by Nina Makofsky
The bedroom often serves as a room where decorators let their imaginations run wild, transforming the space into a retreat. In most bedrooms, the bed operates as the focal point of the room, determining the bedroom's theme and palette. Bedroom furniture often has a finish that is perfect for accenting with interesting colors. One of the best aspects of decorating a bed is that it is simple to switch the headboard, frame, textiles or pillows to shift the entire look.
Take apart your bed so that you can address decorating its individual components. The bed frame, if you have one, can take on a whole new look with a coat of paint or a new finish. Try antique whitewash for simplicity or bright periwinkle for a casual aesthetic. You can also cover a bed frame with strips of wallpaper, swatches of fabric, a faux finish or decoupage.
Cover the box springs. Nothing kills the look of stylish bedding more than a corner of ugly box springs showing. A bedskirt is the most common way to cover the box springs, but using a fitted sheet can give a sleek, modern look to the bed.
Use a headboard. If you already have a headboard, you can re-stain it, paint it or add a painted trim. You can use stencils to create a detailed trim of paisley, fleur-de-lis or flowering vines. For a funky look, use twine to tie fake flowers around the bedposts. If you do not have a headboard, you can set up a decorative screen behind your bed or hang a large piece of art.
Anchor the bed with an area rug. Not only will an area rug add more color and interest to your bed, but your feet will also have a soft place to land in the morning.
Pile on the bedding. Simple white or antique white sheets, comforters, throws and pillow cases have pristine simplicity. Toss on throw pillows in bright colors or patterns for a dash of color. On the other end of the spectrum, go for layers of rich colors and textures, such as a microsuede comforter and a cashmere throw blanket topped off with silk accent pillows. Vary pillow sizes and shapes for a more eclectic look.
Adjust the height. Moving your bed up or down can dramatically change the look of you bedroom. If your bed is just on a metal frame, risers can add some height, but be sure your bed skirt is long enough to cover the risers. A platform bed with a memory foam mattress will usually be much lower than a traditional mattress and box springs on a frame.
Float a canopy around or over your bed frame. A simple mosquito net transports your bedroom to the tropics. A ready-to-hang canopy adds a dramatic effect with very little work, even to a low platform bed. Add sophistication to even the simplest bedroom furniture with a canopy or filmy netting.
For a quick bedding makeover, add new pillowcases to the mix or toss a new throw over your existing blankets.
Avoid perfectly matched bedding sets, which can look more dated than stylish.