The couple wants a bedroom that’s “different and special. (Leah L Jones/For The Washington Post)

After Rachel and Rob Gibson married in October, they wanted their bedroom to feel “different and special.” They’ve lived in their Bethesda apartment since 2009 and call the room a “hodgepodge of old furniture” from their single days.


Designer April Force Pardoe shifts the bed to the center of the room and chooses classic, neutral pieces that the couple can use in a future home.

Hang photographs in clusters. Choose matching frames and mats to unify the collection.

SPLURGE: Desmond queen headboard ($1,600)

Paint the ceiling to make the room look larger. A soothing blue complements the bedding. Walls and ceiling are Rain by Sherwin-Williams.

An ottoman provides storage for bed linens or books. It can double as a footrest for the chair.

Dress the windows with wood Roman shades. Mount them at the ceiling to make the room appear taller.

Use nightstands for storage: one for him and one for her. A pair of reading lamps ties them together.

Vary the type of art on each wall. For a reading area, pick one large piece, such as a painting or framed print.

Create a reading nook by adding an armchair and a side table. A vase of bright flowers adds life to the soft space.

Rachel and Rob Gibson (Leah L Jones/For the Washington Post)

Pardoe, of AFP interiors (410-446-6340,, is based in Elkridge.


Furniture: Alden reclaimed wood extra-wide dresser ($1,200, www.potterybarn.
); Blanc de Blanc storage ottoman and bench in white ($230,; Caprice accent table in distressed blue-gray ($200,

Lighting: Mid-century teal ceramic gourd table lamp ($100,; Haeger Potteries sage ceramic egg table lamps ($100 each,; Lite Source gold-bronze adjustable pharmacy floor lamp ($140,

Accessories: Hand-blocked Lola quilt in aquamarine-ivory ($110) and shams ($24 each), and Chloe throw in ivory ($80), all from; lotus leaf texture print on stretched canvas ($250 for 36 by 48 inches,


Desmond queen headboard ($1,600,

London chair in Gavin Pewter ($1,425,

. . . OR SAVE

Carlton upholstered headboard in oatmeal ($350,

Chas armchair in blue stripe ($480,

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