Design & Home

We Took An All-White Bedroom and Entirely Transformed It, 5 Ways

We Took An All-White Bedroom and Entirely Transformed It, 5 Ways
Geometric throw pillows from Salt & Sundry will up your bed’s style game. Photo by Jeff Elkins

Perhaps because we want to put our best public face forward, the bedroom, which should be a source of comfort and bliss, is somehow often the last room of the house to receive the full decor treatment. But one throw pillow and a plain white comforter do not a luxe bedroom make. Here, we created five entirely different bedrooms in an all-white box as proof that a little bit of color and a few smartly chosen accessories can take your bedroom from snoozy to a place where you’ll love catching some z’s.

Feminine MinimalistPhoto by Jeff Elkins

The new wave of feminine decorating abandons flounces and frills. Instead, tones are washed out and artwork is understated—like a union of Calvin Klein simplicity and a Wes Anderson color palette.

Bed Quilt, Louise Gray, $410. Shams ($225 for two) and flat sheet ($325) by Haute Home, at Ivy Lane Living. Notebook, Salt & Sundry, $16.

Floor Votive, Salt & Sundry, $6. Planter by Universal Isaac, provided by Sill Life, $65. “Dream” pillow, CB2, $39.95.

Nightstand “Morton” lamp by Aerin, at Circa Lighting, $475.

Wall “You Fly Straight Into My Heart” by Suzanne Koett (top) and “The Poet” by Mandy Mohler, courtesy of Framebridge.

Global OrganicPhoto by Jeff Elkins

Living in Washington doesn’t mean you can’t bring the sensibility of a California yoga retreat to your decor with hippie-ish textiles and shades of green that would blend right in with the redwoods.

Bed “Aldalora” spread, Anthropologie, $128. Bolivian blanket ($425), moss velvet mohair pillows ($180 each), and Petals travel pillow ($75), Timothy Paul. Canvas bolster pillow, Urban Outfitters, $49.

Floor Vintage Turkish tulu rug, Timothy Paul, $1,500.

Nightstand “Paix” lamp by Aerin, at Circa Lighting, $420. Decorative books, $89 for three, Timothy Paul.

Wall “Orange” and “Ripples” courtesy of Framebridge.

Moody MasculinePhoto by Jeff Elkins

Maybe it’s the rampant abuse of those hazy Instagram filters, but bedrooms with a cozy, shadowy vibe are totally of the moment. Go for deep neutrals (we used charcoal, black, and earthy brown) to up the drama.

Bed “Painterly” duvet cover, Schoolhouse Electric, $115. Gray shams, Timothy Paul, $145 a pair. “Moonphase” pillow, Anthropologie, $58. “Haven” herringbone throw, Room & Board, $169.

Floor Vintage Moroccan wool runner, Timothy Paul, $4,750. “Lake Michigan” by Laurie Hunt, courtesy of Framebridge. “Soria” lamp, Room & Board, $499.

Wall “Mountains,” Unsplash, and “Typewriter,” Unsplash, both courtesy of Framebridge.

Funky GlamourPhoto by Jeff Elkins

The new ’70s decor is only a touch psychedelic: less Deadhead, more Bianca Jagger. Pile on the bright tones and trippy patterns. Just remember to leave room for basic white to stay within the disco era’s sweet spot.

Bed Quilt by John Robshaw, at Timothy Paul, $420. “Cesara” pillow, Anthropologie, $98. Purple and blue geometric pillows by Leah Singh, at Salt & Sundry, $119 and $129. “Sparkle!” pillow, Jonathan Adler, $98.

Floor Terrarium from Sill Life, $120. Modern sari silk rug, Timothy Paul, $2,475.

Nightstand “Edo” side table, Thos. Moser, $1,320. “Cannes” lamp by Aerin, at Circa Lighting, $1,470. “Gala” Vase, Jonathan Adler, $250. Candle, Wary Meyers, $28.50.

Wall “Swansy” wallpaper, Kathryn Zaremba, from $36. Art, clockwise from bottom: Framed arrow, “Diora Aird” by Stephanie Vovas, “Croatia” by Nicole Cohen, “Friendship” by Clare Elsaesser (middle), and framed fishing lures courtesy of Framebridge; weaving print by Lauren Joseph.

Updated ElegancePhoto by Jeff Elkins

Life is too short to be sensible with your decor—you can be tasteful without relying on wall-to-wall beige. Luxe textures, such as velvet and silk, read as sophisticated even in edgier, darker hues.

Bed “Mercer Smoke” quilt ($349) and shams ($89 a pair), DwellStudio. “Wave” pillows ($190 each) and “Bloom” pillow ($175), Timothy Paul.

Floor Vintage Turkish tulu rug, Timothy Paul, $975.

Nightstand “Moon Glow” lamp by Barbara Barry, at Circa Lighting, $630. Ring bowl, Salt & Sundry, $10.

Wall “So Long as Nothing Changes II” by Kai Samuels-Davis, courtesy of Framebridge.

This article appears in the March 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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Design & Style Editor

Hillary writes about interiors, real estate, arts, and culture. She is the former digital media editor of The New Republic, and her work has also been published in Glamour, The New York Times Book Review, and The Washington Post, among others. You can follow her on Instagram @hillarylouisekelly or on Pinterest @hlkelly.