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Behind the Design

I was thrilled to be highlighted in the Washington Post House Calls section on May 5, 2011.  In case you didn't see the article yet, you can check it out here...A Room that welcomes guests.   It was fun responding to the reader's comments on the Washington Post website!

I wanted to share with you some of the details behind the design.

I knew I wanted to create a warm welcoming bedroom that can be used for multiple purposes...sleeping, reading, and working.  But at the beginning of the design process I was torn between two looks.

LOOK #1 - Soft white walls, fun art, ethnic coverlet, and cool lighting.  Very eclectic.

I was considering Sundance's Gudari Quilt as a starting point.

But after careful consideration (including the feedback from many of my blog readers on previous posts), I decided to go with a look that was more welcoming and with broader appeal.

LOOK #2 - Pretty, peaceful, and monochromatic.  I like the deep color on the walls and the subtle pattens and textures throughout the room.

The Washington Post requires the designers use retail items only (no trade-only items allowed) for their House Calls column.  So my starting point was Ballard Design's Scandicci Gray fabric which I landed up using on the desk chair seat and back.   The fabric is even prettier in person...a worn vintage feel.

I then put together a space plan to determine what type and size of furniture would work best in the room.    Here's the final plan I submitted to the Post so items had been selected and labeled on this version.

After a few weeks I received rough sketches from Julius, the Wash Post illustrator.

After giving him some feedback, the print copy was then published a couple weeks later.

I'm very happy with how the illustration turned out but I wanted to share some closer up pics of the items I selected.

Check out the texture and pattern in Domestic Modern's Grey Tibetan Weave Rug that I paired with Pottery Barn's Woven Jute Rug  and the details on West Elm's  Knotted Felt Pillows.  The Crate and Barrel's Beverly Floor Mirror was left out of the article because you couldn't see it in the illustration.  Anthropologie's Stockbridge Side Table is so cool I wanted you to get a better look at that too.  The wall color is Restoration Hardware's Stone, a warm grey that works well with Benjamin Moore's Decorator's White that was suggested for doors and trim.  

Here are Ballard's Little Bird Giclees I choose for the room.  Very cute.

For a more upscale look, check out the "splurge items" I picked for the column.  Paintings by Melissa Payne Baker, which you can purchase from Quatrefoil Design, an online store by one of my favorite blogs, Things That Inspire.

Aren't they gorgeous!

You can check out all my picks for the room here...Design Solutions.

I've been receiving emails from Washington Post readers who are making changes to their guest rooms as a result the of the article! So cool!

I believe all great designs result from a close collaboration between the designer and their client.  Thank you to all my readers who provided my feedback on their design preferences which helped me with the design process for the article!

Have a great week,


Anonymous said...

So happy that more people are being exposed to your talent! Congratulations again!

Laura Paskell said...


I'm friends with Gwen and Josh in Rochester, and they hooked me up with your blog. I love your style and all your pictures are so helpful. I have a question for you...I'm trying to find a great round ottoman tray to use for serving and not spilling drinks. Do you have a recommendation?
Thanks! Laura P.

Melissa Payne Baker said...

Hi there! Just found your blog. Thank you so much for using my art for this bedroom! You are very talented and I am just honored to be a part of your design.
Melissa Payne Baker

Anusha said...

Your art work is really great and can decorate the kitchen wall for years... Modular Kitchen Chennai