Meet the Bedroom that Feels Like a Hug

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Award-winning Interior Designer and American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Ones to Watch Scholar Sarah Barnard has unveiled a happiness-inducing residential design project in Beverly Hills, California — the bedroom that feels like a hug.

“We need a safe, restorative space to help our bodies rest and recharge,” says Barnard. A hug has many of the same characteristics, it makes us feel secure and comforted, and when we let go of the embrace, there’s a rush of oxytocin that leaves us with a sense of lightness.

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Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that acts on the brain’s emotional center, promoting feelings of contentment, reducing anxiety and stress. When you hug often, your level of oxytocin increases, which strengthens social bonds. Hugging also stimulates dopamine and serotonin production in the body. Dopamine is a pleasure hormone that’s part of the brain’s reward mechanism, while serotonin is responsible for maintaining mood balance.

The jumping-off point for the bedroom was the curvilinear bed frame, an award-winning design by Autoban, carved from American black walnut. Its silhouette mimics the action of hugging, and the interior is lined with purple velvet, blending the natural texture with dark, feminine styling. To further the feeling of intimacy, Barnard chose a non-toxic, king-size organic coconut mattress topped with a reversible duvet in a custom, color-blocking scheme.

The word ‘phantasmagoria’ is scrawled across the wall behind the bed — a neon homage to the images that flicker by in our dreams. The client, a self-proclaimed bookworm, chose the word herself after much deliberation. High-pile black carpeting delivers a softness underfoot, and layered window treatments allow the client to sleep undisturbed in total darkness. “Window coverings serve many purposes,” says Barnard. “Not only do they block out sunlight and create privacy, but they add a decorative element to the room that unifies the composition.”

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The two-tone wall color, a marriage of plum and lavender, envelops the space. These hues were intentionally chosen to saturate the formerly bright bedroom, establishing a cozy, cocoon-like atmosphere. “The ceiling color extends to the walls, linking the two colors together in a way that the sharp ceiling line never could,” explains Barnard.

Hanging above the bespoke American Walnut nightstands are a pair of cloud-like pendant lights that emit a soft glow. A wall of concealed storage eliminates visual clutter, which can heighten our anxiety levels and impact sleep quality. Upholstered benches at the foot of the bed and by the entryway provide a comfortable spot to rest or dress in the morning.

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It was the client who initially requested the space “feel like a hug,” which Barnard describes as a “brilliant explanation of what good bedroom design should do.” The revamped master bedroom, a physical embodiment of a hug, provides all the comfort, safety, and well-being her client needs to settle into a restful slumber and wake up feeling warm and fuzzy.

See the rest of this home here Featured in LA Dreams Magazine

Teen Girl's Lavender Bedroom: Santa Monica Style

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This beautiful bedroom was designed for a teen girl and has custom made wall units to create storage space beneath sloped ceilings. The bed is complete with purple pillows, satin sheets, and a well-loved toy. Custom made bedding in satin and velvet pairs luxuriously with the delicate sheer lace drapery. The oversized chandelier is made of tiny porcelain flowers and hangs over a custom made bed fitted for sloped ceilings. This bedroom is the ideal sanctuary with lavender walls and a dark violet velvet armchair with tufted button back and cabriole legs.

Carvings, sketches and miniature sculpture make for an assortment of personal treasures.

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Custom built-in floating bedside tables provide storage for books, objects of art and a concealed outlet for charging electronics. A collection of carved and painted boxes paired with a whimsical succulent arrangement rest on a custom built-in floating bedside table. Sarah worked closely with the client's teenage daughter to curate a collection of her best travel photographs, ultimately matted and framed in antiqued silver.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Chas Metivier

Teen Boy's Bedroom: Santa Monica Style

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Autumn is always in the air in this teen boy's bedroom; which has a reclaimed wood bed frame and a natural log nightstand. The deep orange ceiling casts an overall warm glow while the pumpkin colored draperies work with the other elements to create a dramatic statement. A well-loved toy rests against custom pillows and bedding in embossed cotton velvet. A contemporary armchair was deconstructed and re-plated in antique bronze and upholstered in a vintage-inspired geometric fabric.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Chas Metivier

California Dreamers: Victorian + Bohemian Teen Bedroom

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This teen girl's room comes to life with colorful bohemian "Scandifornian" elements inspired by Scandinavia, influenced by Southern California life. and antique white furniture inspired by the Queen Anne style. Fuchsia, teal, apricot, and gold--together at last! This teen girl's bedroom color palette expresses her youth and energy. A vintage hobnail glass vase sits among fine art by Renae Barnard and Melissa Halozan on the teen girl's bedroom nightstand.

