The Bedroom

Overview

Sumptuously illustrated and overflowing with dreamy design ideas, this book is a complete guide to decorating the most private and special room in the house.

The Bedroom explores every aspect of decorating this most personal and intimate of places, from the basics, such as what style of bedstead to choose and how to maximize storage space, to the aesthetics, including countless ways to dress the bed, accessorize the vanity, and transform the walls, ceiling, and floor into the ...

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Overview

Sumptuously illustrated and overflowing with dreamy design ideas, this book is a complete guide to decorating the most private and special room in the house.

The Bedroom explores every aspect of decorating this most personal and intimate of places, from the basics, such as what style of bedstead to choose and how to maximize storage space, to the aesthetics, including countless ways to dress the bed, accessorize the vanity, and transform the walls, ceiling, and floor into the room of your dreams. Whether you prefer the regality of a canopy bed swathed in a luxurious fabric, the coziness of chintz-covered walls and country furniture, the cool repose of recessed lighting and a sleek contemporary bed dressed in tightly wrapped linens, or the sweetness of airy tulle curtains and daintily embroidered pillowcases, the book abounds with tips and suggestions for achieving just the look you want, no matter what your budget.

Illustrated with Fritz von der Schulenburg's extraordinary photographs of bedrooms all over the world, including those of Bill Blass, Karl Lagerfeld, and Valentino, and complete with an international list of sources, The Bedroom will give 1,001 nights' worth of ideas to everyone who hankers for a room that can truly be called one's own.

Other Details: 150 full-color illustrations 144 pages 9 7/8 x 9 7/8" Published 1995

guests. As a result, the bedroom gradually retreated into the recesses of private life, where it has remained ever since. The changing role of the bedroom was aptly characterized by an eighteenth-century observer who wrote in 1799: "The lady's bedchamber is a sanctuary which no stranger is permitted to enter. It would be an act of the greatest possible indecorum to go into it, unless the visitor were upon a very familiar footing with the family."

The evolution of the bed closely parallels that of the bedroom: the more ceremonious the function of the bedroom, the grander and more opulent the bed. Because history repeats itself especially with respect to decorative styles a brief survey of the historical development of the bed offers a wealth of decorating ideas. Since time immemorial, the primary objective of the bed has been to cushion the sleeper from the hard ground or floor. For many centuries people achieved this objective merely by filling sacks with straw or hay. These rudimentary beds were the precursors of mattresses as we know them, and the tradition lives on: a mattress covered in simple homespun or ticking and placed directly on the floor has an inviting, back-to-basics appeal.

In ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome beds were lightweight and portable so they could be moved about multipurpose rooms with ease. Egyptian beds had simple wooden frames covered with webbing and topped by a hard, raised headrest, the purpose of which was to preserve stiffly coiffed hairdos rather than to provide comfort like the soft pillows used today. The beds were often draped with mosquito netting or less expensive fishing nets to keep out insects. This simple practice is inexpensive to re-create, and it imparts a soft, romantic look whether the netting surrounds an elegant Egyptian Revival bed or a plain mattress. Greek beds resembled couches and were used both for sleeping and for reclining on while dining. Headboards and ornamental pillows not only made them more comfortable but were also indicators of status. Sinuously curved and often lavishly decorated, Roman beds were similar to their Greek counterparts. Revivals or reproductions of these beds can lend a neoclassical look to any bedroom.

The tradition of movable furniture continued into the medieval period and endured among the poorer classes well into the eighteenth century. During the early Middle Ages, landowners led a rather peripatetic existence: to oversee their holdings they regularly moved their entire households from property to property. Portability was therefore essential, and beds were for the most part simple affairs, consisting of a wooden base, low vertical posts, and a separate canopy that could be taken apart and folded into cases. The status symbol in those days was less the bed than the bed hangings, which could be easily packed and transported. Fine textiles were rare and exorbitantly expensive, so wealthy landowners invested vast sums in these portable symbols of affluence. Thus began the love affair between the bed and its bedclothes, which has endured, in endless variations on the theme, to this day.

Renaissance beds ranged from those described by Montaigne in 1580 as "wretched little tables on which they throw planks...and you are very well lodged if you have a canopy," to grander ones, sometimes of elaborately carved wood, sometimes built into cupboard like alcoves. Others featured posts and curtain like hangings; these might be raised on a platform and flanked by chests that were used for storage as well as seating.

As time went on, beds became extremely large, not only to accommodate numerous occupants (it was common for several family members to sleep together) but also to create grand impressions, like the Great Bed of Ware, c. 1590, in which "four couples might cozily lie side by side, and thus without touching each other abide."

In the seventeenth century the predominant style was the rectangular, box-shaped bed, often referred to as a "French bedde." It featured a flying tester, or roof, either suspended from the ceiling or supported by posts, and covered with side hangings and a head cloth. In form it was influenced by state beds. Swathed in voluminous, extravagant hangings and raised on platforms, state beds were often encircled by a balustrade that permitted visitors to approach only so far. The height of the bed rose in proportion to its grandeur and theatricality. The late-seventeenth- and early-eighteenth-century published designs of Daniel Marot, court architect to William of Orange, popularized the style in both England and France.

At the other end of the social spectrum, the constraints of one-room living yielded expedient solutions and innovative designs. Sometimes ordinary chests filled with sacks of straw were used as impromptu beds. There also were beds that when folded up turned into other pieces of furniture, such as wooden chests. These innovations found their way into wealthy homes as well. An awestruck visitor to the Palazzo de' Medici in 1644 described a "conceited chayre...which turned into a bed, a bolster, a table, and a couch."

Until the Renaissance elaborate carving had been reserved for state beds. But by the eighteenth century, beds were as much the domain of the furniture maker as the curtain maker and the upholsterer. Although hangings did not diminish in importance, bedposts were now often intended for full view, and therefore began to be quite decorative. A profusion of designs for both bedsteads and hangings were published and circulated widely among a burgeoning middle class. The production of less expensive textiles enabled more people to feel like royalty when they went to bed.

The bed's lofty position in the hierarchy of interior furnishings is attested to by an architectural drawing of a London house (c. 1774) depicting a sumptuously draped bed one of the few pieces of furniture deemed significant enough to merit inclusion (page 10). And, as British furniture maker George Hepplewhite wrote in The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide, 1788, beds "are an article of much importance, as well on account of the great expense attending them, as the variety of shapes, and the high degree of

elegance which may be shewn in them."

