Monday, February 8, 2010

The bed wall decision

One of the most interesting aspects of building from scratch is being able to make decisions about all sorts of details in a house that I had always taken for granted. This has, in turn, caused me to appreciate all of the pictures in my inspiration files even more, because I can look at them with a fresh perspective.

Take the bed wall, for example. My current master bedroom (shown above) is spacious and bright (I was planning on getting accent pillows, but once the decision was made to move, I put all purchases on hold). The furnishings, a mixture of hand me down and new, suit the room well; this is going to be the guest room furniture in the new house. The room is positioned in the corner of the house, so the architect placed windows on either side of the bed wall. Because I have faux roman shades on these windows, and because my neighbor has ‘mood lighting’ on the trees directly outside my window, I ended up layering both wood blinds and pull down black out shades to keep the room dark at night. I never really thought about the set up too much, because my house was 8 years old when I bought it and I wasn’t planning on making any structural changes. Now that I am thinking of these things more, I appreciate the lovely light that the room gets as a result of the original architect’s design, and the light on two sides that this room receives.
On the new house plan, when my designer (Suzanne Kasler) was sketching out the high level furniture plan for the house, she paused at the master bedroom. A discussion ensued about whether to keep the windows that were drawn on the bed wall, on either side of where the master bed will be placed. There will already be windows on two sides as the bedroom is in a little wing, but the windows on the bed wall face south – the most beautiful light. The view out of these windows is nothing special, and more than likely a new house will be built on the lot next door. Suzanne commented that window treatments behind side tables can be tricky and cumbersome to close – sometimes you have to deal with it, but when you are building a house you can choose not to deal with it.

When looking through my files, I saw all different sorts of ways that designers and architects have dealt with the bed wall situation. In this picture, from an old real estate listing, an interesting window was placed above the bed. I wonder whether the owners close the shutter at night?

Brooke of Velvet & Linen just did a post on her bedroom, and kindly send me a wider perspective so I could see her bed wall. She has two windows widely spaced. Because of the spacing, there is plenty of room for windows and side tables; the size of the bed also impacts the feeling of spaciousness. Was it Bunny Williams who said that a queen size bed has perfect proportions?

No bedroom post would be complete without a bedroom done by Jim Howard. I actually like the layered look of a bedside table in front of windows and curtains, but I can understand the challenge that closing the curtains would pose. Suzanne said that often when there are curtains behind a bedside table, she recommends using an automated closing mechanism.

This bedroom, also designed by Jim Howard, is even more beautiful in person. Jim gave me a tour of this house, and there have been changes since this picture was taken; very sheer linen curtains were added to the large east facing windows, and the valance above the curtains on the windows on either side of the bed were removed. There is also a door on the wall to the left of the large arched window.

One of my all time favorite bedrooms has windows on either side of the bed. The bedside table is pulled forward a bit, and it is not bulky, so closing the curtains at night is probably not too difficult. I love the framing effect of full curtains on a bed wall; maybe it is the height of the curtains counterbalanced with the lower height of the bed that has such appeal.

This is one of my favorite images from Suzanne’s book ‘Inspired Interiors’ (which has been so successful that it is now in its 3rd printing). I would love to see this room in its entirety – based on the sunlight on the carpet, the room has another French door on the right side of the bed. This room looks like the perfect size – not too big, not too small, and filled with light and beautiful fresh color (Suzanne describes the color as a French silver-blue). I wonder if the French architectural element above the bed inspired the color scheme? I am going to ask Suzanne about this room when I next see her.

This guest bedroom, in a home by McAlpine Tankersley, has enchanted me from the moment I saw it in the July-August 2007 issue of Veranda – all because of the window above the bed. I don’t think something like this would work in a master, especially a master where light control is important, but I can still dream! Photo credit Peter Vitale.

This lovely bedroom, via Bayou Contessa, is also one of my favorites for its color scheme and luxurious silk drapes that frame the Jonathan Adler headboard so beautifully. Note that the beside tables, though, are quite small, and don’t interfere with the curtains.

This cheerful bedroom, with interior design by Jan Showers, is one of my favorites. The billowing silk curtains are such a lovely backdrop for the room – would the space look the same if it didn’t have this design element? Image via Western Interiors, photo credit Dominique Vorillon.

