Oh, stop looking at me like you just discovered that the earth is flat after all!
You heard me correctly. I mean read me correctly since I’m not actually speaking. :]
So, What’s up?
Well, some of you may recall that I always say that everyone should have decorating help.
I mean EVERYONE– even decorators!
Errrr… if you were a brain surgeon would you operate on your own brain?
It’s a lot like that.
And I’m no different from the rest of you…
This is not easy!
And when I say “this,” I mean creating a space that’s unique, cohesive, personal and eclectic without being bizarre.
But here’s what’s going on and why I need decorating help.
Haiku Fans, a subsidiary of Big Ass Fans got wind (no pun intended) ;] of my fan post and wants to send me a freakin’ fan!
A CEILING FAN! I mean, how can I say no? And especially after about five people wrote me that day to say how wonderful they are!
But… It’s an 800 sq foot apartment. The living room is out because the electrical installation would be an issue. The kitchen could work but maybe it little too narrow?
The best place to put it is in my bedroom.
And that’s fine. Except for one problem.
My bedroom kind of sucks. Not massively so. But I figure if I’m going to show off my big ass, ;] I better spiffy things up.
No, that is not a come on.
Unless you want it to be. ;]
Oh dear… I think I need a xanax. I’ve never had one. Do you have one you can spare?
I tried giving myself a consultation until I remembered that I’m not doing those anymore and why. But that didn’t stop me.
This is the problem. Well, one of them.
It is far, far easier to work with a completely or almost completely clean slate than a lot of givens that are going to hinder things.
And Laurel has a LOT of givens that are most likely not going to change.
Oh dear. You are going to be horrified.
Please forgive me.
We’ll start with the floors. They are a little orange.
Fine. They’re a LOT ORANGE!
How did that happen?
Well, back in 2012, I very much needed to get away from my living situation. I found this place. It was quite suitable for me. I did not look at things very closely. If I had, I would definitely have refinished the floors before moving in! However, in my defense, I think that it’s possible that the previous owners cleaned the floor with you know what and that’s going to create problems down the road.
However, they are quite antique which does have a certain charm.
I did not paint except for the bathroom and bedroom, both which need to be repainted and that was a few months after I moved in.
But now, the whole place needs to be repainted! The trim is wrong in the living room. It’s Benjamin Moore plain old white which does not work with Hawthorne yellow in certain lights. In the morning, it’s fine. In the afternoon, it’s not fine. Do I ever notice this?
No. I am living my life.
That’s a good lesson I think.
The living room is not going to change in any significant way, except for painting and I might change the color in there a little.
I’ve been thinking about using this mural from Anthropologie in the hall.
It’s actually a fairly large area for a one-bedroom apartment, so I will need four of them. And there is no way I’m putting it up myself.
The bathroom— desperately needs a new vanity. The idiot before me put in one that is too small and stuff is constantly fall in between. And I hate the color. I will show this to you at some other point.
I would love to change the tile. But it’s not terrible.
I would love real white marble counters.
But then there’s the beige fake-stone floor.
The Ikea cabinets were installed about 2 inches too high.
There are my appliances that the fridge and dishwasher are about to expire. That’s also for another post.
But for now… we need to focus on the bedroom. Let’s just focus on the bedroom.
But, we can’t.
Because it is reckless and dangerous to “figure out” the bedroom until we know what is going in the hall! I really don’t want it to be yellow any longer.
View from the Living room looking into the spacious entry shortly before I moved in. That’s my realtor, Nancy Beers-Nix.
Standing in the entry, one of my favorite parts. To the right of the front door is the kitchen, then the winding hall. Every apartment has at least one of these arches with the corbels. Two cedar closets flank the world’s smallest bathroom.
The view from the bedroom, also taken before I moved in.
The living room with the big bay window. Love. And yes, those are ready-made rags hanging.
See? the trim is too cool a white. Super White would’ve been terrific.
Or even Cotton Balls that I used to paint the cabinet. Simply White. Chantilly Lace.
All of those would be fine. Plain White. Not fine.
You’ve seen this one before. I need to post it a lot because I had to practically embed myself in the wall to get the shot. haha.
But here’s the problem.
It’s the screen. My prized antique Zuber screen.
The screen is the star of the show. Or at least one of them.
This mural from Anthropologie is going to detract from the screen. It’s like a woman of a certain age trying desperately to look like she’s 25 again. It just doesn’t work. It’s not that this paper is bad. I think it’s quite cool. If I did not have the screen, it would be a real contender.
Okay, back to the drawing board. (my text editor says that sentence is a cliche! Well, not in this case!)
I need to show you my bedroom.
And quite frankly, I might as well be laying in the bed starkers. That’s how it feels.
horrifically a little embarrassed which is why I’ve never really shown it to you before in its entirety.
If you look super fast, you might say… Why Laurel, that’s really lovely! But then you will go…
What’s doing with those drapery rods Laurel?
Guys, like I said…
The bedroom needs attention. It is FAR from perfect.
Yes, lol, the finial fell off and I can’t get it to go back on. There used to be a mirror in the antique gold frame. It fell and broke one day. The print was just hung up where there was already a nail.
Yes, I know… it’s a sea of wires. No plug on the dresser wall is one reason why. But I can’t see it when I’m lying in bed, so it’s okay. ;]
See that little window across the way? Yes, of course you do. That is still my building, so those are my neighbors (two gay guys) and that window is the bathroom. And what is in front of the window?
Yes, the WC.
And can you see through the frosted glass at night?
I usually move the drape over.
Why is there one drape?
Because that’s the way the place came. The ONLY thing I did was paint this room from a too bright indigo because it was nauseating to this lovely dirty purple which is one of my Laurel Home Paint Collection Colors – Benjamin Moore – Tropical Dusk.
If you go back up and look at image #1, the left window has the radiator in front of it which is the same width as the window. There is a drape there, but it is always ungapotched.
This is my dresser from Lexington that I got about 15 years ago. It is a total POS. While attractive in terms of style, it is by far, the crappiest piece of furniture I own. The mirror is from Aidan Gray. It is not dirty. That is some not very believable antiquing, but the rest is very pretty. I don’t know if it’s still in their line. Fair warning. It weights a TON!
Case in point re: the dresser. Most of the knobs are missing. The upper drawer won’t close. I took the drawer out and there is nothing there. Other drawers are broken. Horrible quality. Sorry Lexington.
How do I open the drawers?
See those little leaf thingies? They work very well. :]
Don’t you WANT knobs, Laurel?
Yes, lol– Of course I do!
See??? I told you so. I am farrrrr from perfect.
In fact, I have no idea how some people have everything look so perfect all the time.
Or… maybe it just appears to be that way. :]
Here you can see how the chandelier was hung up. I know. Horrible. Yes, that too, came with the place.
One of my vintage night-stands that I picked up 18 years ago for 50 bucks each. LOVE the lines on these two pieces.
The bed is the beautiful Harbour Cane Bed from Serena and Lily.
I adore this bed! And it comes in different sizes and also a pretty white finish.
So… now what?
I think that I need Roman Shades instead of drapes. Oh, the shades that are there are BROKEN.
For years, I’ve been taken by this fabric from Home Couture (Quadrille)
Persepolis from Home Couture (Quadrille).
And then I looked at lots of different wallpaper possibilities, but there’s one that I’m really loving.
This is the Florent paper from Fromental in the Harbour colorway. It is from their Studio Collection. This is not going to be cheap, but it’s not the prohibitively expensive stuff.
Here’s a detail shot. I need to get a sample because I’m not sure if it’s this green or not. I color corrected the bedroom because it was really blue.
Here is a pillow from Spark Modern on Etsy.
But this is the color way that I would need that is turquoise and tobacco. Love this chair in a room by Tom Scheerer.
The turquoise and tobacco colorway. I need some samples.
I’m not 100% sure which colorway this one is from the Horchow Catalog, but it gives you a sense of the pattern.
Obviously, the wall color would need to change.
I am thinking maybe a cream?
One thing that’s always difficult in rooms with a high picture frame moulding is that if you do a dark wall, there’s about a foot of ceiling color and I’m not crazy about that.
One solution would be to put a ceiling moulding up and then take the wall color up to that.
But I’m thinking that creamy white walls would be very lovely. But, I do love the darker color at night.
Will the rug still go?
Well, it’s a little small for the room. I picked that up for a woman’s daughter’s bedroom about 15 years ago and she didn’t like it so I kept it. It would be okay I think in a bit of a funky way.
But then I was thinking that it could be nice to paint the cabinets. They are also cheap crap, but at least I knew that up front.
Maybe something like this or a little more color. Not sure.
Now, there’s one more option. Well, there are a million more options.
Persepolis comes in this colorway, which would go beautifully with the carpet and the current wall color– most likely.
But that doesn’t go with this. And this is what I like and what I think would be stunning off the living room and my gray bathroom. And the kitchen with the beige-y Silestone counters.
Is your head spinning yet?
I’m hoping that if nothing else, this post will make some of you. (probably none of *you*) realize that the design process is not easy; requires a tremendous amount of thought and planning.
And then the fabric that the entire room was built around which is the only fabric even remotely like it, was just discontinued with no more stock.
What do you guys think? (please be gentle) :]
I very much cannot operate on my own brain. I need your decorating help!
***NOTE**** Oh my thank you all! I have spent the entire day answering comments and emails and I needed to turn them off for this post. Thank you all who took the time to send me their good thoughts.
OMG! You crack me up! Absolutely love your charming home! Enjoyed reading your post and all the comments. My thoughts are:
1) Although ceiling fans feel wonderful, I don’t think the style of the one shown goes with your decor at all (love your look waaay more than the fan–even if it is free)
2) TV wall has a lot of visual clutter (including the neighbors–haha!) so get rid of tv stand and put it on one of the cabinets
3) Hide the cords (I’ve even just taped them to the back of my buffet, but that was temporary during Christmas so not sure how long that would last)
4) Roman shades sound lovely
5) Back cabinet doors with solid fabric–the beautiful muntins (is that what they’re called?) would be showcased
6) How about a floor plant in front of window with view into neighbor’s?
7) Replace side table next to white chair with garden stool that’s near your desk (unless the colors don’t work)
8) Keep the hallway simple– the arch, ceilings, and corbels are stunning stars
9) I’d love to see your screen come out from behind the desk! What’s on the left side of the LR opening–could it go there?
And I didn’t even get into the colors, wallpaper, and dresser! Also, sorry about the fabric being discontinued after so much coveting…that’s happened to me before, too. It’s made me try to find a better balance between painful consideration and careful planning with love-at-first-sight purchases and wild-haired ideas. Thanks for the fun posts and your open honesty!
Thanks Sandy. The fabric isn’t discontinued but it’s just what happens, all too often. That was my point. Tough business.
No room for the screen on the other side. It’s even smaller. The LR is about 13.5 feet across.
Gosh, I wish that folks would give it up about the screen. It’s not just you but half of the commenters. It’s located in the ONLY place it can possibly be!
And besides, I asked for help with the bedroom not living room.
But… but… but… this is WHY long-distance design doesn’t work is very difficult to do, unless the designer has a photo of every wall and a scale floor plan and elevations of the entire home! And even then, it’s still difficult.
Do you know how relieved the masses are!!! This confession…that your home isn’t perfectly designed makes us love you even more!!!
Thank Diane. I guess that makes me the anti-Martha Stewart. lol Although… I have heard a rumor that she eats peanut butter straight out of the jar.
Well… duh. Is there any other way? hahahaha!
