Thursday, March 12, 2009

Eighteen Months Of Fooling Around In The Bedroom

Now don't get too excited about fooling around in the bedroom. I really mean, messing and fidgeting with the decor in the bedroom ha ha.
When I first started 18 months ago, I had the vague idea of wanting something "Frenchy", a throwback to our bedroom in our cute 1812 Creole house in The French Quarter. I had just purchased the Directoire daybed for our bedroom in our new house in The Irish Channel, to use as the headboard. The room was painted a Frenchy gray blue, a color called Gray Verbena. Toile, a coronet, ticking, new French country nightstands, well smell me.
Then I posted my spiffy new bedroom decor on Rate My Space, and WTF they didn't love it! Said I needed more throw pillows and why don't I try the big harpy thing (a lyre FYI, a rescued fragment from a discarded trellis in a New Orleans yard) over the bed.
Okay, I thought, that's why I'm on the internet with other decor geeks, to play, to give and take, so chop-chop I changed it and was met with moans - "oh we liked it better the other way, and BTW what kind of dinky headboard is that, is it (gasp) twin beds, and BTW we hate the dog pillow!"
I was fed up, but determined to get it right. So I studied the popular rooms. There were no drop cloths for curtains, or doors to nowhere, or grandma chairs, or gasp, painted pine gasp bombe chests.

Ta da! Urban French???? New duvet cover, a cool X bench, fabric accent wall to hide the door, Carlo of Hollywood mod century painting over the raised headboard, lots of throw pillows, and no pink lamps, which BTW were a gift from my 90 year old friend Miss Anne thank you very much.
Still tweaking for a photo shoot, trying to make two puny sisal mats look like a SGG stripey rug ha ha. Out with the X-bench, because Cholo prefers the cushy one, pink lamps come back, black and white photos leaning, so okay it was magazine worthy.
Summer is coming fast here in New Orleans, so I broke out the white bedding, a new deep drop ruffle spread.
Inspiration from Joni

I draped the nightstands in drop cloth fabric (because I can't decide whether to paint them or not and I saw a very cute linen draped night table at Cote de Texas, and a cute linen sink skirt at Simply Seleta).

Inspiration from Seleta

And out went the pink lamps. It's a work in progress. I'm looking for some feedsack pillows maybe?

And, Joni, yes, yes, yes, I painted the bombe chests WHITE! I call it Swedish Snow. I used a dry brush technique that looks like lime wash, using Ben Moore Flat China White, yes the same quart can I got for the little table I just did. No sanding, no primer - just MY technique that has always come out perfect and lasts forever! And I got some proper curtains though not the silk drapes I really really want. These are a $9.99 eBay find. I would have preferred no pattern, but it is so hard to find curtains long enough for the tall New Orleans window, so for $9.99 I will make do. But the big thing is my new mountain grass rug, very much like the sea grass favorite of so many of you savvy blog decorators, that I got HERE.
Sorry to show the room in snippets. It is damn hard to photograph a bedroom. But I think you get the idea. And the room is not styled at all, not really photo ready, but I am excited about the process, and beginning to see how cute it's going to be, and just had to share it since you all help me out so much!
Even though we are all supposed to be happy shopping our closets, and making do, and carrying on and remaining calm, I still want to buy things so very badly. But what else is new? I've been making do all my life, and making something out of nothing. I have always wanted gorgeous alabaster lamps, so I got them. Err. Okay. They're the pink lamps that I gave the old foe-doe-dee-oh-doe.
Now I wonder if I can make some burlap pillows like the ones I just saw at Villa Vici on Magazine Street, the big one $140., the small one $120.
I happen to have a few yards of left over burlap from the accent wall project. I don't know how to really sew, but how hard can making a square be?

I love this bedroom!
I could inch up to this ha ha!

And one more thing - thank you all for all the heartfelt good wishes on my blog birthday!
Lately I know people who really have it all and are miserable. They are loved, with a nice house, great kids, a job, money to spend on nice things, friends, a respected position in the community, a support group of shrinks and coaches, talent, good looks - and none of it makes them happy. But when I experience the depth of this sadness and this tragedy of a life misspent, a life squandered, I feel even more determined to live life fully, and I feel so fortunate for having found all of you through blogging, and for your ever upbeat attitude and encouragement. Times are a little harder and scary, but please don't despair, and please let us stick together and help one another. And please pray for the poor miserable creatures who can't find their exhausted way to the gratitude and happiness that is right in front of them. xo xo


Monica said...

I just found your blog. I love today's post, very nice job!

Linda Merrill said...

OMG - this is such a fun post!! I love all the little - and some bigger - transformations. What's up with the "foe-doe-dee-oh-doe" alabaster lamps. I think we need an instructional post, please!

