10/21/2013 05:26 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

How to Create the Perfect Bedroom

Colin & Justin deliver a wake up call for dozy bedrooms across the land.


Your bedroom, essentially, should be a quiet place, a calming oasis where tranquil moments -- by yourself or with a loved one -- are savoured. It's there, after all, where you drift off night after night, to recharge from life's everyday stresses. Working on the premise that we spend as much as a third of our lives in slumber, shouldn't the sleep zone be lavished to the max'?


So is your nest up to scratch? Look around; are you ensconced in heaven on earth? Or is your sleep zone falling apart at the seams? Come on -- if you want to feel indulged, it's time to start dreaming...

But where to start? Hmm. Let's see. Oh yeah, by remembering that form and utility are equally important. Consider form and function -- bed, dressing area, reading nook, etc. -- and map things accordingly. Create connectivity between aspects using the same colour palette. And don't rush -- a well planned nest "gives back" take you time.


Our 'Bedroom 101'

Opt for warm flooring like wood and carpet and avoid tile, marble or granite. There's little worse, after all, than tootsies on a chilly morning floor.

Decide upon your focal point. Will it be the bed, a huge armoire or a dramatically dressed window? Your room's "orientation" will emerge from this zone and you'll find dressing other features a breeze .

Use built-in closets to square off awkward corners. Avoid cluttering window walls with closets, especially if proposed positioning inhibits natural light.

Install plug sockets either side of the bed and fit a dimmer (to control overhead fixtures) so mood can be changed on a whim.

We place beds, as a general rule, on the largest unbroken wall opposite the door. Different room shapes, of course, call for different approaches, so experiment until you find the best spot.

Position a storage chest, if space permits, at the foot of the bed to provide a stash point for blankets and throws.

Keep TV and audio equipment hidden in an armoire -- or in fitted wardrobes -- for that "hotel at home" vibe.

Scour junk stores for unique accent pieces such as floor standing Cheval mirrors -- these will add interest and proffer individuality.

Make your bed a tactile feast for the fingers and the eyes. To amplify the comfort quotient, mix soft satin with cool cotton and top the lot with a luxurious cashmere throw. Then, and only then, will you discover the true meaning of "good in bed"!

Don't let the bed bugs bite -- turn and vacuum your mattress every couple of weeks to promote dust-free slumbers.

Never air your dirty laundry -- invest in a large, stylish basket and keep your smalls away from prying eyes.

Satisfy your sense of smell with scented candles and, even in winter months, get into the habit of airing your bedroom for at least a few minutes each day.

Loads of bed cushions, artfully arranged into a squishy tower, can look great but, in a small space, they add too much detail and can be difficult to store when not on display.

Case Study Before And After


Oh dear. This really was, as we found it, the gloomiest room ever. Devoid of comfort and about as inviting as a prison cell. We winced and minced while plotting its reversion from bad-oir to boudoir. Hard to believe that, post C&J magic, it's the same room, huh?




We adore wallpaper and happily lavish it across style hungry walls when opportunities arise. Next to paint, it's the least expensive medium with which to effect radical change. This Thibaut product, for example, suffuses our spell with a particularly joyous atmosphere and, in an instant, "corrects" the room.


Blue ceiling


The ceiling, as we see it, is merely a horizontal wall and, if played correctly, adds serious extra dimension. Specifying one of the lighter tones from our wallpaper, we paint matched (using the machine at Home Depot) and applied two even coats. The results, we think, speak for themselves. Adding an outsized ceiling medallion added grandeur while a white glass chandelier proffered a contemporary edge.


Metal bed


Reminiscent of Martha Stewart's classic metal bed frame (but at a fraction of the cost) we found this shiny fellow at G H Johnston and grabbed it before anyone else could stake a claim to the $499 floor model. Positioning an icon piece such as this made us feel, in decorative terms, that we'd won the lottery, but bear in mind that in stores like GHJ (where stock rotates frequently) it's first come first served. The early bird, and all that...


Double fabric window treatment


Don't stress it if you can't find your wallpaper's exact match. Sometimes, as was the case here, a complementary (rather than twin) fabric can look just as good, if not better. For extra interest, we double layered the window with diaphanous voile and, in doing so, created a cute wee nook where our paymaster can steal quiet moments in her busy world.


So job done. And smiling faces all round as Canada's gloomiest bedroom is dramatically "corrected" in just four short days. As we grab our coats and prepare to leave; our client purrs; "Thank you, boys. You've created the ultimate sanctuary, somewhere I can truly unwind." And with this we are gone, lost to the ether of homes in need. Like Mary Poppins with paint charts, we set our compass to "Designer SOS" and gather pace. For there is work to be done. And a whole new family who keenly need our help...

Before and After