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.