Guys! Oh my! I’m so sorry. I am tired and there are still 27 comments waiting. I’ll do my best but may not be able to answer all of them. Thank you though. I do appreciate your help!
Hi Laurel. If I read carefully, then: 1) You love the wallpaper, so it should be a keeper. 2)You love the brightness of the yellow in the living room but don’t want the hallway to be yellow. I think your idea of using the paper in the entry and hall would indeed make a nice transition to the bedroom–sort of a signal that something else is happening as you step into the hallway (perhaps stopping off in the kitchen for a nightcap). 3)You like the fabric but it is discontinued. Bummer. I spent about an hour looking at various websites for a large-spaced medallion design on a light background with colors that will go with the wall paper and possibly the carpet. No go. You are right, this one will be tricky. I notice you have something similar in the living room–large spaced design on white/cream. You like this look, and I think in Roman Shades it will be dynamite, so I would keep that idea in mind as you search for fabric. If you decide that Roman shades are too expensive, can’t find the right fabric, or whatever, I suggest a shade that can be pulled up from the top or bottom, for light/modesty control, softened by the curtains, although I think I would frame both sides of the windows with curtains for this option. 4)Cream would be fine for the bedroom but it seems so vanilla. Ha! And you like the dark walls at night. I like the idea of retiring from the brightness of the living space, to a cozy and darker room for sleeping and loving. So, how about a color change? 5)The walls could be a warm brown–deeper than the tan of the wallpaper but lighter than the tobacco of the colorway on the dc’d fabric. Your lovely bed and cabinets would stand out nicely. You could consider changing the lampshades and/or lamps on the bedside tables if you went with this option. You could also paint the cabinets that gorgeous shade of blue-green and you could line the inside of the doors with rice paper–hide the clutter. OR, 6) You could paint the walls that gorgeous shade of blue-green, keeping bedside tables, lamps, cabinets, etc. the same except for, ahem, that dresser. Time to let it go and find something special. 7)I think the carpet is lovely and unless you find something you could die for, I would keep it–I believe it would go with either wall color scheme. 8) Other details: the picture over the white table is to small for the wall–add some other pics for balance or perhaps just move it elsewhere and replace it. Do you love the mirror-less frame? If so, get another mirror for it. If not, you know what to do. Although your bedside tables are a little beat up I love their character and their little medallions–your big mirror has medallions that echo those–I love that little detail. I assume you will be painting the trim in all the rooms since you have your paintbrush out. Finally, what started this all, 9)Ceiling fan–white is usually pretty darn white but the fan will look less obvious if you paint the ceiling a close color. Ooh, that reminds me, another kind of crazy option and maybe it would look horrid, is to paint those walls brown, the railing one of your favorite whites, and the space between the railing and ceiling that blue-green shade. Would that be too much? Also,is it going where the chandelier is? If so, will you have enough light in the room? Perhaps consider an up-lighting floor lamp? Enough. What fun. Why is it always easier to decorate someone else’s house than one’s own?
Hello Laurel, I am a new fan! Love your mix of style and humor:)
I have moved into several homes and each one a different style…It always seems that the main living areas get the attention (the ones that guests see) and the bedroom sits in limbo, living with what ever the past owners had left behind.
The one thing I have found is there are a few pieces that i have had for years (nothing that would be purchased together at one time ( but I love them! Which make them perfect in any decor 🙂 I love your choice of color for your bedroom, it is a statement in itself and not a common color for a bedroom, I would stick with the color and put in another rug to change things up. I am not a fan of heavy drapes, maybe a soft white sheer puled back to one side, The lighting is important and I would stay away from ceiling lights ( they seem to harsh in a bedroom ( at my age I need all the help I can get) keep with lamps with matching shade color but different bases (staying away from the hotel match combos) I think a bedroom is a private place so surround yourself with what makes you feel good when you see it! An interesting mix of design and function. Best of Luck!
Thanks so much K!
Good morning Lauren,
well …..thank you!
Thank you for sharing your own space and how you have made do with what you have and the restrictions on what can be resolved. I feel better now about my less than perfect bedroom (well, all the rooms).
Your followers are all lovely and helpful.
I have recently bought a little miner’s cottage in country Victoria, Australia and I am (trying) to embrace a style that is in keep ing with the older charm of the cottage when in my heart I am a Modernist. I have a newfound appreciation of the Arts and Crafts movement and Georgian furniture.
There are many issue to be addressed to (eventually) create a wonderful liveable space. Y
You have also reminded me that not everything can be done at once.
Your posts are inspiring and helpful, thanks again, Sally
I think the hardest part of decorating our own homes is that we start to analyze everything to death, and that’s probably what you’re doing here, lol.
I think what you’ve chosen so far sounds lovely … the Florent chinoiserie wallpaper in your hallway; your bedroom painted cream with that lovely Quadrille fabric and the cabinets painted blue; and then tweaking your living room paint color and correcting the trim color.
The only thing I would change in your room would be a workable dresser (if you can’t repair the one you have now, which is very pretty) and maybe some larger bedside lamps if you like to read in bed.
I look forward to your blogging the changes you make!
Thanks so much!
Laurel, as Jo Pearson said, I would try to find a way to raise the screen up, either on legs or by hanging it. I really do not know what your entry looks like, but I am wondering if the mural paper would work better there instead of the hall. It would set a dramatic tone, while tying into your screen. “Cotton Balls” looks lovely on your cabinet, and I think you should continue it on the trim. I am not sure how you mean to install the lovely wallpaper in the bedroom (panels, whole wall?). Personally, I would see about changing the wall color and panel molding a light purple-or blue-gray, with perhaps a glaze over it for interest. Would the paper work in the bathroom or kitchen? Relaxed Roman shades in the bedroom in your chosen material with a trim on the bottom would be nice, and you could tie it to the bed with a dust ruffle and/or pillows. I love leggy furniture, too (you should see my living room) but I do think those cabinets may be too much of a good thing where they are. If you keep them where they are, have you considered mirrors instead of glass for the doors when you paint them? (I like your color idea for them.)
Love reading your blog-it is like “talking” to a friend.
Hi Sally, The entry and hall flow into each other and there isn’t a good stopping point without it looking funny from one angle or another– a little like I ran out of paper.
I ADORE that you were brave enough to show us your home! Yes! Designing and Decorating are hard, and I’m not sure what it is, but I can often see really quickly what others need to do, but in my own home it is an entirely different story. I agonize too much. Maybe it’s because we know too much about the choices out there?
I love the idea of the wallpaper in the hallway! It would take your favorite view of the apartment up a notch and you would be happy every time you walk through the door. I’m sad that the screen wouldn’t work above the sofa, I loved that suggestion! I’m definitely leaning toward the Persepolis fabric for the bedroom. Not only because you’ve been crushing on it for years, but I also think it is light and quirky and romantic, all great characteristics for a bedroom. I really like the turquoise and tobacco colorway, but the one that goes with your current color scheme would be nice, too. Not sure how much of a change you are wanting, personally, I would probably be ready for a bigger change about now. Last but not least, get rid of that ding-dang dresser and get one that works! Form follows function and you need something that works for you, plus it would be fun to have a new piece of furniture in your room to feel like an upgrade. I love the suggestion to find ways to hide the cords, it’s always a problem.
Thanks Amy! Great advice!
I can’t possibly stay out of this one! I didn’t read all of the posts, so I may be redundant. Love the bed and the wall color. Love the paper, too. My suggestions: A pair of larger lamps on the night tables, a pretty chandelier, fabric inside the cabinets. How about a seagrass rug with perfectly mitered edging under your pretty rug…Or pull the rug out from having so much under the bed and cover more of the floor at the foot of the bed? Could you remove the shelves in one cabinet and put the television in there so you don’t see it and put wicker baskets under the cabinets. All of the cords would be hidden inside one basket. The little painting is too high and not relating to anything. You could hang the round mirror a little higher and the painting below it. Look at our friend, Maura’s, Instagram post today. The vignette on her dresser would be lovely on your dresser! You are going to need a full time secretary to answer all of these comments. XO
Those are table pads and I have no where else to put them. Normally one doesn’t see them.
I know that the art is wrong. I just hung it up on the nails that are there! I totally suck with handi-work!
I wish that someone else could answer these.
You know… I’m supposed to be doing other things.
FIRST, I love whenever I find a new “Laurel” entry in my inbox. Thank you for sharing your wonderful style, suggestions & humor.
Regarding your bedroom, I would suggest shifting things around. I would start with putting your bed in front of the window! Next, I would add two ~larger nightstands on either side that could also provide storage. Here’s the ta-da …..rework the molding on the wall (your bed was previously located against) to provide a larger frame to insert your beautiful mural in! This way you would fall asleep every night looking at that gorgeous wallpapered mural, opposed to looking into your neighbor’s bathroom window. :0 HAPPY decorating! –Lorrie
I wish I had the energy to answer this better; it’s a good idea but won’t work for a few reasons. I don’t look into my neighbors bathroom as I move the drape over.
First, your home is very lovely and I really enjoy your blog. I have learned so much from you. The wallpaper you want and the screen are both lovely and I think you should have them both. I would like the screen to be placed where it is useful and not visible from the hall room-entry. One of the two should become a backdrop to hang very simple art with large, plain mats or mirrors. A suspension system could be used to avoid damage and make the exhibit changeable. Maybe even use the screen to hang favorite scarfs or other beautiful items with texture. Could you use the back of it as an inspiration board for your desk without damage? The stool next to the desk needs to be useful and placed to hold a drink or a plant under a window.
I would love to see your bedroom all one color – trim and walls. What about BM Revere Pewter, Metropolis or Raccoon Hollow? The curtain rods need to be hung at the ceiling. Why not hang a continuous rod so the curtains could look like they float around the room? Keep them very simple and light, but with great texture. Use light weight, translucent shades on bottom half of windows for privacy. Use rice paper on inside of glass cabinets to continue this look and mask contents. I like the art on these two cabinets because it repeats the dark of the bed, just make it symmetrical across the two. I wouldn’t paint the cabinets unless I painted them very near the wall color. There is a lot in this room and you want it to feel calm. I think the chandelier only needs modern white glass globes and possibly to be hung lower (or, hang a Chinese lantern from it). Get an electrician and hang the TV from the wall. If you have room, float the bed and put the chair at the foot to catch pillows. Lose the half-moon table if it can’t be used next to the bed. Keep the linens white, clean and simple. Add interest with textiles on pillows. Add one long pillow across the bed for a modern update. Of course, add a great textile throw at the foot of the bed.
I do love my little demi lune tables. I have two of them that I had to get to make up the balance necessary on an opening order. lol
Another thought about the beautiful Zuber screen:
what about hanging it on the short wall behind the desk?
Is there a similar wall on the other side of the opening that could have companionable art on it?
The beautiful bedroom rug: why not keep it and love it.
bedrooms are such intimate, personal spaces – filled with things that bring contentment and make us happy.
With your talent,Shades, paint, fabric all come together once you’ve decided:
how you want the room to feel and how you want to feel in the room.
Good idea but that wall is too small. The wall on the other side is even smaller, but I do have some small prints hanging there.
Love your blog! Have you ever considered moving the beautiful screen into the hallway that leads to your bedroom? Seeing it first thing in the morning would be a lovely way to start to your day and it looks a little like it is kind of lonely in the living room corner. I won’t weigh in on your bedroom; looks like you’ve gotten plenty of help with that project.
Hmmm… thought I answered this but maybe it repeated itself? Or maybe I’m just losing it. little lol.