Based on the urban density of New York City dwellings, my guess is that most NYC bedrooms do not have windows on the bed wall, unless they are corner units (and I would not imagine that a prized corner would not be devoted to a bedroom). I have noticed that bed walls from NYC based designer Noel Jeffrey often use fantastic wall treatments that would not be possible or desirable were there windows on this wall.

This room, by DC designer Kelly Proxmire, shows how a bed wall can incorporate pretty wall hangings and bed treatments when there are no windows to contend with.

This airy bedroom, from an Atlanta home that recently sold, could have very easily had windows on the bed wall, but instead the architect chose to keep that side of the room more private, and save the windows for the back of the room and the side that opens to the courtyard.

Green bedrooms 2[1]
Finally, I recently saw this image on a new blog, Picture of Elegance. A wall with no windows is a great way to make a statement with wallpaper. Image via House & Garden, interior design by Alessandra Branca, photo credit Melanie Acevedo.

At the meeting last week with my architect and Suzanne, together they came up with a way to get the best of both worlds – the southern light, but still maintain the privacy on that side of the house. I am excited to see the next version of the plans to see how it works. In the meantime, what is your bed wall like? How do you like to decorate your bed wall – and do windows on the bed wall make it easier or more difficult to get the look you like?
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  1. My favorite picture is the one from the Inspired Interiors. The sunlight is magnificent. I recently made the decision to repaint our master bedroom. Not because I don't like the color, but because there is only one window and not much light. I say go for as much sunlight as possible. Even if it means the curtains are a tad more difficult to close. The light will be the payoff.

  2. Gorgeous images....
    I love a collage of artwork above the bed if there is room for it!

    xoxo Laura

  3. Ginger, I think you are right. When I saw the architectural plans with the windows removed, it made me feel sad - like there was something missing!

  4. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous bedrooms. I agree that windows on the bed wall is ideal, but if it can't work an upholstered wall or wallpaper makes this important wall special. Really inspiring and beautiful images - thanks again!

  5. Recently I put round tables as side tables next to the bed so the curtains fell well and it was a bit easier to close them. I agree on not sacrificing light. Can't wait to see!

  6. my god that Suzanne's work is amazing - I love her style, I'm so jealous she is working for you!! wish she was over here in Aus! As for our bedroom window, we only recently built, so we too had a say in it. I really felt we had no choice but to put the windows on our bedhead wall. It's the only source of light and we chose not to do two tall skinny windows, but one wide one up above the bedhead, not to the ground level. It is done quite a bit over here in Aus. I put wallpaper just on that wall and a simple blue sheer along the high window as privacy was not an issue with such a high window and no double storey buildings around here. I really love it. When I had the colour consultant help me pick colours she advised me against haveing the window on the wallpaper wall saying it "wasn't the done thing" (two features on one wall) but I disagreed, I felt there was no "right or wrong" it's a personal thing - and I really REALLY love it! So who cares ay!!!

    great pics too!

  7. This is a tough one especially since you have options! It does look beautiful when there are windows flanking the bed, but the curtain/cord issue is one to consider. But, I think more importanly is just the overall plan. I personally like to see a view from my bed, either windows directly across or to the side. Our bed is a queen with a large upholstered headboard, no windows on the bed wall, with two round tables on either side and the door going into the master bath. On one side there is a wall of windows, with lots of trees. Definately, a tree house effect...although after this blizzard, I am so worried! The opposite wall has a dresser with a large mirror to reflect the light and trees. The remaining wall is the fireplace,flanked by 2 bookcases as well as the entrance to the room. Last March, we stayed at The Planters Inn in Charleston and the bed was positioned on a wall with no windows, but directly across and to the side were windows and it had the most amazing morning light. For me it's the morning light that matters...the beauty of how you start your day...that is most important. So my suggestion is to acquire that the best way possible without any major sacrifices to function and furniture placement.

  8. I don't have windows on my bed wall it is a southern wall as well . I wish I had a small square window highly placed oneither side of the bed , for light and privacy.

  9. This post was heaven! Your current MB included. I was going to suggest mechanical blinds, which I am contemplating for my own bedroom, but I see you are already in such talented and capable hands. The bedroom with the French Blue paint is incredible. I usually don't like the look of a love seat at the foot of a bed, but there it is done so elegantly. My windows most closely resemble the Atlanta home. We have a large bay window in the Southern exposure area to the left of our bed, complete with a cozy window seat. But, if I could do it all over, I would want the windows flanking the bed.PS as charming as the architectural round windows are, I need complete darkness in the bedroom.

