Designer Matthew Smyth reached a similar solution in the 18th-century farmhouse he restored for 21st-century living. As anyone with a country house knows, he needed all the sleepover room he could offer.
Smyth also wanted space for a large collection of books. In the pictured room, he used floor-to-ceiling, wraparound shelves - in this case, wrapping around a single bed that doubles as a library sofa between overnight guests.
A double helping of swing arm lamps makes it both cozy and convenient for reading, in bed or not. To see more of Smyth's sleight of hand, click on www.matthewsmyth.com.
Q: My ceilings are low, just over 8 feet high. Where should I hang the curtains? Should they go on the top of the window frames or up against the ceiling?
A: Hang 'em high! The longer the sweep of fabric, the taller the windows and ceilings will look.
Q: The other week, you suggested using a garden trellis to add texture to a wall. Do you think that would work in my dining room? Our furniture is a little formal, but the fabrics are allover flowers. Did you mean the kind of trellis you buy in a garden shop, or is there something less rustic? I don't want the splintery kind I saw at the home center.
A: Trelliswork - or "treillage," as the French call it - started out in the gardens of Versailles as homemade frames for outdoor vines to climb. Naturally, it was a bit on the rustic side at first.
Refined over time, trelliswork came indoors, most famously at the hands of Elsie de Wolfe, the founding mother of modern interior design. When architect Sanford White commissioned her to decorate the Colony Club for women in New York, Elsie covered all the walls in white-painted treillage.
It was a decorating trick she picked up when she lived in France, where trellis had that long tradition tracing back to Louis XIV's day. But whatever her inspiration, Elsie caused a sensation. When the original Colony Club was relocated to Park Avenue, the trelliswork went along and remains its signature motif more than a century later.
Accents of France, a California company, makes quality wooden trelliswork for today's home, outside and inside. Check them out at www.accentsoffrance.com.
Rose Bennett Gilbert is the co-author of "Hampton Style" and associate editor of Country Decorating Ideas.
Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate Inc.