Veronique, Eric and their two daughters recently emigrated from France to North America. They spent the last eight years living a nomadic lifestyle, moving 11 times, but they have finally settled into a beautiful, traditional house in a family-friendly neighborhood.
With busy lives — Veronique works as a translator for pharmaceutical companies and Eric is a pediatric oncologist — the couple just couldn’t find the time to fix up their master bedroom.
The room was big, beige and boring, and the couple longed for a more elegant and sophisticated place in which they could spend time together. So I gathered up my crew and set out to create a relaxing bedroom retreat.
I wanted to make Veronique and Eric feel at home, so I got my design inspiration from their home country of France. I decided to make the bedroom a mixture of traditional and elegant, with a modern touch and give it that certain “je ne sais quoi” it was missing.
The large room had lovely windows and high ceilings, but it was very bland; what it needed was detail and character. I decided to add architectural interest by putting in a mixture of panel and crown molding. Then I added some Old-World charm with a floor of wide plank wood that has an antique look.
Veronique prefers neutral colors, but neutral doesn’t have to mean boring! So, I chose a luxurious color scheme and a variety of textures and patterns to give the room a plush feel: warm taupe for the draperies, rich cocoa for the coverlet and glacier blue silk with chocolate detailing for the throw pillows.
I wanted the furnishings to be just as inviting, so I put in a bed with a gorgeous headboard, upholstered in a dreamy taupe color. I also installed two cocoa chairs and a small table, where the couple can sit and read at night, or have their coffee and croissants in the morning.
For even more atmosphere, I put in a new gas fireplace across from the bed. The fireplace is made of cast stone, but looks like a hand-carved limestone fireplace you might find in an old French chateau.
Eric wanted a television, but Veronique did not want to see it. So, I compromised and put a television in the room, but concealed it the most gorgeous way. The couple had a personal connection to Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, so I had an artist re-create the scene on canvas and added this painting to the front of a creamy cabinet above the fireplace. When closed, it is a beautiful painting; when opened, the television is revealed.
To further set the mood, I designed an elegant, traditional large-scale chandelier with antique gold and crystals. I also added two beautiful sconces on the fireplace wall and a variety of lamps around the room.
After a few final details — artwork here, Veronique’s perfume bottle collection there — the master bedroom was complete.
This room was a big, blank canvas. By adding splashes of luxurious colors, dashes of elegant lighting and a few strokes of French-inspired finishes, it is now the perfect place for Veronique and Eric to get away from the stresses of their hectic lives. Now that’s divine and “fantastique!