Friends. If you are following along on insta-story you know that I’m styling every single room of our house right now for a big shoot with Real Simple on Wednesday. So this post is going to be brief (ish) and potentially riddled with grammatical mistakes! It’s like an olympic styling challenge. Luckily I’ve been training for 12 years, but man it’s a lot of work making ever. single. room. camera ready.
Meanwhile I wanted to give you an update on our bedroom and get your opinion on one VERY important thing.
Let’s recap: here is the bedroom before we renovated:
A blank canvas, for sure.
We put in new flooring (from build-direct) and added square footage to the still small closet (see closet makeover on friday!). That room has pretty windows and great peaceful views so we don’t care that it’s on the smaller side. I feel like the expectations for me is that I have a mansion, so I always annoying apologize that I have normal (yet totally lovely) house. Bear with me – there are a lot of you giving me feedback – some saying ‘Wow, your house is so small compared to most of America‘ and some saying ‘Stop saying your house is small! It’s big compared to us in the city!’. I’m trying to balance how I talk about the size. The truth is, it’s actually perfect for us right now. She feels big downstairs with smaller bedrooms upstairs and we think it’s just right.
Here she is before we moved in, fully renovated:
We lived like this for a few months (with some temporary blackout shades that we took out for this shoot because they looked WAY too depressing).
We had a dresser that didn’t work (see this controversial design mistake here) and Brian had to work temporarily in this room because our basement office flooded (like 3″ during the month where LA did a VERY good, but unappreciated impression, of Portland during its most rainy month EVER).
I started pulling some triggers and ordered this beautiful new dresser that was the perfect size, scale and of course a custom paint color. It’s from a company in LA whose work I LOVE and have pinned the heck out of every piece. They make new, beautiful english country inspired pieces – but all custom so you can control everything. It’s all made in LA with such stunning craftsmanship. It ain’t cheap. But this level of local craftsmanship shouldn’t be inexpensive and I’m happy to suggest them to those of you who have the budget to hire local artisans. You know I promote inexpensive mass market pieces all the time, but I also want to nudge those of you who can afford it to hire local, extremely talented and experienced artisans for special pieces. We have a combination of both special and mass market in our home and it works.
Back to the dresser. Brian loved this style the most (which shocked me) and they asked me for my custom color. We sampled 10 different colors and all agreed that Caldwell green was a classic, historic green on the darker side that would help it feel modern. We asked for it to be in a flat finish because, well, flat finish is currently cooler than semi-gloss (depending on the space).
I love that lady, although I thought that the green was going to be much darker. Paint colors are tricky and I held up the swatch of paper that I had painted, the one that sold us on the color and it was IDENTICAL. On a piece of furniture they tend to go lighter than you think they would. I still love it, though, and when it’s next to that Cherner chair … UGH. So amazing.
Then I found this huge Heywood Wakefield mirror at a thrift store in the valley for $90 (above). The wood didn’t match the dresser, obviously, but it was so pretty and HUGE so I went for it. I was on the fence for a while because I didn’t want an attached mirror to date the piece (nor did I want to paint it the green for fear of dating it even more). But I LOVED waking up to it. It was calm, simple and graphic. We decided that while it was kinda weird that we would go for it and attach it to the dresser (in the photo above a bath towel separates it from the dresser so it wouldn’t scratch it – it was just leaning against the wall).
On the other side of the room are my nightstands (from Made Goods) and lamps (Rejuvenation) from our last house which I still LOVE. For the bed, we agreed with your vote and ordered that Rejuvenation windsor style bed. It’s PERFECT. I know a lot of you have the ‘bed in front of window’ problem and I’m here to say that an open headboard like this is your answer.
Plus we put in the new window treatments from Calico which are stunning. We float the bed out a few inches and the curtains perfectly frame the bed.
But then, ugh, we BROKE that mirror above the dresser.
We were installing it and we put too much pressure as we drilled into the back of the dresser, and it cracked and then exploded in broken glass. FUN! We still have the frame and we can get a custom mirror made to fit inside, but truthfully it is right next to another full length mirror that we need and love so it wasn’t perfect anyway. Two huge mirrors next to each other wouldn’t be obvious in a shoot because we could cheat it, but in real life it did feel like A LOT of mirror (see below).
So I experimented a bit … as I do. And I have a couple options for you – although NOT fully styled. I threw some lamps and props up there for dimension, but please only look at what is on the wall.
Option: the gallery wall:
You may have watched that insta-story. It took a few hours to get right. It’s a combination of different orientations, sizes, mediums and frames. Some have glass, some don’t. Some are modern, some old-world. We have one big anchor piece. All are in our color palette. I love each piece so much and together they look GREAT.
We played with lamps (above are two Target lamps available now).
I switched it up and added that schoolhouse lamp, which is even simpler and feels more modern.
I love that lamp, too and in person it felt too big but in this photo it’s actually fine … UGH. SO MANY GOOD OPTIONS.
And of course we tried two different lamps and it just seemed like too much.
I REALLY like the gallery wall. I do. But I lived with it for a few days and waking up to it (our bed is across the room) felt really busy. It was just too much for my little scattered brain who needs less things to stare at at 4am when I’m trying to convince myself that the house is decorated enough and that I should sleep…..
Then I remembered that I had this huge seascape and we tried that:
I know it’s less exciting, I get that. It feels small, but it’s HUGE. I also don’t like the frame as it’s faux finished. But the overall vision for the house and especially my bedroom is calmness and yes, I preferred this when I woke up. It makes me feel more calm and frankly nothing is more important to me than that feeling.
The debate isn’t totally over.
When I asked Brian, Sara and Brady they all preferred the gallery wall. I wavered. Do I LOVE the gallery wall in this photo more? YES. It’s a superior photo.
But in real life? Hmm. The bedroom is small and I really want it to be simplified and calm.
Obviously you can tell what I want and your comments probably won’t change my mind, but I thought it would be a fun debate to just see what you guys preferred. Do you think I’m boring? It’s not like I’m shoving that art in the trash if I don’t use it in this room. There are many rooms in my house that need more art.
So option #1: get the mirror replaced. #2: gallery wall. #3 large seascape (with painted dark frame).
Weigh in, folks (and check insta-story for what I chose :)) In the meantime here are all the resources for the room.
Resources: Green Dresser: English Farmhouse Furniture | Laundry Basket: Schoolhouse Electric | Black and Brass Task Lamps: Target | Tray: Vintage | Vintage Chair: County Ltd. | Leather Nightstands: Made Goods | Bedframe: Rejuvenation | Roman Shades: Calico Corners | Curtains: Calico Corners | Wall Mirror: DWR | Flushmount Light: Circa Lighting | Brass Lamp: Schoolhouse Electric | White Ceramic Lamp: Schoolhouse Electric | Wooden Blanket Ladder: Target. Woven basket, vintage cherner chair, pendant light.