Sunday, October 23, 2011

Middle Bedroom, Before and After

I'm having a tough time coming up with a good way to demonstrate my shutter speed post so I thought I would show you the middle bedroom.

The motivation for sprucing up the middle bedroom was, as you now know, the photo shoot.  Even though BH&G told me this room wasn't in the shot list, the openness of the upstairs made it quite possible it would end up in a portion of a shot.  Aside from the kitchen, whose makeover I showed you a few weeks ago, this was the other room that wasn't quite ready for prime time.

This shows the room's evolution.  Above is the room when I bought the house.   This was the only room that didn't have wallpaper.  I painted it Benjamin Moore Bali which I thought was a nice vintage/beach glass color.  I've tried unsuccessfully a few times to bring "sea" colors into the house.  They just don't fit and I can't explain why.

I initially set up the room as a "studio" where I was going to work on my artwork but, after three years of never working on a piece of art, the large desk was becoming a dumping ground.

I got rid of the large desk and replaced it with this antique spool bed that I stained dark brown using gel stain.  I built a platform inside the frame so it needed only a mattress to become a daybed.

And here is the room today.  I've repainted the walls in Benjamin Moore White River at 50% strength.  My paint colors keep getting lighter and lighter and I'll probably navigate to Decorator's White next time around so the woodwork can be darker which has more of a historical look.

The rug is too small but I love the colors.  I've tried a few different Dash & Albert rugs that just didn't look right.  Too new looking I think.  The antique Bar Harbor wicker chair came from York Antiques in Maine.  I would have preferred an upholstered chair but with limited time and funds before the photo shoot, I thought this was good versatile chair that would work as an accessory in almost any room.  

The paint on the chair is the original paint which is bluish-greenish gray.  The cushion is covered in a vintage ticking from Wendy Lewis.  I love all the colors with the rug.  Now if I can only find a larger one in the same colors.

The bedding.  The matelasse coverlet I got from Antiques on 9 in Kennebunk for 70% off...the best deal of my life. The pillows from back to front are:  A vintage linen pillow case from Wendy Lewis.  The Euro-sized floral pillow shams are Ralph Lauren.  The blue ticking pillow shams and red ticking are also textiles from Wendy Lewis.  The bolsters are an oatmeal colored Ralph Lauren linen I bought on ebay for $20 which is trimmed in an old linen shirt from my closet.

Above the bed is the vintage cow print/chart that was formerly in the kitchen. 

Many thanks to Ann LaFortune for making the shams and the bolsters for me.  I sent Ann a bunch of fabric and she helped me figure out what to use where.  

The back of the blue shams are done in the same oatmeal linen as the bolsters with a flap of oatmeal and brown windowpane plaid linen making them completely reversible.

I also bought these cool pillow covers made from vintage material from Ann's etsy shop that work really well in the dining room.  Be sure to check out Ann's shop.  Her prices are really fair and she also does custom work.

I would have preferred to have a small chest rather than the small table under the painting.  I feel there are too many spindly legs in the room and a chest would allow the spindles on the bed to be the star in the room.

The table was $27 at the Cambridge Antiques Market.  I've used an old square English fishing basket underneath to fill some of that space and disguise some of those spindles.

The small green cabinet in the corner houses a lot of electronics for the house:  modems, wireless routers, phone, etc. and a small TV that would allow a guest to hang out and watch their own TV if they wanted to. 

Above the TV is a painting that you might think is vintage.  It's actually a new painting by a friend, Katrina Walker, from Provincetown. The painting provides a peek inside the Beachcombers Club, a private men's club of artists and writers that started in 1921.  Katrina found the vintage frame, that fit the painting perfectly, in the trash.  This is a very cherished piece.

There's no hiding that my elliptical machine sits in the corner along with the wrenches pieces I showed in the last post.

Above the windows, I've kept the original shelves.  Since the windows are really low on the walls, I use the shelves as kind of a valance on which to place an ever-changing collection of things I find interesting at the moment.

There's a  raku vessel, an art piece made from found objects including an old flag, a shoe last, an abstract bronze sculpture and a shadowbox piece by Provincetown poet/artist Lynn Stanley.

