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,