By the middle of the eighteenth century state beds were still de rigueur in royal settings, but fashion was shifting away from them as a model. Soon there was no end of different designs to choose from: beds with or without posts, each with its own style of canopy and hangings. As historian Eileen Harris has written, "The imposing opulence of the past was cast off for coquettish confections."

Toward the end of the eighteenth century one of the more popular confections available was the lit ^ la polonaise, which featured a domed canopy. A particularly exotic one was fitted with mirrored parts that reflected the view out the window, so that, when lying on it, one felt as though he or she "was actually lying out in the open air," as an observer wrote in 1786. In the 1793 edition of The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing-Book, Thomas Sheraton published a design for a "summer bed" in "two compartments...intended for a nobleman or gentleman and his lady to sleep separately in hot weather," as well as his version of the famed lit ^ bateau, or boat-shaped bed. Various forms of daybeds and sofa beds appeared, used for seating, lounging, sleeping, or receiving visitors in a salon. There were folding field and campaign beds that were intended for military use and traveling but were also ideal for small rooms. Sheraton also designed beds that folded conveniently into a linen press or cupboard. Owing to its newly retrieved privacy, the bedroom was a perfect place to indulge in the eighteenth-century passion for folly and fantasy. Chippendale created beds in the Gothic and chinoiserie styles, and George Smith later designed romanticized twig like bedsteads.

Hangings became equally whimsical during the eighteenth century. Then, as now, they created the feeling that one was entering a self-contained world when climbing into bed. One eighteenth-century observer expressed that feeling when he wrote that the bed was like "a room in itself, with four posts, flowered curtains for walls, a chintz tester for ceiling, and steps conducting one into an acre of billowy bolstered bliss!"

The impact of hangings was as important from inside the bed as from outside. Story-telling fabrics, such as French toiles de Jouy, which depicted allegorical, exotic, or pastoral tales, as well as topical events like the craze for hot-air ballooning, were all the rage as bed hangings in the eighteenth century. A love of the imaginary and exotic persisted into the nineteenth century, as exemplified by the Regency and Empire penchant for tented rooms and beds. When Mary Russell Mitford visited Rosedale Cottage, an English cottage orn, in the early nineteenth century, she observed that each room was differently and fancifully decorated. Some were "swarming with furniture crocodiles and sphinxes...They sleep in Turkish tents and dine in a Gothic chapel."

Undoubtedly one of the most famous beds of the early nineteenth century was that of Madame Rcamier (page 11) in Paris. Privileged visitors to the city felt their stay was incomplete if they did not see this latest example of the neoclassical style. Mary Berry was no exception. After her visit in 1802, she wrote: "Went to the house of Mme. Rcamier. We were resolved not to leave Paris without seeing what is called the most elegant house in it, fitted up in the new style...It is certainly fitted up with all the recherche and expense possible in what is now called le got antique...Her bed is reckoned the most beautiful in Parisit too, is of mahogany, enriched with ormolu and bronze, and raised upon two steps of the same wood. Over the whole bed was thrown a great coverlid or veil of fine plain muslin with rows of narrow gold lace at each end, the muslin embroidered as a border. The curtains were muslin, trimmed with and worked like the coverlid suspended from a sort of carved couronne de roses and tucked up in drapery upon the wall, against which the bed stood."

During the Victorian period, with its penchant for eclecticism, post beds with elaborate hangings were produced in every revival style imaginable. At the same time, a heightened concern for hygiene, and the desire to stamp out bed bugs and other vermin, resulted in the wide-scale production of metal bedsteads typically iron or brass. If the showy hangings of the past were symbolic of rank, these metal beds were tangible symbols of the latest social values. The Victorians paid great attention to the decoration of the bedroom. As a nineteenth-century prescriptive writer admonished, "The sleeping room, in which nearly half of one's life is passed, ought to be as pretty as a sitting room."

The same holds true today. We, too, perceive the bedroom as a sanctuary and often spend a good half of our time in it, gravitating toward it more than any other room in the house. And the way we decorate the bedroom is symbolic of who we really are.

Comfort is paramount in today's bedroom. Yet everyone's idea of comfort is different, ranging from spare minimalism to cluttered coziness. Whatever your definition of comfort, it will dictate the mood you wish to create. When decorating your bedroom it is important to identify a starting point, whether apiece of furniture, a wall treatment, or a specific fabric. One way to take you straight to the heart of the matter is to begin with the only truly essential piece of bedroom furniture the bed. The style of bed you choose will affect the entire decorative scheme of the room. For example, a mattress and box spring placed on the floor immediately creates a pared-down, contemporary feeling that can then be dressed up as little or as much as you like. A traditional four-poster instantly imparts a period look that either can be carried out to the letter in all the details of the room, including the bed hangings, wall treatment, and other furniture, or can be set in contrast to the other elements in the room for an eclectic feeling.

There are a vast range of bedsteads to choose from and several ways to go about getting one: you can buy one, either antique or new; reclaim or adapt a "found object"; or make one. If you want a period or eclectic look, turn the search into a treasure hunt. First, to familiarize your eye with the wealth of possibilities, begin by looking at prints and paintings from different periods, vintage photographs, or antique pattern books, all of which vividly record interiors of the past in meticulous detail. Then embark on the search itself, which will spark your imagination even further. Among the styles of bedsteads you may come across are baroque, rococo, nineteenth-century campaign beds (pages 34, 43, 54, 109), Egyptian Revival (pages 16D17), Biedermeier (pages 18, 24), Empire (pages 25, 58), chinoiserie, Victorian turned metal (pages 26, 44, 67), Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Shaker (pages 28, 69), and all manner of French daybeds (pages 33, 45).

Whereas authentic period beds may require a substantial investment, nineteenth-century revivals of various styles, including Queen Anne, rococo, and neoclassical, or twentieth-century copies are much more affordable and have the same effect. Although you would not want to tamper with a mint-condition antique in any way, a rusted Victorian sleigh bed or a Regency field bed in less than pristine condition can be brought back to life with a touch of paint or gilding.

Scavenging through architectural salvage depots, flea markets, and auction houses may yield a wonderful "found object" that may not have originally been intended as a bed frame but that has great decorative potential. Reclaiming a found object can help stretch a tight budget and you will have enormous fun in the process. For example, you can convert a fragment of decoratively carved period paneling or a trumeau (a mirrored panel topped by a painting) into an imaginative headboard either by using it as is or by stripping it, painting it, or embellishing it with gold leaf, and then attaching it to the wall or directly to the bed. Similarly, an old corona or tester, now separated from the bed it originally partnered, can serve as a basic structure for hangings and add cachet to the simplest bed. Even a mantelpiece can be transformed into a headboard simply by filling in the opening with upholstery or an antique wallpaper screen.

