Creating Your Bedroom Bliss

As you know, this month’s Project Marriage challenge is In the Bedroom and what better way to kick off our challenge than with some expert interior decorating advice from a truly talented professional!

I proudly introduce you to my dear friend, Hillary Nichols.

Hillary is the owner of Hillary Nichols Interiors and she graciously offered to talk all things bedroom interiors with my Mommy Friends!

Hillary, a lot of our bedrooms need some TLC.  What are some inexpensive and child-friendly ways we can make a big change in our bedroom?

The most cost-effective change you can make to your bedroom is with color.  Color may be implemented  in many different forms.  Paint is definitely the least expensive way to start the transformation of your bedroom, especially if you are DIY kind of person and can paint it yourself.  Another great way is to purchase some new bedding that inspires you!  Choose bedding that can be washed, has a darker color and a pattern which tends to look better for much longer with little kids around.  There are some great deals online, and in discount home stores like TJ Max Home and Marshalls. Regular retailers such as Pottery Barn, Z Gallerie, Crate and Barrel, Restoration Hardware, Macy’s Home and Bed Bath and Beyond have regular sales you can take advantage of as well.

I’m pretty sure most of us are hurting for space, what are some decorative storage options?

Storage options can be very tricky depending on your space.  The first item for the ladies is usually clothing and shoes.  We love to shop and look cute right?  If you have not sorted your clothes by seasons, this an absolute MUST.  Boots, heavy jackets, sweaters and anything you won’t wear in the warmer months should be stored if possible outside your bedroom closet.  If not, try some under the bed plastic containers or bins placed high on the shelves in the closet leaving the most accessible space for currently worn items.  Cleaning out your closet is also liberating.  Clothing you haven’t touched in two years should be given to a girlfriend or donated.  Make space for all the clothes you love. Another idea if you have limited square footage, is using your space vertically.  Buy a tall and narrow dresser or armoire. Install some wall shelving and use woven or colored storage baskets that have a clean and organized look so you can take advantage of the space you typically overlook.

What are a few things we can do to really set the mood of our bedroom?

Setting the mood requires several elements.  Here are some to get you started…

The first is to de-clutter the bedroom!  We cannot feel relaxed or sexy when there is a pile of laundry, laptops, stacks of paperwork and even our children’s toys.  Make sure you have plenty of laundry basket storage so even though you know the laundry is there, it isn’t spilling out onto the floor.  If you work in your bedroom and have papers, books, or laptops make sure you have an easy and accessible place to put them away where they are out of sight. The second thing I recommend is to address the lighting in the bedroom.  This may surprise you, but simply adding some bedside lamps that have a richly colored shade and a little sparkle can really soften the space.  Consider adding a chandelier and a dimmer to your wall switch so you can turn it down a bit lower to create a relaxing mood.  Try a spot light (you can buy one at a hardware store) in the corner behind a floor plant that splashes light upwards and casts light shadows in the shape of pretty leaves.  Don’t forget to stock up on some wonderful fragrant candles.  My favorite brand is Voluspa because they last a long time, the tins they come in are very stylish, and have the most amazing scents.  Candles are an oldie, but a goodie! The third item is a very easy one. Add some soft and breezy sheer window panels on a simple drapery rod.  The gauzy fabric diffuses the light coming in and creates a relaxing and ethereal mood.  Keep your blinds or other window shades you already have, the panels just add a nice romantic layer.

How can we find a style our spouse will agree on?

I will be honest, this one is never easy.  Men tend to put less importance on the appearance of a space than women.  They also tend to be minimalists, where we like more detail and accents.  Avoid anything over the top girly that has flowers.  Steer clear of pink, or feminine furniture.  My best piece of advice would be to explain to your husband that if the bedroom is more romantic and chic, you would be “in the mood” much more.  Once he hears that, I guarantee he will be on board!  Also expressing that you will do all of this on a budget will likely make him more receptive .  Try showing him some pictures of things you like and see how he reacts.  When I present something to my husband there is ALWAYS a photo that has some of the elements I want to create, otherwise he cannot envision it.  Eventually you will find a style he likes too!

