Designer Secrets to the Master Bedroom

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Laguna Beach’s very own Annie Speck offers stylish decorating ideas for one of the most important rooms in the house. –By Somer Flaherty

More than any other room in your home, the master bedroom should be comfortable and approachable—which doesn’t mean it can’t be glamorous, modern, rustic or any other design style you prefer. The guiding principle in creating any space in your home is to have the design align with your needs. Laguna Beach designer Annie Speck, who has been featured on the HGTV series, “Designer’s Challenge” and “Outer Spaces,” says more than any other room, the privacy of the master bedroom space allows for a more personal approach to design. That personal aesthetic doesn’t mean you have to completely gut the space for a lasting impact; focus on small changes that will yield big design dividends.

Assess Your Needs

Whether you spend your nights retiring to a corner nook or a grand master suite, your bedroom is more than a space for a good night’s slumber. Before implementing your new design, consider your needs as an individual, couple or family using the space.

“Typically the master bedroom isn’t a place to just watch television and crash,” Annie says. “Most people really want a place where you can get away throughout the day when you are home, like a private little sanctuary.” Assess whether you spend time reading in the space or if you need a separate sitting area to have a cup of tea at night or large windows to take in the view.

For example, lighting is a very personal thing, Annie explains. Dark bedrooms with blackout curtains are great for a jet-lagged business traveler, but the lack of light can hinder activities like sinking in for a good read. For lighting that can transform with most needs (and activities), install dimmers for a mood-altering effect.

Annie suggests looking for lighting and complete bedroom inspiration images in magazines or design books, which can provide a good starting reference point and will help assimilate your own tastes with the unlimited possibilities.

“Look at an image of a complete master bedroom that you love and then dissect that image,” she says. “Maybe it’s the canopy bed that you are drawn to, or maybe it’s the fact that it’s flooded with lots of natural light. Try to decide what you love about the bedroom, and use those elements in your own design.”

A Touch of Luxury

Your master bedroom should be just as luxurious as a full hotel suite, Annie says. During the cooler months, there’s nothing better than snuggling up next to the fireplace. If your home didn’t come with a built-in fireplace in the master bedroom, you can still create a sense of warmth with a versatile portable option. Annie says luxury can also be achieved in the master bedroom with fabric. “Think about forgoing paint and upholstering the walls with a rich velvet or silk,” she suggests.

Annie points to high-end hotels as setting the direction of bedding in master bedroom design. “Invest in really good, down pillows but stay away from too many pillows on the bed—it just isn’t livable—and stick with sheets that are solid instead of a print,” she advises. For Annie, opulence doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple by choosing a duvet that you can launder at home.

If you already incorporate fresh flowers in your home, move the vase to the bedroom. “Fresh flowers or a plant in the bedroom seems like a little thing, but when you stay in a nice hotel and they have a couple orchids or fresh flowers it’s such a nice touch and a great way to spoil yourself.”

Create the Space

Use small design changes to perfect your own private sanctuary. Scan your own master bedroom: Does the design tell a visual story of its inhabitants? Do the lighting, furniture and linens set the mood you want? If creating your perfect space sounds like your ideal task, take a cue from the pieces available at these local outfitters to tackle a revamp of your master bedroom. LBM

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