What’s missing from your room?

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Decorating, Master Bedroom, My House92 Comments

A few months ago, I was writing some content for a potential book project and I discovered that I was talking more to myself than to anyone else.  I was saying something to the effect of, “If you’re feeling stuck in a room, the likely culprit is the lack of a statement piece.”  As soon as I finished writing that segment, I ran up the steps and stood in the doorway of our master bedroom.  I took in the view of the large, light-filled space.

It’s a beautiful room.  I’ve never had a prettier room in my life.  But it’s not quite there.  And it has nothing to do with the room itself.  I was given a perfect blank slate without any quirks to contemplate.  It has everything to do with the fact that there isn’t a statement piece – a compass to which all of the other design elements and decisions can align.  There is a great foundation and a bunch of beautiful things in a beautiful room without any clear direction.

The bed is definitely the star of the show and it has the potential to be the statement piece, but it’s not quite there, yet.  It’s hard to tell in these photos, but even this kingsized bed with a fairly large-scale upholstered frame looks small in this room.  And, given that it’s very neutral, it doesn’t command as much attention as you would imagine from seeing it fill the frame of a photo.

I love the curtain fabric, but it would benefit from being in some other places in the room and having some complimentary buddies introducing other colors and patterns.  Fortunately, I do have some leftover curtain fabric that I can use for pillows, etc. or to upholstery a pretty French-style chair for the desk (I’m still hunting for one).

I am planning to eventually add wainscoting and crown molding in here and that will add a lot of architectural interest.

But, there is still the question of the statement piece.  And, I don’t know the answer.  I’m still mulling it over and, since it’s a beautiful room as is, I don’t feel like I’m in a huge hurry.  A couple of thoughts are… adding a traditional Serapi-style rug with muted blues and rusts and/or adding a cornice over the bed and using more fabric there.

I saw magnificent cornices in Italy and it just about killed me that I couldn’t fit them in my suitcase.  I am actually going to see if there is a way I can cut one up, fit it in a box or two, and ship it to myself!  That idea is probably crazy, but I’m going to see if it’s even in the realm of possibility.

I know it will all come together eventually and, when I find “that thing” or when the right idea hits, it’ll take the room over the top.

It helps me to have identified what’s missing, so I will know it when I find it!

What’s missing from your room?

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92 Comments on “What’s missing from your room?”

  1. I think a big, beautiful painting would help. especially a landscape with some green in it. I feel like none of the other rooms in your house are quite the level of monochromatic that this one is (even though I know you love the palette) and it’s underscored by the fact that there also isn’t a lot of contrast… it all seems like very light colors. Either pushing yourself to paint something really big for yourself, or buying something you really love and admire might be a good choice.

    1. That is the first thing that came to my mind. the room is beautiful and calm, but it seemed that something should go over the bed.

      1. I think something over the bed with added colors would look nice. Also some crown moulding that you mentioned.

  2. I love the green in the plant on your desk…maybe a little more green somewhere? I like everything you do and have noticed that you often do a bit of green in your rooms.

  3. I second a big piece of art in muted greens and blues. Complimentary pillows and a rug. Though really it is also beautiful as is

  4. At first I thought a wide piece of art over the bed but then saw the suggestion of crown molding. A large beautiful one would be grand. Also a patterned rug to tie it all together. As it is it is still a gorgeous tranquil room.

  5. What about wallpaper above the wainscoting like you did in the guestroom. I think it might make the bed stand out more.

  6. It’s a beautiful room. What strikes me is that it’s very monotone. I think more color would make a difference. Why don’t you paint a large, gorgeous landscape to go over the bed? I know you could do it! Or another beautiful mural like you did in the dining room would be lovely too.

  7. Can you share where your bedding is from? I love the coverlet and especially the shams! I love that you have 3 large pillows, are they square?

  8. Or put more color on the bedding ? And eventually upholster the bed the way you’ve done in the other rooms.

  9. Maybe some warm wood on the bed side of the room – the desk side has warm brown wood – the armoire wall has that warm wood – maybe just a tiny pop of something with that warmth – not sure exactly what, just maybe something with some warmth –
    But I will say, anyone would love such a lovely room just as it is !

  10. I thought some texture in the form of a grasscloth behind the bed (on that wall only) then your wainscoting throughout the rest. Texture adds interest, but in a quiet way.

