Monday, October 23, 2017

My New Bedroom

Before I get started with this post, which has been in draft for MONTHS, my good friend Joni of Cote de Texas posted a wonderful blog all about my apartment which includes this room, and the new media room/den/guest room. So, when you're done here - go over there, take a look around and say hello!

If you read my blog with any regularity you know that I change my mind about my personal interior design as often as some people change their underwear. (Not kidding, even a little bit!) When I moved into the new apartment last November, I quickly threw the bedroom together, spending most of my time and money on the living and dining rooms. Eventually, I knew that I would need to do something with the bedroom - but I honestly figured that I would have moved to another place before it really started to bug me. 

I was wrong.

Just to recap though, here's what the old bedroom looked like when I moved in: 

Now, this is what all of the apartments look like when you move in. Fresh carpet, paint, and mini-blinds. It's nothing fancy. But, it's in a FANTASTIC neighborhood, and I'm close to work, friends, and it feels safe. Which is important in a home, rental or otherwise.

At first, I really just loaded furniture into the space: 

It was fine, nothing really to jump up and down about. Even looking back at this photo I think to myself: "what the huh? What were you thinking Artie!?" The carpet drove me batty, and the posts on the four poster bed were much too short for it to look as sophisticated and lovely as I had wanted it to. 

The redecoration process started with getting a new bed, this time, no posts. The room was just not symmetrical or large enough to host a canopy bed. Something I knew to begin with, but paid no nevermind. Then I tore up the rug, and put down the same flooring as in the living room with another large seagrass rug. 

After that, I sort of stalled. Did I want to paint the walls? Did I want to fill them with artwork? The answer never really came to me until I found a 44-yard bolt of Valdese Weavers Mattress ticking for what I thought was an absolute bargain. My mind exploded with ideas, and I finally decided on upholstered walls. If I only knew then ... 

Here's the thing. I'm gonna level with you. And this is SUPER important, because I don't want you coming back to me telling me how big of a jerk I am because I made it look so easy. If you think that painting stripes level, plum, straight (whatever term you wanna use for RIGHT) on a wall is hard, try upholstering a wall in them. IT'S IMPOSSIBLE! Oh, and as if THAT isn't hard enough, the pattern run on the bolt was horizontal not vertical. Yep, I had to SEW the pieces together to get the full height to reach the ceiling from the floor. You ever sew stripes together to meet perfectly? Did you succeed? 

Cut back to me inventing cuss words

It was by far the most incredibly tedious thing I've ever done. ABSO-EFFIN-LUTELY! I must have stopped and started over a dozen times before I just settled on it being charming that the stripes didn't line up. It'd have that carnival fun house vibe, "Are these stripes crooked or am I having a stroke?" You know, that's the thing you don't see when you see all of these gorgeous rooms with their perfectly striped wallpapers and upholstered walls. Someone got paid SERIOUS MOO-LAH to put that shit beautiful fabric up there, and paying someone who does this for a living was not something I was willing to do in an apartment! (Que the choir: He's just a poor boy, from a poor family ...)

When I went back to look at all of these wonderful inspiration rooms I had saved with striped or upholstered walls, I started to see that they were filled with small faults, too! "Maybe I wasn't so crazy afterall," I thought, "maybe even when you spend THOUSANDS of dollars to have this professionally done, you can still have human error?"

At the end of all of it though, it wasn't half bad. Honestly, if I hadn't been drunk on wine when I tacked half of it up there, it'd probably look better than it does now ... (don't judge me ... it was the only way I was gonna NOT throw it all out in the middle of the street!)

Of course getting the fabric up was only half the battle. Then I spent hours, nay DAYS with a glue gun and ribbon finishing off the edges. WORST. JOB. EVER. INVENTED. And why in the hell is ribbon so expensive? 

But it's finished. So, without further ado ... here's the before and after...

I hope you don't stroke out! Proceed at your own risk. 
(Insert Waiver of Liability Here)

Before (again)


When I bought the bed, the headboard was upholstered in a sort of light cream linen. I reupholstered the headboard and wrapped the box spring in the same fabric as the walls to really give the space a more tailored look. I love the same fabric being used throughout the room, and the pop of those white velvet curtains against the chocolate brown. By the way, if you're looking to purchase the bed, I highly recommend going through Amazon. It's pretty inexpensive, AND FREE SHIPPING! Whoohoo!

