Using color and built-ins to expand small bedrooms

If you want to get the most out of a small bedroom in a condominium high-rise , give it an all-over look so everything blends in and the room doesn't look broken up with a lot of unrelated items.

This is the advice of Tanny Farah, senior interior designer at B. Altman & Co., who has decorated dozens of such rooms. She designed these two 12-by-15 -foot bedrooms for a condominium apartment in the new 32-story Carnegie Hill Tower in Manhattan.

To get that necessary visual flow, she says, the colors on the floor, the bed , the walls, and the window blinds must be planned together, so they are in harmony.

Another trick that seems to expand the space, she finds, is to strive for a built-in look even though you may be using regular free-standing commercial components, such as chests, bookshelves, and vanities. The simple, modern storage units she chose for both bedrooms are white Formica trimmed in beige, which were made to order.

Trundle beds are another solution. Since most families often need more sleeping space for occasional visitors, especially when children want to invite friends to stay overnight, Ms. Farah chose 39-inch beds with additional trundle beds beneath them for both rooms. What appears to be a single bed, flanked by two deep-drawer chests at either end, actually has a trundle bed beneath it that pulls out for the overnight guest.

In the room with two beds and a corner table, the bed on the right also has a trundle bed beneath so that, if needed, the room can actually sleep three people. The designer, who considers trundle beds more convenient and comfortable than most convertible sofas, notes that many versions are now available commercially.

This room has a patterned dhurrie rug on the floor and covered stools that double as extra seating or for tables. Colors in the rug are peach, navy, and Chinese lacquer red, and the walls are peach. Colors in the second bedroom are mauve, white, and beige. The chairs in each room are small-scaled but comfortable.

Another device the designer uses to give a more spacious feeling in many rooms is mirroring the closet doors.

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