Emily Henderson is HGTV's Season 5 ‘Design Star’ Winner and Host and designer of 'Secrets from a Stylist' on HGTV. After spending years in New York as a stylist working for magazines like Martha Stewart, Domino and Elle Decor she now has a bi-coastal design firm with houses in Los Angeles and New York and is founder and writer of the successful daily style blog stylebyemilyhenderson.com.
She was named a 2012 trendsetter by InStyle magazine and is widely known for bringing humor, approachability and fun to the world of design.
1. Choose a calming color palette. As much as I love a bold color in my bedroom, I choose blues, grays and creams as the dominant colors with hits of a stronger accent color. Color theory can be boring but I will say this - a red wall does not a good night’s sleep make. Some colors - like red, yellow and hot colors like fuchsia and orange - can feel really aggressive. Go for a neutral like taupe or ivory if you want it to feel warmer, or a cooler neutral like light blue or grey if you want it to feel more calming.
2. Instead of bold art, think simple mirrors. I have a couple paintings in my bedroom but the bedroom is not the place to do a huge overwhelming gallery wall of art. Keep the artwork big and simple and when in doubt bring in a mirror - it expands the space and fills the wall; yet, doesn't add a lot of contrast or busy-ness.
3. I'm not the biggest fan of symmetry all the time, I think it can get boring. But there is something very mentally calming about symmetry so I tend to apply it way more in master bedrooms. Make your guest bedroom more eclectic and crazy and fun, but for a perfectly balanced master bedroom think of getting similar or matching nightstands and lamps. I want order in my bedroom more than anywhere else and having the two sides be symmetrical actually helps me sleep.
4. If starting your design from scratch, choose the bed first. The bed is the 'sofa' of the bedroom and it is the most important piece of furniture in that room. The style of the bed will dictate where the room will go design-wise. Choose an upholstered bed for something softer and more cozy, a simple platform for something more modern or an ornate iron for something more antique and old world. I would either go with a simple style that is easy to work with other styles, or something over the top that will be a show stopper.
5. When it comes to bedding: layer, layer, layer. In the winter go for a heavier weight - down comforter, wools, cashmeres and thicker chunkier throws and throw pillows. And in the warmer months think crisp linens, cottons and lighter throws. The key is having contrasting textures (like thickly woven knits and tighter woven linens) to make it feel inviting.
6. My go-to accessories on nightstands are - a tray/dish or box for jewelry, a scented candle or flower (something that smells nice), a lamp for reading, a water carafe to avoid those midnight water trips to the kitchen, and alarm clock if needed. Keep everything in your color palette to avoid it looking messy or feeling busy.
7. Every person deserves to wake up in the morning and step onto something warm and inviting, possibly even luxurious. So if you don't have carpet in your bedroom, get yourself a rug. It could be a smallish 3x5 throw rug on either side of the bed or get a large rug to ground the whole space and lay under the bed. It adds texture, warmth and luxury to a bedroom.