Sunday, September 19, 2010

Guest Bedroom: 70's Sidesplit

Earlier this year I completed a project for a single mom and her young daughter which involved furnishing an entire house for them, from scratch, in only 3 months and on a tight budget.  This was a bit of a departure for me as far as projects go because there was actually no renovation work involved at all, not even a paint job.  To see some of the 'before', 'during' and 'preliminary after' photos of the project you can check out some earlier posts here and here.  You can also have a look at some after photos of the little girl's bedroom here.

My favorite room in this house was the guest bedroom,,,,,,which seems to always be the case with me! Since this particular clients has a love of all things french country, I had envisioned a simple, understated french inspired room.  The total spending budget for the room was $3,500 incl. taxes but not including the mattresses, design fees or mark-ups (note: reality of small budgets like this is that design fees can often be as much or more than what you spend in the room).  Because I didn't have much time for sourcing this also meant no time for refurbishing, refinishing, reupholstering or getting crafty with DIY projects either - I had to be fast and resourceful with ready to use finds.  I also had to work with the paint colour she had already chosen for the room, ICI's Bavarian Cream.  To be honest I wasn't a fan of this colour choice at all, in fact I really dislike any colour that resembles peach and these walls screamed peach.  Since repainting wasn't an option my approach was to play it down and ignore it.  I avoided putting anything in this room that had more of this colour,,,or enhanced this colour in any way - I find the best way to do that is with black and white.  This classic b&w scheme did such a fantastic job of neutralizing the peachiness of the wall colour that my client thought I had repainted the walls.    

I took these photos back in early June and the room is photographed exactly as it looked when I arrived, except for the fresh roses which I picked up at the grocery store on my way there!  I really make an effort not to prop-up rooms for a photo with things that don't belong in the room or aren't owned by the client - I prefer to keep it real.   In this case, I literally had a few dollars left over for a couple of accessories so I purchased a small bud vase at Pottery Barn and a bedside clock at Loblaws, the books are from the clearance table at Chapters.

I started my sourcing by searching for a pair of antique iron twin beds, not an easy task.  Its challenging to find a pair of anything and even harder to find a pair of antique anything.  A short road trip to one of the largest antique iron bed suppliers in Canada scored me this stunning pair of twins which I blogged about in an earlier post here.

At $600 a piece they were definitely the splurge for the room but worth every penny! They had been restored and modified to suit modern day mattress sizes so they were ready to use.  Seasonal hypo-allergenic duvets and egyptian cotton tone on tone striped duvet covers from Bed Bath & Beyond are folded back at the ends of the beds.  I tried to find duvet covers in a twin size that had a bit of black stitching or banding,,,but no luck.

A couple of days after buying the beds I experienced one of those rare ocassions of being in the right place at the right time when i came across a pair of twin matalisse bed sets at Elte for 60% off.  Two matalisse shams and two coverlets with beautiful scalloped edges for less than $130!  They were perfect for the antique beds.  Then on top of this I added a lace trimmed pillow case from Pottery Barn, and a lace-up accent pillow from HomeSense to each bed.

  I found a pair of ready-made gorgeous black and white toile style drapery panels from Invu and scored a black chest of drawers and milky glass gourd lamp from HomeSense. What doesn't show in the photos is the antique brass tear drop style pulls I installed on the chest - so pretty!!

A moravian star fixture (from Home Depot) was definitely the highlight of the room.  Wicker trunks from Ikea are placed at the foot of each bed.  The framed prints on the wall are in keeping with the french theme, they're copies of handwritten 'travel memoires' from Paris.

The only thing missing from the room on move-in day was a dresser.  I wanted an old painted dresser and though not expensive these things can take some luck to find so I held off until the spring antique season arrived.  A couple of months later and on my first trip of the season I found a vintage dresser at the Aberfoyle Antique Market. The size was perfect, it was only 17.5" deep and had 5 drawers so it worked perfectly with the room and the budget, it was a steal!

I added a vintage style oval mirror from Home Depot (handyman was there to hang it) and on the wall to the right of this photo is a series of decorative black iron hooks.  

Overall I loved the way the room came together - its luxuriously comfortable and beautiful.... and on full view everytime you walk up the stairs in this house, so inviting you actually want to just stop and stare at it!  My client and her daughter love the room so much they've had sleepovers in there themselves several times....

All Photos:  Carol Reed


  1. Super cute! Love how you mounted the curtain rod on the ceiling to elongate the window. Looks great.

  2. Hey Carol,
    I have been to the antique iron bed barn in Hampton and think it's amazing. The room looks fantastic, love the modern lamp with the start pendant. We purchased the moravian star light as well but returned it as the smoke colour was scratched off the glass in spots and then we couldn't find one that didn't have that problem. I not giving up and hope to find one that is not damaged. I just can't get it out of my head for our house. Curious now much light it throws, is it good enough to illuminate a front hall entrance?

  3. I adore the toile curtains - looks like a beautiful, textured linen and particularly beautiful with the sun gently shining through a little. What a gorgeous room - lucky guests!

  4. The bedroom is beautiful!! I'd love to be a guest in your client's home so I could sleep here :-) You did a great job decorating on a budget -- love the star light fixture :-)



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