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How to design a perfectly serene bedroom that’s not boring


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Photo: Tory Williams
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If someone were to ask you about your “dream bed,” chances are, the word “cloud” might make it into your description. Because really, what’s more heavenly than collapsing into a big, fluffy bed with big, fluffy pillows and curling up under a big, fluffy duvet?

Just because a bed feels like a cloud, it doesn’t actually have to *look* like a cloud too. More and more designers are using muted, serene colors and modern patterns to evoke the same serenity that crisp white linens used to, including Rebecca Atwood, the designer behind yoga-inspired wallpaper and author of Living with Pattern

Her calming patterns are all inspired by the landscapes in Cape Cod, where she grew up, and are basically the visual equivalent of being lulled to sleep by soft ocean sounds. The painterly prints feature coastal colors, like misty blue-grey and sandy beige, and are meant to be layered with one another to show your individuality. “When you use pattern, you can mix and match and tell your own personal story,” she says.

Read on as she breaks down how to create a serene, yet colorful, bed.

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Photo: Tory Williams

Make use of textures

Especially if you’re using super soft colors, combining multiple textures can make your bed more visually stimulating and give it depth. “When you go with an airy palette, texture is key because it becomes a part of the palette,” she explains, suggesting a mixture woven matelassé, washed cotton, textured linen, and even a cozy knit for good measure.

Start with pillows

For print-phobes, start transitioning your bed piece-by-piece instead of taking the pattern plunge all at once. Atwood suggests starting with pillow cases because “it’s an easy way to test out a pattern and see if you like it,” she says. If you’re feeling the new vibe, upgrade to a duvet and eventually you might even decide to start mixing and matching.

Keep the color palette calm

“Pattern” doesn’t necessarily have to be synonymous with “loud”. Going from a stark white bedspread to hot pink polka-dots can be a drastic (and terrifying) jump, so don’t throw yourself off the deep end. “Start with those softer patterns,” she says, citing her ocean and nature-inspired prints as prime examples. “If you’re really a neutral lover, start with the next level up, whether it’s soft grays or taupes.” Another favorite shade? “Blush,” she says. “It really gives this warm, glowy feeling,” especially when mixed with other neutrals.

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Photo: Tory Williams

Find things that work together

“Think about it as ‘building,'” says Atwood, who loves collecting different patterns in colors that can all be used together to evoke different moods. “I think one of the easiest ways for people to make their bed is if everything they own kind of works together, so you can create many different looks depending on how you’re feeling,” she says.

Layer up

Instead of making your bed look like one big, pattern-heavy blob, use layering techniques to integrate a few different looks at once. “Put the duvet on and then fold it back about half way so you’re also seeing the coverlet or blanket or whatever layering piece you have between the sheets and the duvet,” says Atwood.. “I think that it kind of breaks the bed up a little it more, and makes it easier to style.”

Did you know you could actually *design* your bedroom in a way that helps you sleep better? Getting up for sunrise yoga has never, ever been easier. And as you get ready to revamp your bedding, here’s a little print-spiration, care of your zodiac sign.

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