The Cool House: bedrooms
Showing posts with label bedrooms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bedrooms. Show all posts

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Green Guest Bedroom

New roman blinds and pillows brought to life by The Awesome Designer.

Arts and crafts inspired, uniquely modern Robert Allen fabric - Celtic Knot in a lovely green colourway called Kelp.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Black & Grey with a Touch of Pink

Verity's room recived a mini makeoever this fall - new grey hex patterned rug, black and cream drapes and a new pink Tribeca pillow by Designers Guild. I'm still searching for the right duvet cover to replace the Marimekko one so we can call this room done.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's all over now sixties blue

In anticipation of the arrival of new shades for two bedrooms I stained and sealed the triangular window frame, touched up one bedroom wall and got two coats of Navajo white over the blue wall in the den. I really should have primed the latter first... I'll be painting a third - and hopefully final- coat tomorrow. And when I say final I mean final until we've chosen a paint colour we like for that room because enough with the Navajo White, it's been almost six years of blah and I need something that says I chose this not I was afraid of paint. Maybe something inspired by the sunset last week...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Uniquely Modern Furniture Dilemma

A while ago I asked the Awesome Designer to design some roman shades for the so-called bamboo room (the present curtains have green bamboo stalks on a pale yellow background, hence the name) and the fabric - Celtic Knot from Robert Allen - has arrived at her workroom.

And bonus, it turns out there is enough extra fabric to cover a small chair or bench. So here is my dilemma: Do I take out the chest of drawers (there's plenty more built-in drawer space in that room) and throw a bench in there? Should I maybe recover another piece of furniture? A pouffe? An ottoman? Help me, interwebs because my mind is stuck in kitchen mode...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Keeping your friends

Interwebs regulars to this blog are aware that we lucked out when we signed up to take over The Cool House. Not only did we get a rock sold house in need of a little TLC and a piece of uniquely modern architectural history but we gained two of the best neighbors we could ever hope to have - the Awesome Designer and the Loyal Blog Reader. The former is the hands-on person in that partnership/ Furniture needs re-arranging? She'll move it fifty different ways until she gets the effect you're looking for (or the one she persuades you is best - trust her, it will be). Bulbs have to be planted? Give her a couple hundred and a dry weekend and the following Spring your garden will be carpeted with pretty flowers. Ask for a fabric swatch and she'll visit half a dozen showrooms and bring you swatches of undreamt deliciousness - and then spend hours pruning them until you have just the right palette to make your room perfect.

On the other hand, the Loyal Blog Reader is more cerebral and prefers to let the pros (like his wife) tackle things. Only rarely does he get roped into the renovation process, preferring to bask in the glory of the finished effect.

Which is why he is probably kicking himself this morning - or dreaming of kicking me maybe - when, after I plied him with wine and salumi, we persuaded him to take a hands-on role in the renovation and move a rug, or three, in and out of the car and up a flight of stairs - in the name of the beautification of The Cool House. To add to his nightmare I made him weigh in on the design discussion of some fifty pieces of fabric to determine the one that would epitomize our uniquely modern design aesthetic. So, I would like to heartily thank the Awesome Designer for all her help and hard work yesterday and to the Loyal Blog Reader I offer both my gratitude and profuse apologies. You can send the chiropractor's bill to me...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Crewel Intentions

We officially missed deadline #3 on the master bathroom - in case you were keeping score, deadline #1 was Valentine's Day; #2 The Guy's birthday. The last, ultimate, had-to-be-done-by date was March 12 when a party of friends and family arrived from Europe and filled The Cool House to capacity. A fully, functioning bathroom was all I needed to keep me sane, but alas, the renovation gods had other ideas. Still, we pressed on positively and the design gods, or more specifically, the Awesome Designer, smiled. She waved her wand and worked a lot of magic on the guest bedroom.

Roman blinds and a bolster covered in Robert Allen crewel work cotton and wool fabric - Unity Rings in Confetti. The fabric has a little arts & crafts vibe mixed with a little retro and a great colorway for this house - another uniquely modern find.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Changing the Axis

I got madly bored on Christmas morn and switched the bed around. AGAIN. This is a better configuration in every way except one: The Guy has a lot less room between the bed and the window, which is apparently challenging when negotiating the room in the dark! For me - I can honestly say I have slept better than I have in months. Perhaps it's because the bed is now on a north-south axis rather than east-west? Anyone else feel this connected to the earth or is it just me?

Friday, September 12, 2008


Suddenly they are everywhere, Pixel designs. But remember where you saw them first - master bedroom October 2004

The Pixel Couch. Designed by Cristian Zuzunaga for Kvadrat, July 2008

Pixel by Habitat bed cover, London, UK, NYT Spring 2008

Pixel by Habitat, UK curtains. Fall 2007.

