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The woman who helped usher the interior design industry into full flower in the United States was prolific in putting out ideas that will help freshen up today's interior design business. Look at our latest Designer Monthly, Interior Design: Look Forward by Looking Back to Dorothy Draper.

Did you ever have a problem designing small spaces?  Take a look at how top interior designers solved this common problem in our latest Designer Monthly, How to Design Small Spaces at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House.





Entries in bedroom (4)


What Well-Dressed Beds Are Wearing: Divine Duvets

In our last post, you heard that Sheffield has completely redone and updated the six Unit DVDs for The Complete Course in Interior Design. There are hours and hours of visits with top interior designers - to learn their tips and secrets, of course - and a host of trips to antique dealers, furniture and accessory showrooms, and lots of surprises. One of our trips was to the luxury bedding experts at Casa del Bianco, and they told us some great ways to dress a bed. The duvet is key to a beautiful bed, but you can vary the way you style bedding with a duvet quite a bit. Here are just a few of the many bed dressing and linen quality tips we learned.

  • It's preferable to keep bed linens white or off-white, with a border or embroidery adding a pop of color that coordinates with the bedroom decor. Look at the Lamu duvet and sham set from Serena and Lily in the top photo. The duvet and its coordinating sham add bold coral notes to the room. But note that there's only a hint of color at the edging of the coordinating pillow case and top sheet. That's because sheets require more frequent washings, usually once a week. A duvet is laundered much less frequently, and the duvet and shams are more apt to keep their colors vibrant and unfaded over time.
  • There are a number of ways to display your duvet (hey, that rhymes!). As in the photo above, you can use the duvet as a traditional American bedspread and pull it up most of the way to the head of the bed. Go all the way for a look that hides the sheets but emphasizes bed pillows, shams, and throw pillows.

  • You can be less "tidy" with your duvet placement for a more casual look, as in the loose half-way-up-the-bed folding of the Caroline duvet from Serena and Lily in this bedroom for two teenage girls. In the background, there's the more relaxed bunching (for beds without a headboard, the effect is neater, with the duvet folded down in half or in thirds and draping over the end of the bed, just below the mattress/box springs assembly). The bed in the foreground shows the duvet pulled up to the head of the bed, revealing one side of the duvet to full effect and presenting an alternative appearance. When a duvet is folded in halves or thirds, however, you can also get a crisp look by neat folds - in the photo above, the duvet is folded in a way that maximizes the showiness of a two-sided/reversible duvet, so if your duvet has two coordinating patterns, folding and draping is a great way to show them off.

  • A more tailored, European approach to the duvet is to tuck the sides neatly under the mattress and box springs assembly as shown in the photo above. Here, West Elm's beautiful Lotus Pink Linen Cotton Blend duvet is tucked in a stylish way, with a jaunty angle to the top fold. This is a great approach for platform beds, beds with tall footboards, and more traditional and antique beds, like four-posters. A good variation: tuck in only the bottom edge of the duvet and let the ends drape over the sides of the bed. 
  • Be sure to always carefully measure your mattress width and the height of your mattress/box springs assembly so you can purchase a duvet that's large enough to drape or tuck over the sides of the bed. The last think you want is for your duvet to look like it's a little napkin stuck on top of the bed, barely covering it.
  • A final treatment (not pictured here) is rolling the duvet up and having the rolled fabric at the bottom of the bed. 
  • Hate duvets? This works for bedspreads and quilts, too, or try layering quilts under a duvet for plays of texture, pattern, and color. Have fun dressing your bed!


If you're interested in learning more about wedding planning and decor, we encourage you to explore the Sheffield School, New York, NY. Sheffield began as an Interior Design school in 1985, and then expanded our course offerings to train people in other design-related fields, including Feng ShuiWedding and Event Planning, and Jewelry Design. With thousands of active students and more than 50,000 graduates, Sheffield has trained more design professionals than any school in the world.

  • Request a free Sheffield School catalog describing our distance education courses.
  • Subscribe to the Sheffield Designer newsletter. 
  • Wednesday

    Feng Shui Tips: How to Decorate a Child's Bedroom

    Simon Brown's helpful book Essential Feng Shui: Your Practical Guide to Health, Wealth and Happiness is loaded with concise tips that are easy to grasp and commonsensical (and I say that in the most complimentary way - it's rubbish to plow through a feng shui book that hits you with double-barreled mysticism when you're looking for practical decorating advice). Here are a few of Brown's tips on decorating a child's bedroom. 

