“Operation: Master Bedroom” Is On ……

My master bedroom reminds me of the nerdy teen heroine in a bad 80s comedy.  We all know that behind that big glasses, bad hair and braces, the heroine is a stunner and that all she needs to do is put a little effort into her appearance to take  her from nerd to prom queen.

That is how I feel about my master bedroom.  It has all the natural traits of a prom queen but is currently suffering from lack of effort on my part.  The room is on the 3rd floor of our home in what would have been attic space.  It is flooded with natural light thanks to 4 (yup FOUR) skylights, beautiful floors and is blessed with some interesting architecture.  However, that is where it ends right….pretty much everything else is…hmmm what’s the word…oh BLAH.

This is what I am imagining……

Some of these items have already been done such as replacing the lamps and finding display cases for the bedroom.  However, the majority of the items are still waiting for be started (and funded).  So this is my summer project …. fingers crossed that I can get my bedroom listed as “Best Dressed” rather than “Class Clown” in the proverbial design year book.

What projects do you have on the horizon for summer?  I am off to do some accounting and sketch pillows.  Have a good one!!!

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Hawthorne Lane Project Update: Master Bedroom

Sorry for the silence the last two weeks.   It has been a glorious whirlwind of design craziness and travel which I am loving to the fullest.  Last week, The Partner and I braved the cold and visited my family in Ohio and Michigan.  We were greeted by arctic blasts our first day but otherwise, our West Coast genes quickly found their footing and we survived thanks to multiple layers and a Ford Focus that channeled the fires of hell in its heater (that sucker cranked out some BTUs).

However, the other reason I have been MIA has been that I have been working with a fantastic couple in San Francisco putting together their first condo. I have been extremely lucky in that I was given a blank slate and told “do your thing”.  Honestly, how many designers are blessed this early in their career to be given a blank slate, fantastic clients and a nice budget to carry out their vision.  The only caveat to the whole design is that everything that I bring in must be able to stand up to two adorable but rather opinionated cats.  The “Furballs” as I have come to name them, love all things with texture which means that things I would love to see incorporated into the design like slubby linen, chunky weaves, dark velvets and the like are all out.  Instead, I have searched fabric vendors who specialize in commercial and hotel projects, furniture that on legs and has minimal fabric skirting and wall treatments that can withstand the occasional paw swipe.

We started with the bedroom design and I came up with four designs that depending on which direction they chose would dictate the path we took for the rest of the house.  I find that when dealing with a whole house project, starting with one specified room that you can show the client in completion helps them envision the rest of the house – start small and work big essentially.

Aside from the Furballs, the other factor dictating the design was this…..

The view from their condo is fantastic.  Every window has views of downtown San Francisco, the Bay Bridge and the Bay.  It is gorgeous so I wanted to be sure I created a design that could stand up to such natural beauty.  With that said, I took my inspiration from the client’s existing furniture pieces.  I sorta lied when I said I was working with a blank slate – my clients have a great cowhide chair which they  wanted to work into the bedroom design.  In addition to using the chair as inspiration, I drew upon the couples backgrounds (one works for the airlines and his partner recently moved from Washington, D.C.)  The final designs drew heavily upon African and Asian influences to create a master bedroom  that was global, masculine and most importantly….cat-friendly :)

Out of the above four designs, two quickly became front-runners with the clients. It was only after I showed them how the design would translate to the rest of the condo that they were able to make a final decision.

So tell me, which design do you think the client chose?  If you were the client, which one would you have chosen?  Okay, I am off to talk to look at couches and talk about lighting with the electrician.

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Master Bedroom Update: Yup, It’s Another Chair……

I have not talked much about the master bedroom update since the article I wrote for Centsational Girl.  It is still pretty much the same room as seen in the picture on the House Tour page

I am stuck on whether I should wallpaper the angular accent wall or paint.  The wallpaper I want is extremely expensive and comes with a 25 yard minimum order which isn’t a bad thing since I would love to do our whole bedroom in it.  At over $85/yard, it is a pricey investment that does not improve the overall value of the home especially knowing that this is not my “forever home”. 

So while I am dragging my feet on beginning the wall transformation, I did pull the trigger on having the occasional chair recovered that sits in the corner.  I had multiple ideas for the chair (here and here) but opted to do a simple upholstery job that would not lock me into a particular design should I change my mind. 

