Decorating Dilemmas: Tracy’s Boring, Brown Bedroom

Lightening and brightening a boring, beige/brown master bedroom

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

I love to read your blog and look at your fabulous ideas. My bedroom is very small and has awkward openings. The room is 12 feet wide and 17 feet long. The doors make it difficult to put anything behind them. I had a chair, then the dresser. I think a Barn type door would help free up some floor space, but can’t decide on color, type, ect.

In my bedroom, I would like a rug, a headboard, and less bulky furniture. Plus, I am in desperate need of new paint! I love the Catherine Rug and Camden Burlap Headboard but don’t know if they would work together. I’d also like new curtains and and accent pieces.

I’m trying to tone down all the brown, tan, and beige by including more grays. But now this still leaves me colorless! I bought a picture with hints of blue, charcoal, and taupe, and want that to be my jumping off point for bringing in more blue. I would like a calm bedroom and don’t know what to do!

My bathroom is brown all over too! YUK! What was I thinking? How do I make the bathroom and bedroom flow? Do you think fabric shades would help?
I would love any ideas and help you can offer!!

Tracy Robinson






Hi Tracy!

We can definitely create a lighter feel in your bedroom by introducing various layers of texture and a variety of color shades.

Paint color is our first suggestion. Staying within the same color spectrum will create a harmonious feel with your bathroom but the variety will come with using a lighter shade. One suggestion is Celery Salt (OC-136) by Benjamin Moore. Just remember that no matter what paint color you select, start with a sample painted on your wall so you can see how it reacts with your lighting – both natural and incandescent.

The Catherine Rug would be a fabulous foundation for the space. The colors lend themselves for the softer side of a bedroom but the earthy tones will harmonize with your bathroom. We couldn’t agree more with the addition of our Camden Burlap Headboard. It has amazing texture that would echo a bathroom barn-style door and still feel very sophisticated. Your walls and headboard can be your canvas but the rug establishes the color palette. Next, layer on our Audree Pom Pom Quilted Bedding in Spa and top it off with a Personalized Established Pillow for a touch of whimsy. You can bring in additional throw pillows for added color. We suggest various shades of colors in the rug. Your bench is another perfect location to top with colorful throw pillows.

Now your wall is ready for some artwork. Our Provence Dove Art has soft color that will echo the established color palette and create a focal point above your headboard. Another option would be to hang our Garden District Mirrors in Weathered White on each side of the bed to reflect the natural light flooding in through your French doors. Position our Chapelle Lamps in White in front of the mirrors for a definite reflection of light. Another table lamp option is our Ellis Glass Table Lamp in light blue. Both are a great color addition to the space.

Side tables in a bedroom don’t have to match to feel right. We suggest pairing our Olivia 30″ Side Table and the Laurel Side Table for a relaxed combination. The finishes definitely bring another layer of interesting texture into the room.

So, we love the idea of flanking your French doors with drapery panels. This is the easiest way to bring color, texture and softness to the room. Our Bingham Printed Damask drapery panels paired with our Wooden Drapery Hardware is a fabulous combination. Remember to hang the rod at least 4” – 6” above the frame to really maximize the doors appearance. Also, use a long enough rod so that the drapery panels flank the door frame without encroaching on the door glass.

Repeat the colors in your bathroom – in towels, rugs and accessories – to make the space feel unified.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Lightening and brightening a boring, beige/brown master bedroom

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How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.