    • If more than one child sleeps in the same bedroom, bunk beds will save space and the kids will both be facing the same direction when they sleep. This will help prevent arguments between them.
    • Beds should be cozy, so use plump pillows and fluffy duvets and comforters. Keep your bedding fabrics 
    • Avoid lamps (trailing cords aren't ideal around young childen anyway). Wall lights are great, and uplights that reflect off the ceiling support growth energy.
    • Natural wood is good flooring material and it's easy to clean.
    • Fabric window blinds make ideal window treatments. They don't block chi energy flow and when they're rolled up, they maximize the room to full chi exposure.
    • Don't hang mobiles directly over a child's bed, but mobiles can be either rousing or relaxing additions to a child's bedroom (metal: rousing; soft fabric in light colors: relaxing).
    • Select fabric wall hangings for the walls whenever possible, and choose positive images. Select either bright colors (stimulating) or soft colors (soothing), depending on the child's temperament.
    • Select furniture with rounded edges (stools, tables, chairs). A good location for a play table is in the east side of the room, facing east (good active energy there).
    • There are a variety of feng shui appropriate wall and accent colors for a child's bedroom. Softer shades will induce calm while brighter colors are more stimulating. Plain walls and bed covers reduce the impression of clutter. A soft blue is a good color to use, bright green and yellows (in small accent doses) provide stimulation without breaking the room's sense of harmony, yellow is a great color to use in any part of a child's bedroom, and star motifs introduce fire energy (good). Soft pastels and pale purple inject more calm into the room.
    • Avoid: open doors and open curtains at night; placing the heads of beds below windows; clutter; electrical equipment like TVs or computers; big, bulky furniture (kids need lots of open space). 



    Click here to read 6 Feng Shui Tips to Make Your Bedroom Better.


    We encourage you to explore the Sheffield School, New York, NY. Sheffield began as an Interior Design school in 1985, and then expanded our course offerings to train people in other design-related fields, including Feng ShuiWedding and Event Planning, and Jewelry Design. With thousands of active students and more than 50,000 graduates, Sheffield has trained more design professionals than any school in the world.

  • Request a free Sheffield School catalog describing our distance education courses.
  • Subscribe to the Sheffield Designer newsletter.
  • Tuesday

    11 Best Beds - Modern Design, Bedroom Elegance

    If you're an interior designer, one of the challenges you face is helping your client "move on." And moving on can take on several forms: move on from the furnishings you had in your college dorm room (no, it's not okay to use old orange crates and stacks of bricks for bookshelves), move on past the hideous furniture you inherited when Aunt Opal passed away last year (sometimes furniture should be buried with their owners), or move on beyond bad taste to good taste ("But it was on sale!" is not a good reason to keep anything revolting).

    Sometimes replacing one key piece of furniture in a room is enough to tip the decorating scheme from dreadful to daring ... and I've selected 11 beds (actually 10 beds and 1 headboard) that could turn an ugly bedroom into a showplace, or at least inspire the rest of the room to shape up and match the new bed's high standards. The photo above and the next two photos feature beds from the hipsters at Atelier Interior Design - the Nuba bed (top), Giorgia bed (top, below), and Bridge bed (bottom, below) are all beds that could drastically change the temperature and style quotient of any bedroom. 

    I love how the Atelier beds would look great floating in a room. Bed design trends are moving away from the flat-against-the-wall restrictions of beds of yore; a floating position allows the Bridge bed's split headboard to adjust to different levels of recline to accommodate different reading, sleeping, or TV-watching postures. Very smart. 

    And consider the Antalya Queen bed from McGuire Furniture (above). Its rattan woven frame is covered in laced rawhide for a strong statement not often made in bedrooms. This would be a great choice for both contemporary and traditional bedrooms. Likewise, the Bill Sofield Queen Branche bed (below) packs a similar visual wallop with its daring woven headboard and fretwork legs. 

    Click to read more ...


    6 Feng Shui Tips to Make Your Bedroom Better

    Franca Giuliani - Happy Chinese New Year! On January 23, 2012, we started the Year of the Water Dragon- a time that brings spirituality and prosperity. I feel this will be a powerful year for all of us. And, we all need our rest. Hence, now is great time to take a look at our bedrooms. Here are the 6 Top Ways You Can Improve Your Bedroom with Feng Shui.

    1. Get an overall impression.

    How do you feel when you walk into your bedroom? Are you happy with what you see, or do your eyes start rolling and is your mind whispering, “Gosh, I have to do something about this!” Our bedroom is a very important part of our life - and not just the bed. Bedrooms are our sanctuary from the world. They are the places where we retreat to, rest, and rejuvenate.

    2. Start to be more mindful of your bedroom.

    Do you thank your bedroom? Or do you use every furniture top as a place to house a week-long pile of laundry, the past three days accumulation of worn outfits, and stacks of unopened mail. You need to treat your bedroom with respect so it can nourish you.

    3. You need a new mattress.

    Make sure you have a comfortable mattress and make sure that it's one that is new to you … meaning it wasn’t someone else’s first. Mattresses absorb Chi, the universal life force. So sleeping on someone else’s old mattress may not make you feel so new and rejuvenated. Yes, getting a new mattress may be a financial investment, but in the longrun, it's well worth it. We have to proclaim we are “well worth it” by investing in something for us.

    Click to read more ...