, But Beautiful
Another trend is simplicity.
Pared-down, but still-luxurious window treatments have replaced elaborate drapes and fringed valences.
“It’s about privacy and light control,” Boyer says. “We start with a basic blind or shade and work with that. Some people need room-darkening capability.”
Smaller rods, panel drapes and Roman blinds all add to the serene, simple look.
But simple doesn’t mean boring. Mixing textures, whether at the window, on the bed or in the seating area, adds interest and personalizes a room.
“It’s all very personalized to the homeowner, whether it’s adding colors or textures, especially if you’re working with neutrals,” Konstantinow says. “You can make it more sophisticated or whimsical.”
Glitzy touches like crystal finials on curtain rods and even small chandeliers over seating areas bring subtle sparkle without being overwhelming.
Bedding also is more streamlined, with fewer pillows, ruffles and lace. While classic romantic, feminine looks are always popular, bold contemporary looks have universal appeal.
“You’re going to have a different look for a single woman verses a married couple,” Konstantinow says, adding that transitional design — a blend of traditional and modern looks — is a popular choice among clients of both genders.
This year’s color palate mixes neutrals with a single bold accent such as raspberry, tangerine or lime green or lilac.
“That extra pop of color can be as simple as accent pillows or a throw on the bed,” Konstantinow says.
Keeping Costs Low
Bringing the newest looks home doesn’t have to be expensive.
Starting with a plan — either from a designer or one self-created — can help homeowners get the most bang for their buck. Rather than worrying about whether pieces match, homeowners should be willing to experiment.
“As a designer, I never recommend someone go out and buy an entire matched set,” Boyer says. “They may not have enough space for it all.”
Instead, homeowners should keep size and proportion in mind so they’ll know if a garage sale or flea market find will fit into their room.
And homeowners shouldn’t forget to shop their own house, recycling pieces from other rooms.
“You can mix a woven grass or burlap lampshade and a mirrored stand to make it more interesting,”
Boyer says. “A chandelier brings a touch of romance.”
Paint also is an easy and inexpensive way to update a bedroom.
For a designer touch, try Boyer’s three-color wall treatment.
For a simpler, serene look, simply remove clutter from walls and surfaces, limiting displays to a few great pieces. Photos and nick-knacks can always be rotated over time.
When purchasing bedding, buy additional flat sheets to create curtains and other accents. Big box stores like Ikea and furniture chains like Pottery Barn can be a source for affordable basics that can be embellished with designer hardware and fabrics.
Small changes can make a big impact.
“You don’t have to go out and buy all new bedding, and you can do a lot with trims and a new lamp,” Wickham says.
Do It Yourself
Before and while painting, follow these steps from www.diynetwork.com:
• Prep your room by clearing out all furniture and laying down drop-cloths. Remove switch plates and outlet covers, taping screws to the back.
• Use painter’s tape where your ceiling meets the wall and around trim, light fixtures, etc.
• Spackle cracks, sand smooth, then prime your ceiling.
• Use a paintbrush to paint a 2- to 3-inch border at each band, where the ceiling meets the walls and around fixtures. Use a paint-roller to cover large areas, painting in overlapping “Ws.” For deeper color, apply a second coat.