So with the furniture situation sorted out, things are starting to come together. But at this point our room still resembles a well-furnished insane asylum rather than a space where someone lives. We need personality. We need decoration. Decorating is often misconceived as just hanging up a few pictures, adding a rug, and calling it a day, but it’s much more than that. It’s like a great outfit; there are guys walking around in well-tailored suits and $300 shoes, but what sets someone apart are the details, the personal signature. A bedroom is the same way.
If your floors are already carpeted or you’re fine with the clean look of hardwood, skip this step. Adding a rug to an already carpeted floor can be excessive. For everyone else, a rug can give your floor some character, as well as soften the blow if you pass out in your room. In keeping with the theme of this series, be sure to keep it simple. Avoid textures or designs that are too loud and distract from the rest of the room, you don’t want people staring at the floor like a shy 2nd grader. Leave that bath mat you substituted for a rug in college with that case of Milwaukee’s Best Ice. (OK, take the case) A 3ft x 5ft rug is perfect for something like this. We like this affordable Sorrento Pinstripe Navy Indoor Area Rug as one that does make a bit of noise, but doesn’t shout about it. Place it at the end or side of the bed. Anything larger and you’ll want to consider an area rug to place underneath the bed. Area rugs should extend about 12 to 16 inches around the bed.
From the Window, to the Walls
Before putting paintings on the wall, consider putting paint on the wall itself. For those of you who don’t watch HGTV, an accent wall is a wall that’s intentionally painted differently, making it stand out from the others. It takes some manual labor, but once it’s done it can completely transform a space. Generally, an accent wall should utilize darker colors as they’ll provide a greater contrast. We like navy or grey hues. And since we aren’t contractors, the experts at Valspar provides a great guide on creating an accent wall.
With the accent wall painted, and your landlord possibly yelling at you for violating the lease, lets’ talk artwork. Following graduation, one of the pitfalls that I fell into was buying reproductions off of popular poster websites like cafepress.com, art.com, and a few others. At the time, I thought I was being smooth in hanging wall art that was more sophisticated than the Entourage poster we all had in school. I wasn’t entirely wrong, and I did snag some swanky art-deco inspired advertisement posters. But to channel the art history class I dropped after a week you want your art to speak to you, or speak for you. No matter how good those reprints from the poster store look, they don’t have an unique backstory or qualities. Instead of going to these copy cat poster stores, go somewhere more personal for prints (or originals if they’re affordable) like your local art galleries. Many galleries do have an online store so chances are you’ll be able to snag a piece online. One of our favorites is exhibitiona for their affordable modern prints, authenticated by the artists themselves. Something like “Tomorrow Island” by Les Rogers would look good above your bed. You can also cop some street art at your neighborhood market and support your local artists. The prices are lower and your inner hipster will be satisfied knowing no one else has the same piece. For the Washingtonians out there, check out Eastern Market. Street art is not only unique, giving you an opportunity to make things up about them for your guests, but it also blends well with the modern design that we’ve already curated. If you don’t have a local street scene, Etsy also has some great finds. We like these abstract modern pieces by Ronald Hunter.
Now that the wall doesn’t make your room look like solitary confinement, you’ll see that things are finally becoming less barren, except for one place - your furniture. First, let’s outfit your nightstand. Unlike most decor, nightstand decor should serve a functional purpose. You’ll need a lamp for bedside reading, as well as bedside...you know. Lamps should be slim and sleek to complement the contemporary night stand that you have, without taking it over. An industrial lamp is a perfect for this. We like the Carpenter Table Lamp from CB2. Now, alarm clocks may seem just as useful as a VCR at this point, but they look good and don’t have a battery that dies in less than a day; you can count on them to wake you in the morning, unfortunately. Try to find an interesting one that brings attention to the nightstand. West Elm's Orange London Alarm Clock is a modern, but simple approach to the alarm clock. With those two pieces on your nightstand, you don’t really want to add anything else since things will get crowded.
Let’s not forget the dresser. Sprucing up the dresser is all about placing your personality onto it. It can be anything. Enjoy a good book? Stack a few. Love the outdoors? Get a plant. Appreciate nature and adhere to a strict Samurai code of honor? Get a bonsai tree. It will look a bit unorganized but thats the point, it’s a counterbalance to the order of the room.
We’re almost there. Your bedroom finally has the personality needed to stand out from the rest. With a few finishing touches, you’re done. We’ll cover those in the series’ final article coming next week.