Saturday, April 6, 2013


I know I've mentioned my virtual mommy friends before.  We keep a very active message board and, every now and then, people pop in looking for decorating advice.  Of course I'm all over that, even if there was an incident where I suggested using vintage Jasperware (which everyone roundly despised) and I had to endure months of mockery for what became known as "ASSperware."  Yes, we like to keep it classy.

Recently, a fellow mama (it has been suggested that I call her, "Gladys," and I'm happy to oblige) posted pictures of her bedroom and asked, "Do I leave the same paint color on the wall?  I have dark wood furniture so I want to brighten it up more.  I wanted to do lavender but think it may look funny!" 

In retrospect, I'm pretty sure she meant that she was considering painting the walls lavender, but when I first read it, I was certain she meant she wanted to keep the walls yellow and bring in lavender as an accent.  And my knee-jerk reaction to that idea was--BLECH!!!  I cannot tell a lie.  In general, lavender is not a color I would ever consider outside of a child's room.  It's just not my thing.  But, as Barney Stinson would say, "Challenge accepted!"  Afterall, yellow and purple are complementary colors, so in theory this should work marvelously, right?

And as I started to imagine how to make this work, it dawned on me that I'd seen a room with this exact same color combination--THAT I LIKED--very recently.  I whipped out my House Beautiful and quickly flipped to this:

I like this.  I like it a lot.  And look!  Same butter color walls; same deep brown floor.  The major difference here is that this room is full of light neutrals, whereas Gladys' room is dominated by a big, dark, matching bedroom set.  Did I also mention Gladys also has no budget for this?

So here was my $1.50:  Ditch that red bedding and replace with a solid, light backdrop.  Go for the ivory.  Then, bust out the sewing machine (or bribe a friend who can bust theirs out on your behalf) and go pillow happy with this cast of characters:
The floral is by Robert Allen for DwellStudio (Freja in blush).  It should be the star.  If it were me, I'd go with the plum fretwork and the sunny yellow fabric as supporting actors.  I'm not sure who should get the ball trim, but someone needs it.  It is just too good.

The red curtains obviously have to go too, and that curtain rod needs to be raised as high as it can go without puncturing the ceiling with its finials.  Since Gladys has no money and needs light neutral drapes, I recommended the ubiquitous dropcloth curtains.   At 6x9 and under $10 a piece, these belgian linen lookalikes are the perfect solution.  I would either trim them out an inch or two from the edge on all four sides with that orchid trim tape above, or maybe do a large band of the plum fretwork fabric along the bottom.  Hang with clip rings or get fancy and use pleater tape and drapery pins from IKEA (how did I only recently discover they carry these things???)!

And you know I couldn't resist going Etsy art bananas on this one too.  White RIBBA frames--all of them.  I imagine three in a horizontal row above the headboard: #1, #6, #4.

Clockwise from top left: 1. Fall Lavendar; 2. Bloom 103; 3. In Bloom; 4. An Afternoon Dream; 5. The Far Side; 6. Drift

Other thoughts on lamps and rugs and whatnot in my "Gladys" pinboard.  That's a stained concrete floor, so it needs a rug, and a big one at that... but big rugs are hella expensive.  To bring in some texture and not break the bank, I suggested a giant natural jute rug.  I have's chunky jute rug in my living room and it is awesome and remarkably inexpensive for an 8x10.  Gladys even has room for a pair of chairs and a side table--in something OTHER than wood--in front of those windows, but these are long term goals.  On a shoestring budget, new bedding, curtains, and some art will go a long way to brighten and modernize this space.

I'm not sure how Gladys feels about this little exercise, but I honestly think I sold myself on lavender in the end--at least when paired with it's buttery complement.  Who knew? 


  1. I almost want to make a donation to help "Gladys" see this to fruition!

  2. How does the jute rug feel on your bare feet? Is it rough or soft, does it hurt to walk on and how about cleanup as in possible (certain) dog accidents? I've always wondered and we're having a devil of a time trying to decide what to put on our bedroom floor which currently has old, felted carpet that the CDC would find interesting.

  3. Oh dear! Well, that particular jute rug is VERY chunky, so it has a definite texture underfoot. I personally love it (I have a very cushy rug pad under it too, so it almost feels bouncy), but I could see someone else hating it. It's a bit of a personal taste thing. I think it feels like having a reflexology foot massage ;)

    We don't have pets, so cleanup isn't an issue. Years ago, I had a tight weave jute rug under a kitchen table, and I can tell you that cleaning up toddler food messes and cat puke was a nightmare on that. I probably wouldn't recommend jute if you anticipate a lot of accidents.

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