Add depth to a light-filled master bedroom with cosy, sophisticated colour choices
In partnership with Fleetwood
You might assume that a generously proportioned master bedroom with lots of natural light should be simple to style well. But Catherine Ruane’s clients in Castlebar felt that they weren’t using the room to its full potential.
On paper this room ticked all the boxes for a master bedroom of dreams. The spacious room has a walk-in wardrobe and en suite meaning the room is easy to keep free from clutter, and French doors and large windows flood the room with light.
But this project exemplifies exactly why colour choices need to be considered carefully. In such a large, bright space, Fleetwood interior designer Catherine explains that the original pale duck egg wall colour made the room feel a little cold and bare.
“A large master bedroom is every home owner’s dream but when it comes to deciding how to furnish it and decorate it with so much space available, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. This is exactly how this couple felt,” Catherine says.
“Before we decorated the room, there was no real focal point. The couple were looking for a luxurious and intimate master bedroom, but they felt that the room and the hallway entering it needed more warmth,” Catherine says.
The right colour palette and the introduction of a subtle panelling effect on the walls transformed the look and feel of the room.
To deliver the sophisticated and intimate space her clients were after, Catherine wanted to introduce colours with deep, rich tones.
“For the feature wall behind the bed, I chose Pantone 19-4011 Salute. This is a beautiful navy, and by painting one wall in a dark colour, you draw the eye to this area as soon as you enter the room,” she explains.
“On the other walls I opted for Vogue Coco 1955 Deep, as it has a gorgeous warmth to it. This room was so bright it allowed me to use colours that have depth, and these two colours definitely give a cosy warm feel.”
What is great about this colour palette is that it is a timeless, classic look, but also gives flexibility in terms of styling.
“The rich navy paint contrasts stylishly with the paler elements of the room, giving that sophisticated look which the couple wanted. Navy is a great colour for a feature shade, as you can pair it with a lot of different pops of colours.”
When it’s time to freshen up the room as seasons change, Catherine recommends changing up the accessories and throws. With navy, you have lots of choice, as any shades such as duck egg, blush pink, lime green, tan, rust or mustard will work well.
To further enhance the sophisticated feel of the space, and to create a better connection between the hallway and the bedroom, Catherine decided to introduce panelling.
“Panelling is a desirable decorative feature not just for period homes, but it works in contemporary homes like this one too. There is no better way to add character to a room,” Catherine says.
“It has completely transformed the hallway entry, as creating these panels has taken away the bare feeling. It now feels cosy and part of this room.”
Local carpenter John Killen marked out the size of the panels on the wall first with a pencil, which is the best way to ensure the panels are properly spaced. It also allows changes to be made if necessary.
The decorative wood beading was cut and then stuck to the wall. The beading needed to be primed with Fleetwood Bloxx-It Primer before painting.
On the panelling and walls, Catherine chose the Prestige Washable Matt finish for both the colours, and went with the clean and bright Vogue Studio White shade in a Prestige Water-based Stain on the skirting and architraves.
Catherine had a glamorous oversized headboard made by The Headboard Centre in Navan, which works well with the navy wall to create a strong focal point. Crisp white bed linen sourced from McDermott Furniture in Castlebar was the perfect backdrop for fun pillows and throws from Shaw’s to add texture.
Catherine created zones in the room by adding a seating area and an area for the TV, with an elegant accent chair to fill the unused space. To keep that sense of space in the room, the window treatments from Albany were kept very similar to the wall colour.
“Having strikingly different colour curtains would have broken up the walls, but blending the curtains with the walls, particularly when you have more than one wall with windows, retains that sense of flow,” Catherine says.
Like lots of interiors projects all over the country, this room is not quite complete due to the pandemic delaying deliveries. Catherine wants to finish this room with a large oversized rug, and she has ordered one which will extend two feet past the bed on all sides.
It’s easy to envisage perching at the foot of the bed, gazing out the open French doors into the courtyard outside, with a soft cosy rug underfoot. The gorgeous textures, sophisticated panelling and warm, cosy colour palette perfectly conjure the sensation of luxury this couple were after.
Photography: Claire Nash