Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I Need Some Design Help... From You!

At the end of the month I will be moving into a new apartment. My current apartment is furnished so I have nothing! That means I need to buy some new furniture. In the past, I've done a better job of decorating my living room than bedroom. This time, I'll have a roommate, the dishy Lizzy, so the living area already has some furniture. Since I don't like sleeping on the floor, I want to focus my first efforts on the empty room, my personal space, the bedroom. I want to be daring but comfortable. I have no problem finding images of rooms I like or don't like, I am just not so sure about executing it myself. I like too many different styles, I get scared of being "too original" as in bizarre, scared of committing, hesitant to spend money, and I end up being boring and bland. Since I'm starting from scratch, I think this is a chance to create a room I LOVE! Will you help me? If I post some ideas, will you comment, tell me the truth, help me come up with better ideas?

About me... I like clean lines. Right now I am in love with mid-century style but I worry that a room full would be too linear and boring, and expensive. I am leaning toward black furniture but I don't want to just go buy an entire bedroom suite, that's too boring. But then I worry about mixing too many styles. Can I mix black furniture and brown furniture? The room has hardwood floors so that's another wood color to throw in the mix. And I have a hard time knowing how to mix patterns. And also, not so great at hanging or clustering art. I grew up in the South in a very traditional, preppy town so I tend to lean toward classic styles but just like the green cardigan with pink and white argyle I just got rid of, it's easy but sometimes it's too boring.

Here's what I'm thinking so far...

The room is pretty big, probably 10x10 or maybe 12x12, and basically a square with only one nook/cranny.  If I remember correctly, here's what it looks like.Right now the walls are bright blue. It's a fun color but not what I'm looking for. But it does mean painting the walls is OK. I'm pulled in 2 directions, a patterned duvet cover and medium grey or brown walls, nothing too dark but not white. Or white bedding and painted walls. I'll be honest, painted walls scare me so the diagram above has the walls colored in a way I think might work for my two sides, scared and daring. I could paint the wall behind the bed dark orange and the other walls a light grey. Then do white bedding with black and white accents, throw in a little orange and maybe some green. This image from Crate & Barrel is beautiful, the walls are green, but you get the idea.
I also liked this orange duvet cover but I think I like the idea of white bedding and colored walls better. What about you?
The Bed: I'm thinking black and no footboard. I don't like how it cuts off the room or how it makes it harder to just flop onto the bed.

Next question: Bedside table. Here's the problem...The closet is small so I will have to store things in creative spaces. So a bedside table with drawers or shelves and baskets would be best. But I just found and bought (completely returnable) this one at Target. I love it but am not sure it's the most practical. Here are a few others:I think I'm leaning towards the last one but using an actual bookcase, more storage but in not too much more space. I love how it's painted green inside. And I think the white could look amazing against the orange wall.

Last thing: Desk. I probably need one with a big hutch but I don't like how it takes over the whole wall. Plus I wouldn't keep it organized. Here's the one I like most right now. This would be against a grey wall. I like mixing it with the green file cabinet which also adds more storage. A few other ideas:
Well that's about it for now. I'm sure I'll ask for help with rugs and artwork later. Thanks!


Tamara said...

Ans! Tell me a bit more about the apartment. Is it in a cool building? Where is it?!!!

Hey, It's Ansley said...

It's in John's Landing, right around the corner from where I used to live. It's a main floor of a house. It has a cute entry way, a living room, dining room, kitchen, a cute little area between all that and the 2 bedrooms, and one bathroom. All of it is hardwood. The kitchen is all white tile. Lots of cute built-in details in the common areas. And there's a porch on the front with a view of the Willamette. Jealous? :) But then you get to live in NYC which I guess has few things going for it too. I can't remember, it's been too long since I've visited.

But Tam, you still have to leave some advice.

The StaceNeedle said...

Ans, I LOVE the first bedroom set. If you go with that, I might suggest the leaning bookshelf and desk from Crate and Barrell. It's called the Sloan desk and Sloane bookshelf. I have it and love it. Great lines! That sounded like a comment on SYTYCD!

D'Arcy said...

Definitely color the walls and go for a quiet bed spread.

I like they last end table like you, or the second to last one. If you do the last one, then your desk can't be really straight lines (like the last one).

So my take, if this makes sense:

Color Walls
Clean Bedspreads (as in colors)
Last Night Stand with Second desk


Second to last night stand with first desk!

Chelsea said...

First piece of advice. Don't decorate it all at once or before you move in. First live in the room for a few weeks, try some orange in the bedroom and see how it does in the lighting. What about aqua walls and a few bright orange accents? (I have a picture that demonstrates this if you want it). Live there first and see how it feels. I would definitely paint the walls and go with white bedding. If anything get a patterned duvet and then change it out as you like.

Personally I wouldn't do all black furniture. For me, it's a little too cookie-cutter. What about black and some dark and medium woods with some brighter fabrics to lighten it up? Chrome? Painted furniture?

Start with some basics and then add specifics. Oh ya and I wouldn't spend money on a footboard.

You have fabulous taste. I loved your previous Portland apartment and you have more decorating experience than I do so I am not sure why you want my advice but there it is:)

Can't wait to see what you come up with and would love to tag along for the shopping trips!

Marie Louise said...

I think you're right to go with white bedding and no foot board - it will open up the room and then you can always change the color scheme with pillows. And I do like a great color on the walls - pretty cornflower blue or sublime green. Can't wait to see the results!

Lizzy said...

How excited am I to have a roommate that is into decorating? VERY. Because me? Not so much.

Ans, I will help you paint whatever color you choose. I love black furniture from Ikea.

Also, love white bedding and colored walls idea. So crisp. Yummy.

Can't wait. We will have SUCH parties!

Mrs.French said...

I'm with Chelsea...live there for awhile and see how it feels.

I have to say, we made the mistake of buying all black furniture and it was way too heavy. I have since divided the set up and added some different pieces to give it a more eclectic, lighter feeling. I can tell from this sweet blog of yours that you have great taste, so I am excited to see what you come up with. Oh and you have to post photos...that part is a must!

Ansley said...

As far as mixing patterns...

There are four 'types' of patterns

graphics (i.e. harlequin)

The rule of thumb is to mix each type of pattern represented as long as they are on the same scale and color scheme. So all big patterns or all small patterns.

Or you can choose one type of pattern, such as stripes, and mix up the scale of the pattern. Big bold stripes mixed with tiny little stripes and everything in between.

The key is to

1) Maintain a color scheme
2) Either mix pattern or scale, but not both!

If you want to mix colors- use the same pattern and scale.

Easy, right?

(Of course, there are fab designers out there that mix everything up and it looks great, but this is the way to play it safe and still have a fabulous result!)

Good luck! Your taste in furniture is very chic!