But I moved the screen and then screamed when I went into the living room. It is very happy in the corner and was miserable in the hall.
What a great post Laurel. I love how you share yourself on your blog and I always look forward to seeing your post on my e-mail. I have read all the comments and think there are some great ideas in there. I agree with John T, April 19th that you should use the wallpaper that you love so much in your bedroom. Keep the bedding and carpet neutral and pick up the wallpaper colors with pillows on bed and white chair. I also think that you have a lot of different colors of furniture to deal with in the space. I would get a different dresser (the drawer doesn’t work, right?) in a wood finish like your bedside table, and paint the two lattice work cabinets a bluey-gray. I would either hang the fan, or replace the chandelier. I don’t think it adds to your space. Something feminine, or crystal would be pretty. My experience with bamboo shades is that you can see through them at night, but I think roman shades are a good idea. Again, thanks so much for the hard work you do to send your posts out to all of us.
Thanks! Just want to say that bamboo shades can be lined and usually should be. I learned that lesson the hard way about ten years ago.
ok so obviously hard to shut up lol..look what I was just sent-Currey & Co…obviously don’t know what size you need and whether you like it..but you know Currey & Co…their quality is amazing, the finish is so good, the lines so elegant
That is very pretty. I would paint it gold or some crazy color though. That would be fun.
First off, I love everything you write about. Now as for your decorating, quit fretting & just do it. You’ve got lots of ideas, just pull them together & get it done. We all spend too much time thinking & fretting. Just make a decision & live with it. Don’t go back & second guess yourself. You’ll never get anything done if you keep looking for the perfect whatnot.
Actually, as you can see I haven’t fretted much in over four years. lol And I don’t have much company either. :[
I’m working ALL THE TIME.
And I have been trying to have a life outside of the blog and all that goes with it. That is far more important to me than my messy cords and lack of electrical outlets!
Laurel!!!! I quietly moaned when I saw the number of comments..since I always have to read all of them, like somebody makes me to lol..but so enjoyable!
I won’t make it long
a) don’t take their fan. I trust no fans. They always seem like they’re to jump on you like some puma. And they actually do sometimes. Had this lovely experience in a restaurant..the damn thing missed us by an inch. The owners were so horrified though the meal(pretty yummy) was free:)
do a nice chandelier. so much beauty over there..I wouldn’t miss the opportunity
b) I think you should treat yourself for that wallpaper. Because you really love it. it’s not infatuation, it’s a life long thing:) I know from your blog. The question: where? I can see it in the living too..and the wonderful screen stays of course-I personally love pattern on pattern…but I love your yellow now! same with the bedroom-love these walls. Entry? I don’t know. It’s not like you have to do wallpaper; but it is something that’ll bring you the most joy I believe
c) find a good handyman..ours can do literally everything. well never asked him to put on wallpaper yet. But he paints like nobody’s business. Fast as lightning, and no drop of paint around. There are people like that. You know how we got recommendation on him? Our previous realtor. Realtors, they know good pros:) You should ask yours. Every job is hard unless you enjoy it-or find somebody who makes it seem easy:)
OK I cut myself here. Need to do it somewhere right?I love your perfectly imperfect home(c).
And-I’m not sure about empty space..limitations inspire creativity. But hey, I’d take several empty spaces too lol
ah, and that comment, about moving out instead of painting-hilarious!
Best tip of the day. Contact a realtor. In fact, a big one just left a message on my machine today.
That is one of my biggest problems. Finding someone to do stuff that’s not really big but I can’t do it.
Laurel, I sympathize with your plight. At the same time, it’s very exciting that conditions are favorable for doing something for yourself now! Looking at your beautiful choices and rearranging your apartment (not because there’s anything wrong with it but just to get different mileage out of your furniture that you obviously love) and repurposing your furniture kept my mind occupied for hours last night!Yes, it’s so much more fun to “solve” or brainstorm for someone else.
Just a few thoughts for now.
I love the Quadrille fabric. Love the Florent wallpaper for the hallway. Would you just be putting it on one wall? And paint the wall with the doors the ground color or wallpaper on both sides? You’ll be so happy with that wallpaper it will give you such a lift every time you see it.
I think painting the bedroom and maybe ceiling is a great idea. I favor a much lighter color. The bedroom is now not just a moody, nighttime retreat. You’re at home now and not shopping for or visiting clients.
Something you didn’t mention. I’d like to see a club chair and An ottoman in the bedroom. So you could sit there and work or relax. And, also be able to glance over to the TV or sit and watch or read.
Thanks Libby. You get me. Maybe too well. (I live in my bedroom… shhhhh…) ;]
Didn’t read all of the comments, so pardon me if I’m repeating someone. Please, please buy that wallpaper!! Your bed will look fabulous with it. Sorry to be a sad sack, but your wonderful square side tables need to go in the living room. Even the movement in the wallpaper won’t correct the boxy ness of the bed & table combo. Just too linear. Find a cheap round table, cut it in half and paint it. Instant demilunes. Now… can you help me with my bedroom:}? I’ve been trying to get it together for 6 years!!
Love your site and your work. Come to Atlanta sometime and visit ADAC. Liz
I wish I could write. I’ve been to ADAC and loved it. Or rather Americasmart, but did visit ADAC too.
Really neat post. When I was reading I had a few thoughts:
– You have posted so much lovely chinoserie that you totally deserve some statement wallpaper – go for it!
– It seems like the hall needs to bridge from yellows and /greens of the living room (please don’t change the living room it’s so fab!) to the pale-ish blues in the bedroom (either from the chinoiserie wallpaper or from the persepolis-type fabric patters you posted). Could you go for a pale celery or similar green in the hallway? Maybe with some framed botanical/bird prints (or something funkier) to add a bit of greenery and to tie in with the wallpaper pale blue? The anthropologie mural is great but might overwhelm the living room.
– See the yellow-greenish chartreuse color in the pillows from Etsy and the turquoise-tobacco colorway from Horchow? Maybe a few accessories (or paint a piece of smaller furniture) in this zippy bold color in the bedroom would keep the pretty chinoiserie wallpaper looking fresh/modern rather than too sugary/girly.
– While I get that folks think the Zuber screen is “hidden” behind the desk, please don’t move it into the bedroom – it’s so fabulous and adds so much to the living room it’d be a shame for fewer people to see it!
But in any event whatever you end up doing will look fantastic!
Great advice Cat. Thank you!
We are just finishing up a renovation from hell. We had a contractor who hired migrant “day labor”, ( unskilled) to work in our home, which was flooded in Jan. Everything that they did had to be re-done. We lived two months in a hotel and 1 week with our daughter. After finally moving back, we are still having work corrected. The task of choosing colors, fixtures, and tile were emotionally straining. I never knew how difficult it would be. I have been so frightened of making a mistake and of things not being “perfect”. After reading this post, I exhaled loudly and can finally breathe. If you don’t have “perfect”, then I’m going to relax, live my life, and quit worrying. After all, you are my inspiration. Knowing that you also have doubts, makes me feel much better. Thank you for the post and the laughter.
Yes, perfectly imperfect. :]
Alas,I cannot give you any advice. My home is a hodgepodge of cheap and/or used furniture. Sad. Your talent amazes me, so I know you’ll create something gorgeous!
Here is my two cents….Paint the whole room including the picture frame moulding and ceiling the same soft color (should make the room look bigger). Glass knobs for the dresser……glass lamps for the bedside tables…..get a basket with a lid to hide the “cords”……pick your favorite fabric for bedskirt and shams…with a off-white mattlesse’ coverlet…plantation shutters or roman shades. You will love the fan! Could the beautiful screen be hung above your bed????
Thanks for that. The bed has rails and legs , so a skirt won’t work. I’m not that crazy about them anyway. I do them for clients but not fond of them for myself. But I like many of your other ideas! Thanks so much!
Guys… Oh my. There are still over 35 comments to answer and I will… but I’m going to get my hair done. That is far, far worse than the bedroom. LOL
I love you all and so appreciate your help! xoxo
Laurel – Your blog was a gift, as I am lying with my back out for days now with just time on my hands to look around and feel dissatisfied with my own bedroom. After recovering from the nausea of reading your insight on the damage that oil soap does to floors (horrors – I’ve used that!), the bedroom redecorating is a treat. While I am not brave enough to commit to wallpaper, I think the Florent paper is gorgeous and would complement your cane bed. I would hang it only inside the panels on your walls and go with creamy color on the rest of your walls. Natural woven shades to pick up to cane in the headboard and wallpaper and creamy drapes. Accents of deeper blue/green or brown (Asian silk?) in accent chair or pillows. I would never dare to give you design advice, so this feels really outrageous posting my design opinion here! Thanks for sharing your own predicament! It’s reassuring to hear a decorator share the same feeling of indecision that plagues the rest of us all the time!
Thanks so much. That sounds very pretty!
Laurel, I forgot to say I love your green rug, and I now realize that Healing Aloe wouldn’t work well with that color. Keep the rug, green is divine:)
Dear Laurel, Your bedroom is beautiful and your blog is fabulous. You’re sweet AND funny. Now I can’t believe I’m even weighing in with my one cents’ worth far less two cents worth because I know nothing and I think you’ve taught me most of what I know about design. But you’re so sweet to invite us to do so and to show that even designers are human and therefore sometimes imperfect like the rest of us ! So here are my random very amateur thoughts and thanks in advance for even reading them:
I love the color of your bedroom walls, but if you’d like a change, you could use Ben Moore Abalone. Lighter but still dusky. Unless of course you want to get away from those purple tones. Ben Moore Healing Aloe perhaps? I say no to wallpaper, way too much work and stress. Your beautiful bed is the star of the room, so keep it that way. Wallpaper will distract from your beautiful cane bed. Introduce color and/or pattern in your duvet cover and /or Roman shades and forget wallpaper. I love those two cabinets you have. Also love your nightstand. So, maybe just some new bedside lamps from your favorite Visual Comfort, and a new place for your TV . One person suggested placing it on one of those two pretty cabinets with some art on the other cabinet for balance. You could have a new dresser. I think your house would look lovely with a good dose of Cotton Balls somewhere, whether on the trim or on the walls like you did in that historic building of one of your clients in Louisville, Kentucky. It was fun to weigh in on this and so kind of you to let us do that. Just remember though, I know nothing 😉
Thank you Maggie! There are some terrific suggestions there.
What a lovely home! I agree it is harder to decorate for oneself. We are either too critical or take our spaces for granted. I have a couple of thoughts, some echoing other’s comments.
Consider reducing the height of the matching glass fronted cabinets so that the TV can sit on one or hang on the wall above. Stretch shirred fabric behind the glass doors (narrow stripes or mini silk checks). A pretty bench in front of the window between the two chests would be another opportunity for a beautiful fabric.
Curtains rather than roman shades would give you more of a sense of enclosure at night that your dark walls currently offer.
The upper wall above the picture rail and ceiling can be painted a darker color than the walls such as that smokey blue green.
I would paint the night stands with a blue green decorative finish like the image you posted of the armoire and use swing arm lamps above.
I love the quadrille fabric in any of the color ways.There are plenty of colors in the pattern that would make a great wall color, blue green, mocha ore even the green.
You already plan on replacing the chest of drawers.
So what about using the bird wallpaper in your adjacent bathroom ( yes – I know that is probably a can of worms since we don’t know what color the tile and floors are but how pretty it would be). It would also be lovely on the hall walls and compliment the yellow walls in your living room..
Thank you Tres.
