Friday, May 08, 2009

Spare Bedroom ~ Inspiration Found!

Thank heaven Spring is here to cheer me up with its bright, long days and budding green-ness.  I really needed a pick-me-up and the weather (and gardening season) is lifting my spirits.

In typical Spring fashion, decorating dreams begin to unfurl and the list of projects grows in my head.  The room that's been on my "to do" list is our downstairs spare bedroom.  I will post photos soon, but suffice it to say this is a favorite room, very small and cozy (10'x10'), with tall built-in bookcases, a big shaded window and a large closet.  It's very cool in summer for sleeping and we've actually grown accustomed to sleeping here more and more of the year!  There is something charming about a small, breezy room.

The room is very plain Jane right now and really needs some decor-love.

So in an effort to kick-start the process, I've compiled a few of my recent favorite inspiration photos here.  

If you've visited me before, you know I'm a fan of graceful, cool neutrals and soft grey blues.  I want this room to evoke one word:  SERENITY
I love the neutral walls above, but I'm considering painting the room blue (Farrow & Ball's Skylight) and using all white, cream and taupe accents.  If you recall, I bought a splendid Laura Ashley quilt (below) in Paris last Fall, as well as the little pillow at BHV in Paris.  I would like to use them both:
I also love the tranquil colours in the photo below.  The wall colour is Farrow & Ball's Pavilion Gray, which is a little too somber for me.  But I love the room's tranquility and many of the details, including the blue-gray roman shade with the striped trim:
In the furniture department, I'd love an upholstered headboard, but cannot find one that meets my specifications.  And I'd prefer to orient the bed under the window anyway, which leaves me restricted on headboard height (43").  After an exhausting search, I found this modest bed from Ikea (Vanvik), which has a low headboard and is very cost-conscious.  I plan to go see it tomorrow and pray it's suitable.
Ikea also has a Hemnes four-poster bed that caught my eye.  It does not appear to be available in white, so would require a paint job.  I don't know if the room's proportions would accomodate a four-poster, but it might enhance the nest-like quality, don't you think?  I love the idea of draping pretty fabric over the top, like this:  
Or even better...this pretty floral fabric:
The room has built-in bookshelves across one entire wall.  I would love to paint the interior a contrasting colour (perhaps white) and have been considering wallpapering the back wall of the bookcases.  But since it is built-in, it would be a sheer torture to cut and wallpaper all 24 cubbies.  If you've ever painted a bookcase, you'll know that painting the 24 shelves/cubbies will be bad enough!  But wouldn't this pretty damask paper look nice in the room?  
Perhaps I will just have to do a single panel to hang somewhere (not that I can afford F&B wallpaper, which requires a minimum two-roll purchase at the one available dealer in Calgary).
Besides damask, I also really love this striped fabric from the beautiful and gracious Windsor Smith. She has a gorgeous, sophisticated fabric line, and I like the versatility of this stripe, perhaps for a roman blind:
Or maybe I could paint stripes on the back wall of my bookshelves?  Ah...I can see there is a lotta, lotta work to do!

Here is a Parisien inspiration room with peaceful colours, published by My Notting Hill:
I also love the photo below (the romance, the colours), but can't see myself under a gauzy coronet every night.  Perhaps in my dreams....
I will post photos of the room when I get ready to paint in a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, I am busy pondering the infinite variations on my theme.
Photo credits: 1.David Oliver   2.UK Homes & Gardens   3.Our house   4.Eric Piasecki photographer
  5. Ikea   6&7 Living Etc.  8.Farrow & Ball website   9.Windsor Smith Home   10. My Notting Hill photo   11. Unknown UK magazine


  1. The Laura Ashley quilt is gorgeous Terri.

    Regarding upholstered headboard, have you seen any of the {several} tutorials online to DIY? I wonder if you found some fabric you loved, would you attempt it by yourself?

    Great colour palette too. We're repainting several rooms in our home in the neutrals and blue-greys.

  2. Hi Terri. I been reading your blog for a while and really love all your posts. These bedroom images are great...But your new banner!!! wow .. hauntingly beautiful.

  3. You've got some really great bedroom ideas here - I especially love that damask wallpaper. It's beautiful. Lee :)

    P.S. Your banner is gorgeous - it makes me long for Paris.

  4. glad you could find some inspiration and that spring does you well! I think light, and warmth always help a bit.
    Yeah, those beds look great, we are also looking for a nice bed, but it can't be too girly for my husband and not too boring for me... so we are still looking.
    the ikea one is indeed nice, if you combine it with non ikea furniture, it will look great.
    take good care!

  5. Anonymous4:29 am

    Bonjour Terri, first I am so glad to read you again. Your ideas for the room seem all cozy. How about a headboard with your favorite (and expensive) motif? I could even see kind of slipcover over DIY (or hired good handyman) headboard and a band of same on sheers, or on a cushion to act as a rappel. As for the posts, my first thought is it would diminish the "ventilated" feeling of the room that you seem to like about it. Excuse my english grammar. Louise

  6. Hi Terri - all of these images are so beautiful! I love a nice light bedroom too.

    I went on a tour of homes last week, and saw a house with the most beautiful guest bedroom I had ever seen. Farrow and Ball light blue was on the walls, which looks either blue or gray depending on the light. I emailed the owner of the house, and she graciously invited me over to take pictures for my blog - I will post it on Monday. I think you will really, really love the guest bedroom!

    Your new banner is gorgeous.

  7. Oh it will be wonderful and soothing...

    Manuela (The Pleasures of Homemaking) does the wallpaper on the backs of her bookshelves, but she doesn't adhere it. Instead she puts it on stiff cardboard so it is removable. Fabric could also be used. Still, it's a commitment to that many shelves. I did one shelf...just one...couldn't commit to more than that, but I do love it.

    So glad that spring brought your inspiration back and has raised your spirits. Mercifully, it is working for lots of us!

  8. Love those gentle,soothing colors. I can see your quilt working so beautifully. And it will make you think of Paris when you use it!

    I love the Windsor Smith stripe, too. I would love to find a home for that in my house. That would look lovely on a headboard,too.

  9. Wow - I LOVE your inspiration photos, as well as your description of what you're planning for the room. I have no doubt it will be BEAUTIFUL!

    Take care,

  10. Love grey-blue. The DC Showhouse in Georgetown has a library dones in F & B's Skylight and it's beautiful. It has that bit of grey sophistication tht F &B's Powder Blue doesn't have. Love your new banner! Michele
    (ps - thanks for the mention too)

  11. It all looks lovely and being in a cloud.

    It'll be fun to see your final rendition!

  12. Hello my dear

    Sorry I've been off the radar for awhile, work is crazy.

    I'm so glad your getting your groove back. Take good care.


  13. Hi Terri,
    I'm wondering if you ended up choosing the Vanvik Ikea bed with the black/white print or the Blekinge slipcover? I'm really interested in seeing the slipcovered version, as the Ikea catalogue photo doesn't do it justice. I don't live in a province with an Ikea so am considering ordering online-but not until I see a better view.

  14. The best pictures to use for clean, bright, white-based interiors like that, are photographic prints of wildlife in winter: they radiate the slightest hint of color without compromising the pureness of the white surroundings, at the same time add live to the home.

  15. After reading further and seeing your comments regarding painting back of bookshelves - I have recently taken on the task of covering lightweight cardboard or you could use wood (lightweight ONLY) and covering with fabric choice, you can push them into place without nails or glue IF you cut them to fit - add a little backing on this and THEN, place fabric on top - staple and put in place. If you change things frequently - this will work because you just pop them out and store for future use. Hope this helps.