You may have noticed that I jump around a lot in my decorating; enthusiasm and circumstances result in my haphazard approach. Unfortunately there are no big ‘reveal’ moments from me. Just an ongoing saga of the decoration of an ancient home. But I love it.
It’s also necessary for me to, once again, apologise for my posting absence. I’ve been finishing curtains, decorating rooms, struggling with local artisans and being an, albeit rather squiffy, hostess. As the much awaited guests needed something a little more than the bare minimum than I’d been providing I’d felt a change of decoration and a new focus on the guest room was in order.
This is what it looked like before…..
Now, I’m a pink person – but……..Also it’s a little somber.
The first thing I started to do was make these curtains. In fact that was all I was originally going to do. They’re double width and pool at the bottom giving them a sumptuous feel in an otherwise Edwardian country bedroom.
I edged the curtains in this scalloped lace and the voiles compliment them. They were originally in the dining room, but were so perfect for the lace edging I moved them.
Here’s a closer look at those Art Nouveau plates that I’ve hung between the curtains…
I have so many little nik naks that I’ve bought from French brocantes over the years, just waiting for the right place to go, that I don’t always know where I’m going to put what. However the green in the plates, along with the design, seemed to fit perfectly. In fact, although you’d think the bed dominated the decor design, it was actually these plates. Once they were in situ other things naturally followed. Like these Art Nouveau prints…
Perfect fit, no?
From there I took this old, French country style iron chandelier…
…with its adorable bows. I might add some clip on light shades, I don’t know yet. I’m going to do a stencil freeze around the room and it may be too much. We’ll see.
As I said, I’d only intended to sew curtains. However I suddenly wondered to myself if I could paint over the wallpaper. It was very thick, typical of the type used in old houses. Often when the walls are old and the plaster weaker thick, textured wallpaper is used to ensure it goes on, stays on and covers the imperfections in the wall. As a result its thickness means you can paint it as the paper is strong enough not to be damaged by the moisture. If you live in an old house and are afraid of taking off structurally sound but unattractive wallpaper because of what you may find underneath this can be a good option.
Here’s a wider look of the same corner of the room….
…the lighter paint makes such a difference doesn’t it?
You can see that I’ve moved the secrétaire that I had here (here’s the original how to). The coverlets on the bed are only a temporary, summer set. I’ve bought some high quality, white cotton for when my guests return at New Year.
Here’s the other side of the room…
In the corner is this dressing table…
As I added pictures and the light to the room it took on a definitive theme of Edwardian country; it wasn’t by design, it just fell into place like that. Isn’t it lovely when that happens? All of a sudden in the middle of a room project you realise “Oh, so this is who you’re going to be!”
As a result I don’t know whether this dressing table will stay here. I have a beautiful Edwardian one in my own bedroom that I love, but I just feel that it will be perfect in this room. Take a look and tell me what you think.
I need to redo the paintwork on this cream one, you can see in the pictures below how the wood was cracked by a falling wardrobe (!). My plan is to decorate the next spare room in a French country style, so it might be transported there. We’ll see what I end up with!
As you can see I’ve styled the dressing table top. I didn’t want it to feel barren and soulless when my friends arrived. I’ll do a post later on preparing rooms for guests (my husband thinks I’m crazy, but it may give you a few ideas).
Here’s a lovely panel detail on the armour wardrobe that I picked up in another brocante adventure. I bought it prior to our move here, it was in the house we rented when we first arrived. However the parts of the dismantled wardrobe have been leaning against a wall. When we went to refit it it wouldn’t slot into place correctly. We’re unsure if it’s warped or if we need to keep playing around with it (I’m using the word ‘we’ lightly).
I may end up putting a curtain on the armoire, or even salvaging parts to use in other projects and buying a new one.
Do you remember how I said that I was going to stencil, well here’s the start of that part of the project…
I started above the door here. I think it will look really nice. It may not end up being so close together though as it’s tall and may not work round the beams well as a result. Consequently I may space the design between the beams, leaving appropriate gaps. I’ll paint over the additional stencil if need be.
I ordered the stencil from Royal Design Stencils in the US and my husband brought it back from one of his work trips there.
I’ll post a final picture when it’s all done; in fact I might have a post on ‘finally, completely finished rooms’. In the meantime I’d love to know what you think.