Serene Sanctuary

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Ashley Clark Bedroom Project_credit Ryan Garvin
Make your bedroom your sanctuary, with layered bedding, special lighting, personal decor and more. | Photo by Ryan Garvin

Discover how to create the bedroom retreat you deserve.

By Tanya A. Yacina


Your bedroom is somewhere you should be able to rest, recenter and recharge—a calm place that allows you to let go of the stress of the day and get a good night’s rest. In essence, it should be your sanctuary.

Ashley Clark, owner and principal designer at Skout, says a bedroom should feel calm and inviting. She says it should be designed as a retreat, a place to rest and recover from the chaos of the day; a place that feels like a hug.

“I love adding personal photos and items to a bedroom,” Clark notes. “It’s a place to rest and reflect, to … think about the things and … [people] you love. If you want to hang family photos, wedding photos, your kids’ baby pictures, a bedroom is a great place for that. Not everyone visits your bedroom, so it should truly be a space that is for you with the things that you love.”

When designing your perfect bedroom space, Clark suggests starting with a piece you are drawn to and building around that. This could be a light fixture, bed frame, rug, comfy chair or piece of art—one item to pull through the rest of the room. “Things will fall into place when you start with something you love,” she says.

Clark recommends focusing on lighting, which can include window treatments and filtered lights in the space. She also says bedding and the layering of comforters, throws and pillows are important to set the tone of the room.

“[Consider] adding some lamps to your bedside, a chandelier over the bed or some wall sconces,” Clark suggests. “Lighting has a huge effect on how you feel in your space and it’s so important in your bedroom.

“Scale is really everything,” she adds. “I love when things seem a bit off or just unexpected—when you expect a small light fixture, but instead see a giant one or vice versa.”

Another element that Clark considers pivotal when designing a bedroom space is texture. “We love to keep things pretty neutral in a bedroom, but layer in lots of texture in bedding and pillows, and even wall treatments and furnishings.”

Overall, less is more in the bedroom. Neutral colors and textures should be employed over patterns and colors. While a television can be common in the bedroom, it should not overpower the rest of the space. A bedroom sanctuary is “all about the feels” and clutter should also be kept to a minimum.

“I honestly do not think people realize how much clutter affects them—a pile or box in the corner really makes the entire space feel different. A room free of clutter, a room where things have a place, will change your life,” Clark explains.

“You do not need a huge bedroom, but a space free of clutter is a game changer. No one needs 50 throw pillows on their bed; don’t get me wrong, we love pillows, but try not to get carried away.”


Peaceful Pieces

Seek out these soothing items to bring harmony to your personal space.

Style and storage come together with the WOVEN RATTAN & WOOD DISPLAY BOX WITH GLASS LID SET, which can add texture to a room while hiding some of your clutter or displaying priceless pieces, $95, at Skout. (714-606-2363;
Blair Duvet Collection by Pom Pom at Home - Midnight-2
Add some character to your room with the BLAIR DUVET COLLECTION by Pom Pom at Home, which is made of linen and has unique frayed edges and tie closures for a different look than what you’re used to in the bedroom, $494, at Pure Salt Interiors. (
Nothing ensures a good night of sleep better than a luxury mattress, like the SIGNATORY SUPERB mattress from Vispring, which contains two-layer, pocket-sprung support; soft cotton; and upholstery with natural fillings to keep you comfortable all night long, $28,000 for king size, with advance order at H. Alora Luxury Beds, South Coast Collection, Costa Mesa. (949-274-7500;
The WYATT bed frame, available in a variety of heights, colors and fabrics, offers a streamlined, sophisticated style that is perfect for any modern bedroom, $1,699 and up, with advance order at Room & Board, South Coast Collection, Costa Mesa. (714-549-5995,
Serena & Lily Miramar Chaise
Settle into comfort when you choose the MIRAMAR CHAISE as an accent piece for your bedroom oasis; with an endless number of colors, patterns and fabrics to choose from—including some that are resistant to stains, molding and UV radiation—you can match it to any decor piece in the room, $3,098 and up, with advance order at Serena & Lily, Lido Marina Village. (949-287-5764,
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