Love your blog Laurel! Of my many subscriptions, yours is the only one I consistently read.
You’ll love that ceiling fan in your bedroom in the summer. It will be worth the remodel. My two cents – tone down the yellow and the gray – the high saturation and contrast suck up all the attention in the rooms. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is a relatively low hassle way to bring serenity to the disparate wood surfaces in your bedroom. Dressers without pulls are bad for the psyche – a constant reminder of what we haven’t done. Fix it or throw it – you’ll feel better. Amazon has tons of low cost drawer pull options. As much as we dislike TV’s from a design perspective, they are integral to 21st century life. Unless you plan to get rid of it the TV needs a permanent home. Yours would look just fine hanging where your broken mirror is. Put the cable box in the cabinet. Drill a hole in the back for the wires. 3M Command hooks and baby zip ties are a great way to manage cords. Good luck!
I can’t stress enough how much I suck at things like drilling and maintenance. I do push the vacuum cleaner around regularly and I’m a lot better than I used to be— out of necessity.
But quite frankly, I realize that cords look horrible in a photo. I don’t see them unless I’m vacuuming.
Laurel – your home is beautiful and I love love your style and the blogs. Here are my suggestions for the bedroom – seriously you need no help – girlfriend you got this.
These are the major changes and your style with the finishing touches will complete the look beautifully.
Remove the molding from the wall areas or paint them same as wall color – a creamy color would be my preference also.
Attach fabric (the blue fabric shown) on the backs of the 2 chests with the glass doors (gather the fabric) to hide the contents and give it more appeal.
Place an armoire (that blue color is beautiful) in front of window that looks across the way to the neighbors bathroom and flank each side with the cabinets.
The armoire can house your TV and other electronics and all those cords will be out of sight and so will your neighbors.
Place the mural wallpaper above your headboard and frame it out to look like a picture – it is absolutely gorgeous!!!!
Have luxurious white or ivory plain bed linens and use the blue fabric for your roman shades and toss pillows and of course lots of luxurious toss pillows to coordinate for the bed. And that chest – seriously needs some love – but you can handle that – get it – handle that — and place that wonderful mirror on it or hang it on the wall above it.
The ceiling fan will be lovely in the bedroom. Place tall crystal lamps on the night stands with white or ivory shades or install sconces above them.
I can’t really see the rug too well – but it may go wonderfully with all the above (seemed to be green).
Will be anxiously awaiting the end project for your new and improved bedroom. Happy Decorating!!!!
Some terrific ideas here! Thank you!
I never thought of putting a tall cabinet in front of the window. While I’m not adverse to covering up windows in some situations, it would upset the beauty of the three windows which I love, + I don’t want to see three cabinets lined up. Although, what I have isn’t so great either.
I’m more inclined to put an armoire or something like that on the dresser wall, however. I very much agree that the white moulding is too busy against the darker color.
First, I love your blog. My life has changed enough over the last few years that I can care about the way my house looks. I think my “taste” is different than a lot of what I see on your blog, but nevertheless I “get” the little lessons you grace us with. I’m only chiming in because I figure something nutty my trigger your creative juices.
All the white molding bothers my eyes — they keep trying to line everything up in the room with them. What if you painted the little moldings on the wall the same color as the wall? And if you did that, maybe you could push the 2 glass cabinets together in front of that window, and treat the top like one large horizontal surface that you could put your tv on and other goodies to make it all seem like one. And you could even put leaning art/prints on top in front of the tv when you wanted to hide it. I’d also put something in front of the glass on the cabinets so you can’t see what’s in the cabinet – fabric or paint or something like that. Then you could put the tv stuff in the cabinet, and drill a hole in the back to route the cords through. I don’t think you’d need any window treatment then on that window, and you’d still block the steamy shower view.
I think that would give you more room for the chair and a little table next to it and then get rid of the half round table.
I’m no good with “color” stuff, so that’s all I have to say!
Thank you for your suggestions!
I think you bedroom is pretty great! The layout, windows and the look of the furniture all work well together.
I’m not a fan of the color myself. 🙁
The Anthropologie wallpaper would give the entry a nice jolt when someone enters the apartment. I guess what you are saying is if you are standing in the living room looking into the hallway your screen would compete with the wallpaper.
Can you use it somewhere else? What about in the bedroom? But, only wallpaper the center of the areas where the molding creates a border? ….Or use one of the other wallpapers there and then pant the rest of the wall a cream.
The last option is under heavy consideration. But here you’ve beautifully outlined the design process. I’ve been known to tell a client that I think such and such would be great and then call them up a day or two later and going… nope. Of course, I always have reasons to back it up.
I love a dark bedroom. My bedroom is very large and I went from the previous owners’ light sage green to dark dark Midnight Bayou turquoise. My husband nearly died when he saw the paint in the can, but I told him to trust me… Now the room looks even bigger. The walls disappear. However, in the winter it feels very cozy and in the summer it feels like the coolest room in our house.
I love the wallpaper. I have looked at having that same pattern, even. But, for a bedroom, I prefer a dark color. I would go even darker with paint, use a bigger, lighter rug to hide the orange. Maybe even sea grass with a rug layered on top of it.
Maybe do the fabric as Roman shades, OR, do a bamboo Roman shade and use the fabric as draperies . Keep the nightstands and the bed, get a new dresser in a lighter finish, to balance out the darkness of the room, also do simple but sumptuous bedding in white, with a tobacco quilt folded at the foot of the bed.
Beautiful sconces, one of those cordless lamps on the new dresser… And I would find a smallish cabinet to house the TV, that way you can close the doors to it, but line the inside with the Florentine wallpaper so when it is open YOU can see it and love it, it won’t break the bank. Or, find some comparable chinoiserie pillows for the bed. I adore chinoiserie, by the way, and have scoured your blog and love those posts.
I’m probably inter minority here, but I would actually go darker in the bedroom instead of cream or white. I think with good lighting and a mix of textures, along with the giant mirror, it would be glamorous, but cozy and peaceful, make the room look larger and your beautiful pieces and fabric choices would look at home. Plus, in the summer it would feel cooler and more quiet. You might even sleep better in a dark cool bedroom with a ceiling fan! I do!
Wow! Thanks for all of that! You described everything so beautifully too. I very much appreciate your taking the time! Great ideas!
Morning Laurel! You have such good taste. Have the Geek Squad (or whomever) come in, install a router so the TV would be wireless and hang over one of the chests, put the TV box in a drop front decorative box below. Roman shades, the paper you love in the hall, and go with the fabric you’ve chosen…Love your choices.
Wireless Cable TV? Is that possible? What I need is a GC. I mean it. I talked to my super a couple of weeks ago. He said that he’d come by.
He never does unless there’s milk pouring through the ceiling.
YES! That happened about 2.5 years ago. Fortunately, the demented cow is gone. I don’t use those words lightly. Everyone wanted her out and she had the fire department here -TWICE in less than a year!
Your apartment is just loaded with charm. No wonder you chose it. It looks as though your bedroom is an unusual shape. Again, that makes it very charming, but perhaps more challenging to decorate, which I was surprised you didn’t mention. I recently purchased an historic townhouse in which the front parlors are hexagonal (geometry was popular during the federal period) so I am dealing with a similar issue.
Thank you so much for reminding us that even the pros live their lives in less than perfect interiors. It takes the pressure off us, and you should take the pressure off yourself. Whatever you do, as long as you keep the bones, which we know you will, this apartment will be lovely. As so many have said, you are my favorite design blogger and I rely on your advice.
Thanks so much Christine. Funny, your comment mirrors my response to Eleanor who commented just before you. I answer everyone in order. I have 40 more comments waiting.
I guess that should be my worst problem. I do love hearing from y’all!
It will look stunning because you are amazingly talented! I wish I had some input for you, but I’m a speech therapist. My skill-set in design is sadly limited in interior design:( But this post does make me realize once again the difficulties of the design process. I really wish I had a designer in my area that I could hire to help me.
My younger son is on the autistic spectrum and had a lot of speech therapy. He’s 22 now and actually speaks a little too well sometimes. And not the words one longs to hear, either. Oh well… did my best.
But thank you for the vote of confidence.
I realize a few things.
One, this is NOT an easy room.
Two, it’s not an easy room.
three, it’s not an easy room.
And it’s more than just decorating it.
Inherently, it’s phenomenally charming. In fact, it’s what sold me on this place.
Thank you for making my day. Really. I feel so out of control that I don’t know where to begin in many aspects of life. Seeing your bedroom has made it all OK, and has given me an impetus to move forward instead of spinning in indecision. House in order, mind in order.
The first thing that came across in your photos was the sharp contrast of the white picture frame trim and the deep walls. It’s beautiful, but there are a lot of furnishings and their scale is disturbing the flow for me. For example, if the glass front cases were smaller, the trim would be framing them instead of enclosing them. Same with the dresser and mirror. If the walls were cream with less contrast to the trim, the room would flow for me.
You want that wallpaper and the fabric. Order the samples. Today! Once you have them you will find direction or completely change your mind.
Get rid of that TV stand right now. In ten minutes you can declutter that precious square footage, kick the cord under the glass case and plop the TV on top. Not ideal but it may start to give you some ideas about it’s final place.
I cannot wait to see the reveal!
The cords only bother me when I vacuum. haha. Otherwise, I really do not see them. But I agree, it was not my intention to put the TV in that location.
But I’m also glad that this made you feel better. That was part of my motivation too. Life is not perfect and I have a theory that the more perfect it LOOKS, the more imperfect it actually is. Well, sometimes, anyway.
Love your blog. Ever consider mounting that beautiful screen in the hallway leading to your bedroom? It seems a little forgotten in the corner and could open up lots of possibilities in your bedroom. Seeing this beauty first thing in the morning would surely help get your day off to a great start!
No, but I just dragged it over and it doesn’t work. The colors are glorious but the wall is curved and it would have to come up off the floor. It just looks funny. But great idea.
Hi Laurel, ok here are my ideas for your bedroom which I’m pretending is my bedroom. I’m pretending it is my bedroom because I’m not a designer with the ability to get inside other people’s heads and design for them. I have a hard enough time getting into my own head and I live here!!! Hah!
First, I would repaint the bedroom a creamy white or ivory or any light color. Second, I would wallpaper inside the picture frame panels. If not wallpaper, I would stencil the wallpaper pattern, any pattern, inside the picture frame. Or simply a very light contrasting color. The stencil color should be light to live with the wall color, not compete. Third, retire the Lexington dresser or repurpose it for a tv cabinet. Fourth, if you choose to repurpose the dresser for the tv, paint the dresser and the two other cabinets the same color. Pull the color from the wallpaper you like or the blue from the armoire pic you shared. The poor old dresser can move up in life from POS to TV Cabinet, the Houdini of hiding tv wires. Fourth, the window coverings. I like simple. Bamboo shades. Simple, light colored curtains or drapes. A single paneled valance or a shallow cornice board. Either in a midtone color. Fifth, lighten up the nightstands. If you don’t want to paint them, then put a light colored panel behind them so the night stands can stand out. Presently, they are lost in a sea of darkness. Kinda like my mind! Hah! I have used insulation foamboard, for this. (I love foamboard. Sea what I mean, I mean see what I mean about lost in darkness! Foamboard can be painted, wallpapered, or covered in fabric. The plus side is, if it falls, it won’t break or kill you, the kids or the pets!!! Oh! And also, it can be cut to size). Sixth, keep the rug. Use the color as an accent thru out the room and or the bedding, pillows, art, etc. Seven, completely optional. Put frosting material over the lower piece of glass behind the tv. Or cover all the lower windows this way. No more nature views from across the WC Milky Way. Me, myself and I would prefer this. The rest of them in here don’t count! I’ve got to go now. The rest of them didn’t like the comment and are trying to get out!!!
