A Bedroom Goes From Cold to Comfy
Wainscoting, moldings, and a soothing color scheme add character to a bland bedroom
Call it a case of the "builder's-special blues." When Larry Burns and his wife bought their 1980s condo, in Southern California, the bedroom was a bare box with a popcorn ceiling, the original wall-to-wall carpeting, and a nondescript fireplace. So they called in interior designer Beth Bynon to give it makeover. The 14-by-24-foot space also had a "bowling alley" footprint, says Bynon, which was interrupted only by an oddly angled corner with two large windows and a ceiling that suddenly rose several feet, just beyond the fireplace.
Shown: Millwork details, wood floors, and a stylized arch give the room architectural interest.
Out went the carpeting, replaced by white oak flooring, while wainscoting and crown molding went in to wrap the room. Where plain-Jane tiles once formed a lackluster fireplace surround, Bynon used oversize linen-texture porcelain tile, extending it all the way to the ceiling. She filled the awkward window nook with a built-in bench seat and devised a quasi arch to conceal where the ceiling height bumps up. "Now there's definition between the sleeping and sitting areas," says the designer, who furnished the space with shades of cream, beige, and soft blue-green. "It is much more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable now," says Larry. One (more) reason: That telltale popcorn ceiling is neatly hidden under a fresh layer of drywall.
Shown: The 1980s bedroom was a plain box with old carpeting, a dinky fireplace surround, and a popcorn ceiling.
The room's pale blue-green walls, creamy white paneling, neutral furnishings, and natural wood floor add up to a soothing, beach-inspired color palette.
Custom headboard: Tony's Custom Upholstery, San Marcos, CA; 760-591-9686
Coverlet: Bed Bath and Beyond
Yellow throw, large yellow patterned pillows, white drum table, and mug: HomeGoods
Solid yellow and blue pillows: Crate and Barrel
Jacquard leaf silk pillows and honeycomb crewel pillows: West Elm
Bench: Pier 1
The curved cap, wall-frame, and base moldings of the wainscoting help soften the rectangular space. Creamy white furniture pieces set against it blend in rather than stand out.
Drawers built into the base of the window seat are particularly useful in a master suite where the only closet is located in the bath.
Custom cabinetry: Southwest Contempo
Pull: Pottery Barn
The room's long, narrow footprint had a few odd angles.
Pro advice: "Laying a wood floor with the planks running on a diagonal creates the illusion of more space by visually widening the room. It's also a nice casual touch."
—Beth Bynon, designer, Cceanside, Calif.
A clever built-in and other design solutions disguise the space's awkward features.
1. Made the fireplace more of a focal point by adding doors and creating a floor-to-ceiling fireplace surround.
2. Preserved a comfortable flow in the space by positioning the bed and other furniture along the long wall away from the doors.
3. Built in a bench seat to fill an oddly angled corner just beyond the fireplace.
4. Added a quasi-arch detail where the ceiling height suddenly changes, defining a seating area separate from the sleeping area.
5. Used generously sized bedside tables to balance the king-size bed and provide needed storage.