How Can I Do Something Fresh and Fabulous for Less Money in My Bedroom?



Ellen, our current financial times are frightening many people, and rightfully so. It's important to spend and save money wisely when the economy is uncertain. We thought we would answer your question by inviting interior designer Oskar Torres to show how he made over a Manhattan bedroom with great style and minimum expense. The secret, according to Oskar, is to "use big ideas to decorate small rooms."

The Apartment's BEFORE PictureMy client gave me a real challenge: in designing her bedroom, I had to incorporate her Asian heritage with her love of modern furniture. “I love yellow and modern furniture” was the directive she gave me. Since she would not be in town to shop and give final approvals, e-mail and the Internet became an essential component of this project.

The existing space was a typical New York room. Bare, pinkish-white walls. Uninspiring furniture. Lots of clutter, clutter, and more clutter. A saving grace was that the master bedroom was large enough to accommodate a queen-sized bed, two night tables, a desk, and an occasional chair. No dressers were needed since there were four large closets, a surprising bonus.

Interior Designer Oskar TorresI applied a “no-brainer” concept to transform the bedroom into an Asian-infused oasis. I wanted this oft-traveled young professional to recharge her batteries in a great space whenever she was back in New York.

I painted the walls in a soft-hued Benjamin Moore Yellow Lotus 2021-50 for a calming and quieting effect. The modern white lacquered Ikea bed is finished with a mixture of modern and vintage fabrics. I had a graphic yellow pillow fashioned from a vintage Obi. The bed’s bolster was created from a faux-sheepskin blanket I spotted in a Salvation Army in Florida. 

I kept the window treatments soft and flowing so as not to detract from the great views of the New York skyline; I used an unlined multi-color striped silk from Mood Fabrics. The square cut-out yellow lacquered night tables were a treat, little splurges created by society designer Celerie Kemble.

chinoiseriethPoppy 1315Misha CarpetsWest ElmHousing Works

Cool, calm, and collected. The simple unlined silk stripe curtain fabrics soften the room. Anchoring the wall is a sunburst metal mirror from Crate and Barrel.

Rooted in tradition. I chose all the linens on the bed for their texture and color. The Chinese vase with orange roses provides an inviting vignette to any bedroom.

Well matched. A corner of the bedroom creates a cozy reading spot. The Deco gold leaf table interacts with a Vintage Safari leather chair by Michel Arnoult and Murano vase (all from

Pure serenity. A constellation mirror from Bond & Bowery creates a focal point over the desk from West Elm. The Rosenau Collection side chair from Robert Allen (to the trade) was upholstered with a fabric sample. The gourd Chinese porcelain lamp keeps the Asian fusion intent. Desk accessories are from Home Goods.

Be Green, Buy Vintage

Big Idea:

Oskar Torres is an interior designer based in LIC, New York. For more information, visit the Oskar Torres website.
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