Q: The space between two windows at either end of a long wall seems like a perfect place for me to put an oversized bed. I'm therefore thinking about buying such a piece -- probably something in a contemporary design. But I don't know what sort of treatment I should give to the wall. I'm especially concerned NTC about a possible clash between the headboard and the window coverings. What do you recommend?
A: Symmetry should be your guiding principle, since the placement of the windows requires a balanced design. I also wouldn't worry much about the look of the headboard and its relation to the window treatments. Most contemporary headboards are relatively low, owing to the emphasis they place on functional rather than aesthetic qualities. They usually have little visual interest, and are therefore not likely to clash with whatever coverings you choose for the windows.
A simple panel is probably all that's needed in the way of a headboard. It can then be upholstered in the same material you select for the decorative bedding.
The photograph shows a symmetrical and contemporary arrangement that's easy to put together. In fact, most of the work has been done by the designer of the custom bed ensemble, which includes headboard, bedspread, dust skirt and Roman shades that can be fabricated to fit windows of any size. The entire ensemble is from Norman's of Salisbury.
This bed-and-shade composition is based on the contemporary design approach of softening a room with a single fabric pattern.
Even though the oversized bed and the lavish use of fabric make a dramatic statement, the real star of the room is the wall decoration directly above the bed. It's a six-panel, black-lacquered screen with an exotic floral design. The screen's colors, compatible with those in the rest of the room, are accentuated by recessed and directional lighting.
And please don't overlook those decorative bedside lamps, which provide a soft glow and an interesting counterpoint to all the soft and flowing lines elsewhere in the room.
Besides being a literal centerpiece, the screen has been made into a focal point. I recommend that you do something similar to highlight your own symmetrical design.
+ Los Angeles Times Syndicate