And I am totally in love with these Tetris tiles, inspired by the video game. Custom made where? The UK of course.

Friday, August 22, 2008

We're softening up

I seem to have been a little remiss in keeping you up to date with the master bedroom decoration. (You thought I was going to say master bath remodel, didn't you? Now, we're just not going to mention that, ok?)

Some weeks ago on that pillow buying spree at the Pottery Barn outlet out east I picked up a huge bargain and casually tossed it into the cart. It was a super soft 5' x 8' wool rug that we thought could go in our room. As it was 40% off $199 I thought it was too good to miss. And when we got it home and actually walked on it in bare feet, it felt so luxurious that I knew I was going to have to go back and get the larger size to go under the bed.

So last Saturday before the unfortunate lobster incident we stripped the soft top off Beach Car and headed back to Tanger Outlets to get it. Can you imagine my joy when I found out that the 10' x 8' was the same price as the smaller rug we had purchased three weeks before? No, the price hadn't been reduced. They were selling both sizes for the same amount. I don't know why. I don't question the sale gods, I just thank them.
Lovely, silky 100% wool rug that will keep my toes warm when I step out of bed this winter, I love you. And for only $120. Thank you very much, it's perfect.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Friday Night Fun

Because we'd taken advantage of the fabulous weather on Thursday evening and taken guests to Prime Restaurant for a sunset seafood and fish dinner on the deck overlooking Huntington Harbor we forwent (really, forwent? went without? denied ourselves? Whatever) our usual Friday night booze fest Martini and meal in town and made this vegetable thin crust pizza (recipe over here) instead. OK I had a Martini and some olives to start but it was basically a low-calorie supper.

Then because it was still early I had a crazy desire to get a jump start on the weekend by putting up the curtain rods for the drapery panels I bought.

Of course the previous sentence makes it sound as if I was actually wielding the drill when we know my role is to take photographs and alert The Guy to the fact that the middle bracket is 1/4" off center.

You'd hardly think from his smiling face that he had a drill in his hand and it was menacingly close to my eye, would you? Still, in the end it all went off quite smoothly. I believe the drink before dinner helped, and the pizza, of course. There's nothing worse than tackling projects with a rumbling stomach, is there?

There was only one teensy-weensy little problem. When the curtains went up. I HATED THEM. They're definitely oatmeal not pearl and I hate oatmeal. What was I thinking?

I couldn't bring myself to fess up to The Guy that I thought they were a mistake, especially as he didn't want drapes in the first place, so I lived with them until Sunday afternoon but in the end they had to go. We tried them in the our bedroom but they were still oatmeal. Not every plan is a good plan and I'm admitting this was not my best but at least we know what won't work in both the den and the master.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The dressing room light

Of course if you are going to take down the light in the dressing room to use in the powder room you have to put something in its place. Luckily (or part of my devious master plan to drive The Guy crazy) I had a spare halogen light fixture from the master closet light improvement project. Unfortunately when The Guy removed the fixture he revealed a circle of Navajo white that didn't match the surrounding super white paint. But luckily again, I had a can of that left over, so all we had to do was give the circle a quick coat of paint and voila. Right?
I'll spare you the photos because here's how it went down.
"What's the quickest way to do this, we don't want to go get a roller do we?"
"I've got a touch-up sponge you can use, but it could get messy so just strip off your shirt and jeans and I'll get it"
That was the luckiest thing that happened all day because you'd be surprised how much paint those sponges can hold. When The Guy jumped on the chair dressed only in underpants and socks and pressed that sponge to the ceiling there was....
Let's just say the clean-up took far longer than the touch-up.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Closet Envy

Writing the post or the definition of a bedroom got me searching for closet doors, wardrobes and other stylish places to hang one's clothes.

First there was this beauty, from Spaceslide via wikipedia.

This Shoji screen inspired wardobe from Yarra Valley.

Traditional painted wardrobes from Joshua Jones.

And finally this lightbox wardrobe from architect Pierce Tynan.
Unfortunately, the first three are all UK designs and Pierce Tynan is from Dublin, Ireland. Isn't that just the way things go?

What makes a bedroom?