  11. I would ad a beautiful colorful quilt across the foot of the bed. Crown molding most definitely, and then I don’t think they would be enough room to add a big painting

    1. Totally agree with you!! Beautiful pieces in the room. I think adding art like was mentioned or even adding some beautiful wallpaper behind the bed like you did in the guest room.

      The furniture is so neutral right now that adding color elsewhere would be perfect!

  12. I agree with the idea of a large landscape painting over the bed either vintage or you’re own work!

    1. I love the calm palette you have going on in your bedroom, I love reading everyone es ideas! There is no wrong answers, do what you want and love. I could totally see crown moulding and a bed crown ! A mural for sure! I love to take my time in a room and let it develop. I dont ever want to be finished, I enjoy the process too much ~ have fun Marion you are always an inspiration

  13. I absolutely identify with this post. I trained as a florist and putting flowers together i always start with ‘the statement flower’ first and build round this. Not so easy when doing interiors, especially when the budget is tight. I don’t like to just buy things for the sake of ‘finishing’ a room. I think I’m like you Marian, i know the piece when i see it and it is so satisfying, especially if like you I am able to upcycle or renovate a piece with good bones.

  14. You are wise to lean on neutral tones in the MBR. Tranquility is a good thing in a sleeping space. Maintaining a neutral palette, at least till you decide on a statement piece, also leaves you wide open for any pop of color you might want to add later. I sure like your Italian ideas, like a cornice. What a nice reminder it would be of an amazing trip. Whatever you decide, I’m confident you’ll find exactly the right thing. You always do.

  15. A lovely room! How about a series of small things in quiet colors over the bed? Framed botanicals or beautiful china?

    1. I know it’s démodé to have a statement wall these days, but I love the idea of the headboard wall having a little extra something—like a stencil design that can keep to your monochromatic color scheme by doing it in a different sheen or a ,slightly darker or lighter shade of the wall color.

  16. I agree that you need a large piece of artwork over the bed and some color on the bed – pillows of the drapery fabric as well as some more complimentary patterns!

  17. I think a very subtle wall covering on the wall behind the bed. Perhaps a very pale blue and white wide stripe?

  18. I think you need to replace the desk. Find something wonderful and a little weird that strikes your fancy and I think the room will all come together.personally I don’t love matchy cushions so I would look for a different fabric.

  19. It’s not that your missing the star of the show, it’s that you have two or even three if you count your lovely curtains. Anyone of these could work but it’s up to you to decide which item is the statement. I think a landscape might fight with your curtains. I think they should tie into the room more. How about a fairly large rectangular frame of your curtain material over your bed, or better yet a mirror.
    While the armoire is fantastic there is nothing to call your attention to it. Without being in the room it’s hard to determine placement and its effect. I would definitely consider throw pillows using your curtain material because covering the chair seat won’t be seen if it’s under the desk. This would highlight your bed. A nice blue chair, with a pillow also might work.

  20. As others have suggested, I think crown molding would complete the room. I would also be on the look out for a beautiful carved wooden bench for the end of the bed. You could place pillows or throws on it tying into the drapes. Love the room already!

  21. Beautiful room! But I understand that artistic eye of yours that tells you “I’m not finished, quite yet….”
    Truly think once the crown molding and wainscoting is installed it will bring more clarity on the next step!

  22. I personally love your bed and you can add throw pillows, quilts, blankets, etc. to add punch to make it stand out more. It needs something to make it stand out against the wall behind it with the colors being so close to each other and not providing a contrast. Even if you change out the coverings on the 3 large square pillows would provide a contrast. I think a large painting or mural behind/over the bed would detract from the bed, not add to that being a statement piece.

    On another note, I know you love the desk, but I have always thought it doesn’t belong in this room (maybe not even your new house?). All the other pieces in this room seem to be of another level of elegance and this desk reminds me of a kids school desk. It’s jarring to me. But it isn’t my room is it!?

  23. Could you incorporate a gorgeous fabric, maybe one that compliments the curtains over the bed like you did in your last home?

  24. You got me thinking about treatments for the wall above your headboard. I don’t often make more than one comment to a post!

    One thing you might consider, at least temporarily, is putting up 1 or 2 frames (or a gallery array, possibly including framed art) with quotes that are meaningful to you and Jeff.

