New York based interior designer Charles Farruggio dishes about the most personal room in the house.
Whether your bedroom is large and super-luxe, or small and nest-like, the key to successful design is making sure it suits your personality. This is not a place to follow the hottest trends or passing design fads. According to New York interior designer Charles Farruggio, this is the room that should be most uniquely you. “When I’m working with a client, I want to make sure I understand their personality and what’s important to them. The bedroom is where you recharge — no matter what your design taste is. The room should be comforting and welcoming, and it should feel like home.”
When it comes to picking a palette, Farruggio looks at the space and is guided by such elements as natural light and size. “If a room is naturally dark, some people will recommend using light colors to try to brighten it. But I disagree with that. You don’t want to fight with the environment. In a darker space, I will often suggest a deep, moody palette. With dark walls and mood lighting, you can create a cocoon-like atmosphere that feels very cozy.” Although dark walls can seem like a leap of design faith, good designers know that they can add drama and depth, which can work really well in a bedroom. Deep purple, indigo, or even black can lend a room a jewelbox atmosphere, especially at night with the proper lighting. Think rich, highly-pigmented and deep jewel tones in reflective finishes. On the other hand, says Farruggio, in a room that gets abundant natural light? Neutral, light or bright colors accentuate and embrace the light. “I had a client who wanted her bedroom to have an invigorating mood and the colors we chose were bright and cheerful for a room that was filled with light.”
Besides color, there are other important decisions to make: Are you a morning person who loves to have sunlight pouring in? Or do you prefer total darkness when it’s time for some shut-eye? Window treatments are key to living comfortably in a room. “I personally love to be able to look out and see the world. In the evening I love watching the lights come on, in the morning I want to throw open the shades and see the sun. But I know that not everyone lives that way, and it also depends on your view.” Such factors as privacy, light, and sleeping habits are integral to making the right decisions about window treatments.
Furnishings and bedding also help define your space. For Farruggio, the mix of modern and classic lends a sense of timelessness and a layered look that feels more real. But he also knows that, especially when a couple is involved, it can be a challenge to agree on every option. “I worked with a couple who were complete opposites when it came to design,” he says. “She was more traditional and wanted a deeply layered, more sensual style. And he was a modernist. We reached a compromise with a modern framed poster bed, layered with linens in varying textures, culminating in a beautiful fur throw on top.” (That room is pictured, above center.) The designer points out that “the room still feels modern and because of the mix of styles, it also feels very real.” Mixing styles can be tricky, so it’s wise to lean to a “less is more” philosophy, but it’s also liberating to know that even if you have a more traditional room, there’s no reason that a super-modern chair or bedside table can’t work in the mix.
Most designers and wellness experts advise that creating a hideaway where the outside world doesn’t intrude is the best path to better sleep and a more restful environment. In the bedding department, Farruggio reminds clients to try out a mattress before buying and — when it comes to bed linens — to decide whether you want cool, crisp cotton sheets, something more silky, or even more natural (but high maintenance) materials like linen. “Making the bed in the morning is something that is important to me. I like coming home to a fresh, well-made bed. It feels more restful. Just remember that if you have a lot of layered bed linens, that will take more time.” Ultimately,” he concludes, “remember that your bedroom is your sanctuary: design it to be a place where you are able to leave the day behind, connect with your partner, relax, unwind and recharge.”
Last modified: October 3, 2018