Finally, this is the Great Great Grandpa vignette.  I love to pull these items together to study their relationships.  I'll do another post sometime soon on vignettes so I won't talk a lot about it.  

Here is a close up of the details.

For a quick makeover, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  I'm sure it will continue to evolve.  I was also pleased that the photographer was inspired to take a few photos in this room.  One of his shots was just amazing so I'm hoping to see it again in the book.


  1. Everything looks beautiful! I don't know how you get done what you do! What's your secret? LOL!! I'm going to start painting the kitchen tomorrow after work - finally! I WON'T tell you how long it's been un-painted! LOL!!!

  2. You have such a knack for putting items and furniture together.

    Just beautiful. I love the middle room. The spindle bed is just gorgeous. It would make a wonderful little girls' room. (Not sure if that's the look you were after!?)

  3. I love your 'vinaigrettes' and the quiet calm in all your rooms. It could be the colours or the light, perhaps that clever shutter speed.Or it may be that there are not 5 children bursting out of the closets! Such peace!

  4. I loved looking at all the details in these photos.

    You have such a great eye both for finding and then combining your treasures.

    This was a little vacation for my eyes.

    xo jane

  5. Love what you put together and especially how you did it. I'm looking forward to seeing the book!

    That vignette is wonderful - look forward to hearing more about that too!

  6. You know what, Mr. Vignette.

    You do them like no one else.


    As always I love how it all works...really love how that fishing basket fits so perfectly under your leggy table...and adding the shoe lasts...perfecto.

    Your house is charming with a capital CHARM!

  7. You are very good with the vignettes. Your style reminds me a lot of Canadian designer Tommy Smythe's.

    I also tried beachy colours in my house and they didn;t work. I think you need a lot of natural light to have that look.

    The day bed looks great.

  8. I just love that bed Steve! What an awesome room it is~love the textiles, the furnishings and the artwork! I posted on your blog today in regards to Stacy's visit, so come on over!

  9. You couldn't reproduce the color and patina on that chair! I'm so jealous!!!! Beautiful.

  10. love it all steve. esp the eliptical. i need a crash course in vignettes as i loathe putting them together.

  11. Patricia (Melbourne-Australia)October 23, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    Hello Steve,

    the wall art, the frame ...
    the spindle bed ...
    the shoe lasts ...
    the books and spectacles ...

    It is all beautiful, I love it. Well done, as usual. :)

  12. This was a post to savor...and I'm so happy to see The Cow is still with you.

  13. I love what you've done in this room. So cozy and interesting at the same time. I love beachy colours but they don't seem to work here either.

  14. I love how peaceful your guest room looks (well maybe not the eliptical machine). The bed is gorgeous.

  15. I'm pretty sure that your blog is the only blog that I take my glasses off and lean my face very close to the computer screen so that I don't miss a thing.
    I LOVE your home! Even though I am very much into the whole Mid-Century Modern Industrial look too.
    I just get so happy to see a post from you!
    I was also amazed at that horse pillow! When I was a little girl I had that exact fabric stretched and framed on my wall. It was sort of quilted around the horse bodies and stuffed with cotton batting to make them 3D. Geez, now I wish I had that painting!
    Thanks for another great post!
    You never disappoint.
    :) - Cindi

  16. Now you can add 'photographer' to your long list of skills! Beautiful shots of your beautiful things. I, like you, could create vignettes all day long-moving my 'stuff' around. I'll keep my eye out for a chest or larger rug for you!

  17. It looks fab! I love the daybed set up. I also love the portrait. And I also love that you showed the eliptical machine!

  18. I could have sworn I commented on this - but I guess I didn't! Love the way that bed turned out - great room Steve, as usual! :)

  19. This room turned out so fantastic. I can't wait till this issue comes out and I can see your house in it. One day you'll find the perfect chest for that spot...but right now that table looks great with basket in it. But yes...a few too many spindles. Funny that you have that monster of an exercise machine. I have a huge treadmill in my second bedroom that hinders me from making the room all I want it to be. This inspires me to do inspite of the huge athletic machine.

  20. That really is a wonderful room. There are so many neat things to look at. I love the "great grandfather" vignette. Do any of those objects have a family story behind them?

