Wednesday, March 14, 2012

the second bedroom

It was not a good bedroom. It may, in fact, have been the worst-decorated bedroom (intentionally decorated, I mean; decorating neglect may perhaps at some point in history have sunk to lower lows) I have ever seen. Here's the listing photo:

The picture was taken from the doorway into the hall. What you see on the walls is dark blue paint on the ceiling and the top foot of the walls; on the lower part of the walls is lighter blue paint, with a lime green sponge-paint treatment. Rounding out the look are the green sheer curtain and the switchplate, which I tragically did not photograph before its removal. It was a very large metal switchplate in the shape of a flounder, enameled in rainbow colors. After I removed it, my hatred of it waned somewhat with the realization that it might be OK in a nursery (not what this room previously was). Sarah (callmemama) now has it, since she
actually has a nursery to decorate, and maybe she will share a picture of it with you all.

Anyway, I decided there needed to be some changes. First of all, new rule for the house: no ceilings painted any color other than white. Second, no more sponge-painting, anywhere, for any reason. The color scheme for the room was basically determined when I repainted the living room gray. It had been green (two ugly and incompatible shades of green; for that, too, had a colored ceiling), and my DH was sad to see the color go (it's his favorite color), so I said I would paint a bedroom green. So I set out to find green wallpaper I liked, which was harder than anticipated. There's a lot of green wallpaper out there, of course, but nothing was quite right. When I finally settled on one (part of the Ashford House silhouettes collection, if you're interested), I color-matched paint to the paper and painted the walls (and the ceiling white), and moved on from there. So here we start:

I had the highboy from our last house. It's a Broyhill, solid wood, and I got it on craigslist for $45. No idea why. The duvet is a pale green jacquard that I bought in a thrift store. It's a king size, but for this room, I tailored it down to fit a queen comforter for the double bed. (Got it?)

The photo above shows a better view of the highboy. Also the doorway to the hall (stained), and the doorway to a closet (painted white). And the maple rolltop desk I found on craigslist for $75. The chair (which you can barely see) is real leather with nailhead trim. Also craigslist (but I bought it when we were still in our old place), for $40.

I've just realized that, where I put the pillows, you can't see the headboard (and I am not going upstairs to get more pictures). It's a vintage maple poster-y one that was part of my mother's thrifting collection. She sent it to law school with me after we were married.

Last wide shot. I know these are all terrible pictures, but this has the most accurate rendition of the colors in the room.

OK, that strip of wood on the bottom (above) is the top of the desk. Above it is one of two large framed pictures. (They're prints of watercolors depicting some of the buildings at my alma mater.) The frames aren't really wood, but they were $17 at Ikea for rather large frames, and until they come down and we try to move them, they won't get dented enough to show that they're MDF.

Here is a closeup of the curtains. It makes them look more brassy and metallic than they actually look. In other words, it's a complete failure - instead of showing you clearly how they look, it shows how they do not look. They're from Amazon; they were $35 for the pair, so I was pleased. I like it that they go with the wall color, but also introduce some new colors to the room. And they are cheerful.

OK, here's the desk and the desk chair. I actually sat in it before I bought it, but I was distracted by making small talk with the people who were selling it (and sizing up whether they looked like serial killers. I decided no. She was half my size, anyway). So I didn't realize that it rocks back in theory, but in practice, you'd have to be large to get it to tip backward. Way heavier than I am. And since it's really leather, it's slippery. Unless you can lean back (not I), you slide forward. But my DH didn't like the cute little green and white chair I had I basically bought this for it's fine, I think.

We acquired two of these black-antiqued gold side tables from a neighbor who was moving out of the apartment next door after we were first married. I couldn't not take them, because they clearly had so much potential. But other than the fact that they were horizontal surfaces (and therefore immediately had stuff set on them as soon as we moved in anywhere), they never seemed to fit in aesthetically. But since there are two of them, I thought maybe they should go here. They seem happy. The lamps I found for $30 for both at the first thrift store I visited after we moved to Arlington. I still like them, though they're not as brilliant as I once thought they were. I also know that that was not an acceptable thrift store price for them, but I was so disappointed to find that that store had none of the furniture I was looking for that I felt compelled to buy something. Anyway, there are two of those too, and they're part green, and part gold, and also part fuchsia (in the flowers). This matches fuchsia hints in the little rug (which you can't see) and the blanket under the comforter. You can't see that either. It's OK :).

Here are some medium-sized pictures. These frames are also from Ikea, and I think they were $4. They have trip pictures - the left from our vacation to Austria, and the one on the right from my DH's trip to Nepal. And the last is a cross, which we got for our wedding from one of my mom's friends.

You remember the little-bitty Ikea frames from my stairwell? I got three of them for this bedroom and spray-painted them white. Very glossy, as you see. If I had it to do again, I would use a brush and somewhat less glossy paint. They have three more of my MIL's vintage postcards (including one with a picture of the "green room" at the White House. Get it...?).

OK. That's the room. Aaaand...I'm linking it up at Metamorphosis Monday, again - check it out!


  1. I love the green color, and the contrast against the white border and ceiling. :-) I had a green room in my old house....I decorated it with a pink and green quilt from Walmart (of all places) that I adored. I always thought it would make a beautiful little girl's room -- and it did, for my niece, for a year or so. Now the blanket is on a guest room bed with AWFUL tannish-orange walls....sigh. Paint really does make ALL the difference.

  2. I love it! You did a great job on choosing the colors and I HATED the before picture! I'm always surprised at what horrible things people do with paint. Ugh. Sponge paint lime green over blue? Gives me the heebie-jeebies.

  3. Oh, dear Lord, what is wrong with people?!?!?!?!

    Green switch plate and curtain sheers?? And no photo????

  4. I. LOVE. IT. Can I come visit and stay in this room? Haha. :) Have you ever considered doing this professionally? I'm not kidding. You are my design hero.

  5. Looks amazing!!! I'd love to join Hebrews in your guest room!

  6. LOVE the wallpaper! Again ... there is a line of people needing HELP in decorating! We're waiting for you!!!

  7. So that's where that flounder came from! Hilarious...and hideous before pictures. What are people thinking?! I love what you did in the space. Perfect!
    And yes, sponge-painting is awful.