A typical New Year’s resolution list might read like this: get away, relax more, finally get organized.
Designer Erica Gomez of Inner Light Interior Design believes all of these things can be accomplished with a single resolution: to remake the bedroom.
The bedroom is not simply a spot to sleep and dress. It is “where we go to recharge,” she said. “We can use tools that stimulate all of our senses to downshift.”
A recent project used many of these tools. Gomez, along with general contractor Juan Martinez, headed up a master bedroom suite redesign for a busy executive. A frequent traveler, the homeowner wanted his Paso Robles residence to be restful, clean and efficient. His inspiration for the remodel was the Ojai Valley Inn, a luxury spa and resort.
The concept worked, said Gomez, because both the inn and the home have Spanish-influenced architecture. She chose to “weave the Spanish concept through the interior design,” she said, with dark-stained cabinetry, smooth-textured drywall, white walls, bull-nosed wall corners and arched passageways.
Gomez selected a palette inspired by nature to create spa ambience. “We selected a warm color palette that alludes to Paso Robles’ warm days,” she said, noting that a range of green accents echoes the pine trees surrounding the home.
To balance the dark woods and warm hues, the home got a shot of natural light with new windows in the bathroom and laundry room, as well as two new skylights.
Touches of elegance are simple and understated, echoing the sophisticated contemporary feel of the Ojai Valley Inn. The emerald green, button-tufted, hand-dyed Italian leather headboard is unfussy, yet plush. They chose embossed carpet, which has an elegant, raised pattern, yet is “heavy-duty and won’t show traffic patterns or stains as easily as non-embossed carpet,” she said.
Gomez considers bedding “an art form” that is best when it “provides different visual textures and different textile feels,” she explained. To this end, she chose for the bed a supple Alpaca hair throw blanket, bamboo sheets, and a feather down comforter that she says “keeps the body at a thermal consistency.” A luxurious mound of throw pillows all have feather inserts for softness, yet different covers for textural contrast, including velvet, leather, satin, woven dhurrie, silk and beaded fabric.
We selected a warm color palette that alludes to Paso Robles’ warm days.
Designer Erica Gomez
For flooring, they replaced Saltillo tiles with wood grain tile flooring for an updated look that harmonizes with the new color palette.
Organization was key to keeping stress-inducing clutter out of sight. Wine Country Cabinetry created built-in cabinets and shelving throughout the space, all custom painted or stained by San Luis Painting Co. and Martinez Construction. In the bedroom, for instance, a 9-foot-tall cherry wood unit fulfills multiple functions. It frames the headboard, and incorporates two night lights, sconces and bookshelves.
What was once a spare bedroom is now an oversized walk-in closet. A key feature is a travel station — a handy spot for a frequent traveler. Here, a leather bench does double-duty as a spot to put on shoes and a surface for packing suitcases.
Each storage area has a specific purpose to cut down on wasted space and make it easy to keep items tidy. For instance, the team measured every suitcase to make sure they fit on their designated shelf. There is a built-in hamper, tie rack and hat display. A floor-to-ceiling mirror eases dressing and adds brightness and a feeling of greater space.
The former closet now adds square footage to the remodeled bathroom. Here, spa luxuries include a double-sized shower that converts into a sauna. A pebble stone floor feels like a massage underfoot. A hand-carved wood rose architectural panel from Bangladesh is mounted on the bathroom ceiling so that “the eye can explore while soaking in the free standing tub,” Gomez said. She noted that the shower fixtures alone cost $1,200.
A laundry room just off the bedroom makes unpacking after a trip quick and simple. The room is equipped with ample built-in storage, designed to contain specific types of cleaning supplies. A large closet just outside the laundry room is a convenient spot to hang clean clothes out of sight.
The homeowner wanted a masculine space with few frills, so cabinet fronts are simple and unfussy. Bathroom cabinetry was hand-painted to look like leather. Soapstone countertops have a raw edge for a rugged feel.
Gomez took a tip from hotel suites and made the bedroom wing an all-inclusive retreat. Key to this was a small office space just off the bedroom that is separate from the sleeping area, yet allows the homeowner to “drink a cup of coffee while working on a Saturday morning and then quickly clean up for guest arrival,” she said.
According to Gomez, the homeowner has been pleased with the remodel, calling it his very own “resort on the hill,” offering the best features of being on vacation, and of coming home.
MAKE OVER YOUR CLOSET For a simple visual makeover of your closet, invest in matching hangers, which creates a more polished, uniform look. Get them in stained wood, if you can. A new paint job in an appealing color is another inexpensive closet facelift. Also, consider investing in a better light fixture, which aids in selecting clothes.
CUSTOMIZE CABINETS Even if you don’t have the budget for custom cabinets, rethink the way you position adjustable shelves. Measure the items you need to keep in the cabinet and provide ample space to avoid having to cram in oversized items, or store them elsewhere.
LOOK UP… AND DOWN Don’t forget the floor and ceiling of your bathroom. An interesting architectural feature on the ceiling, or an eye-catching light fixture, offers something to enjoy while soaking in the bathtub. Textural items underfoot — whether it be a pebble floor in the shower or a plush rug in front of the vanity — provide a treat for feet.
INVEST IN LIGHTING Good lighting is key in a bedroom, especially since you spend your evening hours there. Invest in a good light for reading, and a dimmable fixture for ambiance. Accent lights that highlight favorite pieces of art or architectural features are a plus.