If you prefer to create a more contemporary feeling, there are countless alternatives to choose from, such as sleek molded-wood headboards, bold wrought-iron frames painted in primary colors, naturalistic rattan or raffia bedsteads, rustic designs in stripped pine, painted or color-washed wood frames in striking asymmetrical shapes, and fluidly bent wire frames fashioned to look like molten silver or Gaudiesque fantasies.

Once you have chosen a bed, whether framed or unframed, you can either "dress it up" with a canopy, swags, festoons, draped hangings, and so on, or leave it "undressed," wearing only its basic bedclothes sheets, pillowcases, and blanket or comforter. For extra flair, inexpensive plain sheets and pillowcases can be monogrammed with your initials, appliqued with lace fragments, or dipped in tea to give them an Old World feeling.

The variety of sheets and pillowcases available today is virtually limitless, ranging from basic white, bordered or unbordered, which can be either ironed crisply (pages 18, 23, 26) or left seductively wrinkled (pages 108, 109, 112), to earthy beige homespun with scalloped or stand-up European borders, perhaps ornamented with wooden, plastic, or fabric-covered buttons, or casual or formal bows (pages 43, 57). As for prints, country or windowpane checks, demure or bold stripes, mattress ticking, small- or large-scale patterns of all kinds, Matisse-inspired designs splashed with vibrant color, basket weaves, and Indian or Oriental motifs are just a few of the options.

Simply by dressing the bed you will begin to give the room its decorative flavor. For instance, an early American crewelwork coverlet will simu-late the feeling of the "best chamber" in a Queen Anne house; rural-style prints or dimity will suggest a hamlet by the sea; regimental stripes paired with sheer gauze or muslin will conjure up the ambience of the nineteenth-century Swedish countryside (page 68); and a sea of glazed chintz will steep the room in Victorian charm. Draping a boldly striped sheet over the bed will create a neoclassical look. For an updated, less formal variation on the theme, use sheets with broad bands of color. Combining small- and large-scale striped floral patterns (page 50) will lend the room a touch of old-fashioned femininity.

If you have a period canopy bed or have created the look of one and you wish to dress it in a period style, the many eighteenth- and nineteenth-century furniture makers' and curtain makers' pattern books are excellent sources and can be used as a starting point for your own interpretation. You can either copy a design exactly, borrow a single element, or combine details from various designs. For example, you can re-create a neoclassical look by topping the canopy with a gilded crown and hanging silk flecked with Napoleonic bees from it. Or you might select just one typical detail of Empire style, such as bow and arrow finials, rosettes, or heavy rope tassels, to give plain hangings a regal touch. By using your imagination, you can adapt the ideas in these designs in other ways besides hangings. For example, a gathered swag, like the ones commonly used on nineteenth-century testers, can be attached to the sides of a simple box-spring frame to soften its severe shape.

Although it is rare to find an entire set of period hangings intact, you may come across all sorts of fragments at flea markets, auctions, or antiques shops, such as crewelwork panels, antique tapestry, vintage cottons, embroidered velvet, and antique toile de Jouy (page 51), all of which add great character to any bed. You might prefer simply to top the bed with a vintage coverlet (pages 23, 49), an American or English patchwork quilt (page 43), a turn-of-the-century flowered chintz faded from years of laundering, or second-hand linens full of old-fashioned charm (pages 18, 36).

The wall treatment you choose can give even the most nondescript bedroom a distinct style. By covering the walls with paneling, whether period or fashioned out of inexpensive medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and either leaving it plain, ornamenting it with ribbons and garlands, or painting panoramic scenes on it, you can achieve looks that suggest a Georgian town house, a Victorian library (page 110), a Tuscan villa (page 67), or a French folly (pages 128D129).

Another way to effect the mood you want is by painting the walls. A mural of a classical garden simulates the atmosphere of a formal European courtyard; a seascape creates the illusion of sleeping at the water's edge. Marbleizing the walls captures the opulence of an Italian palazzo or a tsar's summer palace. A trompe l'oeil cornice of graceful swags and garlands adds architectural interest and charm.

Similar effects can be achieved with wallpaper or fabric. For a bedroom with an exotic view, try a scenic, or panoramic, wallpaper. For a country garden ambience, consider a delicate floral- or leaf-patterned wallpaper or fabric. For a soft, romantic look, drape the walls with new or antique lace in gentle folds. Walls painted in a solid color or papered in a subtle stripe serve as a neutral background for favorite paintings, prints, or photographs (pages 56, 57, and 71).

Any number of floor treatments are appropriate for the bedroom. Leave wooden floorboards bare for a period look; paint them or stencil them for a country feeling. Mix and match needlework scatter rugs for color and accent. Carpeting, either plain or patterned, warms the floor, making it pleasant for walking on in bare feet. Natural-fiber matting, with or without a contrasting border, creates a rustic look; dhurries or kilims add an ethnic touch. If you are lucky enough to find a well-worn Aubusson or Savonnerie carpet, let its faded floral patterns dictate the color scheme of the entire room. Fragments of such carpets are often less expensive and can be used as accent rugs.

Window treatments are equally varied. Shutters have the advantage of affording maximum light when open and complete privacy when closed. Period or reproduction shutters are available in a wide range of styles, from raised and fielded Georgian paneling to delicately carved versions to the simple louvered contemporary kind. You can leave old shutters as you find them, or strip them, distress them, or rub them with paint. Painting a perspective scene on shutters or plain shades creates the feeling of a room with a view even when the shutters are closed or the shades are drawn. Curtain fabric can either match or contrast that of the bed. If you have a canopy bed, you can unify the room by repeating the design of the tester and hangings at the windows. Or you can loosely drape the fabric from a rod and tie it back to one side asymmetrically, dressed up with a tassel (pages 18, 36), decorative finial (page 23), or rosette (page 27). Ruffled festoon shades lend softness and femininity to a room.