    You’d have lots of opportunity to personalize the aesthetics of the presentation, so you could create something unique. Even better, similar products with artistically rendered quotes could be added to your online store.

  25. GOODY!!! An excuse to go shopping! I used to live in central Illinois. We used to start an aimless Saturday just driving out in the country, stopping at bakeries and shops. I will never forget seeing this ramshackle building out in the middle of a corn field with a huge hand painted black and white “ANTIQUES” sign. It was amazing!

  26. The room is beautiful and calm as is, but I agree with the others, the wall on the top of the bed is screaming to be filled! 222 Fifth (dinnerware) has a pattern called “Adelaide” in blue that is very similar to the little bird pattern on your curtains, it is kind of a blue toile. I think that would complement the curtain material without being an exact match, and it would not compete with crown molding which would really finish off the walls. Like a trio of plates or platters across the top – just my two cents worth of opinions!

  27. I think the crown mold and the wainscoting will do it for you, plus then you’ll know if you need something with some color ove the bed. I’d kill to have this room!! So, you’re almost there. I know you’ll figure out the right thing to do.

  28. I would love to see a chinoiserie style mural/painting / piece behind the bed, with bits continued onto the other walls. You do such beautiful painting work; this would be another form. Maybe a pattern surrounding the bed, like a frame for it, and then vines, scrollwork, etc repeated slightly on the other walls. Crown molding on the top would also be great. I think the room needs more for the eyes to be drawn to, more zhush factor. Whatever you do, it will be lovely!

  29. Though it’s a beautiful room, there’s something that feels a bit cold. I’m not sure a statement piece would be the solution. I think it’s the combination of the current flooring with the wall colour. The room needs more warmth. I would change the flooring to a nice wooden floor and choose a wall colour that is just a little warmer. I agree with everyone else about the crown molding and wall decoration.

  30. Some pretty china (or even white ironstone) plates over the bed would be pretty and some color from the curtains in the pillows on the bed. The desk doesn’t seem to fit the rest of this beautiful room. The statement pieces are there, the bed and the armoire, but the walls look bare. Some baskets around would add interest and texture.

  31. I think once you get your crown molding up the room will feel finished. It’s beautiful! Great work as always!

  32. What a beautiful, serene room Marian! I’ve been following along with the transformation of your home and it is incredible. Of course you knew, when you threw this post out into the blogosphere, you would get lots of opinions, LOL! If I were to offer my 2 cents….

    The armoire could easily be your statement piece. I think the issue with the room is that there is too much of a wood-and-fabric overload (especially since they are all the same tone, along with the wall-to-wall carpeting). It needs a bit of “frisson” – in the form of an injection of a few different materials and styles. Examples – modern metal side table lamps; re-framing your vintage photos in more modern gallery frames (not brown wood); removing some of the fabric from the chaise and replacing with a single contrasting pillow (rich navy or maroon velvet perhaps?) and a coordinating but not matching set of pillows on the bed; something crystal or glass (vase? tray?) on the desk. Can’t wait to see what you do!!

  33. I had a similar large bedroom, with the big, peaked, vaulted ceiling in my former home. I had the pale green version of your palette. The ceiling just swallowed the bed. I hung a very simple cornice with miles and miles of mosquito netting, that I often let drift over the edges of the headboard. It didn’t make the room feel heavy, but it did make the bed a statement. It takes some thought to work with those high ceilings.

  34. I think the room is lovely. Love the paint color. I think it definitely needs crown molding. I think it needs the fabric of the drapes incorporated on the bed some how. A bench at the base to introduce another fabric might help break up the solid beige space at the end of bed. ….but that might just be the way the picture was taken. Definitely needs a better desk chair. Considering how the guest room transformed I can’t wait to see how you work your magic in this room!

  35. You could create your own cornice — keep your eye out for shallow demilune tables, discarded armoires caps, curvy bureau tops or fireplace mantels. You could cut them down or retrofit them into a cornice just perfect for your space.

  36. I would remove the desk and chair. It is your bedroom and you have a sewing and office room so there really isn’t a need for the desk.I’m impressed you don’t have a tv in there because I only watch tv at night so I couldn’t be without….

  37. I don’t agree with adding anything over that beautiful bed. It is a great statement piece by itself and I think a painting would compete. But a nice wide crown mounding would be so pretty.

