Monday, March 22, 2010

Vintage Bedroom Design: Classic Blue and Yellow and Duncan Phyfe

I love this room. It started with a set of little vases from the Spode Blue Room collection - classic English florals in blue, on a yellow ground. It has taken a long time, since many things I'm using are vintage, or need to match exactly. Still looking for Duncan Phife bedside tables, and I need another half yard of fabric to make a shade for the door, but patience has paid off. Now that it is nearly finished, it is as pretty as I had hoped. And Paul likes it too - by avoiding ruffles and frills, I was able to keep it from being too feminine, even despite the floral pattern.

Paul had already suggested yellow for the room, and we matched the wall paint to the porcelain in the Spode vases, which I found while shopping with Devin and Sandy and all the kids at TJ Maxx. That was a fun day!

Next I went hunting for an old fashioned bed spread. We don't like comforters because we sleep under quilts, and comforters are too heavy, too slippery. At the time, I couldn't find one anywhere. I've since discovered that the best places for real bedspreads are companies like Miles Kimball, Lillian Vernon, Walter Drake, and such - great prices and pretty selections.

Anyway, I couldn't find one, so I ended up buying a beautiful Waverly fabric "Claremont", that was being closed out at Hancock Fabrics, and making my own spread and shams. My spread is simple, with no ruffles or piping. The shams were shockingly easy to make - I just looked at the ones I had and copied the pattern. Our padded headboard was originally covered with white cotton duck, from when we lived on the beach, and the new cover for it is just a case that slides on - easy as pie. I even made an "antimacassar" for Paul to rest his head against, since he likes to sit in bed and watch tv.

Instructions for making the padded, upholstered cornice board are in the post right below this one. Nick made the frame for me and it was very easy to cover and hang. Paul has commented several times how much he likes it. Since we both prefer simple window treatments, this finishes the window nicely.

Here again is furniture on legs: up off the floor seems to help create more space. The room is bright, sunny, and cheerful, no matter how dreary the weather.

I searched for over a year for a chair, and found this perfect leather wingback in an antique shop that Nick and Lani took me to on South Congress Street in Austin. It was in pristine condition, matched my swatch perfectly and priced to sell. What fun we had that day, and the chair reminds me of them each time I see it!

The picture above the chair was my souvenir from a visit to Westminster Abbey, a signed and numbered print by Angela Fielder. The Heron Rookery print above the chest of drawers is from Kenspeckle - link in my sidebar, I think that one is still available. And the picture above the bed is an original, vintage 1952, by Dura M Clarke.

Remember I said we collect what we like, and only one has to like it? That picture "The Aegeans" is one of those. Paul loved it from the minute he first saw it and I did not. However, after putting it in a new mat, with a new frame, and hanging in the right spot, I find I am enjoying it more as time goes by. It works beautifully over the padded headboard.

While we search for matching bedside tables, a vintage mexican tile tray tops a small cabinet next to the bed.

The rug I found in an antiques mall in Abilene. Isn't it wonderful? A large brass tray gives Paul a place to put his keys and change at night, and the book box caddy was a gift from Devin and Sandy - perfect dresser-top storage. And because this is a real room, there's Paul's "Marine Dad" cap on one side of the mirror and his Florida Gators cap on the other. I mean, let's be honest: where an American Man lives, there's gonna be a gimmee cap! :-)

The room has the updated 1940's look that works in this house. Comfortable and cheery, easy to live in. Our decorating style is very eclectic but here, I wanted that old fashioned fully coordinated everything matching look. By keeping the rest of the color scheme bright with the same tones repeated everywhere, the dark furniture feels fresh and serves as the accent color, its red shine reflecting light back into the room.

I hurt my back on Friday working in the yard, so I spent the next two days immobile in this room. Despite the forced inactivity, and Saturday's dreary, raining weather, the light and colors kept my mood buoyant.

The coordination - matching furniture and fabrics - is soothing and comforting. Even if "matchy matchy" is out of fashion right now, by next year it will be back in style and I'll be two steps ahead!

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