Monday, March 1, 2010

current state of my bedroom

My bedroom has been an organic process. I started with my bed, a chiffonier, one bedside table and the Venus mirror. Bedding was a light blue tone-on-tone duvet, brown sheets, navy dust ruffle and a brown and blue paisley lumbar pillow. Curtains were the short, sheer white ones that came with the house. The overall look was great in my old apartment, but kinda sad in my new house.

Here is my bed now:

I went for a layered look. I started with the pink coverlet from Crate and Barrel.  It was on sale and a great Barbie pink (no longer available). I bought it king-sized for my queen-sized bed so it would hang long and cover the boxspring. Once the coverlet was in my house, I thought I would go with a gray/pink/magenta/brass look – very luxurious and tailored. I painted my end tables to go with this theme and bought the tiny throw pillow, but then I couldn’t find the right gray duvet.

And I saw this orange one at Ikea and decided to go in a more eclectic, layered direction. Even better that it works with the brown sheets I already had.

Sidebar – go back to the picture above and notice how the stuff on my end tables is visually balanced. Balance is incredibly important to me in decorating and I’m really happy with how this turned out.

I already owned both lamps and was unable to find the right replacements for a reasonable price. The white lamp on the right originally had a pale blue lampshade. It was old and a little dirty and perpetually dusty. So I bought a new one at Target for less than $10. Fab.

On the left, I used a stained glass lamp bought at Ross or Marshall’s during college. It’s fallen a few times so the shade is crooked and cracked, but if I turn it the right way it’s not that noticeable. (Of course, I had it turned the wrong way in all of these pictures.) But it’s a lot shorter than the candlestick lamp on the other side.

I had scavenged the small painting from my mom’s cellar. She had it hanging over the work sink. I realized that the black of the frame would be a nice compliment to the black lampshade. And if I hung it low, it would balance the height. So perfect. I also had suggested to my mom that she hang a painting super low in her bedroom and she really doubted my wisdom with that. So this performed a secondary function – showing that I’m not off my rocker for telling others to do this.

But then on the left side of the bed, I have my alarm clock and always-present box of Kleenex. Again, it threw the balance off.

This all happened in mid/late December and my friend Anne gave me a gorgeous perfume bottle for Christmas. And that inspired me to create a little vignette with some old vases and the bottle on the other bedside table. The height of the green bottle balances the height of the alarm clock and Kleenex, the blue vase and perfume bottle balance the bulk. It’s not an exact match – and I didn’t want it to be – but it is comforting to the eye to have these straight lines.

And really, I didn’t measure when hanging the painting. I wish I were anal enough to do so, but I’m not. I eyeballed it and had to lower it once. I really should lower it another ½”, but then the first hole would show so I’m living with it. And it’s fine. It makes me happy and that’s all that matters.

Moving on.

To tie in all of the warm colors, I went with bamboo blinds from Target. Even shut they still let in a lot of light, which is great. I have no problem sleeping with moderate amounts of light coming in and during the day I usually forget to open my blinds but still like the sun.

Storage space is still at a premium in my house and I didn’t want to spent a lot of money on furniture that’s only so-so. I’m still using the chiffonier that was my dad’s from his first marriage. Growing up it served as extra storage in the cellar and was always referred to as the Ugly Chiffonier. When I moved out on my own, this was the first piece I scavenged from my mom’s house. And I really like it! The edging at the top is missing some chunks, but it’s just the veneer so it could be easily repaired. And it needs a good polish. But these things really don’t bother me.


I have a jewelry box on top that now holds only my earrings. I love necklaces that are big, chunky and/or long and they were just getting all tangled up in the jewelry box. So I bought some small white hooks from Home Depot and jammed them in the wall behind my door, spacing them out to fit specific necklaces.


My collection grows all the time and I didn’t want to be confined to a peg or bulletin board. If I ever paint this room, I’ll probably do something a little neater and more secure, but this totally works.

Underneath my jewelry wall is my solution for layering tank tops and camisoles. I have dozens. I love wrap dresses and low-cut shirts, but they aren’t appropriate for work or just running around on the weekend. So I have black camis and white camis and pink camis and yellow camis and blue camis. When I had a larger closet I was able to hang them all up (drawer space was always at a premium) and easily grab what worked for each outfit. But now my closet is teeny tiny and I can’t do that anymore. In a perfect world, I’d have money for an antique or antique-looking lingerie chest, but my world isn’t perfect. What I did have was an extra two-shelf bookcase that fit perfectly behind my bedroom door. Done.

I also have an undersized chair tucked between the chiffonier and bookcase. Perfect for throwing clothes on when I’m running late or just too lazy to hang things back up. It’s old and battered and in desperate need of a new coat of paint, but it’s usually hidden by the door so it will probably stay battered for a while yet.

Here’s my bed from the other side of the room. It’s all very lovely. The Venus mirror is angled such that I can see myself when standing at the back of the room, but one doesn’t automatically look into it when getting into that side of the bed.


 But then you look down and can see my storage boxes. They don’t fit through the tiny attic opening and it’s three or four fewer items to clog up my spare room. Not feng shui-friendly, but it’s a necessity in my house.


 Finally, here’s my closet. Small opening but it does extend to the right another two or three feet. If I’m honest with myself, it’s not a bad sized closet for one person. I can’t imagine sharing it with someone, but then my sister did it with her husband for ten years before their remodel so I know it can be done.

One bonus is that there are two shelves. The bottom one holds all of my in-season shoes along with a crate filled with purses and shawls. The upper shelf is out-of-season shoes and my old teddy bear. I can’t stick him up in my attic, but don’t want him in my bed every night so he hangs out here.

The walls are still the same white as when I moved in, but as you can see, in the right light they look pink. I would like to paint them this same pink – pale, delicate, inside-of-a-shell pink, but as I add more and more color to the room through textiles and art, the white walls don’t bother me as much.

If I do paint, I plan on making the walls, trim and ceiling all the same shade. Then once I replace the candlestick lamp and low bookcase I won’t have any white in this room at all. It’s kind of an experiment for me. I ADORE white trim and generally do feel best when there’s a good amount of white in a room. But this room just calls out for something warmer and cozier and a continuous color would give me the right feel. One day.

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