Get the Look: A Spanish-Inspired Bedroom
Decorating can sometimes feel like a task—especially when you have a house to fill and furniture that your family needs. But when the process comes from a desire to want to treat yourself, that’s when it really gets fun. Interior designer Frances Merrill of Reath Design was recently hired by a client in L.A.’s leafy Windsor Square neighborhood who found herself in that very position. “My client had lived in the house for 13 years, and as her children were getting older, she found that she actually had some time to herself,” Merrill says. “She wanted to make her bedroom a place where she could spend time and carve out a space for herself, to read a book or just relax.” Scroll to see photos of the space.
When the designer began to work on the master bedroom, she was immediately drawn to the raw space in her client’s Spanish-style home, with its plaster walls, curved ceiling, and original wood trim. Though she wanted to retain the architecturally distinct home’s authenticity, she did make one adjustment. “We loved the plaster walls, but they were very yellow, so we had an expert plasterer come in and add gray to them,” she says. “This allowed us to use a broad range of colors without it feeling too old world.”
With the neutral and slightly austere palette of the room as a base, Merrill chose warm and luxurious colors and materials to provide contrast and statement-making appeal. The designer says the antique African textile, which she used as a headboard and discovered at Lawrence of La Brea in Los Angeles, was her greatest find. “I have seen them before in brown, black, and neutral, but never before in blue,” she says. “It was the starting point for the room.” She continued the blue throughout the room in other accents, such as floral shams in fabric by Muriel Brandolini; a blue bedspread belonging to the client; and assorted pillows in fabrics by Carolina Irving, Lisa Fine, Pat McGann, and Kravet.
When it comes to pillows and other textiles, Merrill advises, “Don’t be afraid to mix styles.” She also champions the classic: “I love a pile of vintage kilim pillows as much as the next person, but I think the floral shams and the ticking stripe on the bedskirt are what make this room special. I will add a stripe to anything!”
Mixing, in general, is something Merrill does gorgeously—especially so in this space. In the master bedroom, she offers up a wide range of pieces from different design eras and movements. “I think if something looks good then it is always in style,” she says. “If it is appropriate for the client and the space, it doesn’t matter what period it is from.” Alongside antique textiles, she placed modern, utilitarian reading lamps and a contemporary rendition of a traditional, Moroccan tray table. “When you combine design elements from different periods and places, you create an unexpected whole.”