finishing touches: my red + white bedroom

by Grace Bonney

when it comes to design, i’m more of a big picture girl. as much as i love buying small accessories, i tend to have a really, really hard time pulling together the small pieces to make a room feel “finished”. so i thought, what if i treated my bedroom project like i would a post for someone else’s home? so i took a picture of our bedroom (above, click here here to learn how to make the the headboard!) and decided to shop around the web looking for pieces that would bump up our bed nook from nice to fantastic. i got a little carried away with picking options, but since finishing touches are often the hardest pieces (but the most important) to pick, i figured it never hurts to have a few options.

have any suggestions for finishing off this look? i’m all ears- and i’m still dying to find the perfect shades for those lamps. the cream shades came with the lights and i’m itching for something with a little more detail…

[sources: 1. double concentric pillow $178, , 2. hotline telephone $48, 3. fu dog bookends (2 for 49.95), 4. coral bolster $90, 5. mohair throw $250, 6. utility pendant lamp $39.95, 7. grace table by lorely furniture, 8. red apple memo pad $6, 9. royal bedding by olatz]

[sources: 1. scalloped red mug $6.95, 2. barn lamp $285, 3. zig zag rug $275 (i have this and love it), 4. corduroy floor pillow $28, 5. versa red pillow by madeline weinrib, 6. tablo table $103 (i have wanted this for almost 6 years now- it’s so cute!), 7. nautical stripe pillow $28, 8. brick chevron pillow by madeline weinrib, 9. 111 navy chair $230, 10. stitch throw $470, 11. iomoi paperweight $68, , 12. rimi highball glass $16 (great for bedside water)]

[sources: 1. red ticking sheets $79+ (i have these and love them!), 2. lee red pillow by madeline weinrib, 3. parrot clutch $598 (to go with the animal theme), 4. john robshaw bedskirt in gents stripe $165+, 5. tripoli bedding by john robshaw 100+ 6. engine bar stools $89.95+]

Suggested For You


  • I would suggest not using any more red at all in the room (or maybe one accent that isn’t near or on the bed). I think you diminish the headboard by loading on the red.

    I would use olive green and the deep cobalt you were talking about.

  • Love all the red and white pieces ~ so bold and graphic! Yellow would be a definite for me and also adding shades of grey/ charcoal. I think that would be such a classic yet interesting colour scheme. Love your site. Always inspiring!

  • Our bedroom walls are a very similar color to yours, and our main color scheme is yellow and white against the greyish tan walls with bright pops of red. So I say you should definitely add some yellow!

  • I just saw Diana Vreeland’s bedroom done in red with splashes of Cobalt blue and white. Billy Baldwin did it and titled it “garden in hell” but nevermind the blue really cooled the red down and added depth. Here’s the link or if you type in red rooms for search, it will come up with the paint colors of red. Some glass orclearn furniture with gold accents might lighten the red. http://www.housebeautiful.com/cm/housebeautiful/images/red-living-room-xlg-22203997.jpg

  • Grace, what others have said above about another color is what you need to do. And that color is and HAS to be dark cobalt blue or navy blue. I have the exact tanish grey color walls in my room, and although I didnt use dark blue (I used a black/white/cream color scheme), the black of my leather headboard can come off as a dark blue in the light, and it looks great with the walls.

    All your linens on your bed need to stay white and clean and detail free (because you have such a busy headboard), but infront of those white pillows, you need a long slim dark cobalt blue velvet bolster and in the center of it, your initials embroidered in white. I dont think it would cost that much, you could even make it yourself.

    If you can find small dark blue drum shades for your arm lamps, even better. It also looks like you really want to add a red and white stripe, I say make them horizontal stripe drapes with either a cobalt blue ribbon border inset into the drapes one foot on each side (to mimic your wall moldings), or just the blue ribbon detail going vertically on opening part of the drape, both you could do with liquid stitch.

    and dont worry about going too american flaggy, there is a reason our flag is those colors, its because they look fantastic together!

    throw in some cobalt blue foo dogs (my grandmother had fabulous ones from the 40s, my aunt got them, im still not over it…anyway) and your room will have an asian touch, which I believe all rooms need to have.

  • I like the idea of blue with the red too…. I think grey would also be nice. I think maybe trimming the lampshades with ribbon or something would be cool.. Or you could cover them some fabric.

  • Hi Grace!

    You mentioned above that the paint color is a light tan and not gray. (I thought it was gray too!) It’s gorgeous and I am looking to paint my bedroom that color as well but I’m having trouble finding the right shade.
    I was wondering what the name and make was?

    Thanks so much!

  • I love this post. Seen a lot of great rooms in the house tours, but some just seem 90% there, that they’re missing the last 10% of fabulosity. I think this would be a great regular feature for d*s. Realize other blogs are doing this, but most seem so less done. I know I totally stall out at “almost there.” It would be cool if we non-designers could send in a pic to get help with the finishing touches.

    BTW, I like the idea of olive or deep marine blue.

  • Looks really GREAT Grace!

    I like the idea of the red headboard as the accent color – and being the ONLY red in this room. I personally love red as an accent in white & tan room with accent pieces in shades of blue – like an aqua… the vintage-hobnail-vase-shade-of-aqua. Can you throw some ticking in there, to pick up on the tan of the walls? I love brown/tan ticking on duvets and recovered on modern chairs/benches. As for the aqua-ish color, a few vases and an end table high glossed in it would be so awesome!

    I love your sconces as is – they are awesome and look so great with your new headboard! I totally want the bird version in the green for a headboard :)


  • i just read you’re not into aqua. I read all the comments before but i didn’t see those! sorry. replace my above aqua accent with the COBALT – I think it’ll look awesome :) And it can totally be done without looking american flag-ish. cant wait to see how it turns out!

  • Hi! I would also love to get the template for this bed and cannot get the link to work. If possible, could you send? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.