  10. No windows on the bed wall give you much more flexibility in design.

    One thing that bugs me about most of the pictures are the extraordinarily high ceilings in the most intimate room in the house. I know good design (and canopy beds) can cozy things up. The tall ceilings impress and look good in the magazines but they make it tough to feel comfortable.

  11. we live in the house that was a former real estate listing, and no, we don't close the shutter above the bed at night!
    love your images, beautiful!!

  12. You go girl. I had NEVER thought about "The bed wall decision".

    After 23 years with windows, my bed moved to a solid wall last week.

    Should have been here all along.

    Who knew?

    Thanks for a new vocabulary.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  13. What a tough decision. I also had many favorite pictures of designer bedrooms to use when decorating my master bedroom.The room is quite wide so I was able to have bedside tables and then windows. I have shutters for privacy at night and then drapes for a layered look that I never close. Good luck. With such talent I am sure it will be beautiful.

  14. I have four windows in my bedroom and 2 are on either side of the bed with night stands in front. I love it. Always opt for more windows if given the choice.

  15. Hi Holly!

    How are you? I have windows right & left of our bed. I must say, they are kind of a pain to deal with but I couldn't live without them. I chose to put custom wood shutters on mine & use a bedhanging above our bed to give the feel of drapery. I've got drapery on my other windows. We have a funky room, long & narrow (joy of living in an old house) so it works. I can honestly say though I love looking at our bed with lighting streaming through left & right. Hope this helps. Loved meeting you last week. We had a great trip.


  16. We just added two more windows to our master bedroom so I'm a light, light and more light person. In order to take advantage of the views we have the bed on a non windowed wall, but if I had the chance I would gladly wrestled cords or curtains to have as much light as possible in any room!

    Kat :)

  17. Having done it both ways for clients, when building from scratch, I had no doubt that windowless was the answer. I wasn't so much concerned with the drapery - it was more about capturing the intimate feeling of the room and the wide array of possibilities that come with a solid wall. I placed sconces above the nightstand (controlled by remote) and accented with small reading lights. Currently contemplating some intaglios for my feature wall (seriously!!). Good luck, you're in highly capable hands and I'm certain it will be beautiful! Marija

  18. These bedrooms are all beautiful! I like the look of windows on the bed wall, but I can understand what Suzanne is saying. Do you wind up with a bruise from banging against the end tables while closing treatments ~ good thing to keep in mind.

  19. When we built our house two years ago our architect was very focused on maximum natural light in the house - so we have 42 windows! Four of them are in my master bedroom, and two in the master bath. The bed wall has two windows on it, and we made sure our king size bed would fit (I agree that the queen is the perfect size aesthetically, but we need the king size because I am such a bed hog!) I have an upholstered headboard and the bedside tables are not too big,so closing the curtains is not a big deal. I also have wood blinds as the first layer on all of my windows, b/c of privacy issues (dense urban lot). I love having the windows on the bed wall, mostly because of the framing effect of the curtains. I admit, during the day the curtains are open, but the blinds stay closed for privacy. Love all of the images, makes me want to redo my master already!

    I'll send you a photo of my master via email.

  20. How exciting for you to be able to make all these decisions down to the last detail with the guidance of none other than Suzanne Kasler,amazing. All of the images are wonerful.Loved each and every one. I am a blue master bdrm girl, myself and I love the symetry in most of these rooms. Very peaceful. I have one large window to the side of my bed, I am hoping for a replacement of that window with a French door. I think it would be more difficult with windows on each side unless the room was large like Brooke's, that is a perfect set-up. The more light the better, or at least for daytime, Enjoy the Process, Kathysue

  21. Great post! Personally, I like to place art work or a great pair of antique mirrors over the bedside tables. I think it adds to the impact of the room. Have fun with your decision.

  22. Ah decisions, decisions. The one comment that you made about having blackout shades in your current bedroom intrigued me. I enjoy waking up with the sun especially in the summer months. I'm afraid if I had black out shades I'd sleep all day!!

