Mali Azima

Bedrooms Decorating

It wasn't so long ago that the last room to be tackled in any interior makeover was the bedroom. Not so anymore. Check out six different bedrooms with six different styles. You're sure to find one to suit every family member.

Donovan bedroom
Pieter Estersohn

Florida Blues

With a refreshing color palette and sharp details, T. Keller Donovan, a designer based in New York and Miami Beach, transformed this master suite into a cool, comfortable retreat.

What Makes It Work
Bold scale. "A smaller-scale toile would look country, while this looks more sophisticated and dramatic," says Donovan.

The settee. It reiterates the main fabric and also serves as a bench for pillows, blankets, or clothes.

Plenty of white. On the walls, headboard, linens, lamps, mirror, and even prints framed with wide white mats in simple white frames, it lessens the intensity of the intricate toile pattern.

Bedroom Basics: Bedside tables should have closed drawers and doors. Everyone has clutter next to the bed, so invest in a good nightstand to store these items neatly.

Randolph bedroom
Tria Giovan

Crisp and Modern

"Color is exciting. You don't need that in the bedroom. A bedroom should be quiet and serene," says D.C. designer Frank Babb Randolph. This master bedroom he designed in a Georgetown home is a study in quiet, with pale grays and a whisper of robin's-egg blue.

What Makes It Work
Calm color. The overall palette is soothing, with soft taupes and grays in the linens and other accents and a pale grayed blue on the walls.

A glass-and-silver side table. It lends hints of shimmer to the muted tones.

Minimal art. A few personal touches can do the job.

Natural illumination during the day. Bedside lamps provide light for reading at night.

Bedroom Basics: The clean, tailored look is increasingly popular as homeowners look to the bedroom to provide a place for serenity. Two sets of pillows on the bed, with bolsters or square cushions, and monochromatic linens help create a calm atmosphere.

Kincaid bedroom
Ka Yeung

English Elegance

For a '30s Tudor home in Dallas, architect Ralph Duesing, with designers Cathy Kincaid and Charles Birdsong, created an elegant bedroom that pays homage to the heritage of the house.

What Makes It Work
A generous, sheltering bed. The domed canopy and bed curtains lend a softness that counteracts all the wood. The bed's lacquered finish provides additional polish.

Modern-day amenities. An intercom is disguised as an old-fashioned bell system, like those once used in English houses, and a sound system is hidden inside the walls, so you never see a speaker grille. The most charming touch: dog beds are concealed inside the paneling.

Bedroom Basics: Most designers agree that sisal is too rough to feel comfortable on bare feet. For neutral texture, braided sea grass is much softer. If you prefer carpet, consider having it bound and installed as an area rug.

Reynolds bedroom
Erik Johnson

Girl Power

Under the direction of 11-year-old Virginia O'Connor, designer Elizabeth Reynolds and Virginia's mother, Cynthia, created a vibrant retro room inspired by Virginia's love of music from the '60s and '70s (she plays the guitar).

What Makes It Work
Bold color. Pink becomes empowered in this vibrant shade of fuchsia mixed with orange and purple.

Simple furnishings with modern touches. The maple bedside table and ivory carpet don't compete with the brights. On the other hand, the re-covered vintage lounge chair suits the '60s vibe perfectly.

Colorful details. Beaded trim from Bargia bestows the candy-striped lampshades with a chic touch of "jewelry." Fabric-covered nesting boxes enliven a corner.

Bedroom Basics: Swing-arm lamps by the bed offer wonderful reading light. They are generally placed 42 inches from the bottom of the shade to the floor, but experiment to find the right height for you.

Churchill bedroom
Andreas von Einsidel

Fit for a Prince

Boys' rooms are tough. When the children are young, they're into sports, popular music, and all sorts of things that don't lend themselves to lovely wall decorations. Tailored stripes and plaids bring order to this 10-year-old boy's room designed by Jane Churchill.

What Makes It Work
Striped fabric. Both distinctive and understated, the scale is strong enough to make a statement but not so bold that it overpowers the room. The vertical lines visually raise the height of the ceiling.

Upholstered headboards. With points instead of curves, they lend a masculine look.

A quietly neutral rug. It doesn't compete with the patterns in the room.

A sky-blue ceiling. A simple detail, it picks up the blue of the stripe.

Bedroom Basics: Aqua or frosty blues, especially when used with taupes and chocolate browns, are sophisticated and fresh enough to work in traditional or modern rooms.

Lanham bedroom
Mali Azima

The Pampered Guest

Though this cozy, charming guest suite has the appearance of being tucked up in the attic, it is actually the second story of a pool house. "It's almost like a dorm room," says Atlanta-based Jackye Lanham, who designed the interiors.

What Makes It Work
Two double beds. Dressed with simple, matching linens, they offer neutral texture.

Monogrammed pillows. The modern M adds personality and underscores the color theme.

A straightforward black-and-cream palette. It keeps the small space simple and uncluttered.

Old leather trunks refurbished as side tables. They've been turned on their sides to make them tall enough for the beds.

Bedroom Basics: If you don't have an empty dresser, place a bench, trunk, or luggage rack at the end of the bed or along a wall so that guests can stow their gear, suggests Lanham.

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