Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Your Room

I"m talking tomorrow off to get the dining room painted and then I have to set my sights on your room.  You may remember this was one of the rooms I talked about in my New Year, New Projects post.

You'll be happy to know that this room is the brightest room in the house.  It's also the cats favorite room as evidenced by the two craters in the comforter.  I hope you're not allergic.

But there something that's always bothered me about this room.  There's no decent place to put the bed.

To the right of the bed there's about 9 inches of wall space between the bed and closet door.  That leaves very little room for a bedside table.  Where will I leave a vase of welcoming flowers?

To the left of the bed there just enough room to get through.

This wall has a window right in the middle of it.  As you can see by the height of the bed, it would almost entirely cover the window.

You can also see that I didn't make my goal of getting all the windows painted by the end of March.  The one-window-a-week plan lasted three weeks.

This wall faces the street so I wouldn't want to have the bed blocking the windows here either.

And the other wall that has the door has just enough room for the dresser.

The dresser was Mrs. Mastrullo's and it's not in the best shape.

I was thinking of painting it a medium to dark gray.

But what to do about the layout of the furniture?

Here's a picture I borrowed from Small but Charming and I have two questions.

1)  Would you mind having a bed in front of a window like this?

2)  Is that someone's finger in lower left-hand corner of the picture?

I got this bed from Ethan Allen and it was floor sample so I got a great deal.  But I bought it before I really knew what I was doing.  I never considered that these chunky posts on the headboard and footboard would take 8 inches out of the room.  In a small room, that could make all the difference in the world.  The bed is also really high and I never considered how much visual space a high bed would take out of the room.  Purchasing this bed was a mistake for my house.

The bed I have in the master bedroom is lower, has a low headboard and no footboard.  So I think I'm going to try switching the beds to see of the other one works better and allows me to put the bed in front of the window.  That leaves me about three feet on each side of the bed for lamps, flowers, gifts and chocolates that I will leave for you.

If it works, I might even let you take the Ethan Allen bed home with you.


  1. i can put my glass of wine on the floor. i'm used to squeezing in tight spaces in bedroom as ours has the same problem. so don't go to any trouble for me. i don't think your 'other' guests are going to be so accomodating though. so maybe you should cross them off the list. it's an idea.

  2. Will the bed work at an angle? That's one option you didn't mention. Then you could put a table behind the bed to set the flowers on. Just an idea. I like the idea of painting Mrs. Mastrullo's dresser grey. In any event, I won't complain about my guest suite! I enjoyed my visit! Have a great weekend!

  3. Lovely..I do enjoy a switch around...I won't mind the bed against the window at all...I love a breeze blowing in on me. To give the bed less weight and keep the room light if you do place it in front of the window you could paint it... that may make it less bulky....

    It all looks great how it is. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

    Sorry about my urinal comment yesterday.....I've obviously had crowds of my sons friends in the house....

  4. Friendly cats and a hook to hang my clothes are all I'd need. Seriously, I have the same issues as you in my guest room. One thing that I found has worked so far is wall sconces instead of larger bedside tables.

  5. I LOVE this post! You had me at the title. Personally, i like bigger pieces in small rooms. That said, I don't mind the look of a bed in front of a window, but not at the front of the house. And, it can get drafty in the winter, but if you have a big down comforter, I'll be ok! As long as the bed is kind of transparent, give it a try at the window. I do like it how it is, though. Very inviting and cozy.

  6. No allergies, so no worries. Do we get to bring the Lab? She likes cats. Well, all cats except ours..

    That was our bed last summer, we've since moved it back against a wall and have had more room and less sun in the eyes early am.

    But it looks so cute in the picture I want to move it back.

    Our bedroom is so small I think we'll be quite comfy in yours.

    Will we be going to the beach?

    xo jane

  7. I am old-fashioned and believe that a bed should never cover a window. Why block that indoor/outdoor interaction, I say :) I like where you have it in the room. Also, I like the large scale of the bed in the small room. I always think that a bed should own its room. I do have a question though- what is framed atop the dresser behind the two mirrors? I think I like it....

  8. Thank goodness there is cat hair - I might go through withdrawal otherwise. Looks like there is enough room for me to stack books on the floor next to the bed so I'm okay (there is always under the bed). I guess you will have to have a lottery to see who gets to visit. And that bed against the window was admired when I saw it on its home blog :)

  9. Too funny...I'll be there in June...I say we go to MV...maybe put the bed on CL...You are truly a special person with a wonderful sense of humour. What more can you ask for...enjoy.

  10. I'd leave the bed but lose the dust ruffle and bulky covers. I'd also switch to two, simple standard pillows. The the whole room will feel roomier (I promise). Plus, your (attractive) bed will have more impact, and you'll see more of your gorgeous, shiny floor.

    My mom was always always snotty about beds in front of windows, and I have a hard time shaking that thinking.

  11. Lovely, lovely, just the way it is...I will have to be careful not to overstay my welcome!

    The low placed windows (I've seen many on Greek Revivals) suffuse the room with a wonderful light.