    In my current bedroom I have a small window next to only one side of the bed. I like the asymmetrical aspect of it. The one thing that I don't like about this room, Which I had no choice in because it's a condo is that only large window in the bedroom faces the street on the ground floor! And the design challenge was getting adequate privacy with out blocking out the light.

    On another note, and perhaps this goes without saying, but I prefer when I walk into a bedroom the bed (ie headboard) is facing me or the entry. Rather than walking into the room and see the side and the foot of the bed. I've seen rooms built in homes where the only wall that a bed will fit on faces away from the door and I think that's terrible.

    I'm already enjoying your chronicals of working with Suzanne. So I hope that you maintain that through out the building and design process:) She's definitely one of my top favorite designers.

    And I enjoy YOU and your inspiring posts!

  23. They are all such pretty rooms! With older kids still at home, I'd build a bedroom for myself that had a seating area.

    Aren't windows behind the bed bad Feng Shui? I do love the movement with breezes of draperies in a bedroom. It's the perfect place to use oodles of fabric.

    Congrats on the new home!

  24. I love that Proxmire room. I've never seen that photo before. Beautiful.

    I personally like windows on either side of the bed. I love the moonlight that comes in and, to me, it makes the bed seem more a part of the room somehow. Less like a hotel. My own bed is a four-poster with a canopy and wood paneled back, draped, and with windows on each side. I doubt I'll ever get another; I love it so.

  25. Holly,
    How lucky (and fun!) to be able to design the room with this in mind. My MBR has windows on two sides, but my bed is on the wall with no windows. I am redoing it right now so it was wonderful to see your images. If I could choose I would love having a window next to my bed and the fresh air blowing in - but I am not a big curtain person.

  26. We just have a builder basic, so no windows on the bed wall since it is an interior wall. I love all of the pics and I love the roman shades. They are just fabulous. I can't wait to see what you do. Hugs, Marty

  27. Thank you so much for the mention. I love your inspirational bedrooms. The subtle colors are always effective in giving the right mood in the bedroom. In my master bedroom, I have grey blue wallpaper on the wall behind my king size bed. The color palette is a mix of blue and off-white. As for my eastern window drapery, the fabric has the same wallpaper pattern but with off-white background. I agree that the queen size bed has perfect proportions… it’s easier to handle, you’ll get more bedding choices, and it doesn’t take as much space.

  28. Great post! I am just about to undergo a bedroom renovation myself so your post came just at the perfect time. I love the windows on the side of the bed and would deal with the inconvenience of the cords to achieve that look. The other option, as you pointed out, is to have your window treatments motorized which may be well worth it. I have a different issue with my bedroom windows. In my bedroom, the only wall the bed can be placed is directly in front of one window. Talk about tricky! Have you ever consider doing a post on how to deal with that? I would luv ya for it!!!!!

    Great post. Beautiful images. It's hard to pick a favorite.

  29. i love your room. i am a fan of collages in rooms.

  30. All I know is that I always sleep much better in a hotel with room darkening curtains. Unfortunately in my own home I have top down/ bottom up? honeycomb duettes (which I love for privacy) but they are not dark enough. to block the light... ergo I don't sleep late. Yes I know I could layer with darker curtains... but I have a bureau underneath. So I am not one to opt for more windows. though morning light is key. I redid the MBR to face the south! SO, I guess I'm to blame. But I live in NewYork so this time of year we need all the sunshine we can get!!

    Anyway loved your blog as usual. Don't know how u find the time with building a new house.

  31. I enjoy your blog so much! Where in Atlanta do you find pretty beds and bedside tables or chest? I like the white poster beds and light furniture. Thank you! Paula Melton
    And aren't you so fortunate to have Suzanne help you with your new home?! Wow!

  32. Thank you for the comments, everyone! After reading all of them, I am realizing that I really love the natural light. I think Suzanne and my architect's plan will allow me to get the light, but also the bedside tables...I will post more once it is decided.

