Apartment Bedrooms, Part 1

Light, airy, and modern, the apartment style features streamlined furnishings, well-planned storage and bold, bright accent colors – it’s a look guaranteed to make the most of small bedrooms.

The fresh and functional approach to decorating looks fun in any bedroom, but is especially suited to small bedrooms like those in modern apartments. It’s a cost-effective look that relies more on a lively imagination and a confident approach than on a generous budget.

The look draws from many varied sources, which is part of its charm. For example, you can combine office-style, high-tech lighting with Scandinavian-style pale wood furniture and ethnic woven rugs. The aim is to create a lively, comfortable space that’s practical, well organized, and easy to keep orderly, but with a youthful sense of fun.

Fresh, pale, solid-toned walls are the starting point for the apartment bedroom. As well as creating a restful ambience, they provide an unobtrusive backdrop for colorful accessories. Inexpensive, simple furniture available from home-decorating stores suits the style’s streamlined look. Many pieces come in flat-pack, self-assembly form – practical when negotiating apartment elevators and narrow stairways. Where possible, opt for dual-purpose bedroom furniture, such as a dressing or bedside table, which doubles as a desk, and perhaps a sofa bed – you can then enjoy the room during the day as well as at night.

Creating the Look Walls and ceiling: The smaller the room, the more important it is to use a light-reflective color. White walls are a good starting point and leave your choice of accent colors wide open. Continuing the wall color over the ceiling, especially in an attic bedroom, creates a sense of smooth-flowing space.

Though subtle paint effects such as color washing or sponging are suitable, avoid highly contrasting effects and fiercely patterned wallpapers – these can make an already small space seem claustrophobic. Larger bedrooms can take bold, solid but still light-reflective colors, such as rich yellow.

Windows: Window treatments continue the pale background theme or introduce bright color. Use streamlined, solid-colored or striped blinds on their own or combined with simple curtains or drapery, in pale or bright tones and plain or patterned, to soften the look.

Combine shades with net or muslin curtains for daytime privacy and to hide an unattractive view. Venetian blinds, with their razor-sharp, ruler-straight lines, add to the look; their adjustable slats give privacy and shade with a minimum loss of light. Plantation-style louvered shutters are equally suitable and could repeat the theme of louvered fitted wardrobes. To block out any traffic noises, make or purchase heavy, interlined curtains.

Floors: For a sleek, minimalist effect, go for stripped and polished pine floorboards or wood flooring. Add colorful rugs, with bold geometric or otherwise large-scale patterns, for visual interest and comfort, especially near the bed. For safety, put rugs on polished wood floors with non-slip underlays.

If your budget can take it, opt for wall-to-wall carpet for a softer, more comfortable finish underfoot. Choose a solid-toned, neutral-colored one which, like a solid-toned wall, creates a sense of space – especially in a small room. Carpets can be white or a more practical neutral such as beige or gray, perhaps with one or more scatter rugs as focal points. Pale, plain natural-fiber floor covering is a less expensive option, and looks especially attractive combined with unpainted wicker furniture.

Lighting: Choose lighting to suit the room’s streamlined, functional feel. Discreet, wall-mounted torchiers give good overall lighting, and are supplemented with simple, elegant, or chunky bedside lamps or portable office-style lamps that you can move about the room as necessary.

Copyright 2009 Rhonda Morin, MyInteriorDecorator.com. May not be reprinted.

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