When decorating the bedroom, if possible, choose bed linens and draperies first. They will be the major investment, and wall and floor coverings can then be selected to heighten the mood you have set. It's also far easier to take a fabric sample to the paint store than to struggle with shades of green or gray that you thought would complement the bedspread or curtains and be disappointed when you paint the walls.
The marvelous thing about paint (you may have heard me say this before) is that it can take on any personality. Paint can disguise, enhance, copy, dress up, and dress down. Your walls are the backdrop on which you can pre- sent a tranquil spirit with quiet shades of taupe, pale green, and earthy terra-cottas, or paint a fantasy of splendor by replicating mar- ble slabs, stone pillars, and the look of lush fabrics. And this is a very budget-conscious versatility.
Although I'm not a terrific fan of wallpaper, I do love two types of specialty wall coverings. Anaglypta is a heavy, embossed paper designed to be painted. Lincrusta is a much heavier linoleum-based wall covering, also embossed with gorgeous patterns and meant to be painted. They are both available in the original patterns created a hundred years ago in Britain. These products mimic the intricate detailing of carved plaster, and are perfect for creating a period style.
If you are living in a converted loft, one or more walls may be brick or concrete. The warmth of the brick tones can be picked up and painted onto other surfaces. Concrete is hard and cool. It can be painted, or you can playoff its raw appearance with a minimal, Zen- approach sleeping space.
Cottage walls suit the natural quality of exposed wood beams and real wood paneling. If you want a lighter look, the wood can be white- washed, but its built-in warmth and personality make a wonderful escape from the concrete jungle.