Minimizing a bedroom’s fearful asymmetry

Joel and Michelle Hewer of Herndon have always found their master bedroom’s size and asymmetrical architecture to be a challenge. They want to bring style and intimacy to the cavernous space. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)
April 3, 2013

Joel and Michelle Hewer of Herndon have tried various colors and accessories in their 20-by-18-foot master bedroom over the years, but they always found the room’s size and asymmetrical architecture to be a challenge. They want to bring style and intimacy to the cavernous space.


Designer Dana Tydings uses a few visual tricks to minimize the severe angles of the room while bringing furniture proportions in line with a cozier space.

Tydings, of Tydings Design (301-947-5447), is based in Laytonsville.

Use the same paint color on the ceiling, walls and trim to soften the angles of the large room. This is Benjamin Moore’s Moonlight White.

Michelle and Joel Hewer are looking for a design solution for their cavernous master bedroom. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Use curvy lines and complementary finishes to tie together otherwise disparate styles of furniture.

Take advantage of a large room and create a seating area to chat and watch television.

A soft gray (Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl) accent wall emphasizes the mural and points to the bed as the focal point.

A console in a transparent finish (in dormer, not shown) works as either a desk or a dressing table.

A mirror and drapes create the illusion of symmetry in an asymmetrical room.


Furniture: 19th-century Swedish rounded oak nightstands ($1,350 for pair,; Peekaboo clear console ($379,; Bristol media console ($849,; Taryn vanity seat ($399) and metal skirt side table ($479), both from

Accessories: Vittsjö shelving unit ($40 each,; “Earnest Horse” mixed-media art ($319) and Grand Chateau rectangle window mirror ($229), both from; Parsons floor mirror in bone inlay ($499,; “Av. de la Grande Armee in Paris” 8-by-12-foot wall mural ($638,; ivory faux fur throw ($129,; small 19th-century French Empire crystal sconce ($479) and large Baroque wood crystal chandelier ($510), both from


Lola lounge chair in Saddle ($1,426,

Belgian classic roll arm slip-covered sofa in Fog Belgian linen ($2,145, www.

. . . OR SAVE

Verner Panton chair in white ($300,

Bettina settee in purple Sunbrella canvas ($1,199, www.ballarddesigns.

See past room makeovers by local designers.

Tell us about your design challenge.

Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to

Kendra Nichols is the editor of Local Living.
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