Most of us crave a bedroom that is a soothing respite from the frenzy of the day, which is exactly what interior designer Dina Bandman had in mind when she outfitted the master bedroom for the recent San Francisco Decorator Showcase. Except in Dina’s case, the muse with the jam-packed schedule she was designing for happened to be a queen. Discover the royal inspiration this design pro used for her beautifully feminine space, and learn a few insider tips and tricks for creating your own supremely chic retreat.
For her inspiration, Dina looked to the property itself. “The house is named ‘Le Petit Trianon’ and was modeled after the Petit Trianon at the Palace of Versailles which Louis XVI gifted to his wife, Marie Antoinette,” shares the designer. “This bedroom is an ode to Marie—a place where the queen routinely sought refuge from palace intrigues. It’s equally fitting today for the ‘Modern Marie’—a special space for whomever the current lady of the house may be.”
When designing a show house room, layout challenges come with the territory (just check out this laundry list), and in this case the placement of the bed was the source of the conundrum. “This bedroom is much longer than it is wide, so bed placement was particularly challenging (especially given the location of the fireplace which is typically the focal point in a room).” The surprising solve required going against the usual design grain. “There was a window against the back wall where I felt the bed should be. In most situations it’s a shame to block a window, but I made an exception here. The bedroom still has beautiful natural light streaming in, and no one is wiser that there was once a window behind the canopy bed!”
To accentuate the extraordinary ceiling heights in this historic home, Dina installed a floor-to-ceiling canopy bed swathed in neutral hues, letting the scale of the sky-high canopy do the talking. At the foot of the bed is a charming sitting area, which featured a coffee table set for afternoon tea. Assuming this “Modern Marie” is also a total boss, the antique secretary desk offers both storage and a place to shoot off a few emails, or pen thank you notes.
Wise to the power of a stunning wallpaper treatment, Dina has used de Gournay wallcoverings four years running in her SF Showcase spaces, three of which she worked with de Gournay directly on a custom design. “I often say that it matters not what else is in the room, as long as there is de Gournay wallpaper!” For this bedroom, she chose their famous Magnolia wallpaper. Once she had the wallpaper nailed down, “I knew immediately that I wanted to add an art installation of magnolia flowers ascending the wall onto the ceiling to add a textural, sculptural element to the room,” she says. Using a long-ago saved image of “branches creeping up the wall” as her inspiration, Dina commissioned local artist Manuel Palos, known for his work on restoring the Palace of Fine Arts, to create the 3-D branch design.
6 Bedroom Elements, 6 Bits of Pro Advice
“I love doing wallpaper on the walls! Or if a client is shying away from pattern, I love a light gray or light celadon paint color, paired with white for the ceiling and trim.”
“I rarely choose wall-to-wall carpet in any situation (besides a walk in closet). I much prefer a beautiful rug over hardwood floors. To me design is all about layering and combining materials and texture.”
“Julia B linens are a favorite of mine. Her linens are so unique and of the highest quality. I also love that she is local to Northern California, where I am based.”
“I like to have at least four pillows suitable for sleeping. As for decorative pillows, no more than five—getting into bed shouldn’t be a chore!”
“I love to read in bed so bedside lighting is very important, especially with all the screen fatigue we experience today. Ideally, one’s bedroom would have a bedside lamp for reading, combined with wall sconces for ambient lighting. It’s important to layer lighting in a room and not rely on a single light source.”
“Every piece of furniture needs to relate to one another. A king-size bed needs handsomely proportioned side tables and the height of these tables must be based off the overall height of the bed. The lamps must make sense with the headboard height and all pieces in the room must really be in proportion to each other. Design is a mathematical equation, and a well-designed room really comes together when you get scale and proportion right.”