The vanity, or dressing table, is at once a practical and decorative addition to any bedroom. You can either find a vintage one and top it with a splendid mirror, or make your own from plywood or MDF and cover it with fabric in as simple or elaborate a way as you like (pages 78, 83, 86, 89). The idea of displaying collections of trinkets and baubles on a vanity is not new. Describing Queen Charlotte's dressing table in 1767, the eighteenth-century diarist Mrs. Lybbe Powys noted that "on her toilet [there were] beside the gold plate innumerable 'knick-knacks'." When you are not wearing your favorite costume jewelry, adorn the vanity with it. Hanging ropes of beads or faux pearls from a mirror and clipping earrings to a lampshade (pages 74, 80, 81, 89) not only looks pretty but also keeps your baubles within easy reach. Antique cosmetic jars, tinted glass bottles with gleaming silver, brass, or vermeil tops, differently shaped fragrance flasks, and oversize perfumers' jars with shiny brass spigots are both beautiful and useful accessories for the vanity. The bottles and jars that house the potions and lotions you use on a daily basis, such as Chanel's bold geometric black-and-white plastic or Clinique's translucent green ones, can also be extremely decorative. No vanity is complete without a mirror, whether the hand-held Victorian variety (page 78) or a dainty lacquered neoclassical mirror with miniature drawers. You might consider dressing up an ordinary mirror by reviving the eighteenth-century practice of draping it in fabric gathered with bows.

Perhaps the greatest challenge in decorating the bedroom is devising enough easily accessible storage space to accommodate clothes, shoes, linens, luggage, books, writing materials, and so forth. There are two different but equally viable approaches: concealing and revealing. You can either store everything neatly out of view in closets, cabinets, bureaus, chests, and so on, or you can exploit the inherently ornamental qualities of some of the things you are storing and integrate them into the room's decor.

There are all sorts of ways to hide things decoratively. Cabinet or closet doors can be constructed from fragments of real paneling, or you can create the same look using a synthetic material. For a fraction of the cost, you can give ordinary doors lots of character by adding picture-frame molding, painting them with a plain or faux finish, or turning to historical techniques, such as decoupage. You might let the need to mask uninteresting doors be the impetus to create a sort of updated print room by gluing period bed, bed hanging, or fashion designs on the doors and linking the designs with wallpaper borders. Or you might consider ornamenting doors with masses of framed prints or sepia photographs. Mirrored closet doors help increase the sense of space in small rooms.

The alternative is to give pride of place to favorite possessions. Designer Lillian Williams has infused a New York apartment with the romance of an eighteenth-century French bedchamber. Among an array of captivating period furnishings she casually displays a cherished collection of antique shoes and hat boxes (pages 128D29). Antique clothing, from eighteenth-century waistcoats to 1920s beaded shifts picked up at flea markets, make a strong decorative statement when hung on closet doors or from open racks. Even the most common objects have great decorative effect when massed together, such as the handkerchiefs tied with ribbons on page 96. Towels or trousers can be draped over mahogany, faux-bamboo, or painted wooden racks. Even the rungs of a wooden ladder can provide storage with style (page 98).

Again, found objects come in handy, this time in the guise of imaginative storage containers. Vintage traveling trunks (page 98), often fitted with shirt or shoe drawers and even with ironing boards; antique bandboxes covered in period wallpaper; leather travel cases fitted with compartments for vanity bottles (page 93); antique Chinese wedding trunks; country baskets; rattan chests (page 112); and inexpensive laundry baskets (page 96), whether used as is or dressed up with tassels and antique ribbons, are just a few of the many objects that can solve storage problems while adding decorative interest to the room. Ordinary shoe boxes covered in fabric or wallpaper and hand labeled for easy reference make attractive, inexpensive storage containers. Either pile them up from floor to ceiling or build simple shelving for them.

Freestanding storage units offer great flexibility, decorative impact, and, hopefully, investment potential. An antique carved French or country armoire (page 98) or an English linen press is of course ideal for storing garments. But you can also buy an inexpensive unfinished armoire and paint it or cover it with fabric panels. A striped cotton tent will evoke the atmosphere of a seaside resort at the turn of the century, while serving as an easily portable closet.

Today, as throughout much of history, many people live in one-room spaces, from large lofts to intimate studio apartments. Incorporating the bed into such all-in-one spaces requires a bit of decorative ingenuity. You can either showcase the bed (pages 109, 111) or conceal it. Contemporary trundle beds (page 112) and sofa beds double as daytime seating for entertaining guests, reading, working, or just relaxing. The rooms shown on pages 106D21 offer a host of ideas for working within spatial constraints to create the environment that best suits your taste and life style both night and day.

As the most private room of the house, the bedroom is one place where your imagination need know no bounds. If you have always wanted to sleep under the stars, why not cover the ceiling with a shimmering miniature galaxy? If you long for the romance of 1,001 Arabian nights, nothing is stopping you from tenting the room with a gauzy fabric ornamented with tassels. If you fantasize about spending your nights in an English castle, find an antique four-poster fit for a king. If you dream of dozing in a breezy tent on the beach or of being gently lulled to sleep in a punt floating down a river in the English countryside, create the setting illusionistically with paint. If you find the mysterious sights of a North African spice market irresistibly seductive, use its brilliant color palette to evoke the atmosphere. Whether you crave the sultry exoticism of a bedroom perched on the edge of a Bangkok canal (page 130), the sensuality of a Belle Epoque boudoir, or the homey comfort of a hammock in the backyard (page 135), the pages that follow will show you countless ways to translate your flights of fancy into reality.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558597990
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 7.86 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

As the most private, intimate space in the house, the bedroom is endowed with a special aura. It offers us the promise of relaxation, romance, passion, and inner peace. It nurtures tired body and soul by cocooning us in serenity and comfort, and it seduces us with the anticipation of entering soothing dream states that magically transport us away from the workaday world, if only for a few precious hours. But our dreams need not be confined to sleep. The very privacy of the bedroom allows us the decorative freedom to transform our dreams into visual reality, giving expression to our innermost selves. There are as many ways to decorate the bedroom as there are dreamers, and whether your vision of the ideal bedroom is a simple mattress placed directly on the floor in a pristine white room or a luscious "wilderness of faded chintz," in the words of Henry James, the following pages are filled with irresistible ideas that will help you to create the bedroom of your dreams.