When designing a bedroom, where do you draw your inspiration?

Inspiration can come from anywhere.  Sometimes I find a piece of art I love and pull a color scheme or style from the image.  Fabrics are another a big inspiration for me, I am a proud “fabricophile”!  I look through design magazines a tear out photos to create inspiration boards for my clients.  Once I start collecting images and fabrics, things really start to take shape.  I also love classic pieces of furniture, and I have been known to spend lots of time at flea markets and antique stores. 

A lot of us are DIYers, do you have any fun projects or ideas you’d like to share?

Lately I have been really obsessed with stenciling.  This is a fabulous and really cost-effective art project that will make the space look very different.  The DIY aspect is also fun because there is a great sense of pride when you can pull it off!  Not to mention that it can help you spend your design budget in other areas, such as new furniture or lighting.  The stencils I am talking about are not the old cheesy ones from the past.  Try a cool geometric or ethnic pattern.  Stencil a focal point with what is called an “overall pattern” on an entire wall.  Use metallic paint, over a bold paint color.  I recently did this technique in my own dining room and I must say that every time I see it, it makes be happy.  For stenciling products try which has amazing selections of both stencil templates, and other textural and metallic products that you can use with the stencils. For very inspiring and unique DIY stencil projects you can check out

What are the big trends in bedroom interiors right now?

Some of the currents trend in bedroom design surround the idea of creating a more elegant, restful “hotel suite” like atmosphere.  Using luxury bedding like high thread count wrinkle free sheets, lots of cozy pillows with chic fabrics and a down filled duvet.  Upholstered headboards are also a big trend which not only look fabulous, but they are more comfortable while relaxing or reading.  A coffee bar in the master is another popular item, even with a mini fridge built-in. I mean, what is better than waking up to the delicious aroma of coffee set on a timer in your room?  I’d take that over the cringing alarm clock any day!  Chaise lounges and reading nooks are other elements that promote a hotel chic feeling.  Silver metal in lighting and hardware have been very popular for many years, but now gold finishes are coming back.  Color trends include soft earthy colors, neutrals, various shades of green, mustard, lavender, and weathered metallic finishes.   Wallpaper and stenciling has made a huge comeback in design, and there are so many wonderful options to choose from due to their popularity.  Mixing different styles is also on the rise. Modern pieces, vintage flea market chandeliers, a bit of 60’s Mod, and ethnic fabrics can all live together in the same space.  Have fun with it!

What does your bedroom decor look like?

I just got married a few months ago, so at the moment my husband’s minimalist Danish style furniture set graces our bedroom.  Might I say, not at all my style!  I plan on taking the advice I just gave when asked “how can we agree on a style we both like?”  I will update you on how that process goes in our house.

A great big Mommyfriend thank you to Hillary for offering such amazing interior advice to my Mommy Friends!  

Love Hillary?  I knew you would!  For more expert interior advice and pictures of her amazing work, be sure to check out Hillary Nichols Interiors website, blog and Facebook page!


  1. Thanks for the tips! I have been trying to decide what to do for this month’s project marriage that I could actually publish on my blog. LOL This might be the way to go, we shall see.

  2. I have been dying to change up our bedroom. It’s like we started it 5 years ago…and never finished it. I think this is a great excuse to actually get something done! Great tips, too!

  3. Thanks Hillary!

  4. Is it funny that doing this interview with Mommyfriend has inspired me to start on my own bedroom? Goodbye bachelor Danish furniture, nice to know ya but I’m afraid we must part ways! I bought some new inspirational bedding today. I will send you before and after pictures Lori so you can see the transformation.

    HN Interiors

  5. Love these tips! I’m currently on the hunt for new bedding. A little change can make such a difference!

  6. I wasn’t really planning on changing anything in my bedroom, but I feel a little inspired after this post. I think I might feel a DIY project coming on!

  7. Great advice!

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