Anonymous said...

I mean GORGEOUS Alabaster lamps. I hear the Greek chorus of save save save. I hear them! But when you see something beautiful, that you will live and love (forever), you must do it.

P.S. Is that back wall covered in fabric? I'm loving it! And the paint job on the chest. Another technique I plan to steal!


Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Hey Happy blogiversity VV!!

And I would SAY you have been workin' in the bedroom. Looks lovely, serene. I love what you did!

Renee Finberg said...

you have been busy....
the bedroom looks really fantastic.
damn, you are good !!
i like all the changes.

congratz on blog b-day


Karen said...

I must say Valorie, you are a perfect fit for the Crescent City!! We just LOVE our good ole stuff and use it all over and over and over and then some! Good for you!
Now, how about this? "All the Best Blog" should come to New Orleans and stay with you!! Ronda is asking for suggestions of a place to meet -- I say Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!!

Sabina said...

I love the "alabasta" re-do on Ms Anne's lamps. You should do a tutorial on them. I wish I was there to sew your pillows for you, I would use one of the bobbins I got from Ms Anne.

Design Junkie said...

The lamps look great.

Anonymous said...

Your blog always makes me feel good!

Visual Vamp said...

Hi Everybody!
Thannks for the rah rah rahs! I love them. You egg me on so!
About the albasta (as Sabina calls them ha ha), I did a down and dirty job, nothing that is shop worthy if you know what I mean.
First - a couple of light coats of 98 cent flat white spray paint from Wal Mart. Then I had some Rustoleum latex gloss black laying about, and mixed it to gray with some of the China White. Then I got my little cheapo brushes out (I buy a big pack for around $5.), and squigled on some lines. I dry brush and rag them until they look marble-y. I could have used a feather duh, but I forgot I have like about a zillion of them ha ha. Then I dip a larger brush in the gray paint, just a little, and then into a water cup, and then slosh it on to kind of give it the alabasta shadow (blotting so there are no drippy shadows). I didn't do any sanding, because I know the paint might come off. I added the last step, which is some clear paste wax (Johnson's), a very light coat buffed very gently to make it look honed. A couple of little pink spots happened, so I touched it up with the China White, and sometimes a little gray. I try not to over work or over think it. It took about an hour to do both lamps.
Sorry I didn't photograph the whole process, but I was in the fever zone ha ha.
I do these things by instinct, and if the pink lamps got trashed, it would have been okay.
So be fearless! I also am not striving for perfection, but rather the gestalt of perfection ha ha, a mere gesture on the stage set of smoke and mirrors that is my decor.
xo xo

Things That Inspire said...

I love the spirit of this post - keeping calm and carrying on. I also am secretly thrilled that I am not the only one changing things out (although, not seasonally, but it is a good idea).

Love the alabasta lamps. They look great!

My dearly departed mother used to be so jealous of those who 'had it all', and did not have to deal with the daily money struggles that defined the last ten years of her life. As a sage 24 year old, I would tell her that money only freed people from worrying about paying the bills, and it allowed them to focus on all of the other real or imagined problems in their lives. I thought of my mother when reading the last part of your post.

vicki archer said...

What a post!
The bedroom is really looking fantastic - love the painted commode and the white for summer. But what is really the best are your so beautifully written and heartfelt sentiments at the end. Bravo Miz V, how true and let's all focus on those thoughts, xv.

Jan said...

You are one bright lady V.

Leslie Rowlands said...

Happy Blog Day to You!
Happy Blog day to You!
Happy Blog Dat Visual Vampy
Happy Blog day to You!
& Many Many more!!!
lamaisonfou blog

Pigtown-Design said...

You've inspired me to get cracking on doing something fun in my bedroom... to the decor, that is!

Colour Me Happy said...

I always want to buy new bedding in the spring! Funny that all the bloggers are talking about bedding! Great strides you have made with your room. Thanks for the show & tell. I am loving turquoise these days!

pve design said...

sweet dreams to you, your bedroom and your birthday blog and that sweet little dog peeking behind the wrought iron. I want to sqoosh him, moi!

Anonymous said...

Yum. I'm so ready for lots of white again, and it's fun to see you working such wonders in white. J'adore the dark brown walls in my bedroom, but I seem to be loading it up with white and cream accessories, bedding, and curtains. Just finished hinging together 4 tall, high quality, shutter-style closet doors ($19.99 for all 4 at the Thrift Store!!!) to create a "dressing room" screen. Of course I painted it white. So anyway, looking forward to the continued evolution of your lair. Outstanding job on the lamps!

Anonymous said...

. . . and oh how I gasped at that turquoise-walled bedroom! LUV IT!