Katherine’s Bedroom, Before
Vitals: Katherine Movalson, mom of two (soon three!) and Web-communications consultant, in San Carlos, California.
The “before” story: Katherine and her husband, Brian, did serious structural work on the master bedroom, converting a bare open-beam ceiling to a properly insulated one and installing recessed lighting and dormer windows. After that, Katherine says, “I bought a new comforter and called it quits.”
Why she stalled: Overwhelmed by possibilities and by the room’s size (320 square feet, with 10-foot ceilings), Katherine froze. “It’s easy to think about a kitchen or a bathroom, where so much of the decor is defined by function. But the bedroom…it was just like, Shoot me, please! I didn’t know where to start.”
What she hoped for: A transformation that would turn the room from an echoing cavern into a welcoming nest—someplace where 3-year-old Meredith and 2-year-old Will would be happy to hang out while Mom is in the shower.
Designer Kimberly Ayres’s Plan
Color infusion. Like Katherine, San Francisco–based Ayres (kimberlyayres.com) felt that the room needed major cheering up: “Katherine was game for something dramatic, and I thought coral walls [Pale Cornelian 7-13, prices vary, prattandlambert.com for stores] would be fun.”
Cozying up a tall space. High ceilings can make low furniture look dwarfish. Ayres brought in a taller bed with a substantial headboard and hung a mirror above it to draw the eye up.
Creating zones. In smaller rooms, a combo of a bed and nightstands is plenty. But this space called for pockets of additional furniture for fill and balance. An armchair and ottoman are just right for story time, and a desk stashes Katherine’s makeup.