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Making your most intimate room also your most stylish

trevor brady The Globe and Mail

Dreaming, perchance, of a handsomer bedroom? Open your eyes to this trio of inspiring retreats.

Urban Oasis: Luxury and calm, West Coast-style

"The best thing about our bedroom is its relationship to the outdoor patio and pool," says Ross Bonetti, co-owner with his wife, Melissa, of this seaside West Vancouver oasis of cool. "In the summer, the doors are pulled wide open for that morning swim."

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Seven years ago, Bonetti commissioned local architects David Battersby and Heather Howat to create a modernist home for his family following the duo's redesign of LivingSpace Interiors, his home decor business in downtown Vancouver; the result, a 5,300-square-foot house that facilitates entertaining, accommodates the couple's three children and blends in seamlessly with its coastal setting, includes, among other highlights, a main-floor master bedroom with floor-to-ceiling accordion-fold doors bridging indoors and out.

The ability to slip from slumber to swimming pool in a single stride notwithstanding, one of the elements that gives the room its wow factor is the expansive upholstered bed by Italian textile and furniture firm Ivano Redaelli. "The low platform base works well with the walnut console behind it," Bonetti notes. "It's the perfect bed in which to spend a lazy Sunday. The look is minimal, but the linens and blankets, also by Redaelli, are made in the most luxurious materials. The muted tone-on-tone colours create a calming atmosphere."

While Melissa appreciates a pared-down aesthetic, the long-time employee of Bacci, a designer-clothing store on Vancouver's Granville Street, also likes pops of colour and inviting textures. Her influence on the room's interior design includes groupings of decorative ceramics and a Persian patch rug by Carpets Unloaded, elements that lend the space its sense of warmth. "We love to entertain and the house is always very busy with kids, friends and dogs," Ross says. "The bedroom is our space to read and relax."

Cozy Canuck: Cottage-country chic in the city

Toronto's James Milward met Sarah Foelske, a native of Colorado, while attending a 2009 rock-music festival in Texas; after they fell in love, Milward persuaded her to join him north of the border, where he recently proposed marriage. Today, the engaged thirty-something couple live together with Pearl, Foelske's 10-year-old Yorkie, in a renovated semi a stone's throw from the city's Trinity Bellwoods Park.

There, they share not one bedroom but two – a no-nonsense white-on-white one for weekdays and a much wilder one, dubbed "the cottage," for weekends.

"We don't have a country property," Milward, the founder and owner of Secret Location, an interactive media company, explains, "so we wanted there to be a room in our house that [serves as]an urban escape, a place where we can 'go on weekends' to get away from it all."

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Working with a next-to-nothing budget, Milward and Foelske, who is associate creative director at Bruce Mau Design, cultivated the deliberately haute-rustic look, which includes plenty of plaid, all manner of Canadiana and of course the requisite Hudson's Bay point blanket, during many a weekend treasure hunt at flea markets from Montreal to Hamilton.

"We found a number of the elements at Christie Antiques Show [in Hamilton]as well as here in Toronto at the St. Lawrence Market on Sundays," Milward says. "It has been a fun thing to do as a couple."

Rich retreat: Drama and flair in a compact setting

When her graphic-designer husband, Robert Gray, told Theresa Casey about a 1930s house that had come up for sale on the northern edge of Toronto's Rosedale neighbourhood four years ago, the interior designer took one look at it and knew that she had found her dream home. After the couple acquired it, Casey set about crafting a bedroom to compare, installing chocolate-brown velvet curtains and darkly brocaded wallpaper to create a space as dramatic as it is comfortable.

"I love the art deco period, which was just on the cusp of modernism," Casey, a descendant of Carmel Snow, the legendary Vogue and Harper's Bazaar editor, says. "In this house, I wanted to bring in references from the era through hardware and fixtures found at vintage stores and on my travels."

At the same time, the designer, who trained as a painter, wanted to use the 12-by-14-foot bedroom to experiment with visual ideas. "I wanted a layered look," Casey says. "I love rich fabrics. I love textiles. I love seeing how different colours can be enhanced by being paired together in unexpected ways."

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Given the intimate scale of the room, she was careful to incorporate pieces that would pack a visual punch without overwhelming the space, outfitting skinny antique lamps with red shades for drama and upholstering a single chair in a striped fabric to make it pop against the patchwork of faded Persian carpets she laid on the floor.

"All my interiors," Casey says, "are about creating a mood," the one in this space being decidedly dreamy.

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