The goal of my blog is to help readers feel like they can be their own decorator. This is probably a subject for another post, but I truly believe not everyone needs to hire a professional decorator to have a beautiful home they are proud of. This blog is great advertising for my interiors business, but I mostly do it because I’m an over-sharer. I like to talk about the ideas I’ve got brewing, what’s worked for me (and what hasn’t), and hopefully share some ideas that educate and instill confidence about tackling the decoration of your home. Emily, who is in the PR field and is a busy mother of two boys, is the perfect success story!
Emily lived in the dorm across the hall from me our freshman year of college. A few years later, she ended up marrying one of the really great guys in our group of friends, Todd. We only get together every couple years, but we definitely have one of those friendships that picks up right where we left it. I love hanging out with Emily!
She and Todd moved to North Carolina recently and it’s been fun to hear about their projects in their new home. I pop in over the phone or email with ideas every now and then, but mostly this beautiful house, which I’m super excited to share with you this week, is a result of Emily’s blog and magazine reading and her and Todd’s hard work.
First up is the master bedroom! Come back in a couple hours today for Emily’s home office. This is going to be such a fun week!
(and a huge thanks to NC-based photographer Jessica of JJ Horton Photography for the beautiful images!)
“The master bedroom was the hardest room in the house to decorate. We wanted a retreat that didn’t have to bend to the rules of decorating with little kids like the rest of our house. I also had no idea what color scheme to go with.
“Lucky for us, Jenny posted about this Barbara Barry bedding right after we moved in and that gave us a starting point. From there, we chose a pretty mint coverlet and sham from Restoration Hardware similar to what they show with the BB bedding collection. We bought it when RH was getting rid of all the old stuff to make way for the company’s recent facelift so it was a huge discount (I think around $75 for both the sham and quilt), especially since the quilt they sell with the original bedding is $300.
“I liked the pop of color that the yellow flower pillow gives. This pillow is everywhere so if you’re reading this and own this pillow, I highly recommend putting a new pillow form inside. The one that comes with the pillow is way too small and doesn’t have any oomph. Another trick I learned from a professional seamstress to make shams look like the professional pictures was to wrap the inserts with batting and then put additional pillow stuffing between the insert and the batting (the batting just keeps it looking smooth). I also sewed twill strips to the back of my shams and tied them together to keep the shams tight around the insert.
“The layout of our room is awkward with a vaulted ceiling and slanted walls. When the bed was against the wall like the owner did before us it threw everything off and made it impossible for any other furniture to look right. Nothing seemed to work.
(before, from the previous owners)
“When Jenny posted about what to do when you need to put a bed in front of a window, I knew that was the solution. Next, we needed nightstands. I really would have preferred to do a small desk on one side and a nightstand on the other but there isn’t enough room. In order to keep us organized and clutter free I wanted nightstands with a lot of storage (we even added baskets underneath because we filled up the drawers!). After checking Craigslist religiously, finally on Christmas Eve a pair of vintage Baker nightstands came up for $140. If you’ve ever searched for a pair of matching nightstands you know how hard it is to find, especially on their own without an eight-piece bedroom set to go with them. We painted the nightstands Benjamin Moore White Dove and replaced the hardware (not original) with these wonderful knobs I found on ebay for $8 with shipping. They’re unique and little on the tacky side but I love them.
“To accessorize the nightstands (and the rest of our house) I went to Home Goods almost every Friday night after the kids were in bed. It became a ritual and if my husband could he will make sure that our next house it at least 60 miles from a Home Goods. The lamps are from Home Goods. The only problem was they came with a silver base which I thought clashed too much with the hardware on the nightstands. We ordered acrylic bases from here. However, if you ever try this just beware it is a lot harder than it looks. You basically have to unglue the balls and
then get them to fit back perfectly and glue them together again. Luckily I was about 8.5 months pregnant when my husband tackled this project so he couldn’t get frustrated at me.
“I struggled with decorating these nightstands and I’m still not sure I love the arrangement. I really like having personal things out but I also like to keep it simple. My nightstand (the one on the right) has a mirror, a couple of favorite Jane Austin books, and a small set of French Limoges boxes that are part of a bigger collection (my mom started a collection for my sister and I almost 20 years ago when they took us to France) hidden away where my three-year old can’t find them.
Parker loves these boxes. Every morning when he comes to wake me up he opens and closes these boxes. I’m always surprised what he can fit in them. For a while a fireman lego was in the glass box (he was hiding from the fire?).
