Turn Your Bedroom into the Ultimate Retreat

People used to think of the bedroom simply as a place to rest their weary head at the end of a long, hard day and call it a night. Today, the growing trend is to turn the room into a stylish and peaceful retreat where one can relax and recharge; and you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the job done.

Instead of making pricey changes like replacing the fixtures and furniture, dress the room up with a combination of color, textile and accessory updates. A good place to start is with a fresh coat of paint. It’s the most inexpensive change you can make, and the one that will have the most impact.

If you want to transform your room into a tropical oasis where you can just relax, good color choices are green, brown, beige and tan. To make the room appear brighter and more spring-like, yellow will do the trick. If you feel like you need a daily emotional lift, go with orange or red; blue will make the room feel more formal; and if space is an issue, violet will make the room seem larger.

Once you decide on a wall color, move on to the bed. “One of the fun things about bedding is that you can completely change the look of a room just by changing the sheets,” says Amaury Fremaux of Yves Delorme, a purveyor of fine bed linens since 1845. “In the same way that people grow tired of their summer clothes after a few months and look forward to breaking out the sweaters and corduroys once the weather turns cool, it’s great to be able to shift from lightweight blanket covers and pastel shades to richer colors and textures -- and vice versa.”

These days, people are giving their bedrooms a coordinated, upscale look with a combination of pettiskirts, top-of-the-line sheets, and pillows of all shapes and sizes. “ Whether you’re inspired by the design of the bed, the architecture of the room, a favorite color palette, or even the memory of an alluring place, the bed is the ideal canvas for creative exploration and the expression of changing moods, likes, and desires,” says Fremaux.

Yves Delorme just released its 2005 collection and there’s really something for everyone in it. The 14 original designs span three design sensibilities--les romantiques for people who want a whimsical, romantic feel; les refinés for those who want to create an aristocratic feel; and les décoratifs for those looking to create a look with rich colors and striking design.

All of the designs elegantly combine colors, patterns and textures. “Pattern adds drama and interest to the bed; the most creative beds mix patterns for a fresh, one-of-a-kind look. The number of colors used in a pattern contributes to its depth and overall character. The scale of a pattern also determines its character,” says Fremaux.

A large-scale pattern such as Rosa, for instance, makes a bolder statement. It is more assertive, appears to take up more space, and creates more energy. To counter the tendency of a bold pattern to dominate, mix it with a smaller, more delicate one such as Palmettes for a dynamic balance. The key to successful combinations is in understanding patterns that are too similar will compete with one another. Combine florals with stripes or plaids, or bold patterns with delicate prints or solids to let them play off one another in a pleasing symphony of layers.

Fremaux points out that in addition to elegantly presenting color, design and texture, all Yves Delorme sheets are woven of combed Egyptian cotton, acknowledged as the best quality, longest-staple cotton in the world. “The higher the quality of the cotton, the more luxurious the feel,” he says. The best-quality cotton results in a stronger fabric with a smooth, soft hand.

Once you dress up the bed, look for complementary accessories that showcase texture -- quilted coverlets; throws woven of wool and silk; and accent pillows in a range of fabrics, from pretty organdy to contemporary leather and suede. And don’t forget coordinating towels for the master bath to tie the whole look together. “All of our collections include pieces that are intended to be mixed and matched,” says Fremaux.

Whether reducing the bed to its essentials or building a sumptuously layered fantasia of colors, patterns, and textures, the look of the bed need not be set for all time. The joy of linens lies in the endless possibilities they offer for transformation without great effort or expense.

To see all the designs Yves Delorme has to offer, log on to www.yvesdelorme.com. There you’ll find an extensive look at the collection, a place to order a catalog, and a store locator if you’d prefer to visit a retailer near you.

Courtesy of ARA Content