The nicest bedrooms exude a warm and intimate vibe. And that’s exactly what clients Beatrice and Philippe sought for their own boudoir.

The couple, who live in a large home with their two children, spent three long years renovating their house. But they ran out of steam when they got to their master bedroom. The space was cold and cavernous — and they couldn’t figure out a way to bring any warmth to the space.

I decided that a restful, monochromatic design was the ideal solution for this project. And I selected an ethereal, neutral color palette of cream, beige, gray and vanilla to help me along.


While some people think that monochromatic schemes are boring, the truth is that they can have great impact if executed properly. The secret to creating a stylish and interesting monochromatic design is to incorporate a mixture of patterns and textures; this will deliver the visual and physical comfort.

The bedroom had a vaulted ceiling that I wanted to showcase with a great lighting fixture. So I kicked things off by visiting one of my favorite lighting showrooms and selecting a magnificent polished silver-and-crystal chandelier.

I then painted the space in a warm cream to match the room’s existing neutral carpet and to give things a cohesive look. Next, I mapped out four distinct areas that would all flow together: a sleeping area, a fireside lounge, a sitting room and a vanity area.

I created the sleeping area beneath the vaulted ceiling and against a striking wall of woodgrain paper. I brought in a king-sized bed with a gorgeous custom headboard, added luscious vanilla, gray-and-cream linens and pillows, and put in two elegant wooden bedside tables.


I then fashioned a delightful fireside lounge on one wall of the bedroom. I wanted to install a gas fireplace, but Philippe wasn’t keen on unsightly gas lines on his new exterior stucco walls, so I put in a wall-mounted, ethanol-burning unit that brings visual warmth and a contemporary element to the space. I flanked the fireplace with custom cabinetry that I painted a soft gray.

Across from the bed, by the room’s windows, I created a seating area with a stone-colored sofa, a creamy armchair, a tufted ottoman and a round wooden table. I chose a multitude of accent fabrics in stripes, dots, solids and other patterns for the pillows and drapes, and put down an ivory area rug with a geometrical pattern.

Beside the seating area, I created a little vanity area, which includes a beautiful walnut writing desk, an ornate mirror and a white cane chair. I then flanked the table with sparkling silver-and-crystal sconces that echo the style of the distinctive chandelier.

All that was left to do was find some stunning accessories. So I headed to a shop known for its eclectic mix of global goodies and chose a variety of accent pieces, including an amazing, white feather headdress from Cameroon that I hung above the couple’s bed. A monochromatic design really needs a touch of the unexpected to provide some intensity.


I always say “design is in the details,” and that was certainly true of this project. By playing with texture, pattern and a few dabs of shimmer and shine, I created a dramatic space using a single color palette. The once-frosty bedroom is now a restful retreat where Beatrice and Philippe can relax, share some quiet time and turn up the heat.

Interior decorator Candice Olson is host of HGTV’s “Candice Tells All.”