House Calls: Kid-free retreat for two

February 26

The stark walls and mismatched furniture in District resident Emily Thornell’s bedroom have sent her seeking sanctuary elsewhere in her home. She and husband Paul want their room to be a kid-free respite with a seating area for reading and a cocktail at night.

Emily and Paul Thornell’s room. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Designers Samantha Friedman and Lauren Brown add cozy finishing touches — lighting, curtains and upholstered chairs — to create a space to which the Thornells will love to escape. Friedman and Brown, of Samantha Friedman Interiors (301-529-1900,, are based in Bethesda.

The solution. (Illustration By Julius Goyanko For The Washington Post)

Use wallpaper behind the headboard to create a focal point for the room.

Sconces on eitherside of the bed give the room soft, cozy lighting.

Use light-colored fabrics for the bedding to soften the dark metals and woods found in the furniture.

Give the room a more neutral, calming wall color. Try Sherwin-Williams’s Creamy.

Upholstered chairs across from the bed offer a cozy reading spot and frame the space.


Furniture: Joseph bench ($748,; Tremont black nightstand ($549,; Jacob chair in Turin Ivory ($699,; Ludlow desk ($599) and Sasha side chair in Tumble Haze ($459) and Moore media console ($999), all from

Accessories: Water tower antique bronze sconce ($298,; Haruki Sisal Robin’s Egg wallpaper ($94 per roll,; velvet multi stripes blue pillow ($40 for 20-by-20-inch pillow,; Penn bedding ensemble with green pillows ($960 for king set) and Penn curtain panel (prices vary by size), both from

Gramercy bed in natural heavy basket with antique brass nailheads. (William-Sonoma)

Small Arabesque end table. (All Modern)

Gramercy bed in Natural Heavy Basket with antique brass nailheads ($2,850 for king,

Small Arabesque end table ($497.50,

Raleigh bed in stone washed linen/cotton with bronze nailheads. (Pottery Barn)

Concentric metal side table. (Urban Outfitters)
. . . OR SAVE

Raleigh bed in Stone washed linen/cotton with bronze nailheads ($1,599 for king,www.

Concentric metal side table ($79,

Margaret Ely is a digital editor for Lifestyle. Previously, she was an intern for the Post’s Metro section.
Show Comments
Most Read Lifestyle