A lot of people who have seen this room in person ask about the art. Why it's hung on the walls the way that it is, and whether or not I have intentions of adding more art to the gallery. The answer for both is simple: I don't know. When I finished the walls in this room, I struggled with whether or not to put art on them. After a little while though, I knew that all of the art I had stored needed a place to be seen, and these walls were just going to have to be the perfect space. (Whether they are, or not!) I really just let the art speak to me. It's hung low in some areas, high in others. Nothing really "goes" together, it's just an eclectic mix, which is why I think hanging it this way really works. 

The bedding is the same as the other bedding I had, but I went for the taupe version this time, instead of the blue. I also layered the suzani that I bleached onto the bed as well. Surely you all remember that I did that, right? Bleached the suzani? 

The Way Before, Before

In the old apartment, the suzani, as purchased in the standard black and red. I bleached it (on purpose) hoping that it would come out beautifully, and shockingly, IT DID! It's the most beautiful combination of tan/taupe now.



Here, you can see that the carpet is no longer there, replaced by the wood laminate, topped with seagrass and a chocolate and cream dhurrie. What can I say, I got a little obsessed with the stripes. One of my favorite things in this room are the antique slipper chairs on either side of this dresser! I actually found these already upholstered in this chocolate and white ticking, and they worked beautifully against the wall here. One day I'm gonna have these babies recovered in something fabulous, but for now, they look like they belong.

More scattered and collected art here, along with the television. Now that I have a den with a television, this tv isn't really necessary. But, sometimes the dogs and I like to curl up under the covers and watch a good movie, so it'll stay, even it's only turned on once a month! 



I moved the bed over a bit, kept the table, and the lamps. The tiger velvet pillows and the antique suzani really help give this bed some interest, but I love the simplicity of this duvet cover and shams. The art on this side of the bed was purchased in Florida, original oil duck billed bird up top, and an antique post card of an alligator in the St. John's river on the bottom.

Blue and white doesn't play as big of a role as it once did, but I still have a few pieces scattered about in here. 



The same Chinese nesting tables are on this side of the bed, along with the lamps and my trifle dish filled with change. The art above is a watercolor from a Florida artist, purchased an art festival in Lewiston, NY; and the Bert and Ernie piece is a screenprint by an artist who works in movie parody. His stuff is hilarious! 


The mirror stayed. I love how much light is reflected from the windows in the front of the apartment. In front of it, a bench with French legs was slipcovered in the same stripe as the walls, headboard, and boxspring. It was finished with the chocolate brown ribbon trim that the walls were finished in. Beneath it (and atop it) design books found a new home, along with the Louis Vuitton valise, and some blue and white pieces.



The urn on top of the books is filled with coral, which I've been collecting for a bit. In fact, since these pictures were taken, I've added two new pieces. I may actually have a problem!



Here's a pretty big change. The bookcases are gone. They moved into the guest room for a little while, and then I eventually sold them to make way for the changes that occurred in there. The television still hangs here, this time on the wall, with the dresser beneath it. Two slipper chairs with white slipcovers flank the Empire dresser that was under the window. 


I love the plaster column capital on the dresser, which hides those television cords beautifully.

And now ... a few more shots:

I told you the blue and white was still around. I love this plate! The hand-painted chinoiserie side table is another favorite piece.

Arlo, looking in the mirror. (The apple doesn't fall far from the tree! HA!)

Louna, just wants to be left alone so she can watch Netflix. 

I have to say, I'm really happy with this space now. It feels "finished" and much more thoughtful than the old bedroom. Slowly but surely I'm sure I'll change my mind about how much I love it, but for now - it's probably my favorite room in the whole apartment - wonky stripes at all!

Hope you enjoyed the tour - now head over to Cote de Texas for more apartment pics! And, if you're here from Cote de Texas, welcome!

By the way - I've finally started working in my Cross Bottle Guy studio again, and I have 8 beautiful new pieces available on the Cross Bottle Guy website now. Run over there and take a look at the new loot!