Longing for a more restful place to lay their heads at the end of a busy day, Dawn and Chris Lynch of Morrisville sought a complete recharge of their master bedroom, in the Preston home they share with their three teenage sons.
The Lynches, through a friend’s recommendation, partnered with interior designer Sally Williams of Colorful Concepts Interior Design, who took charge and made changes from ceiling to floor of the room.
From new red oak wood flooring to a unique coffered ceiling, the result is a warm, comfortable bedroom … and much sweeter dreams.
Homeowner Dawn Lynch says actually using these comfy chairs, for reading or taking a break, is her favorite part of the bedroom redesign. Original art — one abstract and one realistic — adds soothing color to the neutral space.
Nancy Pardue: Where did you begin in creating this look?
Sally Williams: Dawn wanted a complete change. For a restful look, we went with warm, almost neutral colors. Dawn was interested in collecting original artwork, which you don’t want to display alongside a TV, so we hid that inside a large cabinet. Her only must-have was the antique English jewelry box, a gift from her mother, and they didn’t need storage space in the room, so I had a lot of flexibility.
Dawn Lynch: It was hard to articulate what we wanted, so I really liked that Sally brought us an album of photos and ideas to help us decide. We found we liked more of a tone-on-tone look, and knowing the terminology was very helpful. The hardest part was starting with the custom bedding; there are so many directions to go. But we love it. The room is so livable.
Who decided to angle the king-sized bed?
Dawn: We wouldn’t have thought of angling the bed on our own; it used to be centered between the windows. Sally brought us a colorized floor plan with the idea, and sold me on angling it because that makes a nice look with the chairs when you walk in. I think the thing I’m most happy about is using the chairs, for reading or taking a break from laundry; they’re functional!
Sally: It’s rare to have somebody who will be open to the bed not being exactly centered. But it opens up the space, and gives it a more interesting focal point. There’s a lot in the room, which measures 301 square feet, but it never feels crowded.
People are also often afraid to mix furniture styles and wood tones. We did that here, in the bed, chairs and gold-gilded bedside tables.
Accents such as this collection of vintage perfume bottles brings femininity in the serene space. The scale and detail of the light fixture help define the bed as the room’s focal point, and balance the vaulted ceiling, Williams says. Art glass shines atop a pedestal retrofitted for that purpose.
Tell us about the coffered ceiling, and the light fixture.
Sally: The ceiling was originally vaulted, but not coffered. I decided right away to add the coffer to show off the height, yet make the room more cozy. The coffer has subtle gradations of color for layers of depth, darker at the top and lighter at the bottom. We took a long time choosing the light fixture; its size, shape and the detail in it help define the bed as focal point, and bring the vaulted ceiling into balance with the rest of the room. And its intricate detail complements the bedding.
Dawn: I was shocked when it arrived, at how big it is! But now we love it.
What was the biggest challenge of the project?
Sally: The plantation shutters were a challenge. We softened them up with sheers that blend into the almost-neutral wall color. And the pedestal — Dawn wanted a cabinet there, but we had to work around a heat register, so chose this. The hardest part was that we had to retrofit it and add the layer of Plexiglas to light the art glass bowl.
About the art …
Sally: Dawn specifically asked for art glass; the bowl is by Doug Frates. We visited quite a few galleries and artists in the Triangle, and ultimately found the art, which is by Debbie Martin and Darrin Young, at ArtSource in Raleigh. For balance, I used one abstract and one realistic painting. And we added a touch of femininity with a collection of vintage perfume bottles.
Any advice for others considering a design project?
Sally: Don’t make the focus on a specific style; it’s also about how you want the space to feel. I approach a space from an artistic standpoint, then create a combination of elements that works for the client. A good designer can envision the completed space before it comes together. You have to get to know the clients well enough to meet their goals. And they need to have confidence in who they’re working with. They have to trust and let go a bit, in order for that project to be truly fabulous.
Dawn: This is something we had talked about doing for years and years. You need help.
There are different decorators for different people, but it worked for us because Sally is a scheduled, organized businessperson, along with her creativity. And don’t wait too long — you can only enjoy it when it’s done!
Colorful Concepts Interior Design, Raleigh