Karl Lohnes: Bedroom decor boils down to one simple style choice

I recently provided a design consultation to a former client at her new condo. She was starting fresh and needed decor advice on furniture and all the trimmings for the new abode.

The most exciting feature my client wanted to show me was the ceiling-to-floor windows that wrapped around three walls of the master bedroom. The light, the view and the airy feeling was truly spectacular, until I remembered something: My client is more Cave than Cloud.

From my past decorating projects with her, I knew she was someone who did not like morning light, hated her skylights and loved rich dark colours and a bedroom that created a more intimate, cozy setting. That’s when I realized that most of us are either Cave or Cloud people when it comes to decorating our bedrooms.

Cave people, like my client, love dark, intimate settings and cannot fall asleep at night before lowering the black-out blinds and drawing the curtains so they can wake up in a dark room. Cloud people are quite the opposite. They love to get up when the sun does and they keep their bedroom decorating colours and tones light, airy and without heavy draperies. For some reason, my client had purchased a Cloud-style bedroom but would probably never celebrate its attributes. She craves light-blocking roller shades, draperies, and deep-toned bedding and wall colours. What style are you? Read on to learn more about decorating your bedroom like a cloud or a cave.

Natural light or darkness?

Cave: As the Cave person does not like to be woken by natural light, they will most likely want to have window shades and draperies so that no natural light peeks through before they are ready to rise and shine each morning. Look for shade systems that now block out all light on the sides of the shades and have charcoal liners to ensure no light seeps through the shade’s material. Draperies should be lined with black-out fabric and be fully operable so that you can close them both at night.

Cloud: Although a Cloud person might not require darkness in their bedroom, this designer feels that all windows should have a shade or drape in order to filter strong sunlight (for sun damage to interiors during the hot days of summer) and give them privacy in the evenings. Plain lightweight linen drapes usually do the trick to add softness to a room, or choose a woven shade to keep the windows looking light and airy while offering the minimum privacy needed.

Shiny or matte?

Cave: People who do not like light in the morning also do not appreciate glaring reflections. Countertops, flooring and glass-topped tables are just a few interior elements that can add glare. Choose honed countertops, dull hardwood flooring finishes and wood tabletops to help the Cave person wake up happier in the morning.

Cloud: Reflective surfaces, mirrors, chrome countertop appliances, satin velvets and other shiny finishes help to bounce light around and brighten up a space. A Cloud person will shine on throughout the day in a brighter and more reflective interior.

Dark or light tones, colours?

Cave: Those who like living in Caves will always gravitate toward dark, rich colours and tones when choosing furniture, paint, fabric and flooring. It’s a wonderful way to make a bedroom (or any other room) feel cosy and intimate.

Cloud: The Cloud person will love gauzy white linen drapes, cool reflective paint colours (like pale blues, greys or greens) and will appreciate silver-toned metallic details, light wood floors and reflective wallpapers.

Cloud-Cave compromises

So, now that we have defined the decor styles of Cave and Cloud people, what if you live with an opposite? Take these ideas and use them to mix the two with success.

Wanna make a Cave person happy in a Cloud bedroom? Use heavy blackout shades to keep natural light out of the bedroom, but choose lighter tones and colours to give the look of a Cloud-like decor. Once the lights go out, the Cave person will be in complete darkness and will never know!

Wanna make a Cloud person happy in a Cave bedroom? Give them a wake-light that slowly emits simulated natural light on their side of the room, and get some sleep masks for yourself.

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