Thanks so much Diane! Some wonderful ideas you have!
I love your candor and your humor! You will come up with something beautiful. I say softer, warmer more feminine but you know what you are doing!
I LOVE your style! I recently bought a cottage in Washington State. It’s tiny! If I hit the lottery I am calling you up! I love that your work is not minimalist and stark white. Great job! I look forward to your posts
Thanks so much Cretee!
Laurel, I think one of the things that makes it hard to decide is that there are SO many things to like…it is hard to know WHAT direction to go!
But no matter what you decide I would take the paint color up on to the ceiling (even the dark color you have now). I think it will bring a cohesiveness to the room and make it look more pulled together. I also love a dark bedroom…mine is painted BM Pashmina.
I would go with the fabric and paint the walls cream and the furniture blue–but I love a quite bedroom!
One of the “problems” which probably doesn’t show in the photos is that the ceiling is curved– a cove ceiling. Very pretty. But there should be a ceiling moulding to delineate where the wall ends and ceiling begins– unless it’s all one color. I don’t think that painting the ceiling dark is right for my bedroom. I could see it in an office or den. So, that means going light.
Thanks for your great ideas! Pashmina is a beautiful color!
Hi Laurel, Yes, every decorator needs one for her own home from time to time. Seventeen years in my home and I am still working on getting my living room right! However, re your bedroom…you’ve received lots of great ideas. I especially like roman shades, whether fabric or natural wovens, but please get them with the valance at the top to balance tbe height of theceilings. Also, ceiling molding, definitely! Change the rug and the lampshades, fix the tv and wires. Replace broken cabinet…maybe the Chinese wedding cabinet from Wisteria. The rest will come to you. Cheers, and may you ach5a million dollar design! Rissi
Thanks so much Rissi!
Wow, possibly my favorite post of all! As I read your laundry list of complaints about your place, I thought you were reading my mind. I could have written some of those sentences. Our 800 SF apt has many of the same issues, including a dishwasher and fridge that are so old that there are no replacements available in anything close to their size. If one of them goes, we’ll need a whole new kitchen.
Your post, and your bedroom, comfort me to no end. I spend too much time looking at perfectly staged condos for sale and then I come home to our messy, shabby apartment and I fail to see its charms. All I see are floors that need refinishing, walls and ceilings with cracks, windows that need replacement, furniture that needs repairs . . . and shredded lace curtains.
Anyway, your bedroom and hallway. First, you have to get that pale-blue bird-and-branch wallpaper you want for the hallway because you want it, so that’s that. And it won’t go to battle with your screen. And you would get tired of the Anthro wallpaper because it’s too busy. Console yourself with some cool Anthro hardware for your chest instead.
If I were you, I’d paint the bedroom walls Ivory White 925, including all the moldings. Then I’d paint the ceiling a pale, opalescent green-blue, reminiscent of the hallway wallpaper. We have a blue ceiling in our bedroom and love it. I think that the color would be far enough away from your rug that you could keep it. Get some bedding or pillows that have similar colors in them. Also, buy yourself a nice little trunk or chest that sits right on the floor that will hold your TV and hide your wires behind it.
Those curtain rods need to go. Roman shades in a creamy white to go with the walls, or masses of sheer curtains (extra panels for privacy) on rings and NEW curtain rods with finials. Send both mirrors to a glass shop and get decent glass. It won’t set you back much. And replace the ceiling fixture. It’s too high, for one thing. A very sleek and simple fan like the one you showed, would be nice (and free). You will need to add more lighting elsewhere. And if you are installing a fan, you might as well put up the plainest, appropriately sized ceiling medallion to give you something else to look at while you’re in bed, against your pale blue ceiling. Paint it to match the walls.
Your furniture is such a mix of colors, including your bed, which might look a little drab next to creamy-white walls. I’m not sure what I’d do about that getting all those colors to harmonize, but here’s one thing that is easy to fix: those two glass-fronted cabinets need either some paper or fabric behind the glass to hide all of your stuff. Either get little rods and some fabric, or use scraps of wallpaper or other sturdy paper. Make it interesting or make it blend, but make your stuff disappear behind them.
I can’t wait to hear about what you decide to do and then see the results.
Your email is the only one I EVER open every single time it arrives! I have completely remodeled my downstairs the past 2 years since moving in and so much of my designs have come from reading your posts! I have learned a ton from you. I have this idea that I very much would like to send you before and after photos if I could send them to you directly?? I would like for you to see the turn out from the inspiration I’ve gotten from reading your posts multiple times (studying them). I have to run now and will read this post again and look at all the great comments but wanted to jot down one thought for the bedroom paint color (after looking at all the color schemes you seem to be trending toward). Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore would be lovely I think. My 2 cents 🙂
Thank you Shari. I can’t bear any more email right now. I’m sorry. You could put them up on pinterest and send me the url, though. Sorry, just feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment.
On my smart phone so I’ll make this short. If you love the wallpaper use it inside the trim. Pick up the soft tobacco color in wall paint. Paint the ceiling and drop in the pale sky aqua of the paper. Paint the hall similarly.Dump the chest you hate.
Use the fabric you love in the living room curtains. Use a fresh tuquoise/aqua in both rooms. Use what you love, dump what you don’t. Life is short!
IMHO…Laurel! Get rid of the white molding in the bedroom. NIX it. Too choppy. Figure out how to get those black window frames painted white. Paint the whole room and CEILING a new, calm color…your choice. Find a sort of flush mount, understated barely electrified, gorgeous cut-glass chandelier-y light fixture. And ask Big Ass Fans for a rain-check…
I agree that I would have preferred the sash windows to be white and/or to be authentic iron windows which is what the building across the street has.
These were installed in 1984 and quite frankly, need to be redone.
I don’t think I have what it takes to deal with what would be necessary to turn them into white. It’s a big deal. Just as bad as the floor.
Hi Laurel, I love your posts! They are both educational and inspirational. Your home is beautiful and welcoming. You have such beautiful taste! Whatever you decide on will be lovely. I definitely agree you should buy a new dresser. Perhaps you could start with a semi-clean slate. While you are removing the broken dresser go ahead and move out the other smaller pieces of furniture except the bed. Then look at your room with fresh eyes. Make a decision and go for it! By this time your new dresser can be delivered. You can move the other furniture back into place. You’ll have a new room that you love. Please be sure to write a post on your finished design.
Thank you for your great advice. I do like the dresser and would rather have it repaired– I think.
Thanks for keeping things real and for alway finding the humor in every situation, even if it involves laughing at your own life. I would lighten things up and love those patterns and bringing that beautiful aqua watery blue color. I would bring in a mirror and perhaps line your glass front cabinets in a print or grasscloth to hide the dec. fabric swatches. You bed is lovely and knobs are easily found. A fresh lick of paint and a cabinet to hide the tv cords. Yes to romans and new rods.
What about framing some momento’s – in lucite and wallpaper inside the panels…..would be gorgeous. I can help you…..or hand paint branches a la de gournay.
Great ideas! Thanks so much! I’m not sure what you have in mind regarding mementos inside lucite, but I’m sure whatever it is, it would be gorgeous.
For anyone reading these comments, Patricia is the most fabulous artist!!! Please check out her website!
Dear Laurel! It’s so much easier to give advice then decide something for yourself! So here I am with my 2 cents! first of all I love your apartment and all architectural detailed!!! I also like all of your choices and the wallpaper idea but feel that long simple drapery panels would fit better and sort of pull the room together for the seamless look. It will also break down bit busy wallpaper. I’d also do the custom curtains rod that goes all the way along perimeter of the room. You can either bend the pipe or use connecting elbows. You can reuse the same brackets and ends on each side. And I’d mount the rod all the way to the ceiling, this way you wouldn’t have to do the crown molding. Also adjusting roman shades hights all the time to all three windows would drive me crazy, it’s much easier to close the drapes.
Not sure if you like stain glass, but finding right size piece and hang it on the window to cover your neigbor bathroom window, may also help.
I thought you mention that your room is hot that’s why you want the fan, but before throwing the chandelier away, plz try to remove glass shades and use Edison’s bulbs, maybe you can reuse it in the dining room or kitchen.
Taking care of wires is easy, just use long extension cord along the shoe molding, cover it w/IKEA adhesive plastic cord covers. Id put the tv on the right cabinet this way you don’t see it right away when enter the room. I think that lovely mirror frame will balance it perfectly. You can mount the power unit where you plug in all other cords to the back of the cabinet or cut out the piece from the back and hide the power cord inside.
I’m also thinking about you window AC unit, and if you can find the perfect size antique desk to cover it up, remove the back of it and the inside part, then you can open the desk cover when will be using your AC.
I hope it all makes sense.
Thank you for reading.
I agree if doing drapes they should go higher. The ceiling is a cove and what looks great is to do a ceiling moulding like there is in the living room.
Yeah… the AC is an issue. I got the skinniest one I could find.
Romans shades in the bedroom. Yes. And then get an estimate of how much to redo the orange floors in the house. Maybe to something like the floor under the anthropoly mural?
Because after all your beautiful changes, that floor color is still going to be there? Only 800 sq ft of floor or less, not counting kitchen and bath?
I’d do the shades. And maybe the fan. Yes, the wallpaper is gorgeous! Thanks for letting us have a little fun imagining. Can’t wait to see your results!
The problem with redoing the floors is that it’s a big bloody mess and it’s like moving. In fact, I would most likely HAVE to move out for a time.
I’m in over my head, I’m afraid. But thank you for your suggestions!
Purple has always been a favorite of mine for many years as well as chartreuse. I love your green rug. It has a velvety rich look. To give you more wall space I would eliminate hanging curtains and install either roman shades with blackout fabric or bamboo shades with a heavy liner for those “dog sick” days when you need to be in bed and the sun is in your eyes. I would hang them inside mount to make the window trim pop. It will look more streamlined and go well with the “Big A” fan you picked out. Looked at the website and picked that same one out among everything they offered. I would keep the dusty grape walls as I love them. Find a way to treat yourself to the other colorways if you must have them through throw pillows and accessories. I would hang a large long rectangular shaped mirror over your half round table but not wider than the table. Have it made to fit so it was made to go inside the trim molding exposing the grape walls. I would have a mirror made by the glass shop to fix that round frame. Take your time on picking out a dresser. No hurry. Leave something for the future to treat yourself to. Decorators always want something to work on. I would skip the aqua wallpaper for now. When you get sick of the purple (never will) then do it. I love the purple. If you want brown in a colorway use wood trim or a dresser.
Actually, I’m not one of those that always needs to have something to work on, but believe me I do. Lots and lots of projects! Thanks so much for your input!
I laughed out loud several times at this post. It also made me feel better about my own dilemma. I recently remodeled my entire main floor with a very neutral color palette. Medium hardwoods, white cabinets, off whites, warm barely gray tile etc. Everyone says, “It looks just like Pinterest.” Hmmm. . . Not my end goal. I normally love color but at age(52) every time I went to buy something I thought, You’re going to die with this tile/cabinet/ etc., leave those hard finishes neutral! Now I’m paralyzed. I have all these nice fresh light bright neutral finishes and no plan or direction. I can’t seem to fall in love with anything. I wander around furniture stores and just like your post, my head is swimming, not from having to revolve around existing things, but from having nothing to revolve around. I’ve never started from scratch. It’s intimidating.(financially as well) I’m trying to convince my husband to get a disco ball and just let the main floor be an empty ballroom. Yes, I’ve considered hiring a designer but when I’ve tried that briefly I haven’t found someone who’s taste I trust. I end up with more indecision and second guessing. So here we are.Like you, busy living life with imperfection. I loved your post with a complete living room and your honesty about the cost. Thank you for being so real. If you have any more advice on where to begin and determine direction I’ll be patiently watching for that post.