    As for the bed, yes, it is amazing how much floor space a footboard will take. Switching it out for the other will give you more room but a headboard of some kind is essential to keep the bed from moving and the wallpaper clean. Instead of painting Mrs. Mastrullo's dresser (its wood tone offers such a more glow and contrast to all the cool blues and grays) you might want to consider painting the bed boards the gray instead and reduce its volume in the room.

    And lastly, as far as the need for a night stand, forget it; just leave a footed champagne bucket with ice and a bottle of Dom Perignon (1966), for me instead.


  12. I would take it home after enjoying my stay!! I don't even need a bed, but it's just too lovely. I fancy the room just the way it is. :)

  13. Oh! And wall sconces and pretty wooden shelves could be quite functional with the current layout...A few vases of flowers on the shelves, with some lovely books and wall lamps to read them by. :) And you can just leave the chocolates on the pillow!

  14. Steve, this room is already so cozy and light, the fresh flowers may be just fine on top of the dresser! My master bedroom has a similar problem--windows and where there aren't windows, there are doors. I tried the bed in front of a window once & slept very badly the whole time it was there. Bad feng shui? Though I love to move furniture around, I'm more or less resigned to keeping the bed in one place in this room.
    About your Ethan Allen bed: You could always paint it white or a light gray. That would visually reduce the impact on the room.

  15. I can't wait to visit! And yes, I love a bed in front of a window, and I like to leave it cracked open, ever so slightly, even in winter. My husband, on the other hand, does not like to be by the window or have it cracked open. To the second question, I think perhaps the answer is yes also.

  16. Hello:
    Possibly changing over the beds may well give you a little more scope [and room] with which to play around. Aesthetics are, as we are sure you agree, so important and the correct balance in a room makes all of the difference to the overall feel.

    For our part, we should be reluctant to place the bed against or close to the window, simply on account of the feel of things. Difficult decisions. We shall be most interested to learn what you finally decide.

  17. I love the morning light coming in when we had our bed in front of the window in our old townhouse and frankly I miss it!But that's just me.

  18. No beds in front of windows please.
    Not a good look.

    Could you find a very high, centre pedestal table with a very small round top for beside the bed??

  19. I don't know if you are going to like seeing the bed posts in your upstairs front windows. If you put candles in the windows at Christmas will that draw more attention? It is still such a pretty room and welcoming for all your guests. I'm anxious to see and read what your decision will be.

  20. Comment #2
    I wouldn't paint the chest of drawers until you know the final colour scheme of the room. Also the wooden patina of the drawers are in proportion with the big wooden bed.
    If you paint the drawers grey I would paint the bed. Not too many pieces of smaller furniture just 3 or 4 larger pieces all to scale.

    That bed is so welcoming and very cosy looking, and commands a lovely presence in the room, such a feature. I wouldn't put in an ordinary bed. :)

  21. I like to use small plant stands as bedside or reading tables. Just big enough for a book and a glass. I often see them at auctions, sometimes with wonderful old green paint. You could paint it to match the dresser (if you paint the dresser).

    I'm open to bed in front of the window, but the issue might be the height of the mattress, that feels disproportionate. Is there a box spring? If so, you could take it out and use a bunkie board and mattress. See how it goes above the footboard? Of course I could be wrong--I'm no decorator!

  22. Having dealt with antique houses over a lifetime, I have the following ideas/prejudices:

    But first:

    I love the room arrangement you have already! You could use small candlestands at either side (or only one side, less happily, of the bed.

    I don't like beds in front of a window, even if it's lower. Always feels like it's blocking air flow.

    Diagonal arrangements aren't at all classical and your house is.

    A large and robust bedstead looks great in a small room. I'd love to stay in your guest room.



  23. I think I could manage staying in my room there. Forget Janet and make me the first on the list. We could strip off that paper if you like.

  24. I'm mixed on the bed in front of a window. Generally I say no, but sometime there maybe no option, and could be ok for a questroom. But, since you're considering trashing Ethan, is there room to place a day bed (even a double one) longways against the wall the bed is currently on? Or would it extend over the closet door?

    Also, I hope that was a finger in the unmade bed pic and not a ... well never mind... I'm sure you can imagine what I was thinking...

  25. Steve - How do we look for the end of July? I'm a good houseguest, I promise. I love cats and dogs (even in the bed with me), I eat anything, I'm totally used to small rooms, and I have a few funny stories to tell. Seriously -I think a stay in that room would be heavenly.

  26. Charm is difficult to achieve and even more difficult to define.

    The fact of the matter is that it is because your guest room has quirks that is also has charm. The lower windows, the small space beside the bed.

    Bed against window "no". The bed frame could be changed but really I think getting rid of the low hanging light fixture would help. In every picture you have shown of the guest room the fixture attracts attention and lowers the visual ceiling. Also, hanging there with those sharp points over where people have to sleep is threatening.

    For a side table attach a shelf table with its single leg braced to the wall along along with a wall sconce for a reading light. This eliminates the clutter of table legs and gives more space.

