Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Evolution of a Room - Part One

Have you ever seen a room and thought: That! That's it! That is what I want my room to look like! And then you set out to recreate the room, as closely as you can, because rarely will you ever have a room that is EXACTLY the same size as the one you're coveting. So you paint the walls, and move the furniture, and buy things - you maybe build a canopy, and spend $750 on premade curtains at Pottery Barn, and then you put it all together and realize - it's not going to work? Yeah, that was me on Saturday night.

You see, the room looked like this when I first saw it:

It's small, much smaller than the inspiration room. But I wasn't about to let that deter me. No, I was inspired, so after they had finished installing the carpet - I went in and started painting.

Now, let me clear up some questions here. The apartment complex does allow you to paint the walls of your apartment, BUT, you do have to paint them back to white before you go. I figured, why make it harder for myself. So I left the section behind the bed unpainted since I had intended for the fabric from the canopy to cover all of that space.

You're also probably wondering about my wonky paint line. Well, that got covered up with inexpensive lattice trim ...

This stuff is a God send! It's less than 75 cents per linear foot, and it goes up with tacks. No glue, no big holes! When it's time to go this will come right down and be repurposed somewhere else. I went around the whole room and painted it white.

So there it was - the black room I had always wanted. And though he doesn't read the blog, I have to give a big thank you to my friend Michael who helped me paint. You can see in the photo above the start of the canopy. Real sophisticated operation I had going working on the new carpet with a hand saw and a miter box. Anyway ... I got that all done, and tested it with the curtains I was using in the old bedroom.

It was coming together - but it didn't feel quite right. I assumed that it was just the curtains, and so I went ahead and painted the canopy black and found lined white linen curtains at Pottery Barn to make it easy. Got them home, got them up, slept under it one night - and realized that I really didn't like it.

Now, the lighting in these photos is pretty bad - forgive me, I'm still unpacking and my cameras are in a box somewhere (I hope) and the iphone was all I could manage to take photos with. This was just wrong. Somewhere along the line ... maybe it was the size of the room, or the height of the canopy, but I felt claustrophobic in the room. And woke up thinking that this must be what coffins look like from the inside. So ... what did I do?

Yep ... I tore it all apart. Threw the canopy I created in the trash, and probably pissed a lot of people off at Pottery Barn when I brought back 16 curtain panels, folded in the very best way I could - but not nearly as nice as the machine had done the first time. What was I going to do!? Here I had this big white space on the back wall - I knew a canopy wouldn't work, and I really didn't want to have to paint. Then it hit me:

The Samarkand Suzani I had been using at the foot of the bed, typically kicked off onto the floor every night, and never fully unfolded to be appreciated would make the PERFECT backdrop to the headboard against the black wall. So I hung the curtain rod, grabbed the box of drapery rings (why do I have that?) and went to town. When I stepped back from it I thought - wow! This room feels so much bigger! WELL DUH! So I moved on to the other side of the room.

That shiny black thing above the chair is a television! Yep, And I'm still looking for a piece of furniture for underneath it. The chair will stay in the room, as the velvet is incredibly similar to the color of the base velvet in the scalamandre le tigre pillows on the bed. But I really want a small table to put under the tv where I can then next the gorgeous plaster piece I used to have in the hallway. Look for that in Part Two. 

The curtains that I had before worked nicely in this room against the black too - especially with the current bedding. When I move to a different bedding, these may change, too. And of course, I used the bamboo roman shades to visually trick the eye into thinking that window was much taller than it actually is. If you scroll back up to the first time I saw the room - you'll see how much space is above that window! Eeeesh!

So that's it - for now. I'm sorry to have baited you with these wonderful floating canopy photos thinking that you'd have a post all about mine - but alas, it just didn't work in this space. The ceilings are too low, the room is too small, and I love Arlo and Louna too much to yell at them every day for getting their dirty paws all over my white canopy curtains.

All said and done, I think it's for the best. I love the suzani hanging behind the bed! And I look forward to finishing this room soon, including buying lamps for the nightstands, hanging artwork, (NOT what you see in these photos) and putting those special final touches and additional layers in the room that just make it feel more like "me". So we'll keep the door open on the evolution of this room, and we will see where part two of the story takes us!

Tomorrow - FABRIC WALLS! What the hell is he doing now? You'll see!


  1. Love this, and good job realizing it wasn't working early on and going ahead with something else... which looks beautiful and perfect in the space.
    I really enjoy enjoy your blog and I can't wait to see what you're up to next. xo

  2. Artie...
    You are too cute - I like your new black room very much. It has a lotta STYLE.
    I didn't mind the shirred white panel behind the headboard, but yes that Suzani is great and you already owned it, so there you go, can't beat it! You deserve a medal for the effort. Try some blue and white porcelain it looks great with black walls and Le Tigre- Sleep well!


  3. LOVE the suzani hung behind the bed....the whole bedroom is really coming along beautifully! Fabric walls huh? Can't wait to see what you are up to!!!

  4. So much fun to read your post ~~ the 'inside a coffin' remark made me laugh out loud! The room is on its way to looking spectacular. Good job, Artie!

  5. It looks amazing - love the black paint and the Suzani is perfect...can't wait to see more!!

  6. I just love this!!

    Renee in Northern California

  7. Not only was a perfect choice using the Suzani, it was a smart choice. Those canopy's although beautiful are nothing but a dust collector. The room looks fabulous with the changes you've made.

  8. The Suzani IMO works really well Artie. As for your canopy, at least it was a lesson learned .... and I am glad that I didn't spend hours sewing drapery for it .... winks! That said, it could be far worse as it could been a wall you removed then decided you didn't like it. ('Always look at the glass as half full, my friend.) Warm hugs -Brenda-
    P.S.: Re painting the walls; know for my son's first apartment we painted one accent LR wall in a very dusty plum and in the second place did all four in a deep red and in both instances when possible tenants did a walk through they liked them so much that they requested they not be painted over, which made it a win-win situation for everyone concerned. (Will admit though, due to the height of both windows, I made custom Roman Shades for both which my son agreed to leave so that helped plus in the first apartment had made a co-ordinating cushion for a built-in bench seat.)

  9. Love your post! The room looks fabulous with the changes you've made. Looks amazing!

  10. getting caught up - I love this room! I agree the canopy is a hard thing to get right. I love the suzani. looks wonderful. Can't wait to see the burlap library. btw - i didn't use lights because it was just expensive and my carpenter was such an ass and ugh. i just thought, forget it. everything is really looking great! cant
    ' wait to see it all finished.

  11. Love the black walls - we painted our dining room black in 2004 still in love with it I. Love the suzani! I actually think the current art is perfect. The library dining room is a brilliant solution look forward to that post.

  12. Nice photo captured . Thank you very much for this post on public .