"Houses, like all other architecture, are images of the society that built them. Throughout the centuries, they have altered as much with custom as with fashion," historian James Chambers has written. Much the same can be said of the bedroom. From Saxon times through the Middle Ages, the bedroom as we know it today did not exist. Most people, with the exception of the very wealthy, lived in dwellings consisting of a single hall-like space that played host to all of life's domestic activities, including eating, sleeping, entertaining, lovemaking, and even sheltering animals. This one-room house endured in some places into the seventeenth century, except among the elite. As people accumulated wealth andbecame more landed, they also became more status-conscious. Desiring to distance themselves from the hurly-burly of the hall, high-ranking individuals began to build separate rooms off the hall where they could sleep apart from the other members of their extended households. The creation of a private space specifically for sleeping served to differentiate this daily activity from the rest and to imbue the room itself with importance. The privacy it afforded, however, made it an ideal place not only for sleeping but also for intimate dining and for holding confidential audiences. Thus, these early bedrooms had a multipurpose, semi-public function.

By the eighteenth century, in both England and France, aristocratic and royal dwellings, although differently organized, typically featured a bedroom preceded by a series of rooms and sometimes adjoined by an even more intimate closet to which one fled when the bedroom became too public. The need for guests to approach the bedroom through an avenue of increasingly private rooms, or "axis of honour," as historian Mark Girouard describes it, was clear evidence of social standing. When English diarist Mary Berry was fortunate enough to gain access to Josephine Bonaparte's private apartments in 1802, she noted that "permission [was] obtained only by favour as it is by no means shown to all the world." Palaces and aristocratic houses where royal guests were likely to visit had sumptuously decorated bedrooms of state that were intended to dazzle through sheer opulence and were reserved almost exclusively for ceremonial purposes, showing to what extent the notion of the bedroom as an indicator of status had become entrenched in the social fabric. Louis XIV had already made the institution of the levee the practice of receiving royal visitors while attending to his morning toilette infamous. This tradition filtered down through the ranks of a beau monde eager to imitate aristocratic customs.

The advent of Romanticism ushered in a more relaxed attitude toward rigid class distinctions. This more democratic spirit signaled the end of the bedroom's heyday as a reception room. Shifting tides of fashion swept in a vogue for grand-scale socializing in the form of balls, assemblies, and tea parties, which necessitated the creation of big public reception rooms to accommodate large numbers of guests. As a result, the bedroom gradually retreated into the recesses of private life, where it has remained ever since. The changing role of the bedroom was aptly characterized by an eighteenth-century observer who wrote in 1799: "The lady's bedchamber is a sanctuary which no stranger is permitted to enter. It would be an act of the greatest possible indecorum to go into it, unless the visitor were upon a very familiar footing with the family."

The evolution of the bed closely parallels that of the bedroom: the more ceremonious the function of the bedroom, the grander and more opulent the bed. Because history repeats itself especially with respect to decorative styles a brief survey of the historical development of the bed offers a wealth of decorating ideas. Since time immemorial, the primary objective of the bed has been to cushion the sleeper from the hard ground or floor. For many centuries people achieved this objective merely by filling sacks with straw or hay. These rudimentary beds were the precursors of mattresses as we know them, and the tradition lives on: a mattress covered in simple homespun or ticking and placed directly on the floor has an inviting, back-to-basics appeal.

In ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome beds were lightweight and portable so they could be moved about multipurpose rooms with ease. Egyptian beds had simple wooden frames covered with webbing and topped by a hard, raised headrest, the purpose of which was to preserve stiffly coiffed hairdos rather than to provide comfort like the soft pillows used today. The beds were often draped with mosquito netting or less expensive fishing nets to keep out insects. This simple practice is inexpensive to re-create, and it imparts a soft, romantic look whether the netting surrounds an elegant Egyptian Revival bed or a plain mattress. Greek beds resembled couches and were used both for sleeping and for reclining on while dining. Headboards and ornamental pillows not only made them more comfortable but were also indicators of status. Sinuously curved and often lavishly decorated, Roman beds were similar to their Greek counterparts. Revivals or reproductions of these beds can lend a neoclassical look to any bedroom.

The tradition of movable furniture continued into the medieval period and endured among the poorer classes well into the eighteenth century. During the early Middle Ages, landowners led a rather peripatetic existence: to oversee their holdings they regularly moved their entire households from property to property. Portability was therefore essential, and beds were for the most part simple affairs, consisting of a wooden base, low vertical posts, and a separate canopy that could be taken apart and folded into cases. The status symbol in those days was less the bed than the bed hangings, which could be easily packed and transported. Fine textiles were rare and exorbitantly expensive, so wealthy landowners invested vast sums in these portable symbols of affluence. Thus began the love affair between the bed and its bedclothes, which has endured, in endless variations on the theme, to this day.

Renaissance beds ranged from those described by Montaigne in 1580 as "wretched little tables on which they throw planks...and you are very well lodged if you have a canopy," to grander ones, sometimes of elaborately carved wood, sometimes built into cupboard like alcoves. Others featured posts and curtain like hangings; these might be raised on a platform and flanked by chests that were used for storage as well as seating.

As time went on, beds became extremely large, not only to accommodate numerous occupants (it was common for several family members to sleep together) but also to create grand impressions, like the Great Bed of Ware, c. 1590, in which "four couples might cozily lie side by side, and thus without touching each other abide."

In the seventeenth century the predominant style was the rectangular, box-shaped bed, often referred to as a "French bedde." It featured a flying tester, or roof, either suspended from the ceiling or supported by posts, and covered with side hangings and a head cloth. In form it was influenced by state beds. Swathed in voluminous, extravagant hangings and raised on platforms, state beds were often encircled by a balustrade that permitted visitors to approach only so far. The height of the bed rose in proportion to its grandeur and theatricality. The late-seventeenth- and early-eighteenth-century published designs of Daniel Marot, court architect to William of Orange, popularized the style in both England and France.

At the other end of the social spectrum, the constraints of one-room living yielded expedient solutions and innovative designs. Sometimes ordinary chests filled with sacks of straw were used as impromptu beds. There also were beds that when folded up turned into other pieces of furniture, such as wooden chests. These innovations found their way into wealthy homes as well. An awestruck visitor to the Palazzo de' Medici in 1644 described a "conceited chayre...which turned into a bed, a bolster, a table, and a couch."

Until the Renaissance elaborate carving had been reserved for state beds. But by the eighteenth century, beds were as much the domain of the furniture maker as the curtain maker and the upholsterer. Although hangings did not diminish in importance, bedposts were now often intended for full view, and therefore began to be quite decorative. A profusion of designs for both bedsteads and hangings were published and circulated widely among a burgeoning middle class. The production of less expensive textiles enabled more people to feel like royalty when they went to bed.

