How do you make a modern bedroom cozy when you are given a blank slate? How do you take a modern bedroom from drab to fab when what you want is a bedroom that is warm and inviting? Modern spaces can come off as a bit cold, given the clean lines and lack of adornment that modern architecture is often associated with. But with a little bit of creativity and the right product, you can make a modern bedroom feel warm and cozy. For the Seasonal Living Designer Showhouse, I was given an empty room and was tasked with creating a respite for a well-traveled, professional couple. A warm, cozy and inviting master bedroom but in a modern setting is the space I envisioned.
So how do you give life to an empty box? You add personality. How do you add personality? Here are my 8 fail-safe tips on how to transform a bare, modern master bedroom into a warm and cozy space to call home.
8 WAYS TO MAKE A MODERN BEDROOM COZY
There are several ways of incorporating personality into a bedroom to make it feel more warm and cozy. The elements I incorporate into each space may differ, depending on the conditions or the layout of each space, but I always use the majority of these ways. Here is what I used in the design of the Master Bedroom for the Seasonal Living Designer Showhouse to make the modern bedroom feel more intimate:
So let’s start at square one. First, I have to give you some perspective as to where we started out. This was the empty space that was presented to me.
Pretty “meh”, don’t you think? The space was stripped to the bare bones – just plain, white white walls, no built ins, no window treatments, NOTHING! Except for lots of floor to ceiling windows with views to the Malibu shore. I’m all for minimalism, but without the view and surrounding environment, this space unadorned bordered on cold.
We were then presented with 15 sponsors – all leaders in the home furnishings and design industry. Although we were not required to use product from all 15 sponsors, I did! But then again, I designed the entire Principal Suite, which consisted of the bedroom, bathroom, 2 outdoor terraces, a walk in closet, and a dressing room. If one designs a larger space, more product and resources are always needed, so using product from all 15 sponsors was not too difficult.
ANATOMY OF A MODERN COZY BEDROOM
TIP #1: BREAK DOWN THE SPACE INTO SMALLER, MORE INTIMATE SPACES
First, we viewed the room from every angle while also studying the floor plan of the space. Then we had to devise a plan to work with the existing conditions. As you can see, there are a whole lot of windows, and not a whole lot of wall.
The Room Layout
There wasn’t a wall to anchor a bed, but then again, who said a bed has to pushed up against a wall? Initially, I thought that the bed should face the view to the ocean. But how do you position the bed to face the far window. The last thing I ever want to do when walking into a room is face the back of a bed.
So I thought to create an anteroom – a small reception area leading up to the larger bedroom. To allow light through, I used wood slats on top. Solid panels of walnut down below act as a partition to place a credenza on one side of the wall, and the bed on the other. Because the partition consisted of two walnut panels with a hollowed out middle, we were able to run electrical in between for the sconces that flank either side of the bed.
By placing the bed in the middle of the room, we weren’t left with a whole lot of room to work with. We created a sitting area in front of the windows on one side of the bed. On the other side of the bed we added two Fantome Consoles from Niermann Weeks. By adding the 8″ deep consoles, there was still enough room for an ample walkway.
Below is my sketch of how I proposed to break down the room. By diving up the room with the partition, we were able to create more visual interest in the room.
TIP #2: ADD DIMENSION TO THE ARCHITECTURE
Let’s face it – plain flat walls and ceilings aren’t the most visually stimulating either, and the lack of dimension can give off a cold vibe. So another way we make a modern bedroom cozy is by building out architectural details to make the room come alive.
We clad the wall and fireplace surround with Dekton Edora with deep black Dekton Sirus as accents on either side of the fireplace. The subtle nuances of Dekton Edora warm the space and the warm, neutral tone of the slabs complement the wall color. We used “Hush White” in Sherwin-Williams’ newest paint addition, the Emerald Designer Edition interior latex paint, and in a flat finish.
Instead of settling for a flat ceiling, we added in a soffit above the bed to bring the soaring 12′ ceiling down, creating the illusion of a more intimate area above the bed. To add even more warmth, we wallpapered the soffit in the prettiest, warm gilver-toned wallcovering from Stroheim. How is that for a warm and cozy bedroom?
TIP #3: USE TEXTURE FOR MORE VISUAL INTEREST
Texture is always a great way to break the monotony of flat space. I always use a variety of fabrics with texture. If I need more texture, I add fringe and I layer it to create more volume, which is what I did with 3 colors of S. Harris’ Franja Fringe on Robin Baron Designs’ Triple Tiered LB Ottoman.
TIP #4: UTILIZE A WARM COLOR PALETTE MIXED WITH PATTERN
As you can see, we made sure that the fabrics we chose varied in pattern, scale and texture. Use of texture makes for a warm and cozy bedroom, and there is enough variety used to make the room look interesting.
For Nathan Anthony’s Oliver bed, we chose a soft blue faux shearling from S. Harris. Textured shearling has been having a moment lately! I especially love the playful juxtapostion between the fine detailing on the Liberty of London Hera Feather Dragonfly coverlet and the bold rust Scarab fabric by S. Harris on the bench at the end of the bed.
For the rugs in both our indoor and outdoor spaces, we used Jaipur Living. We even played with mixing geometric and organic pattern and we think it makes for a dynamic space.