    Terry, I do appreciate your comment about the height of the ceilings. I would hazard a guess that many of the bedrooms in these pictures are in new houses, and I know you like the character and charm of the older houses. My current bedroom has a vaulted ceiling, and every time I walk in there I love the lightness and airiness of the room, which is achieved in part because of the vaulted ceiling and the four windows/doors in the room. At night, perhaps because I never replaced the ceiling fan, the room is cozy because I only have a few light sources. So, most of these pictures of bedrooms with high ceilings seemed perfectly natural to me! I do prefer a small bedroom, though - I don't even love a seating area in a bedroom. I like enough room for a king sized bed, a bench at the end of the bed, and two chairs and a side table between them (and maybe an ottoman so you can curl up in a chair and read).

    Someone asked where you can get nice beds and light colored furniture in Atlanta - I suggest Mrs. Howard and Max & Company! I always make a beeline for the room on the left that has the bedroom vignette, as it is always changing.

  33. What was their solution?

  34. Whow. Hold up. You're working with Suzanne Kasler, Holly?! I am so freakin' jealous. :) Your house is destined to end up in Traditional Home or House Beautiful, I just know it...

    As for window placement...I currently have the bed on the long wall opposite the door and there's just one lone window placed awkwardly on one side of it. The short, far wall is full of windows and I'm contemplating rearranging the entire room so that the wall of windows becomes the backdrop for the bed -- but is this going to work with my existing headboard? Will I just end up with wall-to-wall curtains that completely choke out all natural light? I do feel like that orientation though would make the most of the length of the room as it would allow for a great sitting area in front of the bed....ah, decisions, decisions.

    In short though, if I had my druthers, I'd have windows flanking the bed -- I love the look and the light, even it means having curtains I have to close behind nightstands.

  35. Don't you just love building a house? I love making all the small decisions that add up to be something fabulous:) I am a detailed person and it just suits my soul to have things like that to think about. I love something about all of the photos that you posted. I like the idea of windows. The more sunshine the better at least for me.

  36. Holly,

    Today as I opened Things That Inspire, I was a little freaked out at the picture of your master suite. As in a very good WAY. I have been trying to decide if I could remove my HEAVY comforter and instead replace it with a quilt,leaving the bedskirt.My colors are just a bit more muted turquoise than blue, and I have been searching for the perfect white quilt. Now, as I view your beautiful room I know how it will look in my own. My old lady arms do not have the strength to lift and fluff this comforter on a daily basis. I always learn something new from you!


  37. As I mentioned in my e-mail to you, I know how important light is to you. I also know that you have conveyed your concerns to Suzanne. If anyone can figure out an elegant solution it's Suzanne Kasler! I look forward to finding out what you both come up with. I'm sure it will be beautiful and light.


  38. What a great 'problem' to have! Deciding where the windows will be...I also have vaulted ceilings in my bedroom and love that and have much like from the windows across from the bed....I like to look out and see the trees. Hubby loves to open the windows when he can and those few times when we can open them b/c of weather, it is nice. For sleeping though, I need it as dark as it can be!

  39. Gorgeous post love them all..wondering if I can transfer the feel to my barge project...should be a challenge!

  40. I have to say but I love the pictures with the windows by the bed! and i love the blue room by Suzanne - that might be my favorite in the bunch. i love a sofa in front of the bed - so cozy looking!!! esp. if athere's a fireplace there too! yes??? I wish I had a gas fireplace in my bedroom - just flick the switch and be so warm all night.

  41. Love your bedroom. That is the sweetest little bench at the foot of your bed!

  42. I personally need the light to hit me in the morning to help me get up. I also love to be able to see out the windows. I particularly love the treehouse effect. So I always position my bed opposite or to the side of the windows. I also have allergies and have to keep anything that collects dust (such as drapes) away from the head of my bed. Also, what do you do with the large blank wall if you don't put the bed there? Whatever it is, it's going to add to the total expense of the room.

    However, for the drop-dead-gorgeous-decorator-look, it is hard to beat the bed between the windows with beautiful linens and drapes.

  43. Absolutely gorgeous rooms! Your inspiration has really given me some wonderful ideas. Thank you for sharing your inspirations!



  44. Hello! I'm not sure if someone already suggested it, but here's an idea. You could have windows on either side of the bed, and build the wall slightly out into the room to keep the curtain issue at bay. That way, the side tables would be pulled forward anyway to match the bed, leaving room for the curtains to fall easily behind the tables. This way, the bed wall REALLY becomes the focus of the room, too!

