Before settling into their current place, blogger and co-founder of Rue Magazine Anne Sage lived with her now-husband, Ivan, in a more cramped home where natural light was hard to come by. "I always felt like I was piggybacking on [my husband's] space," Sage tells MyDomaine, so a chance to build a new life together in a new home came as a welcome adventure for the pair.
And considering that Sage is an incredibly talented interior designer, the decorating process was so fun to watch (just check out her kitchen to see what we mean). While it's hard to rank which rooms we were most excited to see come together, we were probably partial to the master bedroom, so when she told us it was ready to make its debut, we couldn't wait to see the result.
"This is the bedroom my husband and I share. It's not huge, measuring about 10-by-12 feet, but I'm happy to say that it's the biggest bedroom we've ever had together, so it feels like we live in a mansion," says Sage. "We live in a 1954 bungalow. It's quaint and petite, with a simple but charming architectural envelope," she continues.
Her main objective for the new space? "I wanted it to feel super intentional: Our bedroom in our previous home was a random amalgamation of things we'd collected over time, and it always felt a little haphazard to me," Sage explained. "This was my chance to create a space in which every decision had been considered as part of the whole."
To get inspired by modern bedroom design, take a tour of the finished product below.
Creating the Overall Vision of the Bedroom
Modern bedroom design is often mistaken for being sparse and cold, but that's far from the truth. It's really all about making these easier, both on the eye and in terms of lifestyle. "Above all, I wanted this space to feel like a calming and clutter-free respite from our busy lives—one that feels really airy and expansive in spite of the relatively small footprint," Sage says.
And this sense of easy, breezy living comes across in her taste and aesthetic. "If I had to put a label on my style, I'd call it 'California modern,'" she tells us. "I love clean lines and sculptural silhouettes, with the visual interest in a space coming more from organic layered textures than from tons of color."
Admittedly, choosing a color scheme is one of the most intimidating steps in decorating. You want to make sure your personality shines without overcommitting to bold hues you'll get tired of. But it's also exciting, as Sage points out. Revisiting your personal goal is one of the best ways to make ensure you get it right the first time.
"Since my goal was to create a zen-inspired retreat, I wanted the palette to be easy on the eyes," she explains. "I built the foundation with pale neutrals like oatmeal, ash gray, and natural-grained blonde wood; I then added in black accents for contrast and touches of brass for warmth."
"[This ladder is] a great way to showcase a rotating collection of throw blankets (the ones shown above are handwoven in Peru and available through The Citizenry), and its finish nicely echoes the blonde wood of the dresser opposite it," Sage tells us.
"YLiving was basically my one-stop-shop for modern, minimalistic accents. The marble block tables I chose as our nightstands are very low and compact (only 16 inches cubed), both to complement the lounge-y vibe of the bed and to fit within the small dimensions of our room," Sage says.
Anchoring the Room With the Bed
"The bed is the centerpiece of a bedroom, so that's where I started the design process," says Sage. "I fell hard for the Harper Bed by Rove Concepts the first time I saw it. It's low and inviting with really harmonious proportions, and it almost seems to float in the middle of the room. It reminds me of something you'd see in a really spare, elegant hotel."
Aside from falling in love with the overall look and feel of the bed, she also appreciated the details, as each element of the frame lent itself to the colors, textures, and materials she wanted to feature. A new frame also opened up the opportunity to choose new bedding. "For years, I've been drawn to a bed with messy, fluffy layered blankets, but recently my taste has definitely evolved toward a more tailored look," she notes. "And, of course, the tightly upholstered construction of our new bed frame demands it."
"The linen upholstery adds great texture, the buff hue is super versatile, and I really appreciate that it's constructed from sustainably sourced materials," she tells us. This is also the first upholstered bed frame she's ever had. "I feel like I got a new stamp in my adulting passport," she jokes.
"I'm so happy with how streamlined this simple coverlet by Parachute Home looks with an updated take on a matelassé quilting. Bonus: My grandmother always dressed her bed in matelassé, so I smile a little every time I see it," Sage tells us.
"I still love my layers of sumptuous textiles," she says—but instead of piling a mess of pillows on the bed, it's all about streamlining and opting for a few pieces that really get the job done, like this cute throw.
Adding Personality With Accessories and Accents
And as exciting as it is to find a bed frame you love enough to commit to, accent pieces are where you really get to play around with your style and have fun. "The most exciting part of this project was after I'd chosen the big foundational pieces and got to choose all the little touches to add personality," Sage tells us. "In terms of small décor accents, I kept the edit really tight since I hate when clutter accumulates in the bedroom. That meant the few pieces I did choose had to be statement-makers in their own right, as well as jive with the whole."
And though she opted for a new bed to inspire and anchor the rest of the room, there were also a few preexisting pieces she worked with to maintain her personal touch. "The black leather Paulistano sling chair was in our old bedroom," she says. "I've had it for years—it was a college graduation gift—and I think of it as a message from my younger self that clean, modern design will never go out of style. It's been through four moves with me, and I'll never part with it," she tells us.
"As I've grown older, I've become more interested in collecting limited-edition artwork, so this Charles Christopher Hill print from Twyla really spoke to me," Sage explains. "It's an abstract take on traditional African Kuba cloth patterns, and it has such a powerful energy to it. Ordinarily, I'd have been nervous about hanging a piece this large over the bed for safety reasons (hello, earthquakes!), but with each purchase, Twyla sends a professional installer to mount the artwork using the same damage-proof hardware that galleries use to protect their priceless acquisitions."
"This mirror has the option of being hung vertically or horizontally if I ever want to switch things up," Sage tells us. In other words, it'll definitely last you.
"Another holdover was the Bertu Home stump table next to the chair," she says. "I used to have it in our entryway, but I moved it to the bedroom where it's great for holding a vase of fresh flowers, a stack of books, or my phone while it charges. Its bleached finish gives it an almost ethereal presence that totally belies how hardworking it is."
Finding the Right Light and Amplifying Storage
"I'm a big proponent of not being afraid to change or add hardwired light fixtures, even when you live in a rental as we do. The cost of hiring an electrician is small compared to the major impact that fantastic lighting can have, and you also gain a greater sense of ownership in your space," Sage says.
One of the first changes they made was swapping out overhead lighting. "We traded the tacky '80s ceiling fan that came with the house for a sleek, chic matte black ceiling fan from YLiving." Flanking the bed with sconces is a simple way to elevate a bedroom while also freeing up surface spaces. "We added hardwired sconces from Schoolhouse Electric to both sides of the bed. Wall-mounted lighting frees up valuable real estate on our nightstands since now we don't have to make room for table lamps," she says.
Speaking of storage space, that was one of Sage's biggest challenges while decorating the bedroom. "The bedroom isn't huge by any stretch of the imagination, and my husband and I both love our fashion. (His activewear collection alone could clothe a small army!) At the same time, I didn't want a huge dresser to dwarf the room, so Capsule Home's Open Frame Dresser was the perfect solution."
"Because the drop height on the new fan is six inches shorter than the one it replaced, it hugs the ceiling more closely and therefore makes the room feel bigger," Sage says of her fan pick.
"I love the classic-meets-modern vibe of the frosted glass shades and warm brass finish of the two-armed sconce I selected," Sage tells us. "They feel so timeless!"
"A tripod table lamp, black-and-gold metal bowl, and marble candleholder bring a dynamic mix of materials into the space yet all have strong, architectural silhouettes that play nicely with the larger elements in the room," Sage says.