TIP #5: USE A MIX OF MATERIALS
We always use mixed materials in our work as it creates an energy between all the materials used. Metal, wood, natural stone, blown glass – we use it all. Many of the materials we use in our spaces mimic the surrounding environment. The Serenity oak plank floor from Revel Woods resembles sun-bleached driftwood. The aquamarine colored Bean Vases from Global Views resemble the color of the water when the sun reflects off of it on a sunny day. Howard Elliott’s Sand Glass Bowl mimics the soft swirls of fine sand on the beach. The metal wall sculptures from Global Views give a bit of an edgy vibe, and the hand scrawled faces in the ceramic Mod Face vases and bowl give the space a little bit of whimsy and a whole lot of personality.
TIP #6: INCORPORATE ART AND ARTISANAL PIECES
I incorporated some great art and artisanal pieces to make the room look as though it was collected over time. After all, the imaginary occupants are worldly travelers so I was looking for globally inspired pieces. These are a few of my favorites that I used:
But wait a second. Anyone who is familiar with my designs, knows that I love to customize. Sometimes I create things from scratch and other times I use what a vendor already has, and then I customize/tweak it to fit my project. That’s what I did with the fireplace screen in the master bedroom. Below is the Trocadero Fireplace Screen that Niermann Weeks has in their regular line.
The fireplace opening in the bedroom was much longer and narrower than the original, so we changed up the dimensions to create the fireplace screen pictured below. Pretty cool, don’t you think? Niermann Weeks are masters with metal and can do anything in a variety of finishes, too.
TIP #7: CONNECT THE INDOORS WITH THE OUT
Connecting the indoors with the outdoors by bringing nature into the home is a great way to make a warm and cozy bedroom.
In this master bedroom, there are floor to ceiling windows on one side and a Nanawall that completely retracts into the wall. No visible doors or windows blur the boundary between the indoors and out. If you look carefully, you’ll notice that the fireplace faces both the bedroom on one side and the outdoor terrace on the other side. It’s a dual-sided fireplace!
On one side of the wall is a beautifully appointed and expertly layered bedroom…
And on the opposite side of the wall is a view to the beach and crashing waves. Two curved one-arm sofas by Seasonal Living are covered in an indoor outdoor solution-dyed fabric by Fabricut and are paired with a ceramic coffee table and three fire pedestals in varying sizes make for cozy outdoor space on those chilly winter nights.
The floor is Dekton Edora. The surface has a texture which allows it to be used for both horizontal and vertical surfaces. Outdoor rugs by Jaipur Living soften up the space. The sun can be quite intense in the hot summer months, so to provide relief from the heat, we’ve installed an outdoor ceiling fan from Minka Aire. When you live in Southern California, it is all about indoor outdoor living.
TIP #8: INCORPORATE A FIREPLACE
Last but not least, the most obvious way to create a cozy master bedroom is to add a fireplace. A fireplace will add both visual and physical warmth to the bedroom. Just a few words of caution: when considering a built-in fireplace, remember that you can’t clad the fireplace in just any material on the market. The fireplace generates a lot of heat. Materials have to be carefully chosen and have to be checked for heat resistance. I’ve heard horror stories from other designers about quartz and marble slabs cracking, so I’ve learned to do my homework.
My go to choice for a fireplace surround or hearth is always Dekton, because it has a high resistance to heat and the variety of options available – many of which look like natural stone. The beautiful veining allows you to book match the slabs. The surround on the exterior fireplace is also an idea surface because Dekton is also resistant to UV light and will not fade over time.
Below is my original sketch which shows the bookmatched veining on the façade of the fireplace. I couldn’t get a good shot of the veining in the virtual tour as it is viewed from certain points in the room, so this sketch will have to do.
So there you have it – 8 ways to transform your modern bedroom into a cozy and warm oasis. To tour the bedroom and the rest of the home which includes the work of 10 other designers, visit the Seasonal Living Designer Showhouse. Turn to page 24, click on the arrow and you are in the house and ready to begin the tour.
**Please note that the Seasonal Living Designer Showhouse is free to tour and no email address is needed to access the house.
To tour the upstairs spaces that I was responsible for designing, follow these steps below:
STEPS ON HOW TO TOUR THE 2ND FLOOR SPACES
- Enter the showhouse by clicking on the arrow on page 23-24 of Seasonal Living Magazine.
- Click on the arrow in the downstairs foyer that says “Click to go upstairs”
- A window with my face will pop up. Click on the blue button that says “Learn More”
- Go to the navigation bar on the bottom of the screen and click “Room Select”
- You’ll see two small squares above the middle of the bottom navigation bar. Click on the square that says “2F” (the 2nd floor)
- You’ll be able to navigate from room to room by clicking on the rooms in the bottom navigation bar.
- When you are exploring in each room, keep an eye out for the white arrows. By clicking on the white arrows you will be able to view the room from different vantage points.
I hope you enjoy touring the spaces as much as I enjoyed designing them. Be sure to check out the ground floor and exterior spaces as well. They were designed by my 10 of my designer friends from around the country and they are equally as fabulous!
SHOP THE MASTER BEDROOM AND OUTDOOR TERRACE
Below are some of the items I used in the master bedroom and outdoor terrace which be purchased through e-commerce vendors online. The items are listed below and are affiliate links where we earn a small commission, at no additional cost to the purchaser. This is one of the many ways that we earn income so that we can continue to bring you valuable content.
The other products and materials that are not shown are also available. Because these products have a high level of customization, they must be purchased through a designer or authorized retailer. Should you need any assistance, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org