Feathering Your Nest

Discover the decorating tricks that make these four bedrooms so much fun to fly home to.


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Sneaky, deep-drawer storage under the bed gives this small master bedroom a fun, shipshape feeling. Plus the raised platform lifts this throne of a bed up for a crow's-nest view of the outdoors. The windows, trimmed in white and left unadorned, contribute to the illusion of spaciousness. A pale yellow and beige color scheme reinforces the light look. To maximize the room's function, a reading nook and balcony provide additional lounging spots.

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Window seats tucked into a bay form the perfect reading nook. Beadboard on the walls makes the enclosed space feel like a boat, especially on rainy days when spray hits the glass. To the right of the nook, a tall Japanese-style chest adds extra storage to the room.

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The usual advice says that spare, clean-lined design makes a small room seem bigger. But if you long for a cozy, sink-in feeling, bright color and bold pattern are more embracing. A king-size pencil-post bed makes this room even cozier by creating a room-within-a-room effect. White walls and bed curtains strike a calm balance with the energetic wedding-ring-pattern quilt, striped chair, and floral bed skirt.

Red gingham cafe curtains and companion valances welcome sunlight while providing privacy. The gingham pattern cheerfully repeats in multicolor pillows.

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Layering an extra bedroom with character doesn't require a lot of money if you pull together the right secondhand buys. A pretty $1 chair accents this room's bargain desk and tables, which blend because the cane and wicker are similar in style. Pale walls give a colorful quilt the spotlight; positioning the bed in front of a shuttered window eliminates the need for an expensive and space-hogging headboard. This small room accommodates two different window treatments because the shutters and fabric are so simple.

Floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves offer a small room the most display space. Here, a collection of blue-and-white dishes includes a few quality antiques supplemented by inexpensive garage sale finds.

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A clever combination of elements turns this ordinary bed into the sumptuous focal point of a compact master bedroom. Pillows rest against a functional headboard while a hand-painted screen serves as a decorative backdrop. The bed tucks into a fabric alcove, which provides the feeling of a canopy without a full canopy bed. The alcove also directs maximum attention to the screen. Fabric swags hang from a frame made of vertical posts, 2x4s, and dowels.

Antique German lace adorns the windows without obstructing the view; throw pillows and the table covering echo the lace look. The concrete floor, painted an eggplant color, is waxed to a high gloss.

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