    Whatever would you do without us? Ann

  27. It is a lovely inviting room....and I would not mind at all the bed in front of the window!!

    Oh and I adore the star light fixture, it must stay! :)

    Art by Karena

    Come and enter my New Giveaway from Serena & Lily! You will love it!

  28. "Live and learn" is my mantra in life. Our guest room has the same dilemma. I actually have a narrow wooden box on end for a bedside table--pretty tacky. You can leave the Belgium (please!)chocolates on the pillow for me.

  29. I hope I am not stepping on anyone's toes...but...since you asked, here goes.
    If you want the room to appear more spacious/lighter this is what I would do. Leave the furniture arrangement as it is. Do not paint any of the pieces!! Clear the dresser of everything and hang the floor mirror horizontally over the dresser. Leave the chair in the corner, take the small table with the ship out. I think there are too many things in there. After doing all of this if the room still feels heavy, remove the dust ruffle for space underneath the bed and simplify the bed linens.

    Are you sorry you asked? :)

  30. I think it's pretty charming as-is, but agree clearing some things from the dresser will open it up a bit and adding a little candle table for a book. I'm not sure about the high curtain rod placement. Maybe faking it out with some shades or something would work? I had a bed in front of a window before and loved hearing the birds chirping upon waking. I vote for keeping the table & ship. I'm liking the contrast of the dark woods with the light.

  31. Comment#3
    I keep returning :)
    I came back to comment on vignette on top of your dresser. Then saw others have a similar view. Do you think by removing the pottery look vases and the wooden frames it wouldn't look so top heavy. I love that look it gives, but feel for a guest room those particular objects are a litle heavy looking and are not keeping with the wallpaper. The gold frame is lovely, would you consider 3 hardcover beautiful coffee style books to browse through with a beautiful votive candle on top. A glass/crystal vase for some fresh flowers 'or' a pot with a tiny round ornamental box plant. A silver or lucite tray for guests to put their keys etc.
    Yes, I would take the small table and ship out of the room. I love them but I feel it is not suited this room.
    Look forward to seeing what decisions you come to :)

  32. Hello
    What a delight to find your blog.

    I'm sure that whatever solution you decide upon, your guests will feel pampered with your gifts and chocolates and your concern for their comfort. Regarding the bed: I think you may be right to consider swapping it with the bed from the master bedroom. If this doesn't work, you could consider a small, wall-mounted shelf either side.

    I am now a follower of your blog and look forward to your next up-date.


  33. Hmmm. Thought the problem was bedside table room.
    To me, the solution is switch out the bed for something that uses less space. Do love Jane's window bed, but learned the hard way that feet toward the door while sleeping is bad Feng Shui that might be a problem.

    While you might see the flaws in the dresser, it looks beautiful against your floors.

    And since I live in Boston, I won't be staying, but when you have room for flowers, I'll donate a lovely bedside bouquet if you want to stop by and pick them up!
    Shelley at Bow Street Flowers

  34. We stayed at a B & B in Canada where the headboard was positioned up against the windows that faced the street. It wasn't an issue at all. The owner had simple roll-up shades there for privacy when needed.It was gorgeous! I'd feel better with the bed centered in the room even if the headboard did cover a bit of the windows/light. However, you might consider switching out this room's current headboard for one that's "lighter" in feel. We have a guest room with the headboard up against a window too. It's a simple metal headboard...but here's the secret: it's actually much lower cuz the headboard is really the footboard from the master bedroom's bed! It works great!

  35. Oooo, doesn't everyone love to give their two cents? I am not opposed to a bed in front of the window. I want to do this in our room too, but we need an open headboard like the one you pictured to let in the breeze. That said, like someone wrote already, two small shelves installed on either side of the bed in its current position with some wall sconces would work beautifully!

  36. P.S. Don't get rid of the bed -- it's gorgeous! We have an antique one in my family just like it, although I'm sure it's much less sturdy.

  37. Cute little room Steve....that is my comment!

    ; 0 )

    xo kelley

  38. Geez! After readng all these comments, I forgot what the room looks like!
    OK, I would move the bed in front of the window on the wall with the mirror. That would leave room for a side table big enough for my fan to sit on. I agree about removing some of the things on the dresser, for a lighter look and maybe getting rid of the dust ruffle so that you can see the legs of the bed and....that way I won't have to lift it up to make sure there's no clown under there.
    But whatever you decide, DON"T put the foot of your bed facing the doorway! VERY BAD Feng shui!!!
    :) - Cindi

  39. Our house is so small that this wouldn't bother me one bit. Our master bedroom (if one can call it that) is tiny, with sloping walls. We always have to do a dance to get around in there.

    But, changing the beds might be just the thing! (Flowers can go in a vase on the dresser.)

  40. I like a bed to be the centre of the room and have no problems with the window a backdrop, like Janes (I think your right that may well be a finger).. :). anyway I love the bed and room x

  41. Yikes...remind me not to ask for suggestions! I am totally confused. I do love the bed and I agree that sometimes a tall bed takes up more visual space in a room, as does a footboard. My rooms are very small also [older house]. I believe I like the bed where it is but just some slight editing will help make the whole space appear larger.