Feathering Your Nest

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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