A bedroom is a personal space, and should function as a private retreat for the owner. For young children, a bedroom is often their play space, with storage for toys and books. For teens, it’s a haven where they can play their music, talk to friends, and get away from the crazy parents they have to live with. Frazzled parents see their room as a calm oasis in the maelstrom that is family life. Each of these family members has not only personal tastes, but personal needs that should be met by the bedroom.

Keeping the occupants of the room in mind, decide on a style. This could be classic, city, country, shore, or any one of a number of things. Children often choose a theme based on cartoons such as Batman or princesses.

The color is closely related to the style, so it should be the second decision made. For example, if you want a shore theme, you would probably be looking for shades of blue and/or green with white or off-white accents. A classic style could encompass understated elegant colors such as taupe, linen, or sand.

Personal taste plays a large part in the division of colors, but here is one easy way of organizing the colors. The color scheme chosen for the room can include three or four colors or shades of the same color. Even a room which is considered monochrome should have three shades of the color for visual interest and contrast. The main note is normally the one that is used the most. Walls, rugs, curtains or bed-coverings would be in this color. The second color is complementary and can be used as an accent, or in almost equal proportion to the first color. A third or fourth color is a definite accent color and is used sparingly, often in pillows or a throw across the foot of the bed, or in the mats on the artwork.

Bedroom furniture usually consists of a bed, one or two dressers, a night table or two. Again the room is personal. Choose furnishings that you love. Everything does not have to match, although too many different finishes can end up looking like a yard sale. Several pieces in a dark wood and one in light wood make a nice contrast; a handpainted item is lovely, too. The finish of a black wrought iron or brass headboard can be picked up in a lamp, a chandelier or a piece of sculpture. A chaise could be upholstered in material that coordinates with the bed or the curtains.

Lamps, artwork and personal items are the final touches. Artwork should have frames and mats that blend with the color scheme and general style. A cute lampshade can add a touch of whimsy. Family pictures, vases, and plants add to the individualization of the room.

Let’s put it all together in an example. The walls might be sage green. A comforter of sage green with a cream and pale pink print is on the ivory metal bed. Cream curtains are on the windows, topped with garlands of ivy and pale pink roses. The rug, the European pillow shams, and the tablecloths on the night tables are all dark green. Dressers are cherry, and an ivory armoire is hand-painted with garlands of pink flowers. The dark color is a deep note that grounds the room, while the cream, sage, and pale pink are complementary colors that give a soothing garden feel to the room.

Are you ready to decorate? Think color, think style, think about what you like. Have fun.

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