    1. Another thing I thought of that you could do… but is very unusual and scary…is paint a mural or pattern on the headboard and footboard. I’ve seen this done on older fabric chairs and it really creates a statement piece. Your bed sort of looks like a blank canvas to me.
      But there’s no going back when you do this ( apart from reupholstering) so it’s something you have to be sure of, and really plan out. It would be a cool project! I could see you doing something like this, and I think your painting skills are good enough to pull it off!

      New Hampshire

  38. The bed is gorgeous, but missing something. In addition from what’s already been mentioned, maybe a bed skirt and Euro shams from the curtain fabric or something coordinating.
    You’ve got this! You always do.

  39. As much as I love everything in your room, my eye kept going to the large open space in front of the bed’s footboard. Like I wanted to see an ottoman or something to ground it to the space. Thanks for all your inspiring ideas !

  40. Hardwood floors would do wonders for the master bedroom.
    The wall-to-wall carpet weighs the room down in a negative manner, and is so blah and unappealing.

  41. Marian you are amazing, what you can think up and then achieve it! The bedroom is a beautiful room. Just a couple of suggestions, I agree with an area rug and the crown molding. Perhaps a couple of pillow shams out of the drapery fabric behind your initial shams so you see a smaller amount of color. What about a blue and white Chinese lamp?
    I love your desk, but it seems a little off scale and heavy looking compare to the bed and armoire.
    You are so good I know you will have this!
    Would you share the fabric maker and pattern of the drapes?

  42. Since you have so much ironstone, I think hanging more of it above the bed, following the curve of the headboard would make a statement. Or a long narrow mirror with curves. I think some light in some form needs to be brought the the area above the bed to make the eye go in that direction. Your bed is the statement piece, but the eye is not necessarily drawn there because there is not much contrast between the wall color and the bed. It’s almost like the bed is the statement piece but doesn’t know it and that uncertain feeling is projected in the atmosphere of the room. It’s like a pretty outfit missing a complementary piece of jewelry.

  43. Crown molding, more blue linens on the bed, something in a warm wood over the bed, and a piece of furniture at the foot of the bed… like a large wicker chest.

    New Hampshire

  44. take these photos hold them up to a mirror
    French knobs on desk
    dark under bed
    apply all painting knowledge to the room

  45. I think the desk does not fit, even though it may have sentimental attachment for you and yours. I am sure you can find another spot. I also like the idea of some artwork.
    I have really been ebjoying your insprational posts and am a recent follower.

  46. Painted stripes!! I think the wall behind the bed needs wide vertical stripes… You can do it in a neutral colour, but contrasting. Will be a nice feature wall and you will still be able to hang art on it. Trust me, once you start painting stripes on walls, you want to do it everywhere!!

  47. I feel the carpet is part of the soft palate.. I know it’s
    softening & soundproofing. I decided my religion is against carpets – especially for health reasons. I love my large vinyl tile geode-look floors…they are no longer bouncy or quiet.
    What a delight your solution will be!

  48. Speaking of hardwoods. The stairways are beautiful! ‘Love the simplicity of them. MUCH easier to clean…. whether they are noisy or not.

  49. Awesome room indeed! You are right to take it slow in figuring out where to go from here. You already have so many good elements going.
    To me, at first glance, the room needs more contrast. It could be as simple as some bright white pillows, perhaps darker beside lamps, adding higher and lower values.
    I love how reading your blog and the comments reminds me to go back to my inspiration to check why things are off at my house. All my inspiration pics are lots of white with darker accents, but at home, working with what I already have and what is readily available, things tend to get “muddy.”
    I guess perhaps you could go back to your own inspiration, pick only a picture or two and see what it is. I absolutely loved your old bedroom because the high contrast the fabric wall provided paired with all the white!

  50. Looking back at the first picture, I see you already have plenty of white pillows!
    I wonder which way the room is facing? The light reminds me of my dining room, which faces North-Northeast. It makes picking a good paint color very challenging. As lovely as your wall color is, in the picture it reads cold, and it’s too close in value to the bed fabric. I’d consider changing the wall color (or doing fabric again!) to make the gorgeous bed stand out.
    You’ve got great taste and intuition so I’m sure in time you will get it to feel just right 😊

  51. My 2 cents – I’m longing to see more “nature.” To me the wall above your bed is calling for flower prints to complement your curtains, or ferns prints to bring in some green, maybe Audubon prints of birds. Things to bring the outside in. You have done that beautifully in the “public” rooms of your home. Your dining room mural is one of my favorites. And your little pots and baskets of greenery. Could that maybe be the spark that you’re missing in your bedroom?

