Bedroom highs & lowsPublished on September 27, 2013

  • High window treatment

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • High custom shade

  • High luxury linens

  • Low HomeSense find chaise

The bedroom is a sanctuary; a place to express personality and make you feel completely at home. Decorating this space can be a challenge for designers who are tasked with making the most personal room in the home a refuge.

Whether it's the challenge of creating a nursery, a teenager's retreat or the master suite, finding the right balance is difficult. Creating an appealing space has to be juggled with figuring out which areas to splurge on and where to implement cost-cutting techniques.

Baby to Toddler to Teen

Imagine the guilt of a poorly decorated nursery - it might make both mother and baby cry! Interior decorator Maureen Coates of MODECOR Inspired interiors had the daunting job of creating a nursery for her grandson. The clever designer was conscious of budget, yet wanted her first grandchild to sleep in a room fit for a prince - as he does share his birth year with royalty!

First she started with a gender-neutral colour scheme, which is a cost-effective approach to reusable space. The addition of elements that create an opportunity for parents and baby to interact during changing, feeding and playtime was a crucial aspect of the décor.

"I think a nursery should have certain elements of stimulation," says Maureen of the jungle-inspired décor. "We talk to our babies when changing their diapers and rocking or reading. I love that this room will have animals, numbers, letters, books, family pictures."

Repurposing is an excellent way to save money. In this nursery, a wicker storage bench became a toy box by painting it in a colour to co-ordinate with fabric in the room. A gliding chair in neutral upholstery will transition easily to another room once the baby no longer needs rocking to sleep. Horizontal stripes were painted on the walls, while keeping the room's original base coat, to save the cost of repainting the room.

The splurging went into high-end roman blinds with a black-out shade, and sturdy, good-quality furniture. However, the more expensive furniture was also cost-effective, as the crib converts to a junior bed and eventually into a double bed, and the dresser will readily move up from the nursery to a teenager's room.

Teen to ?Guest Room

When it came time for 16-year-old Lauren to redo her youthful bedroom, she and her mom decided to tackle the project together and save the expense of a designer's touch. The two did their research first and shopped with a good idea of what they wanted. Having worked out the concept ahead of time, they were able to work together to create a grown-up room for Lauren that could easily become a guest room when Lauren leaves the nest.

A sophisticated colour scheme, with some hints of purple, was the perfect compromise for a room that needed to work as grown-up space fit for a young woman. Splurges came in the way of high-end window treatments from Elite Draperies & Home Decorating, with luxury bedding from Suite Dreams Home Emporium. Cost-cutting techniques included several trips to HomeSense to find just the right headboard and scouring the city for quality, yet budget-friendly, pieces, including a LUXE chair for Lauren's desk, from Structube.

The result is glamour meets practical, so that the room doesn't need redoing in a few years.

Designed for Two

Generally, the master suite is the most challenging room to decorate. The multifunctional space is commonly shared by two people, which can mean incorporating two different decorating styles. So it's important to find a design that appeals to both inhabitants.

Start by deciding on a colour scheme, then move to furniture style. Luckily, today's trends incorporate both vintage and contemporary styles within one space, so adding treasured antique pieces will work beautifully in the master bedroom. Antique bedside tables paired with a modern headboard are a perfect compromise, or vice versa.

Choosing the master suite is the final stage of bedroom décor. It's definitely a space to indulge and well worth the money, but not all areas of the room need to be high- end. Little-used pieces such as a chaise or occasional chair, which offer style without high function, don't need to be expensive. The bed, linens and window treatments should be splurge items as these will likely be around for a while and must stand the test of time. But if you like the idea of change, consider summer and winter bedding with co-ordinating duvet covers that match the room, yet offer changing looks with the seasons. A compromise may come in the way of feminine bedding for summer and masculine for winter.

Save and Splurge in the Bedroom:

Start with a neutral colour scheme

Repurpose furniture to suit stages

Splurge on bedding and window treatments

Mix and match styles

Save on style-inspired pieces that don't get much use

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