Or how decorating our Master Bedroom made me a better designer.
I recently did a Reel on Instagram, that pesky social media app, about our master bedroom in our lovely house here in Shaker Heights. I did the Reel because apparently that’s the thing to do at the moment but also because I wanted to show how the space has evolved. Thinking about it, I realised that I really had to push myself to get where I wanted to be decoration wise - and I thought I’d share some more thoughts on it here.
First and foremost, it has to be said that I had started working on SWF roughly six months before we bought the house. So I knew that I was looking for somewhere to showcase my fabrics in all their glorious colours, as well as provide a canvas for future collections.
When we found the house, we quickly decided that we wouldn’t choose the original master bedroom as our master but rather another, bigger but differently cut room. As you can see in the before pics, the room has lots of angles but also great windows and picture trim moulding, which is just charming.
A before shot of the wall where our bed now stands. How much colour can change a space!
I had decided to use Dramatic Iris for window treatments. With that in mind, I intended to go bold for the walls as well. Our interior designer, Dawn Cook, and I decided to use the blue iris flower in the print as our inspiration. We tried a couple of different dark and moody blues and eventually settled on Stiffkey Blue by Farrow & Ball in modern emulsion. The higher level of sheen helps as the room needs as much light as it can get.
I have to be honest: when I first saw the painted room, I wasn’t so sure about my decision. I loved the blue but the room doesn’t have the highest ceilings, and I felt it might feel too cramped. The unsureness continued when our furniture arrived. What had I been thinking? Nothing was working the way I had imagined it.
I loved the blue but when it was on the walls, I suddenly wasn't so sure anymore.
Fate intervened in the form of a TV series. We started watching The Great on Hulu, and while the story is preposterous, funny and completely ridiculous, the set design and costumes are incredible. I felt so inspired by the saturated tones, the textiles, prints and patterns, I knew this was the direction I needed to take for our bedroom.
Slowly but surely, things fell into place: the headboard by The Jungle Emporium was installed, the rug by Pottery Barn laid down, and the gorgeous blue bamboo chair found at All Things For You. And as planned, the room received window treatments in Dramatic Iris.
The last push came when I finally turned to the best part: hanging art. We had already found the perfect spot for our Alpha Mum by Gerald Tay in between the windows (it feels made for this space!). But I was struggling with the wall behind the bed. A good rummage through my textiles and scarves brought the solution. My mother received this gorgeous shawl just after my birth. It has accompanied me my whole life, and I have always loved it. It’s jewel tones are perfect for the space, and looking at it brings me incredible joy!
A mix of textiles are essential to create a cozy and beautiful space.
The quilt for the bed is a small but I think important detail. I put a mix of fabrics until I can find the perfect quilt: a white IKEA blanket, a block print fabric from Singapore and another shawl from our honeymoon to Guatemala. You see, I always keep everything and love to source from my collection! I also repeated Dramatic Iris on the bed with some throw pillows.
Being a sustainable business, I also quickly want to list everything we did here to make it as green as possible: organic linen curtains (duh), ethically sourced headboard, ethically sourced rug (according to Pottery Barn), any other furniture we owned or bought second hand. The wall paint is low VOC and water based. Every piece of decor was already owned by us.
The room is not yet done. I still have a good amount of art to hang and the light situation apart from the nightstand lights has not been solved. But ever since my jewel toned textiles have moved in, the room feels like our own. Our very own Sapphire Room.