Ask A Designer: How To Turn Your Bedroom Into A Nature-Inspired Retreat

In this Ask A Designer column, Jennifer Koper shares her easy and affordable tips for creating a relaxing respite.

Question: We’re looking to decorate our bedroom with a nature theme. What do you think of a leaf- or birch tree–print wallpaper, and what colors would you recommend?  Gen, Toronto

Answer: Wallpaper is a fantastic way to add interest in a room and address large expanses of wall. Take inspiration from this beautiful bedroom designed by Jennifer Morrison of Morrison Design House.

Here’s what I suggest to get a similar look:

Paper all the walls for an enveloping, cohesive feel. This forest-print paper by Lewis & Wood has a depth that will make your room feel more expansive, and the soothing gray and blue tones won’t overwhelm. (Wallpapering behind the bed will also help camouflage the small off-center window.)

(Source: Bosky Wallpaper in Blue Yonder, approx. $156/yd. (approx. $11.80/sq.ft.), available through Kravet Canada or

(Source: Albero Duck Egg Wallpaper, approx. $198/roll (approx. $3.50/sq.ft.),

Get a louvered shutter for the small window, and paint it the background color of your wallpaper (like Benjamin Moore’s Serenata) so it blends in to the wall. Dress up the large window with drapery that has an embroidered medallion motif. The small-scale pattern will work perfectly with tree-themed wall coverings.

(Source: Aubrey Blue Embroidered Curtain Panel, starting at $170,

Paint your ceiling and crown molding a pale blue pulled from the wallpaper and choose a bedding set in a similar tone.

(Source: Linen Duvet Covers in Mist, $330,

Add a couple of shams in a small-scale pattern…

(Source: Kiska Textiles Pillow Case in Filigree Sky/Indigo, $85,

…and layer on a cozy throw.

(Source: Nao Throw in Soft Grey, $30,

Update your nightstands with brighter, wood-toned versions. The legs will lift the furniture off the floor and make the space feel airier.

(Source: Kabbann Acacia Wood Bedside Table, $229,

Add textured, white ceramic lamps on the nightstands that play on a leaf pattern.

(Source: Textured Ceramic Table Lamp, $80,

Swap out your flush-mount light fixture (not visible) for a rattan pendant to bring in even more warmth.

(Source: Teresa Pendant Light, $102,

With these updates, you’ll have a serene bedroom retreat that’s perfect for relaxing in and catching some zzz’s.

Do you have a design dilemma? Send your questions to

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Ask A Designer: How To Turn Up The Color In Your Home

In this Ask A Designer column, Jennifer Koper shares her tips for refreshing your space while you’re staying in.

Many of you have written to us, asking how to bring color and cheer to your home while we’re all in them so much! Here are a few ideas using things you may already have on hand or are simple to get.

Style It

Drape a colorful scarf or throw over your headboard for an instant hit of color.

Make It

Create a decorative throw pillow cover from leftover project fabric, a scarf or an old but treasured piece of clothing. If you only have enough fabric for one side, use a plain fabric or an old tablecloth as the backing fabric. No sewing machine, no problem: hand stitching is fine for this small project.

Paint It

Paint can be one of the most affordable ways to transform your furniture or cabinets. You may have leftover paint from a previous project or be able to easily order it online. For minimal effort with maximum impact, paint the inside of a glass-fronted or open cabinet. Pick a bold hue for a pop of happy color, or opt for a subtle pastel for a quieter look.

Tip: Contrast mouldings are a fun way to bring color into a space. Because its sometimes difficult to figure out where to start and stop, go for a quick hit and just do the trim around a key window.

Author: Jennifer Koper


Alex Lukey (bedroom, cabinets); Donna Griffith (living room); Angus Fergusson (bathroom)


House & Home June 2020


Cameron MacNeil (bedroom); Christine Ralphs & Michelle Lloyd (living room); James Davie (bathroom); Katherine Newman (cabinets)

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Turn Any Bedroom Into a Dreamy Sanctuary

The average person will sleep for 229,961 hours over their lifetime—or, basically, one third of their life. This means home buyers spend a lot of time in the bedroom, and it’s no surprise that staging the master bedroom is critical when listing a home. 

According to the National Association of REALTORS®’ Home Staging Report, 51% of real estate professionals believe staging a master bedroom is “very important” and second only to the living room.

How people live and spend their time has certainly changed throughout the years. More people do their jobs from home, and work/life balance can be challenging. So staging a bedroom needs to be much more than showing the purpose of a space; it needs to be a “wow” feature of the home, filled with positive emotional triggers.

Here are some of my favorite ways to create a beautiful bedroom experience that also addresses the room’s purpose and adds value to a home:  

1. Light and bright is best

Many people believe that a dark room results in quality sleep. However, when staging a bedroom, incorporating brightness and light colors is recommended. Light walls and decor will make the space feel larger and create a happy vibe for the room. Use pops of color as accents, and keep linens and furniture as light as possible.

Bedroom with ceiling lights, windows on all sides and floor lamp

Photo credit: Karen Post, Home Frosting

2. Five-star luxury does not require a million-dollar listing price

Don’t skimp on small details that feel luxurious and upscale. The bedroom and bath should feel trendy, stress-free, and exude a relaxing escape.

Double up on your comforter and add a mattress pad so everything looks extra plush. Stack sleeping pillows with crisp pillowcases, along with large shams and a soft throw to finish the presentation.

Bed with windows on both sides of the bed and nightstand lamps

Photo credit: Karen Post, Home Frosting

3. When space allows, always create a sitting area

This staging technique transforms a basic bedroom into a master’s suite. A sitting area is another point of relaxation and can mean adding a bench, two chairs, and a small table or, depending on the space, a sofa or love seat.

Bedroom with ceiling lights and french doors

Photo credit: Karen Post, Home Frosting

4. Mirrors add purpose, open up the space, and reflect style

A well-positioned floor mirror shows off the furnishing placement. Mirrors installed behind nightstands can add a design aspect and make the room feel larger. And if you can, hang the mirror separately from the dresser or lean it against a wall with safety bumpers. These installation techniques will add originality to the dresser’s look and a nice dimension to the room’s overall style.  

5. Properly scaled headboards and simple, large art complete the statement.

Incorporating headboards with character and properly scaled art are important staging elements, as they visually can make a space feel grander and more dramatic. Depending on the home’s architecture and style, we often create headboards using large art, room screens, and mirrors.

Bedroom with multiple wall mirrors hung up to reflect light

Photo credit: Karen Post, Home Frosting

If your listing is occupied, practice these tips on every bedroom. If your listing is vacant, don’t worry about staging all of the bedrooms in the home. The master bedroom deserves extra attention, as it’s likely the buyer will spend a good bit of time there. 

And remember—once the home is sold, everyone will sleep better.

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