Thursday, April 10, 2014


The place you lay your head should have luxurious comfort, it needs to envelop you in a net of safety, and at its best it will possess the serenity of a Zen garden. Of course that's my opinion. For some it needs lots of red velvet, mirrors on the ceiling, a heart shaped Jacuzzi and if your Kim Kardashian a video camera aimed at the bed.
In the continuing saga of the Madison suburban cottage tour it's time to tour our version of a sleeping paradise that is much closer to my first version of a place to lay your head then to the second. There was very little we wanted to keep in the original room. After all it had been my parents bedroom for over twenty-five years. Our mission was to take it as far away from what it had been as we possibly could. The thought of sleeping with my partner while the scent of my parents still lingered in the room was not part of the serenity I was looking for.
After having stripped the room of any stick of furniture belonging to my mother we started with ripping out the decades old carpeting that had turned a dull grey several dirty shades from its original white. Once removed, we added new wood floors that ran the entire house.
The next things we tackled were the closets. As my mom became less able to navigate the stairs while she was still living in the house we decided it best to contain all her activity to one floor. Our way of helping was to convert her walk-in closet to a laundry room. She no longer had to negotiate the stairs to do one of the chores she could still manage. Now that we are occupying the house we decided a laundry in the bedroom with its constant tumbling wasn't what we wanted to lull us to sleep so we reconverted the walk-in back into a closet and immediately filled with a wardrobe no sane men would admit to.
And as if that wasn't enough we refitted the two additional closets in the room to more hanger space housing sweaters, pants and starched shirts. We still haven't found an adequate solution for shoe storage.
Once the closet interiors had been set it was time to direct our attention to upgrading all the hollow core doors and skimpy moldings into three panel  solid doors, new door and window casings and six-inch baseboards.
The wainscot had been added when we redid the room for my mom after my dad died in the mid-eighties. It had been painted a pale blue with a rag paint treatment on the upper half of the wall. We decided to keep the wainscot but the color and the paint treatment had to go. We picked a neutral grey painting the upper wall flat and the wainscot with a high gloss finish.
We were almost ready to decorate. The one remaining eyesore was the ceiling fan, a cheap white thing with four lights with those scalloped flared edge milk-glass shades. We chose a more contemporary metal version that still fit with our cottage approach and eliminated the overhead lighting. We opted for pools of light from table lamps.
The first thing to go down was the rug we purchased online from Home Decorators. It's braided eco-wool in a warm grey.
Firm believers in the feng shui of a room we decided to place the bed, a queen-size version bought from Crate & Barrel along with the headboard, against the window wall opposite the entrance to the bedroom. One way to dress-up a bed is with pillows, lots of pillows. We tend toward the bigger the better. They're a lot easier to throw off at night and much less complicated to replace in the morning. One of my many superstitions is making the bed in the morning. Bed not made - day not good. I've never tracked the efficacy of this theory but I do know it gets the bed made and the room looking clean every single day.
Since we're furniture designers it's no coincidence that a lot of our furniture makes it into our own home. The bedside tables are from the Lee line. The table between the closets is the one way my mother has managed to sneak back into the room. It's the Florence table, named after my mother that still holds her to the room. I really hadn't thought about that until now. It's getting a little creepy
The dresser is one of Rick's favorite designs from our Shaver/Melahn Collection. It's the nine-drawer Emmy version in chocolate walnut still available through Black Wolf Designs for anyone interested. All the drawers are beveled so that no end pieces are visible. It's a classic.
The window treatments are result of a trip to Menard's and a walk through the hardware aisles where I found what I think are gate latches. We suspended them from the ceiling, ran electrical conduit as curtain rods and hung the drapes from there.
This was a true DIY. The shades are from Home Depot.
Since the third window was behind the dresser and since we hadn't purchased an additional set of drapes we had Carla at Creative Energy Designs make a complimentary roman shade for the window. Take a long look at those mitered corners. Carla's a master at window treatments.
Opposite the bed is a metal bookcase we've schlepped from apartment to apartment. I can no longer remember where we purchased it.

It's the repository for all our photo albums and framed pictures of family and friends.
Rick is a bed person. He's a lot like Hugh Hefner. If given the option he'd conduct his entire life from a sitting position on the bed propped up in front of a plethora of pillows, and wrapped in a comfy quilt. He's found a home in this room, a nest of comfort, security and serenity. Mission accomplished

Poconos Resort, 1971
Life Magazine
Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

1 comment:

  1. Looks great! Really clever drapery rod; hard to find long skinny rods.