I previously mentioned that the master bedroom has been stumping me. I’ve toyed with the idea of painting our walls black or charcoal, or maybe a deep navy blue or even deep greeny-blue teal. I loved the way the navy blue feature wall worked in our condo - deep and intimate, and art looked awesome on it. And I feel like we have the space and the natural light to do this without the room feeling dark and depressing.
I already have grey bedding and grey silk drapes, so with black or blue walls I don’t want it to go too cool. I really want to bring in some brass accents and some pops of poppy red, rusty orange, gold, or chartreuse to warm it up. And I’ve really been feeling teal and emerald green lately. So, I finally brought these seemingly disparate ideas together into a mood board. And I think I like it!
We have a settee in the room that could be recovered in the paisley fabric or I could cover it in a grey velvet I have already, and use the paisley and plaid for accent pillows on the settee and bed.
We have a tufted headboard I made, but I would reupholster it in a natural creamy colour to pop against the dark walls.
And I reeeeally want to find some solid medium-tone oak 3-drawer dressers to use as side tables… so I’m regularly scouring used furniture sites… fingers crossed.
It’s obviously a work in progress, based on finding and creating the different elements, but it’s nice to have a direction now!
Awhile ago my brave friend Amy and I ventured out for a day of thrift store hopping with my three kiddos. She told them we were treasure hunting, and they totally bought in. Plus, M came home with new ministicks and L with a dolly car seat, so they considered it a successful day.
I also thought it was a successful day, including this little midcentury Danish-style chair. I say “Danish-style” because I couldn’t find a manufacturer’s stamp anywhere. But the chair was sturdy and $5… so I was in.
But it certainly needed a makeover.
Uncovering it was like traveling in time: a satiny hunter green floral (welcome to the nineties), a pink and grey chenille (eighties called. They want their upholstery back. Except, no they don’t.), and a brown and beige tweed (70’s? 60’s? I don’t know. I’m not that old…).
I flip flopped on whether I wanted to recover it in a navy or white vinyl. But then I remembered that when I had a pair of midcentury modern chairs upholstered for the Access set project, the upholsterer had given me the scraps of grey-blue vinyl, and I thought, “This is barely anything. What am I going to do with this?”
Well, there was one piece just big enough for the seat, and a long, thin piece that worked for the back. Yippeee!
It wasn’t too bad for upholstering - which is good for the limited time I have to work on projects lately. One evening I took off the old upholstery, and the next evening I put it back together.
The seat was just your average dining seat - unscrewed from the bottom and wrapped and stapled. (Though looking at these pictures, it needs a few more staples.)
The back… um… if you’re a vintage furniture aficionado, or legit upholsterer you may want to look away now…
You peeking? No? OK…
…I pried the back off by putting a flathead screwdriver between the wooden back and upholstered part. My husband kept looking at me, as he heard the cranking and wrenching of the wood splintering. ”Um… you sure you’re doing that right?”
Well, no. I wasn’t sure. But I knew when I glued it back together you wouldn’t see it. And it was a $5 chair. So I pried it off (with a tiny bit of wood splitting on the inside), wrapped and stapled the cushion, glued it with wood glue, then clamped it with vice grips overnight.
It’s actually a comfy little chair, and can go just about anywhere. Lately it’s been hanging out in the boys’ room.
I’ve been pining for a Persian style rug for quite some time now. I just think they’re so beautiful and add so much personality to a room. However, their costliness (particularly for the styles and sizes I was looking at) was a barrier. As was Sean’s distaste for their predominant use of the colour red. I would look at this one rug in particular constantly from Rugs on Time (it has since sold):
And if Sean found me doing so, he’d wrinkle his nose and say “Really?” So basically I was on a mission to find a rug for as cheaply as possible- I figured if it was at least a whole lot cheaper than $800, maybe I could twist his arm.
A friend of mine discovered (via Instagram) that I was rug hunting and made me an offer. I was slated to create some illustrations for their up-and-coming cidery out in B.C. She wondered if I’d be interested in swapping my illustrations for two Indian Kashmir rugs she had in storage from her aunt and uncle.
I was all over this idea. The rugs are truly high quality and beautifully made. One is wool (and so crazy plush) and the other is silk. They’re worth a LOT of money. The problem? They’re both predominantly pink. So as I mulled the idea over and kept looking at the pictures on my phone over and over again, my question was, “could I do pink?”
Pink is not a colour I lean towards in home decor. I try to keep things pretty gender neutral, or even a bit more on the masculine side. And with the pink, these rugs could go 80’s or “grandma” really fast. But I was up for the challenge, because the rugs were just so beautiful. And the silk one in particular captured my heart, regardless of its colour.
It was the one I wanted for the living room; it had a great medallion motif like the one I loved from Rugs on Time. And besides the pink it also had lots of navy blue as well as some greens, blues, teals, creams - all colours I use a lot in my home. But there was still pink. So how would I do pink?
1. Juxtapose the very ornate, feminine colours and designs with masculine elements. Pairing the rug with any furniture that’s too curvaceous, or pretty would make it feel like Grandma’s sitting room. I might as well get plastic covers for my lamp shades. But have you seen our sofa? A hulking, boxy, cognac leather sofa with nailhead detail. The thing practically grunts like the Tool Man.
The contrast of the two elements totally works. Now, I still have some curvy chairs in there, and have some ivory faux silk drapes on the way - very feminine elements. But as long as I pay attention to the balance of “pretty” (chairs, drapes, rug) and more rugged (leather sofa, charcoal wingback, antique army trunk) elements, it should work.
2. Muddy up the colours. I love the book "The Perfectly Imperfect Home" by Deborah Needleman, and in it she suggests introducing a “bit of ugly” to a room - to add a “dash of dullness, a dollop of dreary” to the prettier colours. Well, pink is as pretty as it gets, so I need to pair it with blacks, browns, khaki green, greys… you know, “muddier” colours. And ding ding ding! I already have many of these colours in the room, so it works. Grey walls, a black credenza, brown sofa, charcoal chair… The rug will certainly dictate upcoming colour choices too. For example, the new cushion covers for the barrel chairs will be a muted pale blue linen as opposed to anything too colourful or patterned.
I was also a little swayed, because I think pink is having a moment right now in interior design. Not the unfortunate purplish hue that is Pantone’s colour of the year for 2014 (sorry dudes, not my thing), but more pale, warm or greyed pinks are kind of awesome right now. (Bonus! I included some inspiration rooms for you in the posts below - ones that proved to me that pink can be sophisticated, or ones that demonstrated how I could use a pink rug without things looking too girly.)
So obviously I agreed to the deal. I got the rugs. And I have zero regrets. I love this rug. (And the other one is in my daughter’s room, so you’ll see it one day.)
The rug doesn’t feel granny to me at all. It helps that, regardless of colour, its a beautiful handmade rug.
And it disguises Cheerio crumbs and My Little Pony stickers fabulously. So that’s a bonus.
And Sean loves it too. Well… he loved the price. ;)