The chair was originally covered in a moss green ultrasuede which was fine when it served the purpose of a really expensive laundry hamper since I am too lazy to fold clean laundry (yeah it’s one of my growth areas for 2012).

However, I wanted something a bit more glam in the fabric department.  As I mentioned, fabric for the chair went through a couple of missteps from a overscale zebra print, to grey and gold polka dots to large-scale window pane print.  Each fabric was great on its own but didn’t quite work with the overall room I envisioned in my head (FYI if anyone wants some great zebra, polka dot or windowpane print fabrics, shoot me an email).  After looking at all my false starts, I realized that (1) my eye was consistently going to golds and pewters and (2) the fabric patterns were the sticking point on all of the other fabrics.  Armed with this information, I redirected my fabric search, found a great fabric & finally got the versatile chair I was hoping for……

The fabric I opted for was Club Room III in Dune by Duralee.  It is a tawny color with strips of gold lurex-like fabric woven throughout it.  It catches the light beautifully but is subtle.  To play along with the sheen of the chair and the gold vibe, I got the Bijoux-Dot throw pillow from West Elm.

While the chair isn’t in-your-face-fab-awesome like my other chair make overs (here and here), I think it will serve its future purpose — to blend seamlessly.  The end goal is to create a room that is a calm retreat and I think the chair puts me on the right path.

So how was your weekend? 

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I Actually Like Ikea Bedding…..

No really.

I REALLY do like Ikea’s new 300-thread count bedding.  I am not sure if it is available in all their stores since I can’t find it on their website but their G-Spa sheets are sateen cotton, 300-thread count and an absolute wonder to sleep on.  The flat and fitted sheets will cost you $14 each, but for under $30, they are a steal in my opinion.  There is something completely delicious about slipping between 100% cotton sheets; their coolness and softness are the perfect embrace after a long day.  Honestly, I have had a variety of sheets on my bed, all of which that claim to be luxury and have the price tags to prove it, but these are the real deal and am happy to place my “seal of approval” on them.

They come in a limited range of colors but  I found the pewter brown set to be perfect for my needs.  They have a subtle sheen and go great with my brown headboard picking up the metallic undertones in the upholstery:

Since I was at Ikea already, I also decided to splurge and get a new duvet cover and again, I am really  happy with its quality.  You have to understand that the last time I bought Ikea bedding was when I had just graduated college and it was like sleeping on sandpaper.   So you have to understand my shock that I am really digging the bed linens at the moment.  I opted to go for the Andrea duvet which comes with two matching pillow shams – both in a brushed sateen finish. 

If you remember my posting from yesterday, I told you that the new fabrics I selected for the master bedroom pick up on the bedding.  The duvet has gold, black, grey and white stripes, which coordinates wonderfully with all the colors in the master bedroom and really pulls everything together:

Did I mention that the Andrea duvet set for a queen is only $29.99? Score one for style and frugality!

Okay – one final view of the new bedding…..

A few more things and I will be ready to kick the master bedroom redesign into full gear! 

Do you have a favorite Ikea “surprise” or other hidden gem from a big-box store?  Share them on my Facebook page or leave a comment!

What Are Little Boys Made Of……

I had this fantastic idea that I would open this post using the old nursery rhyme “What Are Little Boys Made Of” which I thought read like this:

What are little boys made of?
Snakes and snails,
And puppy dog tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.

However, after doing a little research I found out that the rhyme actually goes like this:

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails,
And puppy dog tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.

All these years I have substituted “snake” for “snips” which begs me to ask, what the heck is a “snip”? Second, exactly why is it part of my genetic make-up since girls get sugar, spice and everything nice. I fully think boys got the short end of the stick on this scenario.

So why am I leading you all down this very weird path of nostalgia? Well it was meant to explain my love of this snake print from Dwell Studio:

Dwell Snake Chain in Dove

I LOVE this pattern and am seriously thinking of recovering the chair in the master bedroom with this print. I think it is supremely sophisticated and masculine without being too serious. The picture doesn’t quite do the colors in the fabric justice — it has beautiful tobaccos, ruddy reds and blue on linen.

Yup – this fabric is pretty darn cool even if it meant learning I am part “snip”.