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The textured chartreuse throw, the teal bedding and handmade draperies banded with colorful embroidery in shades of fuchsia, teal, chartreuse, and gold bring the luxury. A vintage-inspired desk and Queen Anne chair are the perfect combination. An articulating desk lamp adds a pop of aqua to the teen girl's study area. Vibrant protea flowers converse with draping amaranthus and an oil painting by Allie Ihm.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Steven Dewall

California Dreamers: Boys' Bedroom

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Very possibly the best boys' bedroom ever! In a color scheme of navy, teal, walnut, and antique gold, this children's bedroom is both masculine and fun. Newly built walls allow for custom-made American walnut bunk beds that provide each boy with his private cave. Antique brass wall sconces are tucked inside of each boys bunk so that reading in bed is fresh and convenient.

Sarah Barnard designed the custom brushed brass ladder and bed rail to complement the antique metal finishes throughout the boys' bedroom. Each bunk bed has a pair of blue linen draperies lined with black-out lining. The drapes fit neatly into custom grooves in the bunks so that everything stays just where it belongs.

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Geometric wallpaper in navy, teal, and oatmeal creates visual appeal in the boys' bedroom. The vintage-inspired brass and black chandelier make the room glow with warm diffuse light. Handmade American walnut floating desks paired with small scale marble lamps provide each boy their own study space. Each boy's desk includes a utility wall with a chalkboard, pin board, metal panel for magnets and whiteboard calendar. The cantilevered desk chairs in antique brass and black leather complete the look.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Steven Dewall

Traditional Home: Pacific Palisades Master Bedroom

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For this Pacific Palisade’s Estate master bedroom suite, the owners desired a Victorian-era aesthetic on a grand scale. Sarah Barnard designed a California King sized bed and coordinating nightstands made of American Walnut with bronze hardware. Carved by master craftsmen in Los Angeles, the raised panels, fluted carvings, and intricate floral details define the one-of-a-kind Victorian-inspired bed explicitly created for this home. Antique brass bedside sconces with articulating arms allow for comfortable reading in bed. Three antique ceramic birds sit among fresh cut pink ranunculus on the master bedroom nightstand.

A few favorite books, a vintage brass cat and a black pottery vase filled with white hydrangeas adorn the custom American Walnut built-in bar providing easy access to snacks and beverages within the master bedroom suite.

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Decadent silk velvet, wool mohair, and cashmere textiles were used to ensure a deliciously tactile master bedroom suite. The original brass chandelier restored with custom shades covered in grey silk threads. A luxurious magnolia leaf garland drapes across the master bedroom fireplace mantle, framing a painting by artist Kevin Moore. White tulips set in a clear glass vase brighten the antique side table, a brass swing-arm floor lamp, and a deep rose velvet bergère chair.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Steven Dewall

Traditional Home: Historic Preservation Guest Bedroom

The guest bedroom has striking architectural beams that define the sleeping area. The bed features a Fornasetti "Crying / Smoking" design double sided cushion, made in Italy by Luciano Marcato. Matching bedside tables display the homeowner's mementos; a vintage brass cat makes fast friends with a snapshot of a brilliant painting taken on holiday in London. Artwork by Kevin Moore pairs effortlessly with the room's traditional furnishings and contemporary feel.

Pictured below is a comfortable reading area; featuring velvet bergère chair and brass swing-arm floor lamp. Deep green cotton velvet from Holland makes for simply elegant roman shades.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Steven Dewall

Accents of Black: Dramatic Home Interiors

Black clarifies. Place a table, seat, or artwork lacquered dark as ebony in a room awash in neutral tones and see the darkness snap to attention. It adds a crisp and bold touch to the room. Add an ornamental grass with obsidian-tone leaves to a pastel garden, and the same thing happens—that smokiness allures the eye into looking closer while making the surrounding seem even more brilliantly tinted. Think of how a classic little black dress stands out amid a crowd gowned in fondant froth. Black—the absence of color, the consumer of light—seasons our polychrome world with a note of mystery.

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Above the mantle, the cool black frames balance the warm colors in the room.

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The mirror above this bed fills the empty white wall with its modern design.

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The taupe legs on these ottomans neutralize the bright neutral fabrics

in this living room.

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These coffee table legs juxtapose the neutral carpet and furniture.

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There can be multiple accents of black as shown above. The black backsplash tile,
drapery over the sink, and black stool compose a luxurious, modern kitchen. 

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The warm grey sofa pops due to the black outlining of the room and elements within.

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The black countertops create a stark comparison between the green tiles
and white cabinetry to accentuate the brightness of this kitchen.

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To add a subtle touch of black, you can incorporate artworks such as this
painting or a piece of furniture with a black build. 

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In this beachfront getaway, this black customized tv is paired with a black throw and starfish to bring the room together.

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This bedroom was designed with a black platform bed, night stand, and drawer
to enhance the intimacy of this environment.

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The light cabinetry juxtaposes the black and turquoise countertops offering a modern design.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.