The challenge: Add personality and distinction to a generic bedroom.

The designer: Artist/muralist and interior designer Jeralyn Mohr, Full Nest Inc., St. Paul,, 651-442-5596.

The approach: The owner of this Shorewood condo was ready to put her personal stamp on the master bedroom. But she also was thinking about putting the condo on the market soon and wanted the room to appeal to a broad range of buyers.

Not-so-plain vanilla: The condo had already been repainted, in an ivory hue, to neutralize it for resale. "She [the owner] had just spent money on that and wasn't interested in repainting," Mohr said. So Mohr's challenge was to add interest and personality while working within that neutral palette.

She used warm white light bulbs, instead of daylight bulbs, to "warm up the color, make it look a little more yellow, a little less sterile," she said. She also added ivory silk drapes to reflect light and "make the wall color look more intentional."

Plum and light blue pillows and other accents added small doses of color. Those hues were used elsewhere in the house so Mohr knew they were shades the owner liked. She also incorporated some bold black elements to add "a little glam factor. It made everything else pop."

Creating character: The bedroom didn't have many built-in architectural elements, which made it easy to give it the fresh, modern look the owner was seeking. But its modest size and relatively low ceilings made it seem more like a guest bedroom than a master bedroom. "Drama and symmetry helped compensate for that," Mohr said.

For drama, she used mirrored picture frames in place of a headboard, to open up the room. She also brought in an abstract zebra-print rug that suggests the animal's distinctive markings, but isn't a literal replica. "The owner likes animal prints, but we didn't want to make it look like a brothel."

Matching nightstands and lamps helped anchor the bed and make the room feel more substantial and organized. Three padded benches were lined up along the foot of the bed, in lieu of a chest or table. Their curved legs suggest circles when placed sideways, which added visual interest. And the small benches are more versatile than a single, larger piece. "She can reuse them in her new space," Mohr said.

Details, details: The homeowner preferred clean, modern silhouettes, but she also was drawn to cottage elements with a distinctly feminine feel. "She likes flowers," Mohr said. So Mohr made a conscious effort to incorporate accessories and textures with subtle cottage details that didn't distract from the overall modern look. The comforter features little quilted squares, the sheets have a Queen Anne's lace pattern and a silky purselike lining, and the table lamps on either side of the bed have mums painted on the inside of their drum shades, so they're visible only when the lights are turned on.


Designer Jeralyn Mohr transformed this master bedroom.