Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bonus Room.

      Almost every home has a little room or hall way that the owner is not quite sure what to do with it. Well, My Old Historic house, is of no exception. I have a little space,  that once was a hall way and the servants stairs, leading down to the kitchen. The second owner of my house, The Bankhead Sisters, removed the stairs to make a bigger kitchen. I saw no real reason to replace them ,when I did the restoration. Any how to make a long story short, this left a little room in the back hall. It is 6 foot square, 11 foot ceiling and lucky that it  has a window. I should have used it as a walk in closet or storage area.Because my house has very small closets and no storage.  But, I hardly ever do what I should. Another good use for it would have been a second bath room. Again a smart choice.All houses can use another bath ,and many bath rooms, are strong selling points.  The way I figure it, the next owner can do what is best, I want to do what is fun and pretty. What I have done to this room can easily be undone and  it can become a closet or bath room in a flash.
    Sometimes little rooms are hard,.but I have no problem with them. I like to treat them just like they are huge. I always go for bigger than life. I use large chandeliers, busy wall paper and very important furniture and window treatments. One way to make a room look bigger is with wallpaper and fabric that matches. I choice a black and white Waverly Toile for this little room.  In St.Louis there is a store called, Discount Decorating, and it is my Heaven on Earth.I just love to go there and walk up and down the isles and dream, plan and get inspired. The best thing about this store, is all there stuff is in stock and you can bring it home with you, that day, I am not a very patient person, when  I want to decorate, I want to do it now. The Wavery Toile wall paper and fabric was  medium priced. I did not need a ton of it, so that was a good cost savings. I f you have tall ceilings and want to use less wall paper to save money, I suggest you add a picture rail, a few feet down from the ceiling. You can stop the wall paper there and get a lot more footage out of a roll. I also choice a 2 foot wide boarder to add to the top of the paper, again this saved on the amount of paper I had to buy. All these savings are good and bad. Bad because, I now had to buy a very expensive boarder and add some wood picture rail trim between the two. The boarder I chose is from a company called, Burt's Wall Papers. Burt used to work for Bradbury and Bradbury, but now is on his own. He does not have a vast selection to chose from, but his papers are  unique and all historic correct reproductions. And, the best thing about his papers are, that he can make them in any color combination you want. I choice this boarder as it was of the right vintage, 1860's.  I wanted the paper to be mainly black and white to go with the wall paper, but I wanted to add some silver  and cranberry red. The reason for the silver was I planed on using a lot of silver dresser pieces in this little room and a splash of red. So this is the wall paper boarder result. It is not cheap, but as the room is small, I only needed. 9 yards, so I went for it.  I used the boarder as a window cornice and made the rest of the boarder be  at the level of the window, so the eye continues all the way around. I added a black ceiling and black shades on a very large crystal French chandelier.

    The room is just wide enough for a bed to fit, end to end.Having room for a bed,  makes this legally a bed room.  I wanted a  French day bed look, but, did not have the budget for a real one. My solution was to find a nice pair of twin beds and use the two head boards to make a day bed. The pair I found are really  better for my house ,as they are early American. They are mahogany and made around 1900. I got them for a fair price, but that price soon jumped ,when I added the upholstery. I got a new twin mattress and box springs and had the  two upholstered as well as the head boards. The two foot boards and two side rails were left, so I put them together and sold them as a day bed in my shop. This helped me play for the whole project. I didn't want to spend the money for the  Waverly Toile fabric for these beds, so I chose a white damask. It was on sale at Discount decorating. I needed 20 yards,so the price was important.
   At a auction I found a darling little upholstered vanity chair. It was rather small in scale, but had arms and looked bigger than it was. I had it done up, with the Waverly ,black and white Toile. I did not add a skirt as this would have made it, look too 21 century.A black and red rose needlepoint rug was the finishing touch
    This is this finished product. I usually end up in this room, to sleep, when I have a house full of company. It is also a favorite spot in the winter. Being so small, a little heater can warm it right up. The one disadvantage about living in a big old house ,is that they can be very cold in the winter. So, this room is a great place to relax with a blanket and a good book.
   I hope you  enjoy the tour of  this little room. I had a lot of fun putting it together. I wish you could come by some time for a real tour. I will always leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will be there to give you a jump and and a kiss.