Thanks so much Molly! I would look on Pinterest (what does it looks like pinterest mean? There’s a huge variety!!!) and eventually, I think that you will see some looks that you like. It sounds like you need to add some color and also black accents, gold and white.
P.S. another thought ( giving you ill-informed advice has gone to my head, it seems).
That gorgeous screen is far too lovely to be a shy violet hiding behind the desk.
Not being able to see if the height of your room allows, or knowing if it is practically
possible, could you not use it like a painting & bring it centre stage by hanging it above
that glorious green sofa, not with a large gap, or lower on another part of the wall.
I just love the curvy top bits of the screen.
I would also go for more is more & definitely use more pattern to reference it in the hall.
I would not worry about matching it or even clashing with it a little.
I predict a Riot.
Hahahahaha! No riot Jo. But it’s a little like taking a stroll inside my head. You don’t want to be there. lol
there are a lot of ‘Legs’ in your bedroom.
Legs on bed, large cabinet, chair, small table, TV table. ( plus yours, when you are in it.)
Think covering some, ( said the vicar) may immediately give greater depth.
Just a thought, although I admit, giving a Guru advice is a little scary.
Please feel free to throw said advice to the four corners of the earth.
You’re right, but I like legs. ;] After all, I’m a dancer!
I would start with fixing the things you really don’t like. Like your Lexington Dresser. Do the drawers open smoothly? If so and they drawers are a good size, I would get some nice pulls for it. Otherwise, even though it was expensive, I would get rid of it. I would likely try to cover the TV wires, and buy some nice shades. I like the light, but would likely change it to something that matches your style. I love the color of the walls, so I would leave them. The only caveat. I love the wall paper that you were thinking for the hallway, I would use it in the bedroom, behind the bed. And then I would decorate around it– you already have the furniture.
If I do the paper in the bedroom, it would need to be in all of the panels or A) I don’t think it would make sense and B) I’d never see it since it’s behind me. ;] But, great ideas.
I DO like the dresser and it fits perfectly on the wall. It just needs fixing. But as I said, I have trouble finding folks to fix stuff and also trouble with focus. Surprised? It’s no lie.
And like a lot of people, I stop seeing stuff after a while. But, I’ve been thinking about fixing up my place some more for a lot of compelling reasons aside from the fact that it would be better.
Teresa B has the right idea for your bedroom – a calm
sanctuary in whatever peaceful color scheme you choose. The mural& the bedroom wallpaper: altho beautiful perhaps overbearing? I love the mystery of the hallway shape – what about painting it a romantic cream in an eggshell finish? Reflecting light is always good in NY apartments.
Definitely new lamps, paint the end tables, recover the chair
and do the seagrass rug. Buy a new dresser & re-think the glass door storage pieces so the contents don’t show…they have a disruptive vibe. Enjoy beautiful dreams with the new fan – will the company custom paint it for you? Laurel – you are a delight and a light among designers… love the conversation…
Thanks so much Sandra,
I think they might paint it for me and I am thinking about that possibility too.
Love the romantic bedroom wall color – BM Tropical Dusk from your Laurel Home Paint Colors. Love the high ceilings & bedroom door. Love the chair. The first thing I would do is add a bedskirt. Remove a piece of furniture so it’s less crowded. Remove the small art from the wall. Replace the hallway light fixture (that you see when you enter your home & from your bedroom) w/ an aged brass flushmount 16″ wide ceiling light w/ off-white scalloped shade from the Axis collection by Robert Abbey. I purchased one 🙂 I would add pillows instead of wallpaper w/ the pattern that you like. Love your humor!
Hi La Nae,
Thanks for your help. It may look more crowded than it is. There is 44″ between the bed and dresser and nearly 8 feet from the end of the bed to the TV window wall.
The night tables could be a little smaller.
Thanks for all of the great advice. I would love to change the ceiling light! But with a nine foot ceiling, I would not do a flush mount, most likely. The Robert Abbey is a pretty one, however.
So, this all started with Haiku Fans wanting to send you a fan? Do they have any fans that you like for your bedroom? Is it the one pictured at the top of your post? If it is, I’m not sure it’s right for your traditional decorating style. I think dark bedrooms are cozy and comforting. I say that but my bedroom is in the warm golds. BTW, I am getting very frustrated with my family room remodel. I am now considering hiring an Interior Decorator. This is so contrary to my nature as this was my career for many years. However, I am now suffering from decision fatigue which had lead to analysis paralysis, or, maybe my desire to be perfect has gotten the best of me.
There are a LOT of decorators who write me asking for advice! And even though they know that it’s not possible without being there (or they should), it doesn’t stop them. But it’s not advice for themselves; It’s advice for their client-jobs. I believe that so far, all have offered to pay for the help. But, there’s only so much I can do.
Funny that you mention that. I had a decorator at a window coverings shop that I have been working with call me yesterday and ask for advice. I thought it odd because at this point I am the CUSTOMER. BTW, if I hire an Interior Decorator she/he would HAVE to be local, come to my home, meet me/ my project, etc. That’s just crazy that you have decorators writing you for advice. I can only imagine they do so because you are SO TALENTED.
I forgot to mention your rug in the bedroom! I think it’s one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. That green is special and gorgeous!!!
Makes sense that screen won’t work over sofa but it really is gorgeous right where it is now.
The rug IS really pretty and the design is very subtle. It’s actually a trellis pattern. I’ve had it for about 15 years and never tire of it.
At first read, I agree with everything Ann W said and I suspect I will probably still agree at second read. But definitely, I agree the chandelier is scary – ugly – not at all romantic as chandeliers are supposed to be – ditch it. And a ceiling fan above on a warm night summer night is indeed heavenly. I’m thrilled there was one in the home I bought. What’s even better is I got the romance back with lamps, several, in keeping with the advice of color expert/designer Maria Killam who learned to be a lamp tramp from designer Ron Marvin who freely confesses to being one.
Going back now to review – have to say I’m not feeling the Anthro mural but then that’s probably just me – I’M not feeling it. It may be right for you. Don’t let it overwhelm you – read and think and read more and think more and le it all sort itself out. It will and you’ll end up with a beautiful room. P.S. If the green rug doesn’t work in the bedroom after all, you can always send it to me.
While I like the Anthro mural; you’re right, it’s not right for me.
One of my biggest problems in life is that I’m trying to do everything on my own– except for the geekiest web stuff, but even then I have to round up the help. Thanks so much for your input!
I think your bedroom looks 100 times better than most peoples bedrooms. But I cannot wait to see what you do with it and I love love love the bed. I also love the wallpaper I think it would be dreamy to sleep surrounded by that paper.
Thanks so much Karen. I’m liking that idea too!
Laurel you are my hero decorator. You know what to do and you don’t need anyone telling you anything. I just don’t buy it. It seems the whole bedroom dilemma revolves around installing a fan? You don’t have to act right away – do you? It just takes time and it takes luck (finding those flea market one-of-a-kind pieces, etc.) and it takes money which also means sometimes saving up and more time AND it takes a cheap handy man for lifting, installing, wiring, all that. I can’t imagine very many better than YOU at coordinating fabrics and rugs and wall color for Pete’s sake?! You can do this in your sleep!!!
You’re right. I can do it in my sleep. But there are a lot of issues making this one a special challenge. And no, I don’t have to act right away, but it’s been over four years now, so it’s really time. Thanks so much for your vote of confidence!
First time I’ve commented but yours is my favorite blog! Don’t beat yourself up … you were in a bad living situation but still made a lovely choice in choosing an apartment at a time of great stress. I think the dusky purple stands up well to the bright yellow but I vastly prefer a lighter look … just easier to live with. You love the bird paper for the hall and I would love it there too (with a shade lighter yellow on the living room walls). Roman shades in your other pattern and yummy cream on the bedroom walls (I vote for Ivory white 925). Sea grass rug so it doesn’t break the bank. You are on the right track and just need your starting point … and you found it! It reminds me of the big Brooklyn house you did a few years ago, which was stunning and I think very in tune with your natural style.
Thanks so much Linda and for commenting! I appreciate everyone’s input so much! It is giving me some new ways of thinking about things. But of course, I can’t do all of them.
Laurel, I absolutely love to get your emails. It’s like talking to a old friend and laughing out loud at the way you talk/write. I love your living room and am wondering what color the yellow is… Why? Because I just purchased a lovely chair and ottoman from the Denver Design Center in green and white, similar to your rug. I saw the your picture and thought “yes, that’s the direction I want to go in my piano room!”
Keep on writing and letting us enjoy your world.
The yellow is Benjamin Moore Hawthorne Yellow hc-4. It was already painted that when I moved in. It was so sunny, cheery and warm that I decided to keep it.
Laurel, Splurge on the wallpaper. You deserve it. Put up bamboo shades, replace the rug with something simpler, put fabric on the inside of the cabinets and get some simple bedding. You will have a beautiful bedroom. I always have a list of things in my head I want to do around the house but I seem to get easily distracted and start some project that was not even planned.
Thanks so much Jon. I like your ideas too!
So, Laurel, I love the wallpaper for the bedroom. With cream window shades, bordered in a wide, lovely green trim. I would replace that Lexington dresser, if possible, or paint it that bluish green color and add pretty knobs. I think the rug could even remain. Your home is beautiful and peaceful. Thanks for sharing. I truly enjoy your blog, and your sense of humor!
So, Lauren, I love the wallpaper for the bedroom. With cream window shades, bordered in a wide, lovely green trim. I would replace that Lexington dresser, if possible, or paint it that bluish green color and add pretty knobs. I think the rug could even remain. Your home is beautiful and peaceful. Thanks for sharing. I truly enjoy your blog, and your sense of humor!
Thanks so much Anna. The dresser fixed up would be fine and yes, maybe painted. I did have to repaint the top a couple of years ago. It was such a mess and couldn’t take it anymore!
OK, Laurel, here’s my take. Paint the walls a soft blue. Buy that amazing fabric for your window treatments and maybe pillows and a duvet cover. Bring out the rich tobacco brown from the fabric in a beautiful dresser with drawers that actually work. Buy yourself a luxurious rug. Hang that fabulous screen hiding in the living room over the bed. Hide the TV behind something. Update and improve your lighting. I live in the South, so a ceiling fan is an absolute necessity. I believe a bedroom should be a calm haven. And thank you so very much for your blog. You are so talented, and your posts are invariably both informative and entertaining. Oh, and hang that wallpaper you love.
This has been the most amazing exercise! First of all, I am loving everyone’s ideas. And I think it’s fun to see what other folks would do. It is easier to design for someone else. A LOT easier!!!
You bring me so much joy!!! I love your humor and honesty!
You won’t believe my ideas so you’ll know exactly why I am dedicated to reading your blog.
If we are starting in the bedroom, I love the existing color, but I would go with the wall paper. It looks great with your new very pretty bed. I would paper inside the frames and on the top near the ceiling and paint the wall outside the frame a pleasant color white which complements the paper (perhaps matching the chair?). The moldings I would paint a complementary color. The lampshade needs to be a lovely light color. I would buy nightstands that either match the bed or are mirrored. I love the white chair in the room but the pillow has to go. Let’s face it you need a new dresser….
