Distressed Bed Distressed Bed

Q: I am in the market for a new bed. My design style is traditional/eclectic. I love the black, distressed look that seems to be showing up in furniture. However, is black too trendy for something that I'll most likely keep around for many years?

A: We think black furniture is always a good choice to use in a room - but then again, the Sheffield School of Interior Design is headquartered in New York City, where everyone's wardrobe has a preponderance of black.

But even in terms of interior design, black is probably a fine choice for something you're planning on keeping for a long time, especially since you're talking here about a bed frame. We would caution someone about buying black upholstered furniture because it can fade (although it can always be re-upholstered or slipcovers), or anything that's going to dominate a room, such as a wall unit.

But the black of the bed frame won't dominate the room, because you'll complement it with a bedspread or a duvet cover and pillow shams that help keep the room bright and cheerful.

The distressed look definitely works in a room that's done in a traditional design, but you want to make sure you give the room the look of being casual and lived in without making it look worn out and messy.

You can do this by carefully coordinating your colors and fabrics. Choose a bed covering that is made of the same material, the same color, and/or the same pattern as the curtains to keep the room looking pulled together.

A braided throw rug in the same colors will help to complete the look. Consider adding a vase of fresh daisies as well.

You haven't mentioned what kind of dresser you have or plan to have in the room, but we'd encourage you to stay with the "distressed" look so that it all fits together. However, for the dresser, you may be better off with a white distressed wood, because the dresser will take up more of the visual space in the room than the bed frame does, and you don't want to darken the room too much.

However, if you really love the black distressed look, consider topping the dresser with a mirror lying flat on the top; on top of this, add a glass vase of flowers, and the whole top of the dresser will reflect the light beautifully. Also, make sure the walls are painted a bright, light color; painting them a bright white will only draw attention to the black furniture, but painting them a cream, a pale yellow, or a pale green will keep the room bright.

Reprinted with permission from the Sheffield School of Interior Design

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