with Matthew Leverone
Design + Inspiration
How to Complete Your Bedroom
It’s a common conundrum: You buy a bed and nightstands, then find yourself unsure how to round out the room, be that with a chair, a mirror, an armoire, or throw pillows. How much is too much and how to ensure these various elements work well together? San Francisco-based Matthew Leverone has confronted these questions many times in his 25 years as an interior designer, which means he has a few tricks up his sleeve.
YLiving: Other than the obvious bed and bedside table, what else would you add here?
Matthew Leverone: Storage, rugs, and seating are important elements to consider. If the bedroom has space, always allow for at least one comfortable lounge chair. I’m particularly fond of the Saarinen Womb Chair. It’s a classic, available in bright colors for that wanted pop of color, and extremely comfortable. You’ll sit in that chair and never want to leave it, especially if you pair it with a small side table and floor lamp. And don’t forget about artwork, which is key to a successful room and too often left out. As for the big television, I say hide it when you can—even though they are better-looking these days than ever.
YV: What about screens and benches?
ML: Screens are a nice way to bring some height to the room or as a backdrop to a corner chair. They add an element of interest, and a great bedroom is all about layering. I’m drawn to the Eames Screen in walnut with its undulating form.
When the room is large, I always add a bench at the end of the bed, like the Nelson Bench. It’s a classic that will never go out of style. It gives you a place to throw the duvet when not needed, and allows you to add pattern and color that compliments the bedding.
YV: You mentioned storage. What adds to the look of a bedroom?
ML: Dressers can always add impact to a room. They don’t need to look so utilitarian. Find one with interesting details and character like the Blue Dot Modu-licious Unit. I also like to use a credenza in the bedroom. It’s not your standard dresser but has a similar function. I like the simplicity of the Catalina Credenza and a TV can easily sit on top if needed.
YV: Is there some special way to arrange furniture in a bedroom?
ML: I always think in terms of symmetry: Credenza or armoire opposite the bed, and place a lounge chair, side table, and reading light off to the side.
YV: What are some other pieces I can use to round out my furniture?
ML: Creating a composition of arranged objects on nightstands or dressers adds personality to the room. I’m drawn to the elliptical shape of the Moon 2 Drawer Nightstand, and the stepped-drawer detail of the Air Nightstand. Their great shapes enhance a bedroom. On top of these you can create a tableau of simple objects to go with a modern lamp and clock and a stack of favorite books. A simple bowl like Tom Dixon’s Form Bowls sitting on the nightstand will collect pocket change and keep a nightstand orderly.
Every bedroom needs a full-length mirror, especially if there isn’t one in an adjacent bath or closet area. I’ve always liked the idea of a mirror leaning against the wall, like the Piedmont Tall Mirror. It creates an impressive statement.
YV: How do you accessorize a small bedroom?
ML: This is where artwork can play an important role. And you can add some interesting pillows or fun bedside table lamps. I love the Missoni Humbert throw and throw pillows. How playful are these?