Great design has to have rhythm to make it a visual feast for the eyes. This was never more evident to me than during a recent project for clients Stephen and Dale, who wanted to spice up their boudoir as a 25th-wedding-anniversary present to one another.

The couple, who live in an otherwise beautiful home, had a bleak master bedroom. The L-shaped room, with its matching bedroom suite and beige carpeting, was boxy and boring. It was definitely missing the element of rhythm and, as a result, felt awkward and uninviting.

Stephen and Dale are vibrant people, and they desired a room that reflected their 25 years together. I wanted to give them an eclectic and diverse space, so I set out to utilize the principle of design rhythm: the visual repetition of elements such as pattern, shape and color.


I kicked off the project by deciding on the elements I would use to create the rhythm, including a palette of charcoal, red and white; materials like wood, Lucite and mirror; and a range of geometrical patterns.

I then divided the L-shaped room into two areas: a bedroom and a lounge. I painted most of the space light linen except for a stunning feature wall that was painted in a bold currant red. Against this wall I placed a king-sized bed with a striking carved headboard of white plaster panels. For the linens, I chose a charcoal and white duvet with a geometrical pattern, a creamy bed skirt and a heap of red, white and charcoal pillows. Beneath the bed, I used a creamy, patterned area rug.

Because I made this bed the room’s focal point, my challenge was to make everything else in the space relate back to it.

I flanked the bed with two mismatched but complementary end tables: an oak vanity table/desk with a black baroque mirror on one side, and a mirrored table on the other. Next to the bed, I created a sitting area with a charcoal armchair and a metal side table. These sit along a wall of windows, and the whole look is softened by cream-and-currant drapes.


I then introduced an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary furniture: a black-and-white armoire in African mahogany; a black modern console/dresser with a TV, and oneof-a-kind artisanal pieces.

I continued the gorgeous visual rhythm from the bedroom through to the adjoining lounge area by bringing in a dove-colored, textured sectional sofa, a light wood geometrical side table and a large wall mirror. I also put up a picture gallery consisting of framed photos and colored paper that picks up on the bedroom’s color scheme.

To brighten up the space, I chose some striking wood and Lucite lamps, and a spectacular geometrical clear-glass fixture adds flair to the sitting area.

Accents and accessories such as metal vases, wooden baskets and patterned pillows serve to complete the look.


The room now speaks a little language of its own, with all of the rhythmic elements unifying an otherwise eclectic space. It’s surely the ideal place to showcase the couple’s tastes as they head into another 25 years of wedded bliss.

Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV’s “Candice Tells All.” For more ideas, information and show times, visit