The Francis Files
My Restful Retreat Bedroom Design for Small/Cool NYC 2023
October 24, 2023 - Written by Kevin O'Gara
It was such an honor to be included in the group of talented designers that Apartment Therapy brought together for their annual Small/Cool NYC event in Brooklyn. I had the opportunity to design a "Restful Retreat" with Serta, and put some of my very favorite small space decorating tricks to use in this small but mighty bedroom. My room was inspired by the color of the sky at dusk and the feeling of watching clouds pass overhead. Discover all of my home decor tips and all of the design details for this space below, and if you're local to New York you can view the space Thursday-Sunday through the end of the month.
Shop the Look
The beautiful color I chose for this bedroom is Clare's Cloud Watching blue paint. This medium blue leans more purple than green, which really emphasized the dusky blue palette I wanted to use for this room. This cozier blue adds a more subdued sensibility to the room which I love paired with the classic ticking stripes and quilting on the bed.
My first small space decorating tip, which is specific to bedrooms in particular, is to implement symmetry as much as possible. Symmetry is one of those innate design elements that immediately brings a sense of order as it lets your eyes make sense of the space quickly and easily. This is perfect for small rooms where you want to emphasize visual coherence as much as possible, so I used symmetry on all sides of this room.
My new SUNSERIES framed studies made their debut in this space, hanging in framed wallpaper panels. I love this wallpaper hack because it adds architectural detailing to a plain wall without overwhelming the room with pattern.
The second small space decorating trick I used was sticking to a monochrome color palette. This, again, is a tool to create visual order in a space and emphasize cohesiveness and calm in the room. The wall color for this room is Clare's Cloud Watching (the name is so perfect for a bedroom). Blues and greens are ideal for bedrooms since they are psychologically tied to calm and peace (and can even help lower your blood pressure in some cases). I paired light wood bookshelves on either side of the bed to bring lots of vertical storage to the small floorplan.
I always emphasize bedding and textiles in bedrooms because this is their primary function, so it's key to invest wisely starting with a great mattress. This room was brought together with the Serta Perfect Sleeper, with layers of quilting, memory foam, and inner springs. I tend to opt for this hybrid construction to stay cooler at night!