Resting Pose: A Zen Bedroom Makeover

Pioneering green designers strike the perfect balance between Zen simplicity and luxury for our second annual Bedroom Makeover Contest winner, a Boulder yoga teacher.

| November/December 2005

  • Anna Sova quilt, SDH blanket and bed skirt, Natural Cork flooring
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison
  • Bear Creek Candle Company candles, VivaTerra tea-light holders
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison
  • Earthsake cloud mattress and box spring, SDH mattress cover
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison
  • Earthshade window covering, Ten Thousand Villages vase and VivaTerra gong
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison
  • oop sheets and pillowcases, Suite Sleep blanket and pillow protectors
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison
  • Ten Thousand Villages mirror
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison
  • Tucker Robbins headboard and nightstands, SDH blanket and pillow shams, Chöpa Buddha face
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison
  • VivaTerra railroad tie shelves, veggie parchment bowl, and tumblers
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison
  • VivaTerra wall hanging, shelf, and twig flower holders
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison
  • One of the biggest design challenges in Brandon’s bedroom was the oddly shaped westfacing window. A custom bamboo window covering from Earthshade provides a beautiful and energysaving solution.
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison
  • Simple lines and sumptuous textures make for a serene sleeping space. The tea tray, made from hand-cut paper, is from Atmosphere in Boulder, Colorado, AtmosphereBoulder.com.
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison
  • One of the biggest design challenges in Brandon’s bedroom was the oddly shaped westfacing window. A custom bamboo window covering from Earthshade provides a beautiful and energysaving solution.
  • Organic Cotton Alternatives zabuton mat and crescent meditation cushion, Ten Thousand Villages smoked bamboo coffee table, VivaTerra pedestal servers, Bear Creek Candle Company candles
    Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison

At his CorePower Yoga studio in Boulder, Colorado, Brandon Cox teaches Vinyasa, a type of yoga based on the flowing together of movement and breath. Unfortunately, his bedroom, with severe angles, varied elevations, and inconsistent wall finishes, did anything but flow. Annette Stelmack, Rachael Giudice, and Cassandra Coombe from Associates III in Denver agreed to take on the challenge of remaking the room for Brandon, the winner of Natural Home & Garden’s second annual Bedroom Makeover Contest. “It was so severe, it just didn’t feel like one should be sleeping there,” says Giudice.

The designers gave the room a Zen austerity complemented by beautiful accent pieces that soften the edges. “The goal was to bring continuity to the space and create the peaceful, simplistic environment Brandon was looking for,” says Stelmack. Coombe got to work assembling products donated by Natural Home & Garden advertisers and friends.

Down to earth 

The biggest challenge was unifying the room. Every wall had a different elevation, ranging from 47 to 144 inches, with severe angles rising to the ceiling. The inconsistently trimmed window, a square topped by a triangle, added more sharp angles and was difficult to dress because of its odd shape. The wall finishes were inconsistent, with one wall done in wood and the rest in drywall. The popcorn ceiling, traditionally made of toxic fiberglass, was dated and flaking.



Associates III refinished the walls in beautiful earthen clay plaster and upholstered the popcorn ceiling with natural hemp fabric. Next, they covered the window with a custom-made, handwoven bamboo shade. By giving the walls, ceiling, and window neutral colors and earthy textures, they softened and warmed the room.

Next, the team pulled up the old, worn carpet and installed a richly colored cork floor. Because cork has millions of air pockets, it’s sound absorbent and softer to walk on than hardwood. “This floor is the grounding force of the room,” says Stelmack. Brandon agrees, “It’s so inviting. It doesn’t echo like other hard floors, which is really nice for the bedroom.”






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