Homes Photo Credit: Janis Nicolay

3 Tips for Designing a Dreamy Bedroom

A trifecta of ideas for creating the bedroom of your dreams.


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(Photo: Janis Nicolay.)

1. Use texture to bring warmth to a neutral palette. 

In this Gulf Island home designed by Carrie McCarthy of Carrie McCarthy Studio and Tanja Hinder of Marrimor, the natural, earthy palette of linens and woods is anything but dull thanks to the pair’s thoughtful use of texture throughout the space. Ripple-fold linen drapes line the walls, creating a cocoon-like effect at night; on the bed, a linen duvet pairs with a knit throw cushion and silky throw at the foot; and even the bed itself offers visual texture, with its warp and weft linen coverlet. And the pièce de résistance: that lush wool area rug, a cozy place to step each morning.


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(Photo: Tracey Ayton.)

2. Find the fun in a simple palette.

While the rest of this home is done up with bold colour, the bedroom was designed as a respite. But designer Ben Leavitt of Fox Design skipped the classic white-on-white in favour of richer neutrals: beige, grey, silver and gold. “We were trying to keep it wildly interesting, but as simple as possible,” laughs Leavitt. And interesting it is: above the bed, a curved ceiling is decked out in silver leading to reflect the light of the chandelier at night; in the connected reading room, a resin garden sculpture shaped like a sheep has been painted white and installed behind the sofa to be visible from the bed. “It plays on that idea of counting sheep,” Leavitt says.

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(Photo: Marcos Armstrong.)

3. Create a bedroom on a wall. 

To be fair, this wall is two storeys—but until Rick Wilson from Radius Architectural Millwork got involved, it was just another slab of concrete in this Vancouver condo. The homeowner was looking for room to house guests in his one-bedroom loft, so Wilson came up with the Murphy bed-and-millwork design on the main floor, with a raw steel gangplank above to reach a second level of storage. The ladder gives access to the second floor, but don’t worry about any awkward carrying—the pulley system, inspired by the client’s love of boats, allows for heavier articles to be hauled up to the second storey.

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