The Apartment
Episode Four – Bedrooms

I’m exceedingly particular about the room I sleep in. I think this stems from my childhood when I slumbered in a bedroom with depressing muddy pink walls, a crinkly and itchy rose-toned bedspread, stiff fussy pale pink lampshades and filmy thin salmon-colored curtains that failed miserably at blocking out the torrid Texas heat.

In looking back, my mother picked everything with the best of intentions, but I thought the room belonged to a dainty rosy cheeked coquette rather than me. But my saving grace was the wildly colorful and captivating array of stuffed animals that surrounded me in bed at night. Perhaps they were the incitement of my lifelong penchant for color.

Sunshine Bedding

Image of a lemon tree on Linda Applewhite's deck
Sunshine on the deck

When we moved out of Golden Gate to begin our remodel, I had slept encased by the same blue sheets, duvet and shams for what seemed like decades. Upon the move into our transitory apartment, I splurged on fresh yellow linens that feel like I am lounging in the same sunshine that pours over the lemon tree on the deck beside my bedroom.

The Yellow Bedroom

Image of Linda Applewhite's yellow bedroom
The yellow bedroom

I think bedrooms should be sanctuaries with colors you positively love; soft floor coverings for padding barefoot to bed, lamps for reading or creating soft sensual light, window treatments to keep out the morning sun and furniture that is attractive yet functional for storage. Most importantly your bedroom should feel good as you spend one-third of your lifetime sleeping and dreaming there.

Art in the Bedroom

Image of a painting by Kirby Kendrick
Kirby's whimsical bedroom painting

Placing favorite artwork in your bedroom can bring pleasure and delight like this whimsical watercolor I adore by Kirby Kendrick above my black bedside cabinet. Kirby is a long-time friend and gifted artist who paints professionally in several engaging styles using a range of materials that make her spirited creations sparkle and inspire (kirbykendrick.com).

Bedside Comfort

Image of large bedside tables that provide ample surface space
Large bedside tables provide ample surface space

I’ve encountered many diminutive bedside tables while visiting client’s homes. When redecorating sleeping quarters, I suggest substantial bedside furnishings with storage if space allows. Larger surfaces not only provide ample room for nighttime needs, but books, eyeglasses, water or a Kindle are more easily reached from a bedside surface that aligns near the top of the mattress.

Bedroom Altar

An altar with purpose
An altar with purpose

I mentioned the various uses of altars in my last blog. This revered antique wood carving of Guanyin, the Buddhist bodhisattva associated with compassion, calms me at the beginning and end of the day. She has a compartment in her back where I put my intentions. Although I’m not Buddhist, I love what Guanyin stands for, especially in the current times.

The Serene Bedroom

Linda Applewhite's aquamarine bedroom
The aquamarine bedroom

To garnish the second 70’s era bedroom with white walls I invested in an aquamarine linen coverlet for the guest room that harmonizes with the color of an old Turkish Oushak rug and the clouds over the Bay. I feel the wide expanse of blue green on the bed imparts a serene sense of space.

Atmospheric Glow

Image of lamps with warm-toned shades make bedrooms glow
Lamps with warm-toned shades make bedrooms glow

I find that tall lamps with robust circular or rectangular lamp shades make it easier to read in bed. They also draw the eye up which helps rooms with low ceilings appear larger. Experience has taught me that projecting light through warm toned lamp shades make a room glow which creates a nurturing feeling.

Nighttime Health Benefits

Plants provide health benefits
Plants provide health benefits

Indoor plants not only add a pleasing aesthetic to a bedroom, but they also contribute extra oxygen, clean the air, increase humidity, and reduce airborne dust. What could be healthier than a plant on your bedside chest while you’re sleeping eight hours a night?

In addition, plants offer something to take care of that can be healing during challenging times like the pandemic.  They certainly helped me when they produced blooms of beauty in different shapes, sizes, colors and textures. Caring for plants has indeed brought me joy in the past year.

Guest Rooms

Image of Linda Applewhite's guest rooms that offer multi-purpose space
Guest rooms offer multi-purpose space

Extra bedrooms that accommodate guests can also serve as office space. We set up Marshall’s desk in the guest room which has not accommodated one visitor this past year. He seems to thrive on the privacy and quiet of the space looking at art that he relishes above his computer and seeing the view of our small town through the window beside him.

Nature

Opening Day on the San Francisco Bay
Opening Day on the San Francisco Bay

Although both of our apartment bedrooms have single paned black aluminum sliding glass doors that howl and buckle with the wind, we love looking at nature. Most sleeping spaces have windows that not only let in light but offer views of the outdoors which fill our senses as the seasons and nature change before our very eyes.

