The dormer window is a light source in the oddly configured space under the eaves, but it can seem like an obstacle to graceful decor. It makes no sense to ignore it because the shape and placement of the dormer will upstage the rest of your bedroom unless you tame it with clever, functional design. View the dormer as a bonus and experiment with decor that integrates it into the rest of the room.
Dormer for Dreaming
A dormer is an invitation to a window seat -- all you need is a built-in bench and a good book to take advantage of the alcove. Create storage under the bench for off-season clothes or other closet hogs and cover a thick foam cushion with faded velvet for soft landings. Deepen the alcove with bookcases flanking the window, just to the height where the ceiling begins to slant. Hang a velvet curtain on brass rings from a brass rod over the top of the window to pull across the seat for a private reading nook. A directional wall sconce makes an out-of-the-way reading lamp.
Create work space with plenty of daylight and the sense of a barrier between the beds to enhance privacy in a shared bedroom. A wide dormer window lets you position one twin bed on either side of the window wall, each bed under the slant of the gabled roof, and separate the two with a double desk under the window. Partly pulled back curtains along the edge of the slanted ceiling section next to the beds are decorative and become fluid "walls" when allowed to fall freely. Put a cushioned chest at the foot of each bed to store extra blankets and bedding and supply a seat for pulling on boots or shoes. A long dresser along the low opposite wall takes advantage of the awkward slanted space.
The bedroom at the top of the house is removed from the daily fray and the perfect hermitage for your more reflective moments. Use the dormer window as a meditation space to catch the early morning and late afternoon light and the peaceful rays of the full moon. Place a small, ornate table or cupboard in front of the window and set your Buddha statue or other objects of focus on it. A fat cushion on the floor before the altar completes the bare-bones setup. Add tea lights, an incense holder, a vase for flowers or a green plant. Apply translucent film to the window glass if there's too much glare. The straight lower walls next to the dormer are perfect for displaying silk tangkas, the hand-painted banners depicting Buddhist icons or other deities. Decorate the rest of the room in neutrals with a lot of white to maintain the atmosphere of tranquility.
Mini-Bistro Bedroom Window
A deep dormer window in the attic bedroom will surround a tiny bistro table and two chairs for a charming breakfast or late-night wine bar under the eaves. Hang a flea market chandelier with a dimmer over the table, or wind fairy lights all over the chandelier, to light evening snacks romantically. Frame narrow Art Nouveau posters and secure them to the slanted walls that flank the window. If the alcove is very deep, add hinged shutters to the floor that close to hide the tiny cafe and the window after hours. Paint the shutters matte emerald, royal purple, antique vanilla or slate. An area rug under the table and chairs will define the space when the dormer is shallow, and close-fitting sheers, shirred top and bottom over the window, will filter the light.
- Photo Credit Les Palenik/iStock/Getty Images
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