Another bout of snivelling colds and hacking coughs has us torturing ourselves watching reality shows and HGTV. It's about all our feeble brains and even feebler bodies can cope with. We expect nothing from this TV except entertainment but occasionally we come away with a piece of knowledge that we would be unlikely to glean anywhere else.
Watching HGTV's "My House Worth What?" over the weekend we heard a realtor say that in America the legal definition of a bedroom is a room that contains a built-in closet! We were pretty much astounded by this because we'd always assumed that a bedroom is any room used for sleeping. It also means that of the many houses I have lived in, only four had bedrooms. The majority were either too old to have built-in closets or were in countries where this was not an issue. We just purchased wardrobes or armoires to hang our clothes in and put these in our "bedrooms". We knew no better.
So I checked the internets for an online definition. Three online dictionaries described it as a room containing a bed, while another gave this definition that is at once vague and overly precise. "Any habitable room that can be used for sleeping. This typically includes, but is not limited to, a room with a proper escape window and one in which there is a closet or a door OR a closet or a door could be reasonably installed. ...". I don't understand why it would be either a closet or a door or the possibility of either that defines a room but I know if I had to choose between the two I'd go for a door every time. Because otherwise it's a box that I can't get out of, no?
Of course I couldn't leave it there. I had to know - what makes a bedroom, and I found another definition in the San Matteo, California town code "an enclosed habitable space" that is designed primarily for sleeping and contains at least one window. State building codes require that a bedroom must be a minimum of 70 square feet.
It's all very confusing but I know one thing: Most of the built-in closets I've seen have the ugliest doors* and I'd rather have a sleek modern PAX wardrobe from IKEA or a beautiful old armoire any day.

* If all closet doors looked like this I'd take that back!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lights, swearing, action.

The answer to the question in yesterday's post is "by leaving 5cm exposed".

It took three attempts to fix the new pendant light to the ceiling in Verity's room because we had forgotten how much of the ceiling screw to leave hanging down. Too much and there would be an ugly chrome screw visible between the fitting and the ceiling,

too little and the plate wouldn't screw on.

Five cms is perfect. We need to be this precise, almost 2" doesn't cut it.

I took the Mibo shade off and just plonked it on the lamp to get the effect but I really like it. When I've taken the Gorilla Glue (thank you Jennifer for the suggestion) to the break in the ceramic, I'll put the shade on and voila - two new lights.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The right light

Verity's room
Ever since I put the Mibo pendant light in Verity's room I've felt it was too small for the space. You can't really tell from the photo but her room is 15' x 11' while the lampshade is only 12" diameter.

pink bedroom 1968 shag carpet
I actually used the same dimensions as the original chandelier but that was a fancy piece so it seemed bigger.

original light
The interim light, that came out of Steven's office was also small, but longer so again we had the illusion it was bigger.

I was really happy with the pendant lights we had in the other bedrooms so I searched for something 20" wide with a diffuser underneath (so the light won't shine in her eyes) and eventually found the Double-Dip Pendant Light, at CB2. I've been really happy with the quality of their shades, and the price is unbeatable.

I'm hoping that the Mibo shade will sit on the new (old) teak lamp I bought on ebay last week.
The shade arrived this morning and I think it's going to work but I won't know until Saturday when Steven will be doing his lampshade adjustment dance again, but this time in reverse.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Keeping things in perspective

I'm always interested to see where people have been before they visit the blog. Often they've come via an image - usually a Flickr photo and I always check the link to see which one it was. Today someone in Florida happened upon this photo.
Did it take your breath away too?
It was taken the first day we moved in. That's our Leggero bed with Area duvet and shams (bought at Area's semi-annual sale in NYC) and a $4 Ikea lamp. Everything else is left by the original owner: the green carpet, the walls, and the holes where the baseboard should be.
I was complaining remarking to Steven on New Year's Day that master bedroom looks like a college dorm but good grief I take it back. It looks a zillion times better than this. Those walls, hand-painted, faux-finished orange veined walls, gave me nightmares for the month before I painted over them. The artistic design continued onto the window frames for that "cohesive" look. Unique.
Last year we changed the placement of the bed and this is how that side of the room looks today. It's still unfinished but at least I don't gasp in horror when I see it.