Anna at the Doll House said...

The black and white toile wallpaper is a lovely choice for this room Richard.


Robin's Egg Bleu said...

Gorgeous use of the space, I love toile too!

Pamela Gordon said...

You did a great job with such a small space. I love the wallpaper and the pretty dressing table. Very nice.

Rhissanna said...

This is a really sweet room. Yes, absolutely, decorate a tiny room with all the confidence of a big room. Bold colour, big patterns, oversize furniture, everything. This is exactly the kind of effect I'm hoping to get in hubby's Victorian study. I'm even hoping to make a day bed from an inherited twin bed and a queen-sized headboard. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for telling us about Burt's Wall Papers. said...

Beautiful room Richard. You really paid attention to all of the details.I bet this is a cozy place to curl up and read in the winter.

LANA said...

You know, all my life I never liked toile. BUT, lately, for some reason, I have taken a liking to it. Last week, as a matter of fact, I ordered black and white toile curtains for my kitchen. So you can imagine my pleasure at seeing your "little room". It's lovely, cozy, and looks like a great place to have a cup a tea and read.

Anonymous said...

Oh Richard it looks divine,so very beautiful,you have done an amazing job,what a perfect place for an afternoon nap,

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a luxury to have an extra little room. With the small space and tall ceiling, it could feel like sitting at the bottom of a well, but bringing the ceiling down with black paint is a great idea. I love the French aspect of all the toile, along with the lovely pieces of furniture and the chandelier.

You're so creative. I'm afraid I would have gone with the closet while bemoaning the cost of installing a bathroom. Instead, you've created a cozy little retreat that's beautiful.

Well done!

Jennelise said...

I love the vanity and the wallpaper. I would love to wallpaper a room one day. I think it makes it look so cozy and interesting. :)

Curtains in My Tree said...

Like everything else at your & Sissy's house FABULOUS


bj said...

O, Richard...what an adorable and lovely little bedroom. I love it..much better than a bath, I think :))
I have to tell you a short story about my son..when he was 14, he wanted to lift weights and we bought him a bench press (is that what you lay on and life 6000 lbs above your head?). To have more room in his 12x14 bedroom, he decided to put his twin bed IN HIS WALK-IN CLOSET. OK, I said..thinking the bed would never fit. Well, he had already measured fit...and it stayed there for 2 years, with his clothes hanging over the foot of his bed. He loved showing friends and saying, "Watch me make my bed" and he would slam shut his closet door..hahhhaaa...sweet memories.

gLAD you got a centerpiece will be lovely, I know.

Cass @ That Old House said...

Oh Richard you have made a little jewel box of this tiny room! Well done.

We have 3 small "rooms" upstairs -- we think they were originally "box rooms" and/or "hired man" rooms. One, off the master, might have been the nursery or a "retiring" room.

Each room is about the same size -- 7 feet by 12 feet.

One of them now is our upstairs hall bath. Another is part of our daughter Anne's "suite" -- she calls the little room her "sleeping cell." And the third room is now a big walkin closet for the master, but I do have plans to turn it into a bathroom, so we'd have two full baths. Not yet, though -- need to be able to afford it first!

LOVE the walls in your little room. So very pretty. And I like the hint about Burt's too -- gonna check that out!


Cass @ That Old House said...

AH! I have two old headboards, nicely curved, just begging to be upholstered -- I'm gonna make a daybed for Annie's sleeping cell.

6x6, huh? wow, that IS small -- I thought 7 x 12 was little. I actually had a contractor tell me that the room was too small to put in a bathroom, can you imagine? wouldn't hire him, that's for sure.

Anyway -- I came back for a 2nd comment because I wanted to ask if Sissy Dog loved this room in the winter -- that bed looks perfect for a good doggy snooze!

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

love the toile. what a gorgeous room.

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

You have made the most of a very small space. The star is the red toile pillow on the bed. Perfection. Have a wonderful, brisk (I hope) fall weekend!

lvroftiques said...