“On my husbands’ side is a python tray from the wonderful Furbish, a plant, and a picture of us when we were engaged.
“Furbish opened around the time we were moving in and when I saw the picture of the blue armoire with all the pillows I knew I had to have it. I had always wanted an armoire and this one is perfect. On top is a canvas by James C. Christensen (my favorite artist) called Touching the Hem of God. In front, is a glass jar from Home Goods and a restored antique tool box from the flea market.
“Next to the armoire is an antique quilt rack I got for $8 from the flea market that I use to put my clothes on at the end of the day because who puts their clothes away every day?? I like to let them build up and when it’s about to finally fall over I put them away.
“The chair is a garage sale find that we painted the same color as the nightstands. The fabric is made by Lee Jofa (you can buy it at Ethan Allen for around $60/yard) but lucky for me I found it at a local fabric warehouse for $12/yard. I bought the fabric before I had a project in mind knowing it would work somewhere. So when I found the chair and ottoman it was the perfect fit. I had big plans to reupholster it all myself but after researching I realized this was one specialty I was not really up for.
So off they went to Agello’s Interiors in Raleigh, NC. They were wonderful to work with. Nito’s work is beautiful and the turnaround time is only two weeks! They do upholstery for Hunt & Gather and Antiques at Five Points.
The lamp is a flea market find for $10 that my husband rewired for about $2. A while back my husband had told me to find a storage piece that we could put against the wall between the doors to our bathroom and closet. The plan was to mount a small T.V. where the painting is and the piece would hold the cable box and other equipment. I found this little piece at Home Goods for about $60 but it was an awful color with painted flowers all over it.
I painted it a pale mint to go with the bedding and replaced the hardware. But when we got the chair back this piece didn’t look right on that wall anymore and it made it really hard to get to the closet. So it got moved to the other side of the chair and I decided to create a small vanity-style area for all my jewelry.
The little pedestal table from Z Gallerie used to be downstairs in the living room but got replaced with something else (you’ll see in the living room post) but it’s so cute that I just had to make it work somewhere. We’ll see though. I may need to retire it for a while. My eight month old is about to start crawling and he already tipped it over once.
“The vintage travel posters are from ebay from this seller. I got them for $4 each (looks like his prices have gone up a little) and the frames are ikea.
At the local flea market is a discount framers that took the existing mattes and re-cut them for free! In researching this I found out that a lot of framers have the ability to open up mattes, it’s a lot cheaper than buying a new custom matte, usually around $4-5 depending on the size. These are some of the places we want to visit someday. We originally got the idea of this series from Jenny but her post was about putting them in the entryway. I would have loved to put them in our entry but our room needed some big art to fill the high walls and this was the best, cheapest, and most colorful way to do that.
“Finally, the windows. We decided to go with this fabric from Dwell for the panels and this one for the roman shade. The fabrics speak for themselves so I really don’t have anything to say about them. When I told my husband we would be doing blackout lined panels and a roman shade I wasn’t sure of the reaction I would get. His response was “you mean, it will be like a hotel in here all day?” He was on board. So I got to work on sewing the panels and learning how to make roman shades. By the way, this book is an awesome resource if you’re interested in learning how to sew home décor. I have a good friend who is a seamstress and has been so kind to help me with questions. This book is my back up for when I don’t want to bother her.”
Bed: Pottery Barn, Valencia (husband bought it for me at a PB outlet for our first Christmas married)
Nightstands: Craigslist, vintage Baker
Knobs on nightstands: ebay, vintage
Jewellery cabinet: Home Goods
Hardware on cabinet: Anthropologie
Mirror above cabinet: Target
Bedding: Barbara Barry poetical
Coverlet and Sham: Restoration Hardware
Yellow flower pillow: Target
Pedestal table: Z Gallerie
Lamps: Home Goods
Mirror on nightstand: Gifted
Limoges and glass box: from childhood
Python tray: Furbish
Basket under nightstands: Home Goods
Jewelry tree: Urban Outfitters
Beaded Jewelry Box: Anthropologie, about 10 years old
Miscellaneous vintage trays and dishes: flea market
Glass jar on top of armoire: Home Goods
Wooden Tool Box: Flea Market
Wooden quilt rack: Flea Market
Touching the Hem of God painting by James C. Christensen, can be found at art galleries
The Lost Sheep by Minerva Teichert painting, can be found at art galleries.