Our anniversary of moving into the house just passed, and Hubby and I were reminiscing on all we've done with the house since we moved in. When I asked him which is his favourite room in the house, his reply was: the master bedroom.
The master bedroom is one of the rooms that we finished pre-blog. Well, of course, when I say "finished", I mean "finished ... for now"! There's still a few finishing touches I would like to add in here but, by and large, I consider it "done". You may have seen glimpses of this room in other posts, but let's take a better look now at Hubby's favourite room.
I want to put something "more" in that corner where the stool is. Any suggestions?
The deer on the mantelpiece as well as the wallpaper hint at my inspiration for this room: woodland. I try to avoid saying that there's a theme because that word reminds me of those TV shows in the late 1990s-2000s where neighbours would decorate a room in each other's house, and every time they tried to decorate around a theme, the room would as often as not end up looking like a theatre set in a school play. (There are some spectacular examples from Trading Spaces here. The BBC equivalent was Changing Rooms.) So instead of a theme, let's just say that this room is inspired by the idea of woodland. I also wanted it to have Art Deco elements, but not to feel stuck in time - that's why there is a mix of antiques from various eras as well as contemporary pieces.
The main feature in the room is the Woods wallpaper in black and white. I debated for ages whether to put this feature wall behind the bed or on the wall opposite. In the end I decided to put it where we could see it while lying in bed. It is also the first thing you see when you come through the door and I like that it makes a big impact as soon as you enter the room.
The Abigail Ahern hare lamp is one of my favourite things I own. It's actually flocked, so it feels as good as it looks! And, of course, it brings another woodland element to the room. (OK, technically woodland is not the preferred habitat of the Irish hare, but it somehow fits anyway.) The lampshade that came with it was a bright fuchsia colour that didn't work in this room, so I made a new one in emerald green velvet. You can find step-by-step instructions for making the lampshade here.
More woodland creatures feature in the vintage triptych of native Irish birds hanging above the bed. The antique French bed was a bargain find on an online classifieds site. It had no base, but worse was the fact that it was missing one castor and had been standing off kilter, probably for years. This had caused the frame to become twisted over time, and the footboard and headboard had actually started to come apart due to the wood warping. But we managed to ease it all back into shape again, and we also extended the frame to accommodate our king size mattress (a Tempur memory foam one that has enabled me to sleep better than I ever have in my life - and they don't even know I'm saying that). King size beds didn't exist when this bed was made, but now we have the best of both worlds with vintage charm and modern comfort.
I love the curves on the headboard and footboard as well as the fact that, at five feet tall, the headboard stands almost as tall as I am!
The grey and white toile duvet cover picks up the colour from the walls, and this is continued in the grey faux flat sheet turndown that was a DIY project of mine. You can read more about that here. The accent colours in the room are green with a hint of yellow, and I adore the way the tapestry and embroidered cushions on the bed include subtle hints of those colours.
Green goes with the idea of woodland, of course, but the cue for the green accent colour originally came from the tiles on the Victorian washstand that Hubby bought me as a gift.
I use it as my dressing table by placing an antique mirror on it. The mirror glass has imperfections due to its age ... but sure don't we all! That doesn't in any way affect its usefulness, and I quite like the look of antique mirror glass. The vanity case is also vintage, but I like to mix in modern pieces too, such as the white plastic tam-tam stool and the faceted succulent planter on the mantelpiece.
And because I love birds so much, there is a little tweed chap perched on my dressing table mirror.
At the foot of the bed lies a handwoven rug that Hubby and I bought at the Hubbell Trading Post in Navajoland when we lived in Arizona. In the Navajo tradition, there are thirteen regional designs within seven weaving districts, and this one is known as Two Grey Hills. I like it not just for its sentimental value, but also because the greys, white, black, and browns in it help to link the wall paint and wallpaper with the brown furniture.
And just look at that bed! Those details are why we were willing to put so much work into restoring it.
They certainly don't make 'em like they used to!
Beside the bed are are a pair of hand-carved lockers that I found on Ebay. I like to keep bedside tables clear, so instead of having bedside lamps here, the hare lamp on the dresser is on a remote control socket that we can switch on and off without getting out of bed. My locker also holds a little vintage tin that contains little things like my lip balm that I like to keep close to hand.
The Art Deco elements in the room come in with the oak wardrobe, the shell light, and the scalloped mirror over the fireplace. The mirror is actually a modern repro of a classic design, but the others are authentic vintage.
The light was found in a bric-à-brac shop. I love finding treasures like that in unexpected places!
I spotted the wardrobe on a classifieds website. We had to bring it home from Tipperary in the back of a trailer on a frosty night, but it was so worth it. I just love the overall shape of it, as well as the Art Deco detailing at the top of the doors. The original knob has been replaced with a hand-whittled one (charming though that is, we do plan on replacing it with something more elegant), but it still has its original key.
