April 3, 2014

Our Bedroom & Secret Garden: Before & After

I’ve been waiting for what feels like so long to share photos of our master bedroom with you!!   It’s one of the spaces we hard-core reconfigured.

When we first visited our home during its open house, the master bedroom stumped me.   There were 3 entrances to it- one of them by the front door- making it feel much more exposed than we would liked.   It also looked out through two small windows at the wall of the garage, which I didn’t love.  There was a nice little rock garden with a tree between the bedroom and the garage, but it was exposed to the front driveway.   The master bathroom was shared with the rest of the house and also had no natural light, which is a must-have for me.  So, during the open house, I sat in the floor in our future bedroom (while other potential buyers walked through- I know I can be a weirdo) trying to figure out how I could make the bedroom feel private and special.   Once I had it figured out, we were comfortable making an offer on the house so we told the realtor we’d be in touch and submitted an offer soon after.

Here’s what our bedroom looked like “before” :


And here’s the view from the other side:



And here it is now:



We opened up the wall to the garage with a large sliding door and had a steel wall built to make the garden private.  Lucky for us, the maple tree was already there and we had a flagstone patio laid around it.  I grew evergreen clematis on the garage wall for something pretty to look at(and smell! the white blooms smell like Heaven when the door is open!!) and filled the garden beds with lush ferns and hostas.  We have honeysuckle, grapevines and wisteria in there too.  It gets out of control, in a good way.  Laying in bed with the door open is so refreshing and I feel like I’m outside.  We kept a ceiling fan in the room to lengthen the open window season.

Due to my slight obsession with ferns and botanicals, I’ve collected antique bookplates and vintage botanicals over the years and thought the bedroom would be the perfect place to display my collection, en masse.  The duvet cover folded at the end of the bed is in my “Fern Star” because I’m pretty sure there wasn’t enough fern in this space already. 😉   For a bedside table on the right, I used a black dresser and cut its legs down so it would be the same height as the vintage marble-topped console I found for the left side:



We’re able to write/ type and use the console as sort of a bedside writing desk.  The chair is by one of my favorite people, Brooke Giannetti of Velvet & Linen, and it’s called the Leila Chair, after Brooke & Steve’s {super fun & adorable} daughter.  I absolutely love its lines and it is incredibly comfortable.  You might recognize the antique brass bed from my last house as the one my husband found on the side of the road.  The gray and black striped rug is vintage.  The bedside wall lights and the white lamp are by School House Electric.    I wanted my bedroom to feel a little raw and vintage so I chose to go with exposed cords in taupe and porcelain back plates on the bedside sconces.



I need a neutral bedroom.   Whenever I’d visit hotels, I found myself wanting to go home and simplify, so I kept the bedroom fairly minimal.  (Half the time I’ve strewn colorful clothes about it so it really works better that way.  😉  To be honest, we styled these photos with lots of pretty flower arrangements (because if you’re ever going to go crazy- why not during a photoshoot?!) but in reality there’s never more than one, if that, and we keep our bedside tables fairly empty.

I do love having my dresser as a bit of an ever-changing display area:


Sometimes the TV lives there (other times it’s in the family room) but it’s layered with a couple of old drawings, a jewelry box, books because they’re always around and a quartzite chunk.  The lamp is vintage and one of my favorite pieces in the entire house.   It’s one of those things I can’t quite put my finger on- and I seem to be the only one who really likes it at all- but its texture is so interesting to me and has so much depth that I find myself staring at it. A lot.  During the photoshoot at our house, David (my husband) came in with this four foot high handful of queen anne’s lace and wildflowers.  It was out of control and I wouldn’t have known what to do with it, but stylist Susan Victoria was helping us with the shoot and swept them up into my old pewter pitcher and plopped them on the dresser.  It was perfect and it taught me to think big when necessary.   It looks normal in the photo, but in person the arrangement reached seven feet high.  It had that seedy wildflower smell and made me so happy.  I can’t wait to bring them in again this year.

Our in the garden, we have a little metal bistro table and chairs:



We hang out there all the time.  I love it in the mornings and on summer nights when it’s warm and smells like honeysuckles.  Listening to music with a glass of wine out there = my favorite!!  At times we move a chaise lounge out there in place of the table and chairs.  When it’s warm, this is my favorite room in the house.  (Come on, Spring!!!)

The outdoor shower is hands-down the best thing we ever did to this place.  We use it daily, Spring through early Fall, and last Summer our bathroom shower literally got dusty because it hadn’t seen any use in so long.   The outdoor shower’s also perfect for very random winter night dares.  We went out there during a snow this past year = so exhilarating!!! Oh my goodness!!!!



Everything’s right where we need it outside: iron rabbit hooks for the towels (pics to come!) and a little chrome wall basket for shampoo, soap and sea sponge.  Life feels easier with this space.  These photos were taken last year before our vines really went crazy, but in August the clematis took over and completely covered the garage wall, wrapping around to the shower wall.  It was so lush!!

We’re not the only ones who use the shower.  Most Summer nights end with all three of the boys coming in after the pool to play until the hot water runs out…


{Louie’s a huge fan }

There’s a deep hole beneath the flagstone filled in with rocks to hold the water which then goes into the ground.  (You can see the drilled holes in the flagstone in the pic and we use eco-friendly soaps and shampoos.)

 Anyway, I’m off to Market today, but I hope you enjoyed this little tour of our bedroom & garden!  I’ll definitely be sure to post pictures this Spring as everything starts growing in.

*photos by Helen Norman

*To see our whole house, check out Domino Magazines, on newsstands now!

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