In your living room I would get rid of the yellow and paint a beautiful pink and use green accessories, pillows/vase.
Your gorgeous screen is far more beautiful than the wallpaper but I would put the screen over your bed as a beautiful paining. You can buy thingies at the container store to control your wires. I’ve had TV’s on the wall. I hated it. The wall is ruined with huge holes and unless it’s hung low enough you’ll have neck trouble. It’s hard to tell the color of the matching chests. If they don’t go with the new color scheme they’ll have to be painted.
I love the use of pink in living rooms today. I love it with your yellow chairs. Use some lime green touches with limes in a bowl in the kitchen?
Does this sound anything that you might like?
Love to you!
I do love many of those ideas! Thank you so much!
Well now you know what it’s like for us mortals trying to put a room/house together. And I don’t feel so bad that I’m still trying to figure out my Master Bedroom almost a year after moving in. I love your bedroom; what charm! I’m loving the wall color and if it were me, I’d not be inclined to change it. I like those chests in front of the color, so don’t paint them if you keep the purple. I’d spring for a new dresser, though. Painting, new knobs don’t fix a broken piece. I’d put my money there. And in a new chandelier. Not sure what (you’re the designer) but I know that’s not it. Maybe something with gold? That could look great with the dirty purple walls. As for changing the walls to cream….maybe. If so, then paint those cabinets the duck egg blue you showed. I don’t love the wallpaper, but could you put it in the frame moulding behind the bed? Either way, I’d just do the wall behind the bed, not the entire room. Too much, too garden-y. I actually am a fan of that dark color; I think it frames/complements the brick view (I like the view, WC or not….) and the green of the tree really nicely. If you keep the purple, and the cabinets in the current color, get a new dresser (pretty wood with some carving?) then you might paint the vintage nightstands that duck egg color if you want to bring that hue in. Do a tree/bird motif for bed linens instead of the wallpaper? Yeah, Roman shades (bird trees motif?) for sure. Have fun. Maryanne
Thanks so much Maryanne for all of that! I still have to consider the hall and as it’s the spine of the apartment, it’s important. It will come to me. Maybe in the shower. lol
Too much for me to take it all in at once, but one thing did occur to me. Would you consider lowering the 2 glass door cabinets by cutting the legs and putting them on platforms with some base moldings? That way you could place the tv on one and cover some of the wires. Also it might square up the cabinets so the doors line up better, with all the weight from your samples.
A pair of wall lights or pin-up lamps by the bed, leaving more room on the side tables.
Hi Jo, Yes, that’s a good idea except one thing I don’t need is space to put more stuff on. But I do love wall lights too!
Not a bad idea. The issue with the doors is the floors! It’s a very common problem and drives me nuts because it’s usually with clients and I have to get someone out to fix it. But it’s very common.
OK here’s my mental design board for your room.
Inspiration piece is that darling night stand, and the wallpaper you like.
Keep: Bed, bedding, darling kiwi green pillow, rug, nightstand, 2 matching chests, easy chair, mirror.
Gone: broken down dresser, TV stand, ceiling light ( you’re getting a fan, yes?), window coverings.
For consideration, mock up wallpapering inside panel moldings only, with walls painted to match the wallpaper background color, VS wallpaper all of the room.
Windows, add something pretty to look at. Consider Austrian shade in linen with a finial to tie up the shade pull that matches the finial on the nightstand. Watch the wonderful Merchant Ivory film “A Room With A View” for the beautiful shade in Lucy’s room at the Pensionne. Actually this is a great movie and you should definitely distract yourself from this project by spending 2 hours watching it.
Lighting. Sconces over the bed. Small with metal shades in bronzy finish. Lamp on the new dresser in alabaster
New dresser. Something fun. Move the current mirror over the headboard. Consider if the TV on a wall swivel could mount over the dresser location and be viewed comfortably from the bed.
Art. If you go with the wallpaper, then the art will need a decent amount of frame and a contrasting amount of scale to the wallpaper. A landscape would be nice.
I will say that I like the room painted, and if it were my room would not consider the wallpaper since I love painted plaster walls.
Lastly if I were to paint it, I would consider a chalky blue.
I love a woman with a strong vision! And that is a glorious movie! It’s been a long time, but I do remember that it was a visual feast as well. I love the interiors in Sense and Sensibility too!
Love these ideas and the organized thoughts! Well done!
Start with what you LOVE and what “sparks joy” – from what I can gather, it’s the wall paper and go from there. You have impeccable taste and you can do this. Since I’ve read that book, “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up”, that is the criteria I use…”Does this spark joy?”…it gives me the courage to eliminate things from my life that are not working for ME! Also, make a “honey-do” list and find a “handy-person” to come and do ALL the projects in one day…I have had the same retired engineer every 6 months do my “punch list”…
Can he come here when he’s finished with you?
The cobbler’s child, no shoes, right? Completely understandable. I’m not a professional, but here goes: Skip the charming Anthro mural in the main rooms, it will detract from your gorgeous screen, though one place it may work is as an accent wall behind your bed– and then it’s in a different room. You could even mount the wallpaper mural on plywood panels hung on the walls. Have a duvet cover and shams or curtain panels made out of the Quadrille fabric. Buy some cheeky hardware for your dresser (Anthro? Flea market? Target?). If that doesn’t fix it, paint it dirty aqua like the armoire. Don’t do the lovely wallpaper, not worth the money you’d put into it. Paint the walls Cotton Balls and the ceiling Marilyn’s Dress (or vice versa). Lighten it up, it’s spring! Update the bedside lamp, could be a new shade does it. Like the rug. Ditch the t.v. table and put the t.v. on top of the storage unit to the right. Find some cool hardware for the windows, add some fresh panels. Put shutters on the bottom half of the windows; you’ll have light and some privacy. The chandelier is scary. Sleeping under a quiet fan on a hot night is heavenly and it lets you not keep the a.c. so cold. Save your money for fun trips and make the little fixes now that aren’t a lot of money. It’ll be pretty, livable, and finally completed!
Oh, my, I can’t believe I was bold enough to send this to you, The Laurel.
Great ideas all! And no, I don’t want to spend a lot of money. And even if I did nothing, it’s certainly pretty and cozy. I always feel good coming home to my place! But, the windows in the bedroom at the very least could use some TLC.
The first several months I was here I worked on the living room and just adjusting to living here. And then I started pouring myself into my blog and business. And then some tragedies two years ago… but it feels right to put some more energy into this now. Thanks so much for all of your help!
Love your home! It is truly gorgeous and you’re being too hard on yourself about the beautiful bedroom! Geez, the bed is amazing as is everything. Just a little fine tuning is needed as you know. Personally I would leave those beautiful dusty purple walls! Find a fabulous fabric for roman shades and put some pretty baskets or the like under the tv piece to hide the wires. It’s easy to find some new hardware for the dresser of course. Then with gorgeous roman shades, you’ll find find some pretty fabrics for bed and chair, just pillows I mean, although what you have is pretty! I wish you could hang that screen! It really won’t fit over the sofa? These days I see so many mirrors and art pieces hung lower than the furniture or behind something. Would it work that way? The Anthropologie mural is too pretty to pass up and it will make the fabulous long hall. You’re lucky to have the hall, I love it. The chinoiserie bird wallpaper is stunning and definitely my pick if you go that direction. The Horchow fabric is nice but I don’t think, in my humble opinion, that it is elegant enough for your room!
Well that’s my one cent! Love your Blog I look forward to it every week! 😍
Great advice. It wouldn’t look right to hang the screen over the sofa even if slightly behind because it would just be too out of proportion in size and color. Even though I do have a painting over the sofa that’s very colorful, there’s still a good amount of wall.
I agree that working on one’s own home has certain challenges, but I have found that I tend to choose one thing I love and then I go for it. It may take a little while to find the other pieces but as one thing goes into place or one purchase is made, it locks in colorway or the theme and…it eliminates a bunch of other things that were under consideration. If this were my bedroom I would go for the Florent wallpaper. It is so beautiful that the other decisions will be made with the intention of letting that paper be the star…and it will! It will be smashing with your bed and now you have taken care of two of the largest areas in the room. That one thing for my foyer was the tile for the fireplace surround. In the LR it was the couch and the dining room it was the drapery fabric. The kitchen was the counter to ceiling tile 66″ wide behind the stove.
Thanks so much! I probably didn’t write this as carefully as I should have. Don’t know if you saw, but my son came for a surprise visit last night and only left at 4:30 today. I had been working on this, but I still had a lot to do.
I was thinking about the wallpaper for the hall, but you and a few others have mentioned it for the bedroom and now I’m thinking about that too!
I also love the pale blushy, pink colorway. I used that in one of the paint boards for the palette guide. It was in a dining room.
Chatting about decorating…works for me! There’s a dearth of interested parties in my life so I miss the fun. Just felt inclined to share these comments with you: I would never give up your wonderful screen for the mural; bedroom wallpaper choice is simply lovely; to clear the floor, might it be acceptable to install the tv over one of the cabinets and balance with comparable size print over the second cabinet? Lucky you, an 800 sf apartment with so much dreamy architectural detail, charm, and ambiance is unbelievable …especially here in South Florida. I have no doubt you’ll work everything out beautifully. I look forward to seeing your progress.
But what I gain in charm, I lose in freezing my arse for 4-5 months out of the year. Thanks so much for your great advice!
Oh, Laurel, just chatting about a fun subject. I would never presume to advise a pro like you! btw: be comforted knowing there are bunches of us out here who must improvise on a shoe string to even get near our “vision”. Still, blessed to enjoy the process and (in my case) learning to be satisfied (well, not fully) with our results. Your posts with suggestions, insight, examples, and sources, etc. are enjoyed, appreciated, and valued for those of us who could never afford to consult with a professional. So, thanks!).
Thank you for your kind words Gloria! And yes, when I moved in I had very little money to play with but wanted the living room to be nice. After a while, one doesn’t see all of the flaws.
I agree, the easiest way to decorate is to have an empty room, plenty of money, and skilled advice. I think you should plan as if the room were empty and do the work in a financially feasible way. You have all the required skills.
You grew up in a house so let me tell you that in the olden days here in NYC before real estate became the problem it is today, people moved when they needed to paint. It was easier than working around the furniture.
So…give yourself a break!!
That is too funny! But moving is such a drag but then again, painting in a home one is living in can be one too.
I vote yes for Roman Shades! Would you ever paint your ceiling the came dark color of your wall to envelope the room? Also..it is hard to see the color of your rug- I always start from the ground and work up, big pieces first then do small pieces, walls last (because it is so easy to pick a paint color from your fabrics) and then accessorize. If you do a larger neutral rug to ground the space, seems like it would be easy to come up w/ a palette you love. No? You are over thinking it because it is your space and YOUR money- that is what we all do! Good luck! Cant wait to see what you come up with~ it will be gorgeous!
and…as much as I LOVE the wallpaper, and I do LOVE it- I vote no for it. I am sorry! It is gorgeous, but I have learned the hard way. I bought a really high end printed wallpaper and got sick of it, but I knew how much it cost and had a hard time taking it down after only 5 years. Spend your $$ on your pillows and linens! You know they are so easy to change!!! Go solid on the romans too- you could do a pretty trim straight across the bottom (look at fringe market). Just wanted to share what I tell my clients. I want them to LOVE their space for years to come..not just 5 years. ok, i will shut up!