    Oh, and just a bit more color on the bed.

  52. I know the neutral trend is popular now and bland is the flavor of choice, but I agree with you that something is missing in your room. It is lovely and serene, but there is no special Marian touch yet. I agree with the commenter that found the desk to strike a wrong note. It seems small in front of that large window; the scale is off. There is no doubt in my mind that you will figure it out and make that bedroom fabulous.

  53. What fun you have given us ……. to imagine how we would work with your room.
    The photos show that your desk and chair do not compliment the style of the bed and as suggested earlier the scale seems too small.
    You must have some historic attachment to it, does it have a purpose? If a desk is required perhaps one that is wider and more open underneath – the wood top should compliment the wood colour of the bed.

    You are already planning crown moulding that would develop the dept of the room. That would be a great start. Not sure if you would then have space above the bed for artwork. You could try a touch of black in the bedside lamp. .

    I do love a tranquil bedroom and you have that to perfection … but it is fun to play.
    Regards J.

  54. Great idea! I cringed at the thought of cutting up the antique cornices from Italy. Perhaps installing a lovely crown over the bed along with using the same drapery fabric for pillows. Look for a French-style desk and/or bench at the foot of the bed.

  55. Lots of great ideas and suggestions!
    Please do not add wainscoting. To me, that decorating technique belongs in Dens, Dining rooms, and Offices.
    A custom mural behind the bed and a rug would be awesome. And I’m with the gal who thinks you should lose the desk.
    Good luck!

  56. Two possible changes/additions – change lamp shades to dark color (spray paint shades navy blue or gold) and wallpaper wall behind bed in subtle tone on tone silver or gold pattern. Good luck. Looking forward to seeing your solution, sure it will be perfect..

  57. Those cornices!!😍 Have you considered having one built and painted? Im sure it wouldn’t be cheap or easy to build, but it might be worth looking into.

  58. I like your room, how about crowning off the bed, and have fabric fall down to the corners of the headboard. If you can use the same fabric as the curtains or something that coordinates, it would punch up the room.

  59. Your room is so serene I feel like jumping into that bed and taking a nap!
    You will know the thing it needs when you see it but in the meantime it’s lovely and restful.

  60. Something over the bed. ……. an architectural piece, shutters, a reclaimed wood sign (my personal fave) (with a favourite saying on it) Yep that’s it :-))

  61. Lovely room, but the pallette being monochromatic needs a punch in color. You technically have 3 colors going on…The wall being a lovely shade of almost a cool white grey baby blue on the walls, the lamp falls into the same pallette, but the bed frame color is almost a tan grey, but is a warm tone. It is an absolutely gorgeous bed, but the contrast is distracting. When I put my thumb over the lamp and the gold framed pc, it changes the room instantly! Changing out the lamp base could be an option w a cool med-light shade of lavender or a brushed silver metal base OR a mercury glass base. If you decide to go simple w the lavender base w delicate detail, the shade would benefit from black ribbon trim Or a darker cool grey, staying within the palette. As for the pcs behind the lamp, again, beautiful but it doesn’t work with this space and deserves more attention elsewhere, like a pathway to the bathroom or breezeway to another space. What about a long framed mirror?White ornamental frame, long enough to be at least 6 to 8 inches above the lampshade tops.

    Even a wall of curtain behind the bed would be a great option.. Ceiling to floor and would be great to extend the space or look like it.
    Beautiful work regardless! ❤ 👍

  62. I think a gilt wood French mirror above the bed would be lovely. In the Louis Phillippe style possibly and the bottom would be behind the top of the bed headboard . A vintage muted colored pillow on the bed would be pretty also. I love all your neutrals ! If you go to the eloquence website you might get inspired . Just a suggestion

  63. I’m dying to know where you got the bed. Is it a piece you refashioned/refurbished or did you buy it like that? It’s exactly the kind of bed I’m looking for! 🙂

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