Drew McGukin is an esteemed Interior Designer located in New York city. His taste is the perfect balance between sophisticated and eccentric, and tailored to his New York clients. With NYC as the poster-child for small living spaces, we sat down with Drew to get his tips on how to style the perfect New York loft.
Luxury is as much about feeling as anything specific to what an actual item may look like or accomplish. Luxury is total experience and needs to hit all six senses---taste, touch, sight, smell, hearing and the elusive “Sixth Sense” — intuition. By tapping into the senses for bedroom design, you'll be amazed how much impact you can create in a small space.
The first step in creating a perfect bedroom from a luxe point-of-view is setting the mood. Nothing reads sexy better than a beautiful lighting scene and well-placed mirrors. I recommend layers of light from above, background, side-to-side, reading, bedside, a soft glow from underneath or surrounding. Think about every place from where you might reach, then consider all the times of day. Installed dimmers or dimming plugs are essential. I love mixing big table lamps and swing arms on the wall. For mirrors, position them to reflect gorgeous moments from the bed's line of sight. You also need a large enough mirror to see yourself dressed (or undressed) in the bedroom.
Neatness and function are top priorities. The bedroom must operate like a well-oiled machine. Fold out, open up > use; then fold away, put back up > done. Everything needs its place and the design of each component must be on point. Luxury is seamless, thoughtful and effortless. Organization is paramount. Integrate solutions everywhere: pull-out trays, drawers for clutter, shelves for books, boxes with labels, well-positioned plugs or USB ports.
Next is comfort. Sleep is a given, so make sure the mattress is suited to the individual and handsomely crafted. Luxury is balance, quieted and refined. Access to the bed should be direct and easy from both sides---no climbing over or locking your bed fellow into a corner. Same for bedside tables---you need them on both sides and they need ample space for a lamp, water glass, books, phone with charger, eyeglasses, and a candle. I often love mismatched bedsides, but nothing beats a beautifully tailored pair. Bed linens should be fresh, soft, clean-lined and not overly patterned. People tend to go pillow crazy like it's a palace. Streamline: (2) Euros in the back (2) standard or king in a sham in front of Euros (1) decorative punch centered on front. You can add (2) sleeping pillows, or you can store them in nearby closet or chest to bring out at night as a part of "dressing the bed." You layer in luxury by creating ritual or experience in bedrooms. Fold a down comforter at the end of the bed. The bed combination should include sheets, bed cover or decorative blanket, folded comforter with duvet cover that compliments sheeting. Returning to a beautifully made bed each day is an easy simple luxury.
Bedrooms need softness and serenity, as well as conversation and intimacy. Find a wonderful rug, gracious robes, extra PJs and slippers neatly stowed and easy to grab. Hooks in bedrooms are a great small addition that add a place to quickly organize comings and goings. Don't be afraid to add them on a wall. I love exposed hooks---they tell a story about the life of the space. Luxury is also about sharing, giving and exploring. Find a way to get two people tucked in and sitting somewhere off the bed. Seating is a harder trick in a small NYC bedroom, but totally required. If one is all that fits, make sure there's at least a cozy chair that nooks in and feels reflective, safe and conversational. Think about bedroom seating as morning coffee or a nightcap, then plan accordingly. Art adds to conversation in any space. Bedroom art needs to feel subtle and engaging. More art is better than less.
Don't listen to anyone who tells you a TV in the bedroom is wrong. It's all about manners and how you use it (like just about everything in life). Be cognizant of your guest or sleep mate when deciding to watch TV in the bedroom. Ask politely and be willing to do without, but including a TV option is A-Okay by me. Nothing beats a cold NYC snow day when you and a mate stay in bed catching up on snuggles and TV til noon!