Here's a close-up shot of it that I posted recently on Instagram (BTW, I would love more followers @thehousethatwill, so do join me over there!).
The bedroom fireplace is my favourite DIY project in the whole house. It looks as though it's always been there but, when we moved into the house, there was just a flat wall between these two doors that lead to the walk-in wardrobe and ensuite shower room respectively.
Hubby built out the fake chimney breast and I spent over a year looking for the perfect fireplace. The difficulty was finding a fireplace that was small enough to be appropriate for a bedroom, yet with an opening large enough to accommodate a modern electric fire. I eventually found one in an antique store that was the perfect size; however it was wildly overpriced for what it is. So imagine my delight when I found the exact same fireplace in much better condition listed on a classifieds website for less than one-tenth the price of the one in the antique shop. Score!
The green tiles were handmade in Mexico, so each are very individual, but they were very tricky to lay due to the variations in shape (none are exactly square or level). They were worth the effort to install because they have so much character and create exactly the look I want for the hearth.
The fire itself is fairly realistic-looking and, as well as heating the room, it has a smoke effect created with steam which helps prevent the room from becoming too dry when the fire is on. I fitted the socket (outlet) with the Status SREMSOC3PK3 Remote Control Socket (affiliate link) so that we can switch on the fire to heat the room before we even get out of bed. Most remote control sockets are designed for low voltage devices, like lamps, but these sockets are rated for 2900W - more than ample for the 2kW fire. (For convenience, the fire and the hare lamp are on the same remote control, which allows up to to four separate appliances to be operated independently.) Now when I wake on cold winter mornings, I can step onto the grey sheepskin rug that lies alongside the bed, pull the little milking stool up to the fire and sit there until I am toasty!
Update: New blog post all about how we constructed the fireplace: DIY Fireplace Without a Chimney
The door to the right of the fireplace leads to the ensuite shower room (room reveal coming soon!) and the door on the left leads to the walk-in wardrobe. (The freestanding wardrobe is Hubby's and the walk-in closet is mine.) To coordinate with the grey in the bedroom, I wallpapered the back wall with a charcoal paper adorned butterflies and flower sprays in white and gold. Combined with the glass pendant light with beaded fringe, it brings lots of personality to an otherwise functional space.
(I do think the white radiator against the dark wall is too stark, however. So at some point I want to build a dark-coloured radiator cabinet in here.)
The built-in units themselves are from the Komplement range at Ikea, and include some really useful features like an accessory drawer, a trouser rail, and a shoe rack. I put my everyday shoes (mostly a collection of tan leather brogues and boots) here near the door where they are easy to access, and my dress shoes are in boxes above the hanging rails.
So that concludes the little tour of our master bedroom. At least for now ... until I get around to adding those finishing touches!
Shop the Look:
Oak hardwood flooring: Joyces (Headford)
Wall colour: Night Jewels 4 by Dulux
Trees wallpaper: Woods by Cole & Son
Black iron door knobs: The Knob Connection (Bath)
Bed: Antique found in online classifieds
Duvet cover: Alvine Kvist from Ikea
Sheet and pillowcases: Gäspa from Ikea (see my Faux Flat Sheet hack here)
Tapestry cushions: From the Eclectic range by Carolyn Donnelly for Dunnes
Embroidered cushion: Alvine Löv from Ikea
Bird triptych: Vintage, from The Gaiety (Westport)
Bedside lockers: Ebay
Vintage tin: The Gaiety (Westport)
Victorian washstand: Clarenbridge Antiques (Clarenbridge)
Oval dressing table mirror: The Gaiety (Westport)
White plastic stool: Tam Tam from Habitat (UK and Online)
Vintage vanity case: Astór (Galway) [ceased trading]
Tweed bird: The Gaiety (Westport)
Abigail Ahern hare lamp: Debenhams (Galway and Nationwide)
Green velvet pom-pom lampshade: DIY - see tutorial here
Engraved milking stool: The Antiques Centre at Shirehall Plain (Holt, Norfolk)
Oak wardrobe: Antique found in online classifieds
Scalloped mirror: John Lewis (UK and Online)
Fireplace: Antique found in online classifieds
Electric fire: Brookline by Dimplex
Remote control socket: Status SREMSOC3PK3 Remote Control Socket - Pack of 3 from Amazon (affiliate link)
Deer head: Target (USA)
Faceted succulent planter: Target (USA)
Mercury glass candle holder with glass dome: TK Maxx (Galway and Nationwide)
Green hearth tiles: Anita Green from Milagros (London/Bristol and Online)
Butterfly wallpaper: B&Q (Galway and Nationwide)
Built-in wardrobe: Komplement from Ikea
Beaded fringe pendant light: B&Q (Galway and Nationwide)