Monday, May 26, 2008

Under The Influence - How The French Woman's Bedroom Made Me Do It

The bedroom of Madame Valorie Hart
She makes her own bed...

Toile and coronets - what could be more French?

Romantic details

French interior design Valorie Hart bedroom

Oh I am so sick. The book, The French Woman's Bedroom has been in my collection since 1991.
The images always intrigued me. My last bedroom in New York City was tricked out in English country drag. The bedroom in California was tricked out in the hub's bachelor burgundy and black lacquer bedroom set. When we moved to New Orleans, our first apartment was in The French Quarter, in a house built in 1820. The bedroom walls were antique wood panelling, very much like Paris boisserie. I kept it simple, with white matelasse and black and white toile toss pillows. Our second apartment was huge - 4000sf center hall construction. The master bedroom was huge too. I didn't go all out Frenchy, because this was the first time we got all of our junk out of storage, a mixture of city and beach house stuff, so the bedroom was a mish mash.
We finally bought our little piece of swamp land and crumbling old house in 2004.
I got out my volume on the French woman's bedroom and started to think about how I would decorate our new bedroom.
First thing first. I have no real money to spend. I have no inherited family pieces. I have a few odds and ends and a big sick imagination.
I knew I wanted a blue room - I had never had a blue room. We were buying paint at Wal Mart. Sherwin Williams makes the Wal Mart brand Color Place, and it is very good paint for the price. I wanted that gray blue, like old French or Swedish walls. I chose Gray Verbena.
I wanted toile. I could not afford $15.99 a yard. I found 10 yards at Wal Mart for 99 cents a yard. I found a fragment of a crown for $3. at a flea market. I fashioned a coronet from an upside down metal shelf from Pier One ($12.99 on sale). My old white matelasse bed spread became the dust ruffle. I have two different toile duvet covers - one in the Wal Mart toile that my friend Sabina made for me, and one in a print from Ikea.
There are two bombe chests from my NYC apartment, (and two large mirrors). The chair (as-is) was a yard sale purchase for $20. The headboard is a Directoire daybed ($200. from an antique store in New Orlenas), the nightstands eBay French country repros ($90. for the pair). The pink lamps were a gift from my friend Miss Anne, and I added the oval shades. The shabby armoire is also from my friend Sabina, one of the few pieces she salvaged from her Katrina flooded home. She gave it to me, because she lost her house, and moved to San Francisco. She's still waiting for her Road Home money, and she and her hubs Joe are still living with friends, hoping to have their own home again one day.
We all love to look at books and magazines for pleasure and for inspiration, education, and information. If you like, send me a photo and your story of a room inspired by a book...


Sabina said...

Hey Girl,
I remember reading this book at your house. It is beautiful and inspiring. My favorite was the woman who had two bedrooms in her chateau, one for summer and one for winter. What luxury to have two, I'm sure it was to take advantage of the light and warmth in a drafty old house in a cold climate. But it must feel like you're going on vacation moving to the summer bedroom. How wonderful!

visual vamp said...

Hey Sabina, Nice to see you here!!! Yes I have a Summer place and a Winter place - I take the quilt off of the bed :-)

Cote de Texas said...

I'm sorry, but I love this bedroom, more than it is now - don't be mad, but I adore this!!!! It took me awhile to realzie it wasn't from your book - I love this!

I"m not going to comment anymore until you get rid of those letters. I'm on strike!