The Mystery of Night

Image of Linda Applewhite's view at duck
Dusk turns to deep blue as evening lights begin to shine

And what could be more enchanting than looking out your bedroom windows when the double-edged dusky light turns deep blue, porch lights blink on, windows light up and life suddenly becomes mysterious and magical.

Bedroom to Boudoir

I hope all of you have nurturing bed chambers you appreciate and look forward to sleeping in at night. If not, consider transforming your bedroom into a boudoir by hanging a few pieces of fanciful art, bringing in fragrant flowers or a luscious green plant, changing the color of your bedspread, or replacing your white lampshades with warm toned alternatives – all of which can make your bedroom feel more inviting.

Good luck, send pictures and stay tuned for my last episode of The Apartment series – The Deck.

For the love of sensual boudoirs,
XOX

Linda Applewhite's signature
Showing 12 comments
  • Kimber
    Reply

    Thank you for this beautiful peek into your bedrooms! Any home I’ve lived in I start decorating my bedroom first! It is one’s sanctuary after all!

  • Joan von Weien
    Reply

    Linda,

    I am returning HOME after a very long 8 months visit with family during COVID, next month. When I flew here with her, I had no inkling the visit would be as long as it’s been, so I did not make the wonderful changes to my environment as you have done with your temporary stay!

    BUT, my daughter set up an art space for painting, and exercising. She also gave me some essential oils and a diffuser by the bed. I am so grateful for the preparations she and my son-in-law did (he painted the wall behind the bed) and added some of their art pieces. AND, I have my bath with an amazing tub.

  • Joan von Weien
    Reply

    Linda, I love your take on bedrooms; such a healing place to start and to finish our day…

    I am not in my own nest, but taking care of my needs sleep wise can be anywhere…thank you for this post!

  • Katie Cullen
    Reply

    We have just remodeled our bedroom and bath space in DC with a more contemporary look. But it’s not not all gray and white. Linda has inspired us to use the colors that make us happy and so we have. Thank you Linda.

  • Courtney
    Reply

    Linda- Everything I saw makes me wish I was a guest in your lovely home. A home is exactly what you have created and I so look forward to seeing more. Please reevaluate the next post being last,I know more joy and magic awaits us!

    • Judith S Jones, Boise ID
      Reply

      Linda, I have loved and savored each photo, each vignette of every one of your blogs but this was my favorite! Hands down! The sunshine yellow bedroom…oh my goodness. I will be moving into another home in the months to come and hadn’t considered yellow for the master altho I have used yellow generously in other rooms. And with black…stunning. Thank you for your joy of color so often missing in today’s designer homes. (Aren’t we weary of gray…and more gray?)

  • Marsha B
    Reply

    Loved it!

  • Pamela Roats
    Reply

    Linda,

    You are a fabulous designer. I would have you pick all my artwork.

    Pam

  • MARLA PATTERSON
    Reply

    Linda, I cannot imagine you living with ‘muddy pink walls’! Clearly it influenced your life filled with color. Wonderful bedrooms and photos!
    And OMG the view!!!! Holy Moly! One of the best views in the modern world, non?
    I agree with Courtney above…..keep designing seemingly hopeless white box spaces and “linda-izing” the West Coast. Pleeeeezzzzz. Think what an infusion to the HGTV line up your world of color would be….I mean a home that isn’t black gray and white!!! Thank you as always….

  • Kirby
    Reply

    OH MY GOSH! I am so honored, Linda! What a wonderful blog. I think it is your best yet. Perhaps it is because you are celebrating peace and harmony with your exquisite combinations of materials. The views from the windows enhance that joyous feeling of being alive with our beautiful earth.

    • Norma
      Reply

      Love the gorgeous views of the bay area. Wish I was there.
      I too have purchased several plants to love and watch grow this past year.
      Oh and you have inspired us, husband and I to visit Santa Fe end of September.
      Retirement road trip. Can’t wait. Retiring 8-1. So travels we will seek.

  • Liz Nichols
    Reply

    Linda, I LOVE the painting by Kirby. And the views you have are enough to make me never want to leave those rooms: daylight and dusk – amazing! I really wish I had your talent for the way you accessorize. I painted my first house entirely in an historic yellow gold color and loved it. It’s a great color to warm up a home and goes with every other color. Btw I also love the textured bedroom drape. It’s all details and careful curating. I’ve never had an apartment like this. For some reason most often we seem to not do much to them in the way we do our homes, I think, because they are transient but yours is amazing and lovely…and homey!

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