Autumn leaves through master window

Monday, November 05, 2007

Window Replacement: what I know now

The trauma that the owner of casacaudill (a fellow houseblogger) is going through with her windows reminds me of the months of anguish we went through three years ago when we were replacing our windows: sleepless nights, contractor bids, disbelief at the price, more sleepless nights.
Before we bought the house we knew that we would have to replace the failed double paned windows that were so fogged you couldn't tell if it was rainy or sunny outside and the huge single pane, single hung windows in the dining room, den, study and master bedroom if we were to keep warm in the winter.
We tried to get rough estimates before we bought the house but it proved impossible. My best guess, as everything had to be custom, was $40,000 for all the windows, triangular, square and rectangular. As soon as we moved in I had contractors come and quote. It turned out that no one likes to install windows - not enough profit. Most contractors walked in, looked around and disappeared, no quotes there. One only wanted to install vinyl, and I couldn't do that to this house. One told us we needed to get Marvin windows, but he would only install Andersen or Pella. One wanted to remove all the siding to install. I was seriously freaked out they would reduce my house to a pile of redwood planks.
Then there were the design problems. Marvin could do the custom sizes we needed cheaper than the other two big window manufacturers and their product seemed better but Town Code meant we couldn't put single hung windows in so we spent a lot of time coming up with a solution that would be the same on the exterior but would fit code. Having everything architecturally correct was very important to us.
In the end we did get a quote for everything and it was almost exactly my guestimate figure. But a few months in the house had opened our eyes to what else had to be done and the thought of spending that huge amount of money just on windows was making me sick. We decided that we would replace only those windows that absolutely needed it: 2 8"x3" fogged double paned windows over the garage, 2 4'x 3" in Steven's study that let water cascade in when it rained, a cracked 4'x4'window that a bird flew into the day we moved in and 8 6'x4' single pane, single hung windows.
We decided we would replace the other windows as and when we needed to. This year we put in a new tempered glass window in the boys' bath as we remodeled that space.

This seemed like a great solution at the time but three years on, I'm not so sure. We are still having window issues, a few of the old windows have started to fail: there are signs of moisture in the basement windows (above) and in the master bedroom; a couple of others had rot that was treated but they're now draughty and they don't operate well; we are still having trouble with design of the 6'x8' replacement window in the den (below). The cost of Marvin windows has gone up, as has the cost of labor. The fallback in real estate prices makes me nervous about return on investment so I'm reluctant to do more than I have to.

The price that originally made me feel sick now seems more like money well spent. Our heating and airco bills have been lower since we had the large windows replaced and I appreciate the quality of these windows. From the outside it's almost impossible to tell which are original windows and which are the replacements. Any issues we had with the windows were to do with the installation and not the windows themselves, so we will be even more careful about choosing a contractor in the future.
We will have to replace eight windows probably next year or the year after and I wish I had done them all at one go so I don't have to worry about them now. Hindsight, it's a wonderful thing.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Being jacked around

I spent a very frustrating hour this afternoon trying to glue two telephone sockets back on the wall. Sockets we never use because we have cordless phones, which Steven has told me just to cut off at the wall. But if I cut the phone wire I will be left with lovely holes in the skirting boards (baseboard). And not tiny holes either but miniature mouseholes, like the ones in the Tom and Jerry cartoons.
Every room in the house has a phone jack, and judging from the tangle of wires in the basement, there were at least six lines going into the house at one point. The electrician said he had only ever seen this system in offices, never in a residential home. There were also UHF and VHF TV cables in all the rooms, too. I imagine everyone lived there own lives and came together just for meals. Maybe.
Anyway, the new kittens, being stronger than they look and always up for some mischief, managed to pull the jacks in our room and the bamboo room clean off the walls. It looks as though these have been re-glued several times before, I'm sure I remember doing it myself once, but despite my best efforts with Gorilla glue and weights to secure them to the wall while the adhesive dried, they just refused to stick.
Now I'm left with a couple of options: chop off the wires and replace the sections of board with the holes in; try a stronger glue and hold them to the wall for 24 hours. Neither of these is very appealing.
Or I suppose I could try Velcro?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

From blue to green

Fern shade
Originally uploaded by modernemama
We got the last shade up today. A much easier job than the rust shade in Steven's office. To determine the exact height for the cord in that room we had to utilise a very precise measuring device. Steven needed to be able to walk under the lamp without hitting his head. As he is 6' 2', the shade is 14" long and the ceiling 8' high we knew we didn't have much room for error. Rather than use a rule, which we didn't have in the room at the time, we improvised. It appears that I am a screwdriver length shorter than he is. So he held the shade in the approximate position and I held the screwdriver on my head and walked under the shade until we got it right. And we did, with millimeters to spare.
This time it was just easy, cut the cord, trim, attach. Perfect. This the spare bedroom with the new Eden pendant shade form CB2, nifty, no? White, sand and green, very soothing.
A little look back at the way things were:
This is the room with the dingy lucite and plastic shade. Everything else is new: windows, floors and paint. We call it the fern bedroom after the pattern on the curtains.

This is the bedroom as it was when we moved in three years ago, we originally called it the blue room after the shag carpet. The windowless wall was covered in faux paneling, and the awning window was fogged, making it very dark. It's much lighter now.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Mibo Lulworth lampshade

Mibo Lulworth lampshade
Originally uploaded by modernemama
All it took was a simple dish of garlic fried in hot anchovy oil, added to Tagliatelle with the contents of the jar of anchovies in chili oil, served with a green salad. A really easy supper and Steven was more than happy to put up the Mibo pendant light in Verity's room.
And he didn't even mention the cost!