We’re all for a bedroom that makes a statement. As the most intimate room in the home, you can really get a sense for someone’s personality by their bedroom. So when the clients of Carol Smyth and Michelle Mollinga (of Crush Interiors) came to them, they wanted something bold and something that would be the perfect retreat after a long day. The result is an alluring, stylish space that feels put together yet approachable. Since many of us would love to do a dark bedroom–since the days of Jenna Lyon’s Brooklyn home–but dare not to, we thought we’d ask Carol a few questions on how she put this project together.

First things first, was this a bedroom redesign for a client you have worked with before?
We had previously worked with these clients, both in their living room and dining room. This was great because we had already established trust with them so that when we proposed a black bedroom they knew that they could trust us that it was an idea worth considering.

What were your clients looking for–did they give you a specific design direction?
The clients were very clear that they wanted a design that was unique. They didn’t want the room to become dated by using a lot of trends and then having to change it again in the next few years, so longevity of the design was important. This biggest request was to make the room cozy and cocoon like. They spend quite a bit of time reading and watching tv in the room and they really wanted to feel that they were enveloped by the room. Sleek or sterile design was out of the question for them.

Tell us a bit more with what you were working with from the beginning. What were the room’s assets and what were its challenges?
The biggest challenge for this room was definitely its size. It’s a very small master bedroom that is typical in a new home. We weren’t able to add many extras (benches, chairs, etc) to give the room personality. We had to rely entirely on the color and styling so we had to be really intentional with everything we selected. The biggest asset of the room is the large window. During the day the room gets quite a bit of natural light coming in and helps the room to feel light.

What tips could you share for a bedroom update?

  1. The biggest impact in a bedroom can be achieved through drapery. Even ready-made curtains can look stunning with adequate fullness. That’s at least 2 panels per side, depending on the size of the window.
  2. We also think lamps can instantly update a room. We often see lamps that are way too small and don’t match the scale of the rest of the room. Invest in a couple of larger lamps and you’ll see instant results.
  3. The last thing is to clear the clutter. Bedrooms are so often a room that guests don’t see so we slowly turn it into a storage space. If it’s piling up in your bedroom you might not really need it. Get rid of the clutter and let the room breath. 

What did you do here to bring it to the next design level?
Definitely committing to going all in with the black was how we brought this room to the next level. If we had played it safe and used light curtains, nightstands and console we wouldn’t have achieved the final look. The bedroom wouldn’t have been as daring.

We love the wall color! What is the exact paint color you used?
Benjamin Moore Onyx – 2133-10 in satin finish.

After all your hard work, what was your clients’ reaction when they saw the finished bedroom?
The clients were amazed at the overall look but particularly at how much bigger the room looked. They definitely weren’t expecting that with such a dark color! Both husband and wife loved the room, but for different reasons. For him it felt masculine and she loved loved it because she’s an art lover and she feels that the art really is the star of the room.