“We love the idea of a restful and calm bedroom. Our days are so full of stress and high-level activity that there should be one room in the house that is just for relaxing,” says interior designer Gabriele Pizzale. Her clients call her the “queen of colour,” and Pizzale insists that bold, rich hues don’t necessarily run counter to unplugging and unwinding. If correctly selected and applied, colour can even help.
Her own bedroom, shared with husband Joe Pizzale and their cat Ivy – “She’s our little daughter,” now that their adult son no longer lives at home – was the result of an extensive second-floor renovation that saw one of the four bedrooms in their 2,000-square-foot Mississauga home converted into a walk-in closet. Even the clothes that hang in the closet – accessed off the master, through a 100-year-old door with a crystal knob – are arranged by hue, further evidence of Pizzale’s affinity for colour, and her use of it as an organizing device and mood-maker.
Pizzale applied a bold but dreamy colour scheme to the bedroom. “The dark walls,” a deep plum, “I find very soothing, cozy and enveloping,” she says. “And then my favourite colour of all is the coral. But I just use little bits of it because obviously it would be too much everywhere.”
That coral hue is seen in the ombré curtains (with fabric by Theo), pillows, throws and accessories, and in a Georgia O’Keeffe-style artwork, from custom art providers – and Quebec company – Renwil, that hangs opposite the bed. “It’s got all the colours of the room,” Pizzale says of the swirling cloudscape, “a very soothing palette and a non-descript pattern to it. Every time you look at it you see something else.”
“I’m not afraid of depth of colour, obviously,” Pizzale goes on. “It makes it very rich and luxurious.” All that saturation is salved by white accents: the bed’s upholstered headboard, window and door trim, and millwork in the alcove (the room’s closet, prerenovation). Nightstands, painted white, are from Geovin Furniture, with custom gold ring pulls from Oakville Fine Hardware. These are set against the dark, plum walls. The same style of dresser in a stained-wood finish (“so they look co-ordinated, as opposed to matching,” Pizzale says) is placed in the white alcove. “There are lots of light elements that lift the heavy wall colour. It’s a balance.”
A fluted-back slipper chair upholstered in cut velvet belonged to her grandmother. “That’s near and dear to my heart, so I wanted to use it somewhere in the house. But it’s sort of a diminutive chair, so it’s perfect in the bedroom.” Pizzale placed a gold side table beside it. “It’s handy for putting pillows on and whatnot.” Gold touches abound. The overhead pendant, by Currey & Company, casts a golden-hued flower pattern on the ceiling when lit. “I absolutely adore it,” she says.
Despite this bling, you won’t find tech that bings – or beeps, or boops – in Pizzale’s bedroom. The sole device she keeps bedside is a rotary phone. This is intentional. “It’s proven that the blue of TVs, computers and cellphones contribute to insomnia,” Pizzale says. In addition to this stake in the ground, Pizzale bemoans a general lack of investment in the design of what she thinks might be the most important room in the home.
“It’s such a shame most people don’t spend money on their bedroom, since it’s the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night,” Pizzale says. “It’s what sets the tone for the day.”