Well, Birdie’s room is coming along, and like her, it’s full of happiness and a lot of colorful energy. But I’ve been hung up on the furniture since day one and it hasn’t gotten easier. First off, I fear that the Facebook Marketplace bed is too busy and twee – it’s just a LOT going on in the room. So I will likely find and order a simpler upholstered bed to calm it down a bit. But that’s not even the biggest issue, let’s get into it.
Here’s what we have that we can’t change – the wallpaper, the carpet, the windows, and the location of the closet doors. While I LOVE those original windows, obviously, they are low thus creating quite the nightstand challenge. Furthermore, the closet door needs to be able to open so finding the right nightstands has been hard.
So while I was stumped I went into my vintage inventory and pulled everything out, placed them in the room, and played and played to see what felt right.
Option 1: Eclectic But Fun?
This configuration is technically balanced in color and we lived with this for a while. The closet door opened fine because the skirted wicker table was shoved a bit over. Is it quirky and fun? Sure. Do I love the idea of all of this vintage? Sure. But it felt like a different house and just needed to be more calmed down.
Because what you might be forgetting is that we found these incredible Art Deco shades at an antique mall and we really want to use them in this room. We had them flanking the bed, hanging in front of both windows for a long time and loved it, but they are so big that they are creating even more of a problem with the nightstands. Should they go really high? Maybe? Should they just be on the right side and staggered? Maybe (see further below).
If I had to prioritize what cuckoo vintage to keep in this room it would 100% be the hanging shades. I LOVE THEM. Sure, I love the wicker ghost table (from Shop Wilma in Portland) but I know that I can use that elsewhere. I also like that sweet dresser I got on Facebook Marketplace for $100 and I don’t mind it in front of the window, but again, it just feels like a totally different house. The bed isn’t helping (I tried to order this bed but it’s out of stock so I’m trying to figure out what other options we have).
Option 2: Painted And Cut Down?
Then I have these two tables that I’ve been hoarding, both vintage from Craiglist/Facebook Marketplace. Both could get painted but BOTH are too high so they’d need to get cut down from the bottom of their legs. Doable? Sure. Does it feel totally right? Nope. I LOVE the scalloped table so much and it’s narrow enough that it could go on the left side of the bed and the closet door could still open, but then what do I put on the right? Y’all, I LOVE SYMMETRY IN A BEDROOM. I think that’s where I struggling…
Option 3: Not This But Maybe?
Ok, so here we put the scalloped table on the left and then brought their costume trunk on the right (which fits really nicely in front of the window. Then I threw this vintage quilt top on top to envision reupholstering it (and it just got busier and busier). HMMM…staring at these photos a month later I’m realizing that these two are a great option if we were to reupholster the trunk in something simple and then paint the scallop table (once cut down a bit) a balanced color. And if you are wondering if I’ve thought about painting the bed, I SURE HAVE. Birdie is adamant not to and she says it’s “really grounding and pops off the wall well”. Y’all, hearing her learn from and totally parrot me is a secret joy that I don’t know how to express. So I want to honor her input, but would the bed be better if it were a lighter, more muted tone? Sure. But then maybe just a simple upholstered bed would be better anyway, and I could donate this bed to a neighbor pretty easily. So I don’t want to spend more time/money on a piece that maybe shouldn’t be in here in the first place.
Here I wanted us all to envision what the lamps would look like in here – because like I said, they are my #1 priority to make work. For months I was like, “Let’s just go for it, make it crazy AF, and just lean into eccentric English granddaughter”. But with the mess/stuff that her life brings in, the room just feels like A LOT. If I could go back in time and choose a less busy wallpaper I would (I love this paper, but it’s a LOT so we need to calm it down).
You can see the process of me losing my mind, in real time. Here is where I thought maybe I’d reupholster the bench on the right, bring in the skirted table back, hang BOTH lamps on the right (staggered), AND THEN to balance out the lamps bring in a standing colorful lamp to be the friend to the skirted table (which is now centered on the window). So far, this is our favorite “idea” but it’s certainly not there. Another thing you should know is that the lampshades are REAL BIG, and if they hang low they feel really huge next to any nightstand but if you hang them high they cover the prettiest parts of the window. Should I just forego them altogether and use them in the barn/playhouse I want to do for the kids for summer play? MAYBE. But they bring such a jolt of joy every time I see them…
Option 4: Symmetrical And Boring
I couldn’t not try some basic symmetrical nightstands. We brought these from LA and they are simple and fine but they look dumb and small over here. Do I like the symmetry in a bedroom? I SURE DO. But I want them to be wider, a bit lower, and still shallow as to not come in front of the closet. Like two low dressers (of which I’ve searched high and low for). But this is where I started considering replacing the bed with a simpler solid upholstered one. If it were a medium blue upholstered headboard (no footboard, I secretly don’t like a footboard) and then I had two custom-made low and wide dressers made, THEN you hang the lamps on both sides and it is still super fun, but calms it down. If I could snap my fingers that’s what I would do, but I also really just want to shoot this soon and get it out there.
I think long term I know where I’m headed, but in the short term, I want to show you what I can pull together with what we have on hand. After this shoot for this post I stared at the photos for hours, I had a thought to flip the room completely, put the bed on the opposite wall facing the windows, and put her bulletin board over here in between the windows with her round art table in the corner. And I JUST might!
For now, I’m working with what we have here (unless I find something else in town) because we are shooting this room this week and honestly I’m excited to see what we can pull together for now (knowing that I have more long term goals to add more modernity and symmetry in here). This week you’ll see what we did to the windows (which admittedly did NOT help to calm it down) so the crazy train has left the station, and we are excited to show you where we arrived on round one of Birdies room. WISH US LUCK. 🙂
*Photos by Kaitlin Green
THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED HERE.