In part two of our two part series, we look at some specific decorating tips and ideas for apartment bedrooms…
Fresh white walls and ceiling reflect the light and create a spacious atmosphere as well as a neutral backdrop for colorful furnishings and accessories.
Framed posters reinforce the blue and white color theme and break up the wall space. A few well-chosen accessories – vases of flowers, bedside candlelamps, and simple knickknacks – add a personal stamp. Blue and white bedlinen in a strong, naive design adds a bold splash of pattern. A blue and white ticking roller blind, softened with voile drapes, provides night-time privacy. Bedside tables provide storage space for books and other items. Clothes may be hung in freestanding or built-in wardrobes or from a screened-off hanging rail. Slender candlelamps are an elegant choice and provide ample light for bedtime reading. Wall-mounted torcheres, in white to match the walls, give restful overall lighting. A wrought-iron bedstead and wicker bedside tables and chair have a straightforward, contemporary feel and clean outlines which are perfect for the look.
Apartment-style decorating revolves around maximizing space and minimizing cost, so try to choose furniture that offers plenty of storage space and serves more than one function. A well-lit, clutter-free dressing table, for example, doubles as a desk to make a quiet work place away from the main living area; a low, painted chest makes a perfect bedside table with room inside for bed linen; a platform bed with pull-out drawers or even a second, spare bed underneath is a real bonus; and in an older home, a built-in window seat creates a snug corner for relaxation and provides valuable storage space. If your bedroom is really small, consider installing a sofa bed to free up maximum floor space during the day. Futons have a suitably modern feel and are generally reasonably priced.
In terms of style, keep to functional furniture. Pale, stripped, or stained wood, in white or primary colors, laminate furniture, and polished or painted metal are just right. Avoid cluttering up the bedroom with too much furniture. In addition to the bed and built-in storage (see below), all you need are bedside tables and, if there’s room, a comfortable chair and perhaps a basic dressing table or desk. Wicker furniture is inexpensive and adds a friendly touch, especially if other furniture in the room is stark. Glass-topped tables take up little visual space and add emphasis to any ornaments or objects displayed on them – a clock or vase of flowers, for example, seems to float in the air.
Like the other furniture, the bed should be simple and functional in style. Choose a basic wooden bedstead, natural, painted, or stained, or a wrought-iron one for contemporary chic; or opt for a simple daybed and dress it up with boldly patterned and colored bed linen. Set against the walls with a bolster at each end and some scatter cushions along the back, such a bed provides sofa-style seating during the day. With space at a premium, built-in floor-to-ceiling cupboards and wardrobes make sense, along one wall, filling an alcove or fitted in an arch over and down the sides of the bed. Mirrored doors on storage units double the sense of space and light and, unlike a freestanding mirror, take up no additional floor space. In a very small bedroom, choose built-in furniture to tone and blend in with the walls. Check out office supply stores for functional filing cabinets and box storage systems, which come in a bright array of colors as well as traditional gray and black. Industrial suppliers are a potential source of clever storage units, such as galvanized metal high-security boxes. On a limited budget, you can fit a clothes rail across an alcove and screen it with bright fabric curtains or with white or boldly painted medium-density fiberboard panels. For added storage options, build one or more shelves at various levels behind the screen.