Creating a seating area in a bedroom

October 14, 1990|By Rita St. Clair

Q: Even though our bedroom is only of average size, we'd like to create a seating area within it. There seems to be enough space for a couple of regular lounge chairs, but I'm wondering whether we should buy smaller ones to make the room look bigger. I'd appreciate learning your thoughts on that as well as getting some general advice on how to create an interesting room.

A: Whenever I'm presented with conflicting choices, I find the easiest way to make a decision is by clarifying my priorities.

In your case, the choice is between greater comfort and making the room look larger. So if lounging is your top priority for the redesigned bedroom, please don't sacrifice generously sized chairs for the sake of creating an illusion of spaciousness.

You should realize, by the way, that to be comfortable, a chair need not be an enormous recliner. After all, there is a bed in the room, right? Comfort in chairs is usually measured by how well one's legs andshoulders are supported. A lower-back chair can be quite restful if an ottoman or even a footstool is used along with it.

The visual perception of a space can be increased in ways other than buying undersized furniture. Generally speaking, simple wall and floor treatments in complementary light-to-medium colors will produce that effect.

But don't limit your objectives solely to making the room appear bigger. Since you wish to include a seating area, you're probably yearning for a bit of luxury and beauty in this highly personal setting.

Perhaps the bedroom shown in the photo conveys some of the atmosphere you seek. This isn't a particularly large space, but it's been arranged to accommodate tables and a storage piece as well as the bed and chairs. And all of these pieces have been pulled together to form a cozy environment.

The proper use of color and fabric makes each piece appear decorative in its own right. This melange also draws the eye to individual items as well as to the overall design of the

room.

Although this eclectic look is not based on any particular period or style, it succeeds in the same way as does casual dressing -- by combining many different elements into a single, unified whole. The experienced interior designers of Stephen-Paul Associates are responsible for the distinctive appearance of this setting.

Pale celadon walls and a DuPont "Stainmaster Luxura" carpet by Camelot, also in celadon green, make an appropriate background for the floral side curtains and the richly detailed mirrored screen. The colors of the chair are inspired by the natural tones used for the window treatment.

The so-called controlled clutter of this space shows how it's possible to create an interesting, comfortable and uniquely personal room without worrying about illusions of spaciousness.

I must warn you, however, that while the design may look as though it's been thrown together, it's very difficult to achieve such a successful outcome without a practiced eye.

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