Monday, January 22, 2007

Feathering the Nest (Part I)

S ince buying the house, we've managed to get sorta-kinda unpacked (all the important stuff is "out" and in its place). There are still plenty of boxes in the basement containing God knows what things we clearly don't need. We haven't done much proper decorating yet - we did hang one painting (and David's antlers - a story for another day) and I organized my bookshelves. Mostly we've just arranged furniture and seem to spend lots of time moving things from one cupboard to another in the kitchen. We've silently decreed that everything needs to be in THE RIGHT SPOT in the kitchen.

Last weekend David's mum came to town and helped us paint our master bedroom and bath. The room was originally hot pink (imagine if you dare - a Victorian boudoir!) and the bathroom featured several feet of flowery pink wallpaper border (which took several gut-wrenching hours to meticulously scrape off).

Since the bedroom faces north and has a giant spruce tree to the northwest, it gets no direct light and seems a little dreary. The floors don't help - they're a medium-dark hardwood - gorgeous but dark! So we decided to paint the room a soft ivory to lighten it up. We chose Benjamin Moore's White Down, which is a slight off-white colour. Now that it's on the walls I love it - so light and creamy - but I now wish I'd gone a little darker. You live and learn. All I knew is I didn't want light beige, which I've lived with too many times.

Now that the walls are painted, we're moving on to the next steps - rugs, curtains, new bedding. I love the planning/pondering process and have been poring over decorating magazines for months trying both to learn "the rules" (if there is such a thing) and to get ideas. I've always had a good eye for style and used to be a fashion victim in my 20's (now recovering), so I am pretty tuned in to what I like and don't like. I know who I am, I know my tastes, and I want to convey that. Luckily David and I have similar tastes. We like eclectic homemade things and refined lovely things - antiques, old clocks and lamps, historical things, Arts & Crafts and Art Deco era things - all quietly refined things that take a lifetime to acquire!

So it will be a slow process. For now, I have the ideas for the bedroom all figured out. The walls are ivory and the bedding will be creams and ivories - all this will lighten the dark floors and low light. Next we decided to choose a rug. Originally I'd planned to do blues and sage greens as accent colours with the ivories and creams, but that idea fell through when I visited
Pottery Barn.

I came home from Pottery Barn with five 3x5 rugs on consignment (a brilliant system) so we could lay the rugs down and see them in the room and choose what works best. Four of the five rugs met my colour criteria and had creamy brown-green-blue colour schemes. I sneaked in another rug (my favorite at the store) which didn't exactly meet my colour scheme - sage green, yes, but with yellow and bright ochre/red flowers!

After considerable head scratching, shuffling of rugs, debating, lying on the bed looking at the rugs in different light, turning on different lamps, etc. to see the colours, and considering ease of "decorating around" we finally decided on a rug!

We ended up choosing the brightly-coloured Arts & Crafts-inspired one that's from the same era as my Mission furniture. I didn't plan to have reds and yellows in the room! This rug is energetic and spirited, the exact opposite of the soft, calm mood I wanted to create.

The rug is called Adeline

I can't wait to pick up the 8x10 size later this week and see it, in all its cheerful glory, in the room!

Then we have to start thinking about window coverings. And bedding! And another piece of furniture? And then decorate a complementary master bath? I can see where this is leading. Now I understand how people never stop decorating and re-decorating their houses. A labour of love I am we begin to feather the nest.


  1. How exciting! I'm glad that you're having fun - I love decorating (in fact almost went to school for interior design). The rug is gorgeous.

  2. Anonymous8:55 pm

    sounds like so much fun! i like the rug, too, and find it rather soothing. :)