Friday, February 29, 2008

Design Dilemma: What Bedding Will Work With These Curtains?

More Ways to Waste Time reader Leaura writes: "I'm in the process of re-doing my bedroom. I recently made curtains with Marimekko's blue Onnen Apila fabric, and I collect vintage Lee Eden 'Big Eyed' prints. The rest of the bedroom consists of neutral walls that we might paint, and white furniture.

My issue is that I'm trying to find a comforter or duvet cover that will go with the curtains and the Big Eyed prints. Solids are somewhat of a bore for me, but I'm beginning to lose hope that anything else will work! Have some advice on prints that might work for a comforter without making the bedroom look like an unmatched color and pattern explosion?"

Photo from the Beach Studios

I know you said solids bore you, Leaura, but personally, I think an all-white bed is utterly dreamy -- especially in a room with strong color and pattern happening elsewhere. So rather than trying to incorporate even more of it on the bed, I'd go with something simple there and let the curtains and art be the stars of the show.

Another thought: Those blah, beige-y walls aren't doing your decor any favors. My vote would be to paint the room a fresh, light blue (like Martha Stewart's Drop of Blue, above) with white trim, which will tie in with those bold curtains and make the white furniture pop. Or go for a clean, bright white, like Benjamin Moore's Decorators White, which will serve as a crisp backdrop for your colorful curtains and vibrant art.

If you just can't live without some color and pattern on the bed, a bright blanket folded at the foot will add a little punch, as will a couple of colorful throw pillows. I especially like the Pappelina Lilo Blanket, left, $124 from Scandinavian Design Center, and the Ikebana Turquoise Throw, right, $200 from Designers Guild.

A few pillow possibilities (clockwise from top left): Blue Birds Pillow, $25, from DwellStudio for Target; Damask Pillow Cover, $15 from the Company Store; Mallory Pillow, $50, from Blissliving Home; and Cardinal on Agapanthus Pillow by Joom. You could also use some of that leftover Marimekko fabric from the curtains to whip up a couple of throw pillow or sham covers.

And if you're really set on a patterned duvet cover, remember that when it comes to mixing patterns, the key is to unify them with color and motif -- so I think blue botanicals are the way to go there -- and to consider scale. The general rule when combing patterns in a space is to choose one large, one medium, and one small. Since your curtain panels are large and your art is medium-scaled, and both are fairly strong, any pattern you select for the bedding should probably be on the smaller, more subtle side.

I like the pretty blue Plover Organic pattern, top left, $249 to $279 at VivaTerra; the simple but textural stripe of the Lucca Teal Comforter Set, top right, $380 to $460 from Blissliving Home; and the bold color of the Hanna Blom Quilt Cover Set, bottom, $50 to $60 from IKEA.

Readers, what say you -- any mix-masters out there with general advice or specific bedding tips for Leaura? If so, post a comment and share them here!

(P.S. Have a design dilemma of your own? Send it in, along with a photo or two, and I'll put it up here for a communal brainstorming session.)


jane said...

I like your suggestions, Leah. I could also picture a punch of chartreuse, playing off the white and blue.

brandi said...

I don't have a new suggestion, we have all white bedding and a giant blue throw, and I have been searching all over for pillows. I love that Mallory pillow with the bird! So I guess I am posting to say (1) I love all white bedding, it is really cozy and inviting and feels fancy, and (2) thank you for posting that pillow!

casacaudill said...

the color in the curtains closely resembles the color our bedroom is painted. we currently have white bedding that has extra design details so it's not completely flat and textureless. we've used colored shams and a folded throw at the end of our bed to give it some pop. i don't recommend that last duvet set from ikea - we had it on our bed for a couple of months and after 4 or 5 washes it just kind of looked ... old and gross. not the best quality. strangely, our white duvet set is also from ikea and we've used it on and off for 2 years and it's held up great.

- casacaudill

deerseason87 said...

I think the Jonathan Adler "Hollywood" sheets would be great with those curtains- the graphic pattern would contrast really well with the painterly, floral design.

closettherapist said...

I love this color to go with my newly painted gray bedroom. Thanks for the ideas.

I just found your blog. I was drawn to you apparently because I have a corgi too!

wren said...

The marimekko pattern reminds me of hawaiian quilts. Perhaps you could find one in a similar or complimentary color and use it as a coverlet for an otherwise white bedding ensemble. Besides the quilts there are also pillow covers that could be an option as well.

paint color guy said...

You have provided us some great pics to get some ideas to. I'm happy I've bumped into your post searching paint colors needed for my bedroom.


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