Do you like what you see every morning when you open your eyes and look around your room? If not, here are a few quick tips for giving your bedroom a brand-new look. Mary Carol Garrity, Scripps Howard News Service
First, the furnishings
Is each stick of furniture in your bedroom working for you, serving its function and contributing to the aesthetic beauty of the room? If not, it's time to consider something new.
Upholstered headboards are one of the hottest trends going in today's bedrooms, and you'll find fabulous pieces that range from edgy and modern to decidedly traditional, like the tufted headboards everyone's eating up right now. If you want to freshen the look of your iron or wood headboard, cover it with a fabric slipcover. I'm toying with doing a sophisticated tone-on-tone look for my headboard, having a cream upholstered headboard made that's embellished with my monogram in cream thread.
Another of today's popular looks is to place a bench at the foot of your bed. I'm a huge fan of benches because they are so darn versatile. If you get tired of it in your bedroom, it will look just as sensational in front of your fireplace, under a window or on a stairway landing. Check out the cool bamboo benches or those upholstered in needlepoint or a wild-animal fabric.
You might also consider a bigger, better, more functional nightstand. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is putting a teeny, tiny nightstand next to a huge bed. You want a piece that's lovely and hardworking, like a lady's writing desk or a bachelor's chest.
Let there be light
Too often, the light fixtures installed in bedrooms leave a lot to be desired. If your ceiling light is ho-hum, switch it out for something amazing. How about a stately chandelier or something wild and funky that makes you light up every time you flip the switch?
Finesse with fabrics
"Comfy" and "cozy" are the watchwords for today's bedrooms. One of the easiest and most effective ways to warm things up is to use textiles. If your bedding ensemble is lackluster or showing some wear, invest in luxurious new linens. But when you're picking out your duvet and accent pillows, think twice before you buy a dust ruffle. Many of today's bed styles don't require a dust ruffle, so folks are instead concealing their unattractive box springs with a custom-made cover that complements their bedding.
You can also work textiles into your room through window treatments. I'm still nuts about simple curtain panels, dressed-up unique trims or fabric tapes. Be sure to hang the drapes close to the ceiling to give your room the illusion of height, then hem them so they break on the floor just like a man's trousers.
If you really want to make a big statement in your room, consider surrounding your bed with opulent bed curtains or putting a stately canopy above the headboard.
Finish with accents
In bedrooms, I like to use just a few well-chosen accents that have a great deal of sentimental value. Brighten up your nightstand with a few cherished snapshots of your family, flanked by a bouquet of fresh flowers in a silver vase that was your grandmother's. Then jazz up the walls with great artwork.