The bed's lofty position in the hierarchy of interior furnishings is attested to by an architectural drawing of a London house (c. 1774) depicting a sumptuously draped bed one of the few pieces of furniture deemed significant enough to merit inclusion (page 10). And, as British furniture maker George Hepplewhite wrote in The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide, 1788, beds "are an article of much importance, as well on account of the great expense attending them, as the variety of shapes, and the high degree of

elegance which may be shewn in them."

By the middle of the eighteenth century state beds were still de rigueur in royal settings, but fashion was shifting away from them as a model. Soon there was no end of different designs to choose from: beds with or without posts, each with its own style of canopy and hangings. As historian Eileen Harris has written, "The imposing opulence of the past was cast off for coquettish confections."

Toward the end of the eighteenth century one of the more popular confections available was the lit ^ la polonaise, which featured a domed canopy. A particularly exotic one was fitted with mirrored parts that reflected the view out the window, so that, when lying on it, one felt as though he or she "was actually lying out in the open air," as an observer wrote in 1786. In the 1793 edition of The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing-Book, Thomas Sheraton published a design for a "summer bed" in "two compartments...intended for a nobleman or gentleman and his lady to sleep separately in hot weather," as well as his version of the famed lit ^ bateau, or boat-shaped bed. Various forms of daybeds and sofa beds appeared, used for seating, lounging, sleeping, or receiving visitors in a salon. There were folding field and campaign beds that were intended for military use and traveling but were also ideal for small rooms. Sheraton also designed beds that folded conveniently into a linen press or cupboard. Owing to its newly retrieved privacy, the bedroom was a perfect place to indulge in the eighteenth-century passion for folly and fantasy. Chippendale created beds in the Gothic and chinoiserie styles, and George Smith later designed romanticized twig like bedsteads.

Hangings became equally whimsical during the eighteenth century. Then, as now, they created the feeling that one was entering a self-contained world when climbing into bed. One eighteenth-century observer expressed that feeling when he wrote that the bed was like "a room in itself, with four posts, flowered curtains for walls, a chintz tester for ceiling, and steps conducting one into an acre of billowy bolstered bliss!"

The impact of hangings was as important from inside the bed as from outside. Story-telling fabrics, such as French toiles de Jouy, which depicted allegorical, exotic, or pastoral tales, as well as topical events like the craze for hot-air ballooning, were all the rage as bed hangings in the eighteenth century. A love of the imaginary and exotic persisted into the nineteenth century, as exemplified by the Regency and Empire penchant for tented rooms and beds. When Mary Russell Mitford visited Rosedale Cottage, an English cottage orn, in the early nineteenth century, she observed that each room was differently and fancifully decorated. Some were "swarming with furniture crocodiles and sphinxes...They sleep in Turkish tents and dine in a Gothic chapel."

Undoubtedly one of the most famous beds of the early nineteenth century was that of Madame Rcamier (page 11) in Paris. Privileged visitors to the city felt their stay was incomplete if they did not see this latest example of the neoclassical style. Mary Berry was no exception. After her visit in 1802, she wrote: "Went to the house of Mme. Rcamier. We were resolved not to leave Paris without seeing what is called the most elegant house in it, fitted up in the new style...It is certainly fitted up with all the recherche and expense possible in what is now called le got antique...Her bed is reckoned the most beautiful in Parisit too, is of mahogany, enriched with ormolu and bronze, and raised upon two steps of the same wood. Over the whole bed was thrown a great coverlid or veil of fine plain muslin with rows of narrow gold lace at each end, the muslin embroidered as a border. The curtains were muslin, trimmed with and worked like the coverlid suspended from a sort of carved couronne de roses and tucked up in drapery upon the wall, against which the bed stood."

During the Victorian period, with its penchant for eclecticism, post beds with elaborate hangings were produced in every revival style imaginable. At the same time, a heightened concern for hygiene, and the desire to stamp out bed bugs and other vermin, resulted in the wide-scale production of metal bedsteads typically iron or brass. If the showy hangings of the past were symbolic of rank, these metal beds were tangible symbols of the latest social values. The Victorians paid great attention to the decoration of the bedroom. As a nineteenth-century prescriptive writer admonished, "The sleeping room, in which nearly half of one's life is passed, ought to be as pretty as a sitting room."

The same holds true today. We, too, perceive the bedroom as a sanctuary and often spend a good half of our time in it, gravitating toward it more than any other room in the house. And the way we decorate the bedroom is symbolic of who we really are.

Comfort is paramount in today's bedroom. Yet everyone's idea of comfort is different, ranging from spare minimalism to cluttered coziness. Whatever your definition of comfort, it will dictate the mood you wish to create. When decorating your bedroom it is important to identify a starting point, whether apiece of furniture, a wall treatment, or a specific fabric. One way to take you straight to the heart of the matter is to begin with the only truly essential piece of bedroom furniture the bed. The style of bed you choose will affect the entire decorative scheme of the room. For example, a mattress and box spring placed on the floor immediately creates a pared-down, contemporary feeling that can then be dressed up as little or as much as you like. A traditional four-poster instantly imparts a period look that either can be carried out to the letter in all the details of the room, including the bed hangings, wall treatment, and other furniture, or can be set in contrast to the other elements in the room for an eclectic feeling.

There are a vast range of bedsteads to choose from and several ways to go about getting one: you can buy one, either antique or new; reclaim or adapt a "found object"; or make one. If you want a period or eclectic look, turn the search into a treasure hunt. First, to familiarize your eye with the wealth of possibilities, begin by looking at prints and paintings from different periods, vintage photographs, or antique pattern books, all of which vividly record interiors of the past in meticulous detail. Then embark on the search itself, which will spark your imagination even further. Among the styles of bedsteads you may come across are baroque, rococo, nineteenth-century campaign beds (pages 34, 43, 54, 109), Egyptian Revival (pages 16D17), Biedermeier (pages 18, 24), Empire (pages 25, 58), chinoiserie, Victorian turned metal (pages 26, 44, 67), Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Shaker (pages 28, 69), and all manner of French daybeds (pages 33, 45).

Whereas authentic period beds may require a substantial investment, nineteenth-century revivals of various styles, including Queen Anne, rococo, and neoclassical, or twentieth-century copies are much more affordable and have the same effect. Although you would not want to tamper with a mint-condition antique in any way, a rusted Victorian sleigh bed or a Regency field bed in less than pristine condition can be brought back to life with a touch of paint or gilding.

