The challenge here is going to be designing a plan we can agree on - our personal styles are quite different. Sophie is a writer and highly creative. She is about color, drama, and statement pieces. I am about neutrals, simplicity and stressing the importance of investing in timeless pieces, preferably influenced by Swedish Gustavian style. Can these two aesthetics be merged?
When we decorated Sophie's room five years ago I was not enthusiastic about painting it pink but felt it was important to let her express herself and I am committed to doing the same this time around. Now she'd like something modern and sophisticated in her personal space, and mentioned an interest in wallpaper - which I rarely use but am by no means opposed to. I immediately thought of a beautiful hotel room in Paris that Mr. H and I stayed in the summer before she was born. In a classic French style the room was decorated entirely in a toile print very similar to the room below.
Rather than feeling confining, it made the petite room seem much more spacious. I thought it was the perfect treatment for Sophie's small bedroom - but this was not to be. When I set Sophie loose in the Schumacher showroom she came back with an assortment of whimsical, large scale wallpapers. Very large scale. As I began to explain the difficulty of applying a large repeat to the particulars of her room, with the west-facing wall built into the eave of the roof and its low ceiling, she politely stopped me to say we were only going to apply it on one wall - something like this. Modern.
Of the selection of papers there were a few that I immediately eliminated without much fuss from Sophie - I think she was just testing my limits - but there was one we agreed on: 'Go Baroque' - a black and white print of Rococo style mirror frames.
It satisfied Sophie's desire for drama and I consider black a neutral so we had a starting point. The paper would go up on the wall behind her bed and the rest of the room would be painted white to match the background. Next we discussed introducing color. Sophie had always admired some Chelsea Textiles pillows that were a gift from my sister and I suggested the color scheme would work nicely with the black and white - it would be a timeless combination. Sophie agreed and I selected seafoam green and ivory linens from Norbar that coordinated with the pillows.
On to the furnishings. Sophie's room contained a selection of 19th-century reproduction, painted French pieces that had belonged to my great-grandmother. They didn't suit the sophisticated look she had in mind and I felt it was important to balance the wallpaper print with clean lines. Her furniture was also regularly flaking off a lot of paint (lead paint!) so I decided to put it in storage until I could have it restored. Some time was spent considering what replacements we could find that I would consider a good investment yet would appeal to Sophie's taste. During the year we spent in a rental while renovating Church Street, Sophie's bedroom contained an antique set of black Chinese Chippendale furniture borrowed from my sister. She loved it. Why not introduce some of Chelsea Textiles Gustavian reproductions in their black finish? Sophie approved. I suggested we use two different finishes to mix things up.
As for the overall design there are specifics still to be determined and we are undecided on how to treat the window, but we are both pleased with what we will be working with.
I have a painter/wallpaper hanger lined up. Unfortunately he is very busy - everyone here is rushing to get outdoor painting done before the weather makes it impossible - so I am hoping for some rainy days when he will want to work indoors.
We are ready for him.