  45. I wish I had something really smart to say... What a fun decision. The bedroom of the "house that recently sold in Atlanta" ... I remember feeling really dark when I went in the room. It was obviously well lit from the huge doors, but still felt dark. For some reason, I just love streaming light in a bedroom. I actually just love light in general. it is hard for me to wake up in the morning if there are not tons of windows. I don't even close the shades, that's how much i love morning light.

    On a different note, when the interior designer was at my house, she was very interested in fung shui, and which way the bed should face. Have you thought about that at all, before you design a room abound the bed facing a certain direction? I am not sure I put a lot of stock in it, but if I had the ability to 100% design my house, I might look into it. Great post :)

  46. I love your master bedroom, and yes, this always such a problem. How to get enough light in the day (read: a lot) without being blinded in the morning?

  47. These are all beautiful bedrooms. The room via Bayou Contessa with the Jonathan Adler headboard is my favorite!

  48. The MBR in our new "old" home has two skinny, but tall windows on the bed wall. The room has a cathedral ceiling, with the peak parallel to the bed. A pair of french doors allow us to go onto the back veranda. I have lined linen panels on the windows, with rod hanging higher than window top. My bedside table is my grandmother's pie crust table. DH has a low three drawer chest. Neither of us have problems closing the panels.

    The thing I like most about having windows next to the bed is the view out the window on my side when walking into the room, or even from other parts of of the house when walking/looking that way. The MBR windows echo two windows in the main level guest room, so you can actually stand in one spot and see "through" the house in both directions. It brings the outdoors in, and we live on a lake and have acreage so that was a main focus during our designing stage.

    I think I've mentioned McAlpine Tankersley to you before - love everything they do. Your new home is going to be lovely and I look forward to watching the process.


  49. really interesting and super pretty pictures! it's funny how closely you pay attention when you've got your own projects in the works!

  50. It's so exciting to go through this design process with you - I can't wait to see how it all turns out! I love that second Jim Howard bedroom.

  51. If it was my house (which I WISH it was!!) I would go for windows on either side of the bed. Only because during that time of day when the best light is streaming in through every window on the south side of the house it would drive me crazy having a wall there. With windows you have both options- you can choose to close them and block out the light... or you can open them up when you're craving that perfect light.
    I cannot wait to feast my eyes on the new bedroom you and Suzanne come up with!!
    p.s. I see the tritter feefer chest! :)

  52. We just remodeled the side of our house with all of the bedrooms. Our master got pushed out a few feet and became smaller due to adding a bathroom. The wall on the side is all sliding glass doors that the previous owners added, one day we would like to switch them to french doors. I chose to put four square windows above our bed, it's high enough that it does not interfere with anything and we have been very pleased with the result. The style of our home is very coastal/cottage so it works well.

  53. I am really enjoying reading all of the comments! Writing this post was very thought provoking - while describing the rooms, I realized how much I truly like having a bed flanked by curtains, as well as by windows. I am going to talk about this with my architect this week....

  54. I would go with the option that offers more windows. Why don't you install electric shades since you are building a new home they can be concealed? Remember the movie the holiday when Kate Winslet flicks the switch after recovering from jet lag and the room goes completely dark.

  55. Such beautiful, inspiring bedrooms!! I love the bright airy feeling in each of the rooms you've shared. My room is dark (hubby works a lot of night shifts so dark is important), but I'm inspired to find a way to create an airy feel in my space.

    We're hosting a Valentine's Day giveaway over at DesignTies - why not drop by and enter?!


  56. You actually took the pictures of Lori Tippins bathroom? Gosh you are lucky to have seen it in person. I would love to see the rest of that bathroom.

    On the bedroom wall issue, my favorite layout of all the pictures is the one in your bedroom. I am weak for the layered look of the window with bedside table in front.

    Our bedroom has one small window high above the bed and two tall ones on the side. Our neighbors have a tall garden lamp right outside our bed wall window, but neither my hubby nor me are bothered with it.

    If I could choose, I would go with the windows on either side of the bed like you have now. BTW your bedroom is absolutely beautiful!

  57. I am surprised that no mention was made of the window alignment on the exterior of the house. I would have thought that the placement of windows is key to the look of the house--its symmetry and overall design. Anyway, as many of the other posters said, you are in extremely capable hands with Suzanne Kasler.