Scavenging through architectural salvage depots, flea markets, and auction houses may yield a wonderful "found object" that may not have originally been intended as a bed frame but that has great decorative potential. Reclaiming a found object can help stretch a tight budget and you will have enormous fun in the process. For example, you can convert a fragment of decoratively carved period paneling or a trumeau (a mirrored panel topped by a painting) into an imaginative headboard either by using it as is or by stripping it, painting it, or embellishing it with gold leaf, and then attaching it to the wall or directly to the bed. Similarly, an old corona or tester, now separated from the bed it originally partnered, can serve as a basic structure for hangings and add cachet to the simplest bed. Even a mantelpiece can be transformed into a headboard simply by filling in the opening with upholstery or an antique wallpaper screen.

If you prefer to create a more contemporary feeling, there are countless alternatives to choose from, such as sleek molded-wood headboards, bold wrought-iron frames painted in primary colors, naturalistic rattan or raffia bedsteads, rustic designs in stripped pine, painted or color-washed wood frames in striking asymmetrical shapes, and fluidly bent wire frames fashioned to look like molten silver or Gaudiesque fantasies.

Once you have chosen a bed, whether framed or unframed, you can either "dress it up" with a canopy, swags, festoons, draped hangings, and so on, or leave it "undressed," wearing only its basic bedclothes sheets, pillowcases, and blanket or comforter. For extra flair, inexpensive plain sheets and pillowcases can be monogrammed with your initials, appliqued with lace fragments, or dipped in tea to give them an Old World feeling.

The variety of sheets and pillowcases available today is virtually limitless, ranging from basic white, bordered or unbordered, which can be either ironed crisply (pages 18, 23, 26) or left seductively wrinkled (pages 108, 109, 112), to earthy beige homespun with scalloped or stand-up European borders, perhaps ornamented with wooden, plastic, or fabric-covered buttons, or casual or formal bows (pages 43, 57). As for prints, country or windowpane checks, demure or bold stripes, mattress ticking, small- or large-scale patterns of all kinds, Matisse-inspired designs splashed with vibrant color, basket weaves, and Indian or Oriental motifs are just a few of the options.

Simply by dressing the bed you will begin to give the room its decorative flavor. For instance, an early American crewelwork coverlet will simu-late the feeling of the "best chamber" in a Queen Anne house; rural-style prints or dimity will suggest a hamlet by the sea; regimental stripes paired with sheer gauze or muslin will conjure up the ambience of the nineteenth-century Swedish countryside (page 68); and a sea of glazed chintz will steep the room in Victorian charm. Draping a boldly striped sheet over the bed will create a neoclassical look. For an updated, less formal variation on the theme, use sheets with broad bands of color. Combining small- and large-scale striped floral patterns (page 50) will lend the room a touch of old-fashioned femininity.

If you have a period canopy bed or have created the look of one and you wish to dress it in a period style, the many eighteenth- and nineteenth-century furniture makers' and curtain makers' pattern books are excellent sources and can be used as a starting point for your own interpretation. You can either copy a design exactly, borrow a single element, or combine details from various designs. For example, you can re-create a neoclassical look by topping the canopy with a gilded crown and hanging silk flecked with Napoleonic bees from it. Or you might select just one typical detail of Empire style, such as bow and arrow finials, rosettes, or heavy rope tassels, to give plain hangings a regal touch. By using your imagination, you can adapt the ideas in these designs in other ways besides hangings. For example, a gathered swag, like the ones commonly used on nineteenth-century testers, can be attached to the sides of a simple box-spring frame to soften its severe shape.

Although it is rare to find an entire set of period hangings intact, you may come across all sorts of fragments at flea markets, auctions, or antiques shops, such as crewelwork panels, antique tapestry, vintage cottons, embroidered velvet, and antique toile de Jouy (page 51), all of which add great character to any bed. You might prefer simply to top the bed with a vintage coverlet (pages 23, 49), an American or English patchwork quilt (page 43), a turn-of-the-century flowered chintz faded from years of laundering, or second-hand linens full of old-fashioned charm (pages 18, 36).

The wall treatment you choose can give even the most nondescript bedroom a distinct style. By covering the walls with paneling, whether period or fashioned out of inexpensive medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and either leaving it plain, ornamenting it with ribbons and garlands, or painting panoramic scenes on it, you can achieve looks that suggest a Georgian town house, a Victorian library (page 110), a Tuscan villa (page 67), or a French folly (pages 128D129).

Another way to effect the mood you want is by painting the walls. A mural of a classical garden simulates the atmosphere of a formal European courtyard; a seascape creates the illusion of sleeping at the water's edge. Marbleizing the walls captures the opulence of an Italian palazzo or a tsar's summer palace. A trompe l'oeil cornice of graceful swags and garlands adds architectural interest and charm.

Similar effects can be achieved with wallpaper or fabric. For a bedroom with an exotic view, try a scenic, or panoramic, wallpaper. For a country garden ambience, consider a delicate floral- or leaf-patterned wallpaper or fabric. For a soft, romantic look, drape the walls with new or antique lace in gentle folds. Walls painted in a solid color or papered in a subtle stripe serve as a neutral background for favorite paintings, prints, or photographs (pages 56, 57, and 71).

Any number of floor treatments are appropriate for the bedroom. Leave wooden floorboards bare for a period look; paint them or stencil them for a country feeling. Mix and match needlework scatter rugs for color and accent. Carpeting, either plain or patterned, warms the floor, making it pleasant for walking on in bare feet. Natural-fiber matting, with or without a contrasting border, creates a rustic look; dhurries or kilims add an ethnic touch. If you are lucky enough to find a well-worn Aubusson or Savonnerie carpet, let its faded floral patterns dictate the color scheme of the entire room. Fragments of such carpets are often less expensive and can be used as accent rugs.

Window treatments are equally varied. Shutters have the advantage of affording maximum light when open and complete privacy when closed. Period or reproduction shutters are available in a wide range of styles, from raised and fielded Georgian paneling to delicately carved versions to the simple louvered contemporary kind. You can leave old shutters as you find them, or strip them, distress them, or rub them with paint. Painting a perspective scene on shutters or plain shades creates the feeling of a room with a view even when the shutters are closed or the shades are drawn. Curtain fabric can either match or contrast that of the bed. If you have a canopy bed, you can unify the room by repeating the design of the tester and hangings at the windows. Or you can loosely drape the fabric from a rod and tie it back to one side asymmetrically, dressed up with a tassel (pages 18, 36), decorative finial (page 23), or rosette (page 27). Ruffled festoon shades lend softness and femininity to a room.

