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Home design: Turning a bland Mission Hill bedroom into a refuge

Wallpaper panels with a springtime motif infuse style into a bland city bedroom.

Before it was redesigned, this primary bedroom in a historic Mission Hill brownstone had too much brown furniture and too little ambiance.Jessica Delaney

Before designer Christina Wikman transformed it, the primary bedroom in this historic Mission Hill brownstone had too much brown furniture and too little ambiance. As a result, the couple didn’t spend any of their waking hours in it. “There is only one living space and they often have house guests, so it made sense to turn this into an escape,” the designer says. “It’s on the third floor and has a bay window, so I knew we could make it brighter, peaceful, and pretty.” The one wood element she left in place? The original wood door, which matches the others in the house.

1 Delicate nightstands have functional gallery tops and drawers, but don’t block the bottom of the mural. “The silhouette is clean and the creamy color recedes,” Wikman says.


2 Pleated silk lampshades in a small-scale floral by Penny Morrison complement the wandering branch motif in the mural. “I love pattern play,” Wikman says.

3 On each side of the bed, Wikman trimmed Daisy Bennett grass-cloth panels with molding, then added another section of molding between them. “We wanted to use the wallcovering across the entire back wall, but the panels aren’t tall enough to reach the ceiling,” she explains.

4 A gilded, faux bamboo mirror plays off the antique brass sconces and the chinoiserie-style mural design. “It’s Italian vintage and the perfect finishing touch,” Wikman says.

5 The olive headboard upholstery is a performance velvet with a lush pile and a subtle striation. “We needed a grounding element with all the pale colors,” Wikman says. “This is nice to lean against while watching TV.”

6 A fresh, printed damask lumbar pillow sits atop a matelassé coverlet by Annie Selke. “I kept the bedding simple,” Wikman says. “They’re a down-to-earth couple and it’s a compact space.”

Marni Elyse Katz is a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.