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of Chinoiserie. I haven’t in decades yet. But I hear you on certain patterns and agree. And also sometimes tell clients something similar. (when I was taking clients. haha) The paper is a mural so it doesn’t repeat for at least 15 feet or more. But I’m not making any rash decisions.
Yes, overthinking! But still a bit of a puzzle. Thanks so much for your advice!
You’re trying to teach us a lesson about how hard it is to be a decorator, aren’t you? I like the wallpaper! Since that’s what you come back to, maybe wait for samples of that and the fabrics and see how they look. It may sound dumb, but I might put the wallpaper inside the picture frame molding, it would look lovely where all those windows are (1st bedroom pic) especially and not be overwhelming, paint the outer areas cream, put up roman shades in a natural texture and tone similar to the bed frame, paint the furniture/cabinets whatever works with the wallpaper, and pull in that tobacco/turquoise fabric for pillows if it works. I think the rug could go. It’s not sentimental, and doesn’t really seem to pop with anything else you like. I love the Anthro mural but it’s hard to tell scale and how it would be in a hallway. I’ve looked at it myself, along with wallpaper, because I have a huge bedroom with so much boring wallspace. There’s only so much art and mirrors one can hang! Oh, and if you have to put a fan in there, I guess so. But do you have to? They’re nice in the right space, but I just can’t see one in there. Anyway, thank you for sharing your pictures with us, very brave! And it’s lovely as is, makes me want to rearrange my whole house.
Lots of great ideas you have! I am taking them all to heart!
But yes, part of this is to convey that this is not easy. I am asked dozens of times a week for opinions about this and that and it’s just not possible– because A, I can’t see what they’re talking about and B, it would take HOURS of my time!
Hi Laurel….just wanted to say, don’t you diss that Zuber screen…”woman of a certain age” …… harrumph. That screen is Garbo, at a certain age…. she was gorgeous young, and gorgeous not so young… and so is your Zuber screen! That is all!
Oh dear! Are you kidding? I’m sorry if I made it sound any other way, but that Zuber screen is the most special treasure I’ve ever owned!!! It’s the Anthropologie Wallpaper that by comparison would fall flat. Besides, I think the hall needs to be fairly light.
It’s always easier to decorate any space other than your own, right? Your honesty is refreshing. I think part of the answer to your bedroom dilemma is in your post. You say the Florent wallpaper is what you really LOVE, but when speaking about the rug, it is too small and would just be OKAY. So start with the wallpaper you love and move on from there. I don’t think you can go wrong starting with something you love. BTW, thanks for your post a while back about kitchen lighting and the fact that you don’t always need pendants over an island, especially in open concept areas. I’d been struggling for months trying to figure out pendants for my kitchen remodel. It was like a light bulb went off when I read your post. I realized a fab fixture over the dining table would be enough! I just needed to hear it was OK from someone I trust. Thanks Laurel! Keep us posted on the bedroom.
You are absolutely right! I do love the wallpaper and think it would make a beautiful accent for the snaking entry/hall. There are a lot of doorways and closets to break it up too. Seven doors or doorways!
Hi Laurel, I love the idea of creamy white walls – and if you did the wall color on the ceiling (which you sometimes advocate), wouldn’t that solve the problem of the high picture frame molding? I painted my whole house BM Butterfield and love it at all times of day, in every room that has a window. (Downstairs bathroom is the only place it’s not so gorgeous – maybe it’s the bathroom light’s fault.) … I think creamy white would nicely temper your livelier choices – wallpaper, etc. (But I think those wouldn’t be too lively for a bedroom, because they are generally such calm shades of blue and green.) good luck – can’t wait to see the transformation!
Yes, if the walls were a light color, I’d just take it up all the way around. I’m too chicken to do that with this color. haha.
I am building my own home and I think to myself what a builder must go thru to accomplish it. I am worn out choosing color, fans and lighting, door handles, etc. so I have a good idea!
So, is the problems with a designer.
I know you like green a lot and in that field, so I go with a whole house color scheme and I am doing that very thing as well, because I will live about 30 min from the beach.
When I saw that pillow on the right hand side of the bed of the Horchow magazine I was in love. I would choose that and pick the colors I liked out of it and begin, you could paint furniture etc. I would choose one special item like a new rug to ground your bedroom and to lift your spirits. It’s going to be excited. I renovated a 850 sq ft house by myself, including siding, HVAC all of it, it like to killed me but I did it. Someone said to me later when I said how much work it was, it’s a good thing it wasn’t bigger! LOL!
Thanks so much for your input and ideas Cindy!
Hi Laurel – WOW, is my head spinning?? Yup. I don’t know if it is spinning from your passion of ideas or from all of the stuff crammed into your bedroom. I really like the nightstands….and that’s it. Oh, and I love the bed. So, with that said, what are the dimensions of the room? I think less is more is important. The bed, the nightstands, a chair…almost there. Maybe an armoire if I know the dimensions of the room. OMG, the curtains are dorm quality. But so easy to change that. I love the fabric you chose, but it is either the fabric or the wallpaper. You can’t have both. Either way, the bed should be dressed in all solid, neutrals coming from either the wallpaper or the fabric. And high quality bedding. Did you know that you can get Seferra linens from Tuesday Morning? Killer prices. I would put the fabric on the windows, either curtains or shades, and a small pillow on your solid chair. Add some velvet somewhere. It is your boudoir. I don’t think you are going to be able to use the rug. Use a sheep skin rug for your feet only, next to the bed. Lamps on the end tables should be sleek, clean and maybe crystal. Check Home Goods, for the crystal lamps. They should be just a tad contemporary. OK, my dog is calling to go out. Send me the dimensions and I will keep babbling. I love a challenge. So fun. And yes, I am one of those untrained residential designers you have mentioned. Draw the house, build the house, furnish the house, and sell it. Always sold for a profit. Educated in medicine. Go figure.
The room is approximately 13 x 13 and an amoire won’t work, I don’t think.
I was thinking some glass lamps if I go light. This is a tough one!
I would NEVER take this job! LOL
Hi Laurel, I love this post. Your house is really amazing and I totally get not being able to make up my mind for my own space (and my dresser has an annoying broken door too, haha. I vote for either cream or the blue wallpaper with cream ceilings and trim to soften the transitions. Then everything else can be fresh and simple. Creamy casual linen romans? Or more tailored with a soft blue border? You can just paint your hallway cream too. (full disclosure, I love cream!). I’m sure you will make it beautiful 🙂
I love cream and white too! I should just dump everything and paint it all white! Just kidding. Not doing that either.
Oh my gosh- this was so much fun to read !!! And although I fully recognize none of us are perfect, I am laughing out loud at the thought of you using the leaf-thingys to open your drawers! Hilarious! (and completely relatable!) If anyone ever came to my home, they’d wonder why they hired ME to help THEM. There are some wonderful things about my place… and then there is the wallpaper, in the bathroom, that still screams bright 1984 floral. If only I could attach a photo…
Okay- my advice? That indigo in your bedroom is DIVINE. What a great sanctuary. I love the coziness of it! I am ready to go out and buy a gallon right this minute and paint SOMETHING with it. Favorite post so far!!! Keep ’em coming. And I LOVE your place. LOVE.
Thanks so much Erin! I very much appreciate that another designer has areas of their home that are not perfectly up to snuff. The color is cozy. That’s one thing that gives me pause about lightening up. It’s just a different look.
It will come together! And things do not have to be all matchy either. I guess I don’t have to worry about that. lol
Now if I were you I’d get on the phone and give adorable Nate Berkus a call. :))
haha! I can’t afford him!
I do love the wallpaper you have chosen — seems like a really good jumping off point. I feel your pain about that Lexington dresser. I recognize the group that it was part of having bought a set of dining room furniture: a “swedish” table, 8 chairs and a china cabinet. It was hideous. The company sent some guys out to fix everything that was messed up when it was delivered, and I looked at it for about one more week, then told them to come and get it! In all fairness, I have another piece from Lexington which is quite nice, so I think it might have been just this group, but who knows. I like that giant cabinet you have pictured — very pretty. I am retired now, but I was always my own worst client.
Too funny about the “Swedish” furniture. Yes, the finish is not-so-great either. This was not a cheap piece either! And yes, I’ve gotten other stuff from Lexington that was fine.
Do not use wallpaper with the birds flying from limb to limb! I like the pillows and color in the Horchow ad. It looks like it does have some of the same color as your rug. Your rug has a similar feel of the wallpaper design in that the pattern is spread out so may be too similar anyway to the birdie paper. What about putting tv on chest to the right, throwing some companion material over existing stand or pick up another small table so the cords are hidden? Your place is charming! Love all the windows.
Thanks for all of the advice. Much appreciated! The cable comes out of the wall as far as possible from the right cabinet. Natch.
When I do the room, I will remove the TV for photos. IRL, I really couldn’t care less. lol – Of course, I wouldn’t have done it this way if starting from scratch. Some people have put the bed where the chair is, but i like looking out the windows. Especially right now when there are all of the chartreuse leaves!
Laurel, did you know that the cable cord be can extended? You would need to purchase an barrel adaptor and a cable extension piece that has a F connector on each end. If you go to Radio Shack and tell them what you are trying to do, they should give you what you need. YouTube shows you how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHftRSaZTCc You can do this!!!
I can’t. Sorry. I need help. I just want to watch ballet on youtube. That’s what I want to watch. lol
Big fan here. You make me laugh and during these times it is especially appreciated!
Thank you for helping me understand color so well. It came in really handy while picking my master bedroom color- Cleveland Green! I never thought I liked green until I looked around and saw that I actually have green in various places and shades ALL over my dang house!
So looking at your dilemma with your fab Zuber screen competing with the wall paper mural, my immediate reaction is- why in the hell are you hiding that lovely thing behind a desk and chair? Why not hang it up on the wall so you can see it in all its glory instead of hanging the wall paper? Does a screen always have to be a screen especially if it’s only screening a corner?
It is incredibly beautiful and I would treat it like a piece of fine art myself. Then again, I do have eclectic taste………
Anyway, I feel your pain. All the best and again thank you for injecting much needed humor into the world along with your stellar advice.
I did think I was going to hang the screen on the wall. But there’s the picture frame moulding and a long wall with no windows. So it would have to go over the sofa, but it’s too big to go over the sofa. I need two more feet. Or maybe a larger home?
Another issue I have is getting someone to help me with the “heavy lifting.”
Well you really built it up to be horrific! I think most of it is lovely! I like the idea of creamy walls with the fabric as roman shades. I would also consider painting the dresser before you replace the knobs. I love the armoire but I think it will be too large for the room. I also love the 2 glass front cabinets you have on either side of the window! Would you consider putting the tv on one of them and hanging similar size artwork above the other to balance it out? Or how about framing 2 panels of the wallpaper you love?
Can’t wait to see what you decide!
The armoire was just for the color. Sorry if I didn’t convey that. My son came for a surprise visit and I haven’t stopped today. Originally, I was going to do that with the TV. I agree. It kind of sucks in front of the window. But alas… It’s not a perfect world.
Thanks so much for your comments!
Loved your post Laurel!
I was brought up to believe decorating should be fun and it is but it’s also…. work. Thank you for saying that. Also, your stuff is so pretty- I wish I could have your look but can’t seem to make it work in an Arts & Crafts Toronto house… but a girl can dream!
Thanks so much! The only thing I bought when I moved here is the bed. Everything else came from the old home, but it looks much better here. It is a charming bedroom with the windows.