It's wonderful Richard! Like every other room in your house *winks* I'd sure love to "borrow" that chandelier and the toile pilla!
I can see why this would be the perfect spot when it gets colder, not just easier to heat but smaller spaces feel so nice and cozy.
Ahem...Richard I'm still waiting to see those ladies with the cow....*tapping toe*Lol! Vanna

Pearl said...

Am loving this room Richard, with the waverly paper it is so me! I really like the small punch of red very clever. What else can I say "your good big guy"!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sissysmom said... are a genius!!! The daybed from two twin beds, i never would have thought of that...but i am going to steal the idea! LOL! I love this tiny room!!! Every inch is perfection!!

I think you should call it Miss Sissy's room....perfect size for her!! Give her a pat on the head from me!


The Dutchess said...

My kind of room...can I visit you and maybe sleep this room..please..:)))))

Anyes K. Busby - Studio Vignette Fine Art said...

Hello Richard,
Your little room is so beautifully warm and rich. Well done! You are the Victorian master.
Wish I could be there for your apple festival and drop in for a little visit.
Love your roosters!

Charlotte Wilson said...

Your little room is lovely! I am so impressed that you know so much about the era that your house was built and that you keep the integrity of the decoration.
I also appreciate that you look for bargains to achieve your look.

All the best,


Beverly said...

Richard, that border is gorgeous, and it is perfect with the black and white toile.

The room looks wonderful. I would love it as a cozy retreat, too.

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

I love the chandelier. Nice touches, Richard.

Ivy and Elephants said...

Hi Richard,
I love what you did to create the day bed. My fave piece is your gorgeous vanity. I think you did a fabulous job with the space. I would love a tour one day...but mostly I would love to meet Sissy Dog.


The Artful Diva said...

I love your house and the get away spot is marvelous!

Chubskulit Rose said...

I love Saturdays, lots of Pinktastic stuff to see. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pink!

My Pink is here, hope you can come by and see. Have a great week weekend!

Victorian1885 said...

Love the toile wallpaper and fabrics! Such a beautiful room indeed. Take care.


Valerie@DesignCaller said...

Very striking use of color, but done within the demands of the environment, you stayed true to the style. That is SO hard to do! I wish you could show me how to do good cornices...I admire your patience and persistence in this project. Can't wait to see more!
Your Newest Follower,

Valerie@DesignCaller said...

Very striking use of color, but done within the demands of the environment, you stayed true to the style. That is SO hard to do! I wish you could show me how to do good cornices...I admire your patience and persistence in this project. Can't wait to see more!
Your Newest Follower,

Shelia said...

Hi Richard! What a lovely room! Love the pretty wallpaper. I know anyone staying here would feel so special! Hope your tours are going well. I know everyone who walks through your lovely home makes a memory for a lifetime!
Thanks for popping in to see me.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Shelia said...

Hi Richard! What a lovely room! Love the pretty wallpaper. I know anyone staying here would feel so special! Hope your tours are going well. I know everyone who walks through your lovely home makes a memory for a lifetime!
Thanks for popping in to see me.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

ornamentsbypink said...

Wow Richard, you did a beautiful job of that small room! Love the toile and the chandelier too.

Rhissanna said...

Thank you, Richard. I put a link to you about the lovely bonus room from my newbie Victorian gentleman's study blog. Thank you again for the inspiration for the daybed.

LydiaO said...

What a sweet little room! I especially love the etagere and the cranberry lamp.

LydiaO said...

I was taking a bath in my 6x8 bathroom and was able to visualize the size of the space you had to work with. That's a pretty awesome use of the space with just the right choice in furniture size. I wouldn't have had that kind of imagination and it would have ended up as storage space.
@Cass Boo to that contractor! I'd love to have a 7x12 bathroom LOL! At the Bishop's Palace in Galveston they had a box room that still contained the family's old trunks.

Brigitte said...

That is a wonderful idea to use a small space and make it such a great little getaway.I LOVE TOILE but never have used black-white looks awesome.

An Historical Lady said...

Exquisite Richard. I love toile and have an 18thc. gown of it, that I and others just love.
You as always, did a superb job. All those lucky people that will come for the costumed tours this weekend will never want to leave!

Susan (Between Naps On The said...

What a sweet room. I love this was a treat! I never do what I should either. lol I tend to do the fun things, not the practical. Life is too short to be practical all the time. :)