Use color to brighten your bedroom

July 15, 2006|by CHRISTINE BRUN / Copley News Service

No other place of sanctuary is quite as important as the bedroom, so it's important to make that space a special one. We spend nearly one-third of our lives sleeping, so it's worth the time and effort to think of ways to make the room where we truly get away from it all peaceful and conducive to rest.

Color remains the No. 1 tool that, used carefully and in various mediums, can mold the personality of your bedroom. Consider how your own bedroom stacks up against the exceptional sun-washed room of luscious silks and rustling bed covers shown here. It's yummy to look at and also has other attributes worth noting.

According to the Chinese practice of feng shui, anyone sleeping in this room would benefit from its facing west into the gentle rays of the setting sun. The ancient rules, which are supposed to guide users toward the harnessing of positive energy, warn against using colors that are too vibrant, as they can make it difficult to rest. Color preferences are rooted in very personal experiences, and while this ensemble might be too strong for some, others might find the mix enchanting.


The magic starts by simply painting these walls with a toned-down lime green, which is a green with a lot of citrus yellow in it. Rich sunflower yellow is hung directly against the green walls, and a lighter version of the wall color is used in the bedding mix. Brilliance is achieved by the brave introduction of magenta or fuchsia against the citrus background. This arrangement is set off by the use of crisp white sheets, one white pillow and a white lamp shade to further enhance the value of the color.

For someone else, the palette might include pale, whisperlike renditions of color. Whites with barely there colors can be serene in a much more restrained way. Imagine off-whites used with a pinkish blush, cream and soft blue, the color of the fading daylight. Or picture whites used with periwinkle. Each color scheme conveys a unique emotion so important to reflect the preferences of the people who sleep in the bedroom.

Why settle for colors established by the bedspread that was on sale and allow that one element to dominate the most essential room in the house? The gorgeous room shown here is not dependent upon "stuff." In fact, there is little furniture and even less wall adornment. Its very simplicity leads to tranquillity.

The choice of textile also speaks loud and clear: Silk looks expensive, a costly material saved for an important place. The decision to use a quilted coverlet communicates a safe, warm feeling. The bed looks comfortable and invites you to crawl in and relax. That sensation, as if you had opened the door to an expensive hotel room, is extremely appealing.

Sleep experts tell us that bedrooms should only be used for sleeping and other very personal activities. You might consider eliminating the TV set, computer, photos and other distractions. Be sure to remove clutter. Regardless of your personal style, cleanliness adds to the sense of order and peace that leads to a good night's sleep.

Christine Brun, ASID, is a San Diego-based interior designer and the author of "Big Ideas for Small Spaces." Send questions and comments to her by e-mail at or to Copley News Service, P.O. Box 120190, San Diego, CA 92112.

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