Bedrooms are traditionally
been the most personal of rooms in one's house, reflecting the unique likes and personalities of their residents.
For history enthusiasts, a bedroom offers a wonderful opportunity to share a love for elegant style
from the grandest eras of the past. Even if you don't own authentic period furniture in your bedroom,
you can use what you do have and add historical touches. First, look at your existing pieces of
furniture and make sure they are arranged to allow for the best use of space. When you walk
into your bedroom, does the space look confined or open? Your goal should be to see the main pieces of furniture
from the entrance. In addition, consider placing the furniture in a historically-accurate design. In 19th century homes,
for example, a chaise or bench was often placed at the foot of the bed. Alternatively, in
earlier centuries, beds were often raised high, and a wooden stepstool placed at the side of the bed for easy access.
Second, decide on a color
theme for your room. Whether you choose light, muted, dark or rich colors, your room should be focused
around one main color theme, and one or two accent colors. For example, if you love mauve, some of the
key elements in your room (e.g. rug, wallpaper, bed linens) should have mauve in them. Accent the mauve theme with
one or two main complementary colors such as ivory and sage. You needn't limit yourself to using only
furniture and accessories with only these three colors, but keep the main pieces consistent with your color theme.
The goal is that when you survey your room, there will not be any one item that stands out visually because its color
is jarring against the rest of the theme. Peaceful bedrooms reflect a harmonious blend of visual elements.
We also suggest keeping your "metals" in any given room to one color. If your dresser has brass or gold
finished knobs and handles, then keep your photo frames and other accent pieces to gold. Using silver and gold
together tends to create an unbalanced look. Similarly, choose a dark wood for your furniture, and keep the pine and oak
furniture out of the bedroom (as light woods evoke a modern feel).
Don't be afraid to update what you have or refinish a garage sale find. Decorating your home in historical style need not require a lot of money.
Refinish furniture using a weathered stain to create an aged look. You can also dye white fabrics in a "tea dye"
to create the look of antique linens. Reupholster a chair with toile or another
historical patterned fabric. Give your comforter a new look buy covering it with a duvet, or toss a reproduction quilt
over your existing linens. If you are inclined to sew, consider adding reproduction trim, laces and ribbon to adorn your
curtains, sheets and blankets. Stitch tassels and trim on your existing pillows and shams for an elegant, Baroque-inspired look.
A four-poster or canopy bed is a small investment that can add a touch of historical elegance to any bedroom.
If your budget is tight, consider finding a canopy bed at a rummage sale, refinish the wood yourself. Then
make your canopy by purchasing vintage style fabrics or laces to drape across the top. Be creative!
Finally, if your bedroom allows for a small sitting area, remember to keep the color theme of your furniture, pillows and accessories consistent with your bed.
Embellish your bedroom with signature historical elements such as lace curtains, tassels, glass hurricane lamps,
chandeliers, sconces, reproduction paintings, and tapestry pillows. Consider adding a few "fun" items to make the room
appear authentic, such as a black and white photograph of your grandparents on their wedding day, placed in a vintage
frame. Or display an "antiqued" photograph of your family (easily obtained at most amusement parks and other recreational
sites). Finally, a word of advice... Make sure you live with what you love. Don't just choose accent items merely because they
"go with the rest of the room." Make sure you really love the items that adorn your room, and we guarantee you will enjoy
waking up to them each day.