Fill Up your Empty Bedroom and Creative Message Boards

My bedroom seems very vacant. I have a King sized bed and there is a lot of space for more furniture. I don’t want a desk in my bedroom, but another functional area would be welcome. Could you suggest a solution? (my style is very traditional)
–Tyler, Okotoks 

Use a combination of paint, fabrics and furniture to fill the space. Don’t shy away from colour on the walls. Rather than a contemporary white or light grey, try a mid-tone paint in yellow (traditional) or eggshell blue (soothing). For bedding, choose a warm tone for the coverlet and layer a bedcover at the foot of the bed.

For window coverings, use curtains. Choose a mid to heavier weight fabric and tie the colour tones in with an oversized area rug. A muted pattern will keep the room calm in feeling, but fill some of the empty space.

Lastly: Furniture! Create a sitting area using two armchairs, an ottoman in between, a side table and a standing lamp or two. Make it functional so you will use it. Put a long bench at the end of the bed. This will add more visual interest and also give you a place to set things on. Put an oversized woven basket in an empty corner and consider using oversized bedside lamps with white shades. Everything you add will create more warmth and make the room feel less “vacant”, but make sure you are thinking about visual space AND physical space while you try and remedy this problem!

Do you have any interesting suggestions for a message board in my kitchen? I’m not a fan of the standard cork board!
–Jannel, Langdon

There are many options depending on what scale you are thinking. If you just require a small reminder board, try using a peel and stick chalk board. They come in great shapes and add a fun element to the kitchen. If you’re looking for something of a larger scale (for children’s artwork and family photos) you can upholster a wall with felt. It comes in a variety of fun colors (neutrals too) and can change the look of your space entirely. You have to do this over a sub-layer of cork or the pins have nothing to stick into. For a more techie solution, why not get an iPad stand and use a mini-iPad for notes and scheduling. This can act as the main station for all family scheduling!



For help with your next home project, send a question to You can also address your queries on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #ASKsteph. Please include first name and city/town of residence.

ABOUT STEPHANIE began her residential design career in 1999 following a BA in Art History from McGill University in Montreal and studies at The International Academy of Design in Toronto. Her aesthetic is ‘natural contemporary’, blending organic materials with sleek, clean edge design. With 15 years experience in residential design, Stephanie is comfortable in both construction boots and stilettos. Her projects include new builds and renovations in Toronto, Creemore, Georgian Bay & Kenora. She has a keen interest in the real estate market, has flipped several homes and is always working on the next project. She has two children and resides in Toronto but secretly considers her home 2 hours North in a town abutting Georgian Bay.