Shop The Room: Indochine Moment

Architect Jorge Elias and his wife Lucila blend French and Asian elements to applause-worthy effect in their Sao Paulo bedroom.

It takes a magical touch to build a design scheme around a nude photo of Marilyn Monroe, and not let that photo dwarf the contents of the space. This part Asian-inspired, part Gallic--with a touch of Old Hollywood--bedroom has a star power all its own, and the black-and-white portrait by Bert Stern is just the half of it. The space belongs to Sao Paulo-based architect Jorge Elias and his wife Lucila, but you don't need a home in Brazil and a way with a blueprint to nail this look, just conjure the following crucial directions. COLOR IT HAPPY: The room's palette is a cocktail of early morning sunshine washed down with a blazing afternoon hue that extends from the muted walls to a proliferation of patterns. White accents courtesy of grand moldings, neutral sheets, and a frame positioned center-stage distill the intensity, and the area rug's deep red hue adds a grounding presence. MAKE AND BREAK A THEME: At first glance, the composition of the space has a sense of formal continuity, thanks to the hand-painted chinoiserie Gracie wallpaper, the floral-print Bergere chairs, and the French-Oriental rug. But the suzani-print duvet and the unabashedly glamorous print take things in a different direction, resulting in a look that is both timeless and original. INTRODUCE CHARACTERS: Inviting personalities into the room--Ms. Monroe, notably--and a pair of ornately mounted watchful herons, transforms the scene from stiff to playful. ADD ORGANIZED CLUTTER: Books and magazines piled high on sitting chairs and nightstand tables shake off any lingering sense of stiffness, and necklaces draped from Lucila's table lamp interrupt the matchy-matchy-ness in subtle but worthwhile ways.  
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Pale Moon Paint #298, $63, Benjamin Moore Handpainted Wall Panel, Price Available Upon Request Gracie Studio Column Bedside Lamp, $525, Circa Lighting
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Beatrice Fabric #16403-003, $57 per yard, Decorators Best Louis XVI Salon Chair, From $579, Ballard Designs Franco Zeffirelli Special Edition Book, $194, eBay
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Crystal Petal Vase, $109, Charlotte & Ivy Found Suzani, From $699, Pottery Barn Henry Desk, $1795, Scully & Scully
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Plum Aubusson Rug, From $390, Rug Studio Marilyn Monroe: Playful by Burt Stern, Price Available Upon Request, Andrew Weiss Gallery Asian Vase, $62, Etsy
  Photograph: Roger Davies 
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