Overhaul turns cavernous bedroom into an oasis

Published: Monday, July 23 2007 12:15 a.m. MDT

Laura's 1980s-style bedroom needed a full makeover. Its 500 square feet dwarfed the bed. The gaudy green carpet and faux-finish paint had to go.

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Laura lives in an enormous house with her husband, three children, four cats, two dogs, two rats, two hermit crabs, one snake and one snail. To say that the place is something of a zoo is no exaggeration. The house is lively, chaotic, and leaves stay-at-home mom Laura completely exhausted at the end of each day.

Her husband is a busy surgeon, so Laura finds herself dealing with most of the bedlam by herself. But with her kids starting to spend partial days at school, she decided it was time to start thinking about herself again.

Her dream was to overhaul her massive 1980s-style master bedroom and create a traditionally-inspired oasis where she could escape for a little "Laura" time and reconnect with her hard-working hubby each evening. So I called in my crew and geared up to create a luxury master bedroom that is kid-, animal- and chaos-free.

My first task was to get rid of all the dated finishes, including the gaudy green carpeting and pink faux-finished walls. I decided on a traditional and calming color palette of cream, fawn, wheat and tan. I used these neutrals on the walls, on the ceiling and in the new carpet; they all have same tonal quality, but work as quiet contrasts.

The fabrics are what create the colors in this space. I used a subtle floral pattern for drapes and upholstery, which complements the glacier blues and bolder geometrics used for throw pillows and accents.

Next it was time to organize the space. This 500-square-foot bedroom — almost the size of the couple's first apartment — was big on space. But bigger doesn't always mean better. The cavernous room was vastly underutilized, so I divided it into two more manageable zones: a bed/lounge area and a bed sitting area.

In the bed and lounge zone, I put in a cozy bed with a stunning beige headboard. On the bed I used sumptuous linens, textured throws and a heap of pillows. I also set up little end tables, a relaxing chaise and a mirrored desk/vanity by the window.

In the bed sitting area, I installed a camel-colored sofa in a durable microfiber, two chairs that are upholstered in the floral pattern, a cream-colored ottoman and a giant wall-leaning mirror.

Between the two areas I created a focal point with the fireplace. The existing plaster fireplace was dwarfed in the big room, so I built an over-mantle, painted it a neutral color and flanked it with traditional cabinetry. I also added a swiveling plasma screen TV above the fireplace that can be seen from both areas of the room.

To lighten up the gigantic space, I relied on a variety of mirrors and, of course, lighting. I added trim, architectural detail and a beautiful drop feature pendant fixture to the room's gorgeous vaulted ceiling. I put up a big, traditional fixture that anchors the seating area, and a few wall sconces that flank both the windows and the fireplace.

After adding some final details — a composition of decorative mirrored blocks on one wall, a colorful area rug on the floor, and all manner of elegant knick-knacks — this room was complete.

With neutral colors, traditional furnishings and graceful lighting, I turned this empty, cavernous space into an elegant, high-end retreat where Laura can get away from it all. Finally, "mom's" the word. Now that's divine!


Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV's "Divine Design." For more ideas, information and show times visit www.HGTV.com or www.divinedesign.tv.

Distributed by scrippsnews.com.

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