Chic Makeover for a Bedroom Suite

Before, this bedroom was a decorating nightmare, but designer John Loecke used muted hues, space-savvy solutions, and a few colorful surprises to transform it into a dreamy suite.

Dreary Bedroom Before

Outdated wallpaper and a haphazard layout left this attic suite with a bad case of the blahs. Top goals for the makeover included efficient storage, sophisticated style, and a design that exploited all the quirky angles and nooks that can make an attic room charming.

Serene Bedroom After

From dismal garret to posh sanctuary! Dressed in elegantly layered fabrics, the bed becomes a luxurious retreat and establishes the room's refined style and hushed palette. The bed fits against the windows but the glamorous headboard lets fresh air and natural light stream right through.

Make it yours: Need a quick, inexpensive headboard? Hang beautiful draperies against the wall to span the width of the bed. Take them all the way to the ceiling for maximum drama.

Layer Pattern

Pattern mixing isn't just for the fearless decorator; the effect can be subtle, too. The assortment of fabrics on the bed showcases an array of dressy textures and patterns that share a muted palette. The low-contrast colorway maintains the calm mood while scale variation allows multiple patterns to live harmoniously.

Make it yours: Layering pattern is a snap when you keep a few basics in mind. Start with the largest-scale print and look for coordinates with at least one common color. Add one or two medium-scale patterns, and one or two small ones. Geometrics are a good foundation for more organic patterns (think of flowers on a trellis).

Create Personal Space

Flowing damask panels hang at each corner of the bed, creating a romantic retreat and establishing the bed's dominance in the room. White crown molding hides the mounting hardware and integrates the canopy into the bedroom. A subtle stripe painted on the wood floor unifies the broken floor plan and hides the imperfections of age.

Cluttered Nook Before

Before, the small nook adjacent to the bed was a catchall for castoff furniture and heaped clothing. The alcove has the potential to become a charming little retreat instead of a decorating afterthought. The goals? Clearly define the space's function, solve the storage issue, and create an inviting atmosphere.

Turn a Liability into an Asset

Awkward architectural spaces don't have to cause problems. Stylish wallpaper transforms this nook into a chic little library complete with a comfy old chair reinvented with fresh paint and upholstery. Wooden cubbies offer a simple, stylish clutter solution when fitted with boxes and baskets.

Mix It Up

Don't shy away from unexpected accessories. Although the bedroom is rooted in a muted color scheme, a bright pink-and-green box introduces a bit of whimsy, while the collage provides additional contrast. It's the little decorating risks that reveal a room's interesting personality and keep it from looking like a model home.

Bring it home: Accessories offer the perfect opportunity to take a decorating risk. They're usually inexpensive and easy to return if they don't quite work. So the next time you spy a great trendy pillow that bumps up against your comfort zone, take a chance!

Accent with Color

A neutral color scheme is restful but it can turn downright sleepy without a jolt or two of color. This sleek Parsons table provides a wakeup call in fearless apple green. The walls, ceiling, and floor are all neutral so the accent color can be changed by flipping out a few accessories. The low ceilings and choppy architecture are minimized by painting the walls and ceiling the same color.

Save big bucks: Think you'd like an apple green desk but you're nervous to commit? Paint is just the ticket when you want to try bold accents. Apply just enough paint to decide if it works. If you're not sold, you can always cover it with ivory.

Give Castoff Furniture New Life

The dresser, once a has-been, earns a place in the chic bedroom with a coat of paint and grass-cloth accents. The Hollywood Regency-style chest syncs perfectly with the latticework desk chair and headboard.

Contain Clutter with Style

Face it, a bedroom invites clutter, so great storage solutions are a must. While a tall dresser does obvious work, small extra storage items, such as metal hatboxes, keep smaller items in check. Bins, boxes, baskets, and nightstands garner additional storage space within a small footprint.

Save big bucks: Don't pass up good deals on storage boxes even if they're not your style. It's easy to cover and embellish them with paint, decorative paper, trims, or fabric. Not only do you save money, but you create an accessory that's ideal for your room.

Ho-Hum Bathroom Before

A master bath is an unusual bonus in an older home, but this tired little room was purely utilitarian. Surfaces and fixtures were a hodgepodge of dingy neutral tones. The bath wasn't ugly; it simply had no style at all.

Make a Big Statement in a Small Space

The large-scale striped wallpaper is an invigorating background in the tiny bath. There wasn't room for a standard mirror above the sink because of the angle of the walls, so the fanciful peacock mirror is mounted on a side wall.

Bring it home: With blue as the dominant color and brown as an accent, the color scheme is a mirror image of the bedroom. This is a surefire trick for decorating adjoining rooms.

Update Old Fixtures

The sink skirt -- finished with ribbon trim that also appears on the bed pillows -- hides storage and plumbing. It also gives a simple old sink fresh appeal with a soft touch that takes the hard edge off the stark sink. A nearby nook -- great for corralling soaps and lotions -- nearly disappears into the tonal blue stripes of the wallpaper.

Meet the Designer

John Loecke is a New York-based designer and president of John Loecke, Inc. His designs reflect a respect for tradition tempered with bold splashes of color and playful patterns. Loecke's motto: "Good taste need not be expensive, but it should be expressive."

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