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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Castle Consultation: A Beachy Master Bedroom

Trisha asked me to help her infuse her master bedroom with beachy, tropical style without being cliche. She and her husband had found a great little painting that would serve as the inspiration for the room's color scheme and style. The picture is a print of a wood carving of the Hemingway House in Key West, Florida. Trisha and her husband like simple, elegant things, in a traditional style.

Here are some before pictures of Trisha's bedroom.

There were a couple of challenges in this room. One of them was deciding where the bed (and focal point) of the room should be. Another was the lack of abundant natural light in the room, (only one window) and the last was an awkward niche at the top of the wall that extended most of the length of one wall.

Here is the layout for Trisha's room now. It is very simple, but takes advantage of the whole room, allows there to be lots of breathing room in the center of the bedroom, creates a focal wall, and still allows for great TV viewing.

This is the picture that inspired the rest of the room. As you can see there are strong colors and elements in the painting, so I knew that everything else that we brought in the room would either have to "fade" into the background, or be able to hold its own with the painting. Here's what I came up with.

1. The colors of this room can all be found in the painting. We have a soft gray green, a sky blue tempered with a bit of gray, soft and warm tans, bright orangey reds, golden yellows, olive grays and deep espresso. Each of these colors will be repeated throughout the room, so that the whole room becomes one cohesive thought. The walls will become that gray green color (Behr's Rejuvenate) for instant moodiness.

2. Let's start with the focal wall. Trisha is trading her light blue upholstered headboard for a wooden door from her mom that she'll paint and convert. I think mimicking the finish on this nightstand from Crate and Barrel will be the perfect weathered look for the headboard-turned-door. First, give the door some character by beating it up a bit. Then paint it with an olive gray like Glidden's Olivewood, and finish it off with a whitewash over top. (Try this tutorial) We're going for a weathered, driftwood kind of look for the door.

Hang the door behind the bed, and then place this seagrass inspired duvet on top of the bed. The blue will really make a statement, while the strong geometric pattern of the white branches will mimic the movement of the ocean. A set of wheat colored sheets will warm up the white tones, and this chocolate textured pillow will look fantastic when flanked by two plush yellow ones set in the middle of the bed.

Then frame the Hemingway painting a bit larger, with a large white mat (2 or 3 inches at least) with a chocolate brown frame (if the frame is textured, even better!) Hang the painting centered over the bed where it will command the attention it deserves.

3. It was a bit of a challenge to find other artwork that would work seamlessly with the Hemingway painting. But once these sea plant paintings came up on my radar, I knew they'd be perfect. I'd hang them in a 2x2 grid on the wall below the niche, centered in the blank part of the wall between the TV armoire and the dresser. Aren't these graphic illustrations so cool?

4. Trisha is willing to refinish her existing furniture, so I'd recommend staining the nightstands and armoire a deep espresso to glam them up in a second. Swapping out the wooden knobs on the nightstands for these silver shell knobs will glam them up right away. Then set these beautiful rubbed resin lamps on top of the stands. The resin has little flecks of deep red in it, that will again pick up those colors in the painting. For the armoire, these beach glass starfish knobs will add a nice little bit of whimsy (top doors only!) and the rest of the hardware can be the silver ones that will be on the nightstands. If Trisha would rather save herself the work of refinishing, she can order these nightstands straight away!

5. Last up we have the bones of the room. Her long dresser can be refinished like this piece from Pottery Barn, with a warm (but not red) stain and lots of timeworn character. Swapping out the chunky wooden knobs for simpler ones will help the piece feel less clunky, and again, if she doesn't feel like taking on a refinishing project, she can simply order one in this finish.

That lone window needs some beefing up, so I recommend these breezy patterned curtains from IKEA. (Link is to an ebay listing, or you can buy them in store) They should be mounted about six inches from the ceiling on a dark metal rod and should just brush the floor. Make sure the rod is wide enough that the panels hang down on either side of the window, not over it. The length of fabric will add some luxury to the room, and they're light enough that any little bit of breeze will make them flutter gently.

Speaking of the floor, Trisha has carpet right now, but I'd recommend a wide plank hardwood in the future. Either way, this plush woven rug can go under the bed and will provide tons of cushy texture while bringing our whole color scheme together.

What about that awkward niche? Well, Trisha should order a bunch of long pieces of driftwood, grapewood and/or manzanita branches from this site and stack them haphazardly in the niche. It will bring in that last beachy vibe for a room that will go from blah to stellar in no time at all!

So what do you think? Does it feel beachy and tropical to you?


Phyllis AROUND THE HOUSE October 14, 2009 at 12:51 AM  

It does look beachy and tropical, I just love all your decisions, you should be very pleased, nice and airy..thanks for sharing, I am a new follower of yours, come visit

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