  58. Your bedroom now is exquisite- can't wait to see what you and Suzanne have cooked up for your new house! I love lots of light in a bedroom, but not when the windows are positioned so it gets in my eyes when I'm laying in bed. Wide spaced windows on either side seem to be the perfect solution to letting in light but also not obstructing side tables and hanging drapes.

    Good luck with the house! Maybe we'll be lucky enough for a tour once it's finished. :)

  59. lLease let in your wonderful southern exposure! The light will more than make up for any inconvenience caused by having window treatments behind bedside tables. Our architect chose not to include windows alongside our bed wall, a decision I have come to regret greatly, since this is wonderful western light (which I prize even more highly than southern light). We made this decision because the view is of a neighbor's house across a shared driveway, so landscaping this view is not possible. But now, I would rather have the light: even over closing blinds, even with the wear and tear from sunlight on furnishings, even with the "loss of privacy"--come on, you can always close your window treatments!, and even with a less-than -admirable view (sheers work wonders). We have a wall of windows on a southern wall, so the room does feel like it gets good light. Our architect said that more windows would let in "too much light". Again, I say: there is no such thing. If you like light, get as much as you can. If I could do it all over again.....! Another thing to consider re: window placement--I'm a big fan of open windows when the weather permits, and love a good cross-ventilation. Our wall of windows does nothing to help ventilate this bedroom, and again, I wish we had more windows, even small ones, on more walls in the room.


  60. PLease let in your wonderful southern exposure! The light will more than make up for any inconvenience caused by having window treatments behind bedside tables. Our architect chose not to include windows alongside our bed wall, a decision I have come to regret greatly, since this is wonderful western light (which I prize even more highly than southern light). We made this decision because the view is of a neighbor's house across a shared driveway, so landscaping this view is not possible. But now, I would rather have the light: even over closing blinds, even with the wear and tear from sunlight on furnishings, even with the "loss of privacy"--come on, you can always close your window treatments!, and even with a less-than -admirable view (sheers work wonders). We have a wall of windows on a southern wall, so the room does feel like it gets good light. Our architect said that more windows would let in "too much light". Again, I say: there is no such thing. If you like light, get as much as you can. If I could do it all over again.....! Another thing to consider re: window placement--I'm a big fan of open windows when the weather permits, and love a good cross-ventilation. Our wall of windows does nothing to help ventilate this bedroom, and again, I wish we had more windows, even small ones, on more walls in the room.


  61. TTI, IMHO: I think high ceilings can work, yours being an example. Your bed, your pillows in particular are under the lower, cozier part of ceiling. The second picture with the window, not so cozy. Not so much in the Jim Howard room either except he has a canopy bed (without a canopy) which makes the difference, I think. Beautiful, not maximum cozy but what a window. I hope the window doesn't face east.

  62. These are heavenly choices and I agree the bed between a pair of windows is lovely positioning. I don't have that choice but my bed and side tables are between two doorways so that feeling of floating in the room still exists. xv

  63. Great post. Definitely stick with the two windows. Can't wait to see the completed room. Suzanne is a genious at bedroom design.

  64. It seems you definitely know what you want and need to be surrounded with :) The windows on either side will be worth what ever little hassle that you "might" have to put up with. Thanks for sharing so many beautiful images, including your own lovely current master bedroom. xo

  65. Gorgeous images... I love light-filled rooms, so the rooms you've featured with windows on the wall of the bed (and the other wall) are my favorite. I've never had one that one, but if our closet weren't behind the "bed wall" you can bet I'd consider breaking a hole in the wall to add a window. :-)

  66. Holly, we covered the DC Design House with the Kelley Proxmire room you included in this post. One of the coolest things she did was hide a small TV behind the curtains on the left side of the picture, so when you are in bed, you just pull it out. Click on the photo gallery of this link to see the TV: http://www.washingtonspaces.com/2008/4/articles/design-dc-style

    and btw, I'm SO jealous you are using Suzanne as your designer! I've met her a couple times at High Point and she is a delight. -- Jennifer

  67. Holly, I know this was an old post, but I just wanted to say what a beautiful bedroom you have! It is as good as any bedroom decorated by an interior designer!

  68. Desperately looking for the wall paper shown in the Image via House & Garden, interior design by Alessandra Branca, photo credit Melanie Acevedo. (the green rom.) Can anyone assist me in finding it?


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