A Serine Sanctuary: Blending Styles in a Contemporary Bedroom Rental

When asked what room of an apartment, house, or condo is the most important, my answer is always the bedroom. This isn’t to say that it’s where I have the most fun (though I do sometimes for sure), most utilized, or even my favorite. But, to me, it’s the most important.

When I was around the age of twelve or so, I, like most kids at that age, developed an acute bout of insomnia that would keep me awake, on the worst nights, until 5:30am, a mere hour or so before I’d have to get up to go to school. I would lay in bed for hours with my eyes closed to the moment when I couldn’t anymore. I’d then stare at the ceiling in my bedroom, finding designs and patterns in the popcorned paint applications. When that didn’t work, I created the really bad habit of making sure someone else was up with me…Yes, friends, I’d wake up blissfully sleeping family members, frustrated and exhausted, to complain and keep me company. This went on until the ripe old age of 15, self-admittedly much too old to continue this type of behavior.

Eventually, my exhausted parents asked my physician for tips on how to help me ready myself for the restful slumber my body and mind so desperately needed – the answers are probably some you’ve heard before: make sure your room is dark enough and have soft lighting in the room when a light is on, limit the amount of screen time before bed, create a bedtime routine to signal the body and mind that sleep will soon be coming, and do nothing else but sleep in your bedroom. My mom helped me adopt these and I’ve never really had a sleeping issue since then (knocking on wood as I write this).

As an adult, I still tried to follow many of these rules. Key word here is try, the screen time one is much harder to do with smartphones… But from the moment I moved to Boston with roommates to now, living with Phil, who I think would agree that these behaviors do indeed help create a restful night’s sleep when followed, the bedroom is a sanctuary mainly dedicated to sleep.

A Serine Sanctuary: Blending Styles in a Contemporary Bedroom, Zen Minimalist design, 70s boho design, neutral palette

So when deciding to move in together after five years of dating, Phil understood what this room meant to me, that this room was a sanctuary not to be riddled with excessive binge watching of The Office, eating, or working. I even went so far as to suggest that there be no television in our bedroom, in our current apartment, to which he willingly agreed, to my amazement.

The bedroom was the first to get my attention in every dwelling we’ve had, at least from a design standpoint, and this apartment is no different. We finally feel like this room is at a point that we’d like to show you all, as a way of keeping me accountable to pursuing my passion, and since we actually have the time to photograph it!

A Serine Sanctuary: Blending Styles in a Contemporary Bedroom, Zen Minimalist design, 70s boho design, neutral palette

The hardest part about this room was combining our styles into a place where we both felt comfortable to rest and recharge night after night. It needed to feel complete, comfortable, and a reflection of who we are. The hardest part was ensuring that my warm and vivacious love of 70s design now complemented his minimalist, zen vibes. That’s right folks, my love of greenery, strategically placed pops of color, layered patterns and textures, and warm earthy tones had to blend and complement Phil’s love of high contrast yet neutral color palettes, clean lines, and unnecessary clutter. Oh and did I mention we’re in a rental? No painting, hanging items on walls, or demo…Enter the design challenge!

The final design works for two proven reasons: 1) Phil doesn’t feel cramped or cluttered and 2) I’ve been sleeping like a baby since we finished the design! See a more in depth explanation of how our styles were successfully blended into this serene space below.

A Serine Sanctuary: Blending Styles in a Contemporary Bedroom, Zen Minimalist design, 70s boho design, neutral palette

The natural color palette makes the room feel composed, yet elevated upon entering. The room is grounded by the larger pieces of furniture in neutral, complementary color palettes. By including an earthy, light tan in the form of the white oak dressers and placing them in close proximity to the cool, smooth slate gray of the bed frame, we satisfied Phil’s zen appreciation for contrasting colors and my 70’s love of all things textured. We continued this thematic approach to pigments with the choice of the worn look of the natural linen duvet cover, the map art, and the vintage frame housing a handmade macrame.

The rug was the missing piece for almost a year. I wanted a statement piece in the room, which was harder to accomplish in the chosen color scheme. My eyes finally laid rest upon the current beauty in this space, which I first saw on Kindred Vintage’s instagram stories last fall, (also can her house be any more eclectic and fun?!). The rug had all of the high contrasting colors we had in the space in a fun, vintage vibe, which immediately bonded with my boho soul. One quick trip to Boutique Rugs and the rug was ordered, fully bringing the room together.

A Serine Sanctuary: Blending Styles in a Contemporary Bedroom, Zen Minimalist design, 70s boho design, neutral palette

Lastly, and best part of the space, was adding our unique touches and decorations. I am a true believer that every piece in your home should have a story, a meaningful place in your heart and home, which is something that Phil’s zen mindset can get behind. By adding photos in metallic picture frames, my heirloom walnut desk which is currently being used as a vanity with lucite chair, and matching lamp shades with fun brass studs, the room started to feel like us.

A marbled diffuser allows us to calmly drift off to sleep with aromatic mist and the pink glow of a hymalayin salt lamp sets the mood for rest, all while creating another level of contrast on the low lying dressers. Our accent pillows and black throw are the final touches of texture and pattern for my 70s/boho heart, in varying pigments for minimalist Phil. Flowers and lavender are always present in this space to bring a little nature indoors.

So, what do you think? Have you all tackled any fun design challenges during this time?

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