  21. Hi Steve,

    The room looks great. I love the bed with the matelasse. I'm glad to see the bovine has found a new room. The embossed books are like mini pieces of art work. I don't think that attention to detail exists much anymore. What a shame. Thanks for the mention too, you were a pleasure to work with!


  22. All I can say is.....STUNNING! I love everything in the room. I would not have thought to build a platform to fit an antique bed, very smart. You are amazing.

  23. you are quite talented in assembling a charming room. love all your finds. kudo's!

  24. Dude...who are you the "vignette angel"????? I could just start spouting out a million adjectives to describe how much I love how you put this room together [and try to use more than anyone else] but I am just going to say this. Perfect.

  25. I think the room is a wonderful space- eliptical machine and all;) You did a great job! I love the shelves above the windows- they make the room feel very unique. Fun collections, and love your vignettes. I'm loving the colors in the rug too!


  26. This is just perfect! I can only imagine how good this will look on the pages of the magazine...Hope these shots make it into BHG too! The ticking fabric really makes that bed, thanks for sharing!

  27. We are loving the antique matelasse coverlet - the urn and crest detailing on it is just spectacular! We also love your collection of antique wooden shoe lasts. So great!
    xo E + J

    Check out our current post for spooky craft ideas just in time for Halloween!

  28. I love the collected feel and the unapologetic placement of the exercise machine. A thought: since you love the rug, what about layering it over a plain rug like a sisal one. That would give you the size you want, but still let the original one be the star. In any case, lovely room.

  29. Steve, do you have an online source for those shoe lasts, or do you get them at local antique stores?

  30. h.m.,
    That's a great suggestion. I'm not ready to give in yet, though. I hope to find the perfect beat up oriental rug at some point. I appreciate the feedback.

  31. Congratulations, Steve!

    Everything looks wonderful , as always! I look forward to seeing the issue when it comes out. Those wooden shoe lasts are super cool, and that bed turned out just beautifully.


  32. This is just's hard to pick a place to start, but great idea of making the bed into a daybed and love all the pillows, especially the bolster that uses your shirt fabric as trim. They all look so beautiful together. I love the table and the vignette is just amazing...and love that you named it too! I'm looking forward to your post devoted entirely to vignettes.

  33. I would love to see this room in person. So pretty. So serence and peaceful. I really, really love it.

  34. You have such a sense of design. I absolutely love the room and the wicker chair is perfectly placed. I love the wall color and the grandpa vignette. Absolutely stunning.

  35. So glad you found my blog so I could find YOUR blog! I love that daybed transformation and that art - along with the story about it - is such a great piece! I'm a new follower. :)

  36. Oh my goodness your room is just gorgeous!! You have it decorated so beautifully and I especially like the daybed.

  37. Such a beautiful little room. I love when rooms are composed of miscellaneous bits and not all perfection bits. So much more creativity when forced to deal with what one must. I do declare that I love the little rug - such beautiful muted colours, and the table vignette is stunning. I want the clock.
    Sorry about the elliptical situation. Ugh. Why does exercise have to inflict itself on us every day?

    xo Terri

  38. Hey Steve, I love the mix of fabrics on your daybed (did you sand before using the gel stain?) and I can't tell you how much I adore that vignette with the gorgeous, old portrait. Very, very nice!

  39. It is so nice to see the bed finished and made. The room really turned out nice. Thank you for sharing the sources too.

  40. Looking really good. When are you coming over to my house to help me strip some wallpaper off so I can get to this point?

  41. It looks great! And, I love the beachcombers painting!!!

  42. steve don't tell me you got rid of that amazing yellow chair!

  43. AKA i am legitimately in love with that yellow chair.

  44. Reading this post about the evolution of your paint colors makes me feel a little better about my problems with paint colors.
    This year I've taken down wallpaper in 5 rooms. UGH! All walls had to be repaired. Anyway, I painted walls gray owl.....thinking it would work because its a soft gray, but it looks baby blue in my house. ITs so incredibly wrong. I just keep looking at my rooms and knowing somethings not right. Time to repaint. The other thing is the size of your guest bed, I'm learning the same lesson! Wish I had read your entire blog a year earlier. So many lessons to be learned from it!