The vanity, or dressing table, is at once a practical and decorative addition to any bedroom. You can either find a vintage one and top it with a splendid mirror, or make your own from plywood or MDF and cover it with fabric in as simple or elaborate a way as you like (pages 78, 83, 86, 89). The idea of displaying collections of trinkets and baubles on a vanity is not new. Describing Queen Charlotte's dressing table in 1767, the eighteenth-century diarist Mrs. Lybbe Powys noted that "on her toilet [there were] beside the gold plate innumerable 'knick-knacks'." When you are not wearing your favorite costume jewelry, adorn the vanity with it. Hanging ropes of beads or faux pearls from a mirror and clipping earrings to a lampshade (pages 74, 80, 81, 89) not only looks pretty but also keeps your baubles within easy reach. Antique cosmetic jars, tinted glass bottles with gleaming silver, brass, or vermeil tops, differently shaped fragrance flasks, and oversize perfumers' jars with shiny brass spigots are both beautiful and useful accessories for the vanity. The bottles and jars that house the potions and lotions you use on a daily basis, such as Chanel's bold geometric black-and-white plastic or Clinique's translucent green ones, can also be extremely decorative. No vanity is complete without a mirror, whether the hand-held Victorian variety (page 78) or a dainty lacquered neoclassical mirror with miniature drawers. You might consider dressing up an ordinary mirror by reviving the eighteenth-century practice of draping it in fabric gathered with bows.

Perhaps the greatest challenge in decorating the bedroom is devising enough easily accessible storage space to accommodate clothes, shoes, linens, luggage, books, writing materials, and so forth. There are two different but equally viable approaches: concealing and revealing. You can either store everything neatly out of view in closets, cabinets, bureaus, chests, and so on, or you can exploit the inherently ornamental qualities of some of the things you are storing and integrate them into the room's decor.

There are all sorts of ways to hide things decoratively. Cabinet or closet doors can be constructed from fragments of real paneling, or you can create the same look using a synthetic material. For a fraction of the cost, you can give ordinary doors lots of character by adding picture-frame molding, painting them with a plain or faux finish, or turning to historical techniques, such as decoupage. You might let the need to mask uninteresting doors be the impetus to create a sort of updated print room by gluing period bed, bed hanging, or fashion designs on the doors and linking the designs with wallpaper borders. Or you might consider ornamenting doors with masses of framed prints or sepia photographs. Mirrored closet doors help increase the sense of space in small rooms.

The alternative is to give pride of place to favorite possessions. Designer Lillian Williams has infused a New York apartment with the romance of an eighteenth-century French bedchamber. Among an array of captivating period furnishings she casually displays a cherished collection of antique shoes and hat boxes (pages 128D29). Antique clothing, from eighteenth-century waistcoats to 1920s beaded shifts picked up at flea markets, make a strong decorative statement when hung on closet doors or from open racks. Even the most common objects have great decorative effect when massed together, such as the handkerchiefs tied with ribbons on page 96. Towels or trousers can be draped over mahogany, faux-bamboo, or painted wooden racks. Even the rungs of a wooden ladder can provide storage with style (page 98).

Again, found objects come in handy, this time in the guise of imaginative storage containers. Vintage traveling trunks (page 98), often fitted with shirt or shoe drawers and even with ironing boards; antique bandboxes covered in period wallpaper; leather travel cases fitted with compartments for vanity bottles (page 93); antique Chinese wedding trunks; country baskets; rattan chests (page 112); and inexpensive laundry baskets (page 96), whether used as is or dressed up with tassels and antique ribbons, are just a few of the many objects that can solve storage problems while adding decorative interest to the room. Ordinary shoe boxes covered in fabric or wallpaper and hand labeled for easy reference make attractive, inexpensive storage containers. Either pile them up from floor to ceiling or build simple shelving for them.

Freestanding storage units offer great flexibility, decorative impact, and, hopefully, investment potential. An antique carved French or country armoire (page 98) or an English linen press is of course ideal for storing garments. But you can also buy an inexpensive unfinished armoire and paint it or cover it with fabric panels. A striped cotton tent will evoke the atmosphere of a seaside resort at the turn of the century, while serving as an easily portable closet.

Today, as throughout much of history, many people live in one-room spaces, from large lofts to intimate studio apartments. Incorporating the bed into such all-in-one spaces requires a bit of decorative ingenuity. You can either showcase the bed (pages 109, 111) or conceal it. Contemporary trundle beds (page 112) and sofa beds double as daytime seating for entertaining guests, reading, working, or just relaxing. The rooms shown on pages 106D21 offer a host of ideas for working within spatial constraints to create the environment that best suits your taste and life style both night and day.

As the most private room of the house, the bedroom is one place where your imagination need know no bounds. If you have always wanted to sleep under the stars, why not cover the ceiling with a shimmering miniature galaxy? If you long for the romance of 1,001 Arabian nights, nothing is stopping you from tenting the room with a gauzy fabric ornamented with tassels. If you fantasize about spending your nights in an English castle, find an antique four-poster fit for a king. If you dream of dozing in a breezy tent on the beach or of being gently lulled to sleep in a punt floating down a river in the English countryside, create the setting illusionistically with paint. If you find the mysterious sights of a North African spice market irresistibly seductive, use its brilliant color palette to evoke the atmosphere. Whether you crave the sultry exoticism of a bedroom perched on the edge of a Bangkok canal (page 130), the sensuality of a Belle Epoque boudoir, or the homey comfort of a hammock in the backyard (page 135), the pages that follow will show you countless ways to translate your flights of fancy into reality.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Bare Essentials: The Bed

Wrapped in Comfort: Dressing the Bed

Dreamscapes: Wall Reveries

Vanity, Vanity: From Bottles to Baubles

Hidden Treasures: Storage, Storage, Storage

Perfect Unions: Bedding Down in Other Rooms

1,001 Nights: Bedrooms That Dreams Are Made Of

Sources

Selected Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Index

Author Biography: Diane Berger, a decorative-arts historian and exhibition curator, is author of The Dining Room and The Bathroom and a contributor to such periodicals as Period Living & Traditional Homes and Apollo. An American, she lives in London.

Fritz von der Schulenburg's photography appears regularly in The World of Interiors, House & Garden, and Schoener Wohnen. In addition to The Dining Room and The Bathroom, his books include Empire and Neoclassicism in the North. He lives in London.

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