Last night I facetimed a friend while shoveling my face full of pad thai and red wine. We shared funny quarantine stories, I met her cat (named Remi like from Ratatouille) and we started scheming all the road trips we want to take when lockdown lifts. I finished inhaling my veggie spring rolls before I took her on a speedy room tour, as most of my time recently has been spent scouring the internet for homeware and decorating my apartment/ bedroom.
So far, I’ve been sharing bits and pieces on Instagram, but I hadn’t done a proper blog post or tour yet. Partly this was because I had never talked about interiors before, so it was a new subject to cover and I also didn’t know if I wanted to wait until things were finished to share with you. My love of fashion has translated almost immediately to a love of interior design, homeware and décor. Knowing myself, I’m not sure if it will ever feel ‘done’ and so after a little zuzhing (highly scientific term), I pulled out my camera and snapped away.
My main sources of inspiration were chic Parisian apartments and quirky, vintage British interiors. Especially as downstairs we have some beautiful woodwork and Victorian looking fireplaces (sadly boarded over), if you want a sneak peek read here. But I wanted the space to feel mine, beyond fitting into the “perfect aesthetic” (which I’m not sure really exists). Mood boards aside, there are stories of my life in the books on my windowsills and the mementos on my shelves. I don’t think copy pasting from Pinterest is the best way to create your space, but these are the main four things I decided when starting to decorate my bedroom.
I immediately knew I wanted the focal points of the room to be my bed and my desk. I have been dreaming of a velvet bed for ages and absolutely fell head over heels for the Marcella bed from Urban Outfitters. I chose the dove gray velvet rather than the pink, as I think velvet is quite a statement on its own. The shape and brass finishings give it a modern touch since velvet is such a traditional material.
Trying to be economical and also mindful of consumption and spending, I kept my childhood antique desk which is a beautiful warm wood. I love that it feels like the kind of desk you could sit at to write a great novel, even though for now it’s Zoom central. My desk chair is probably the piece of furniture I’d grab if there was a disaster and I could only rescue one thing. It was my late grandfather’s, he ‘liberated’ it from his university’s dining hall back in the late 1950s. Its only value is sentimental, but I’ve always loved it. Updated for the modern gal with a faux fur cover.
I should probably level with you now, I keep calling it an apartment or flat (because it feels that way to me) but technically it’s a townhouse I’m sharing with three flat mates. This means we have gorgeous bay windows on the ground floor and my bedroom has the matching set just above. I wanted to make the most of the natural light and my four windows do the trick. I maximize their light by having two mirrors on the opposite wall, the tall brass floor mirror from Target and a the Magnus table mirror from Anthropologie. Since we are in a rental and can’t do anything about the ceiling light fixtures, I’ve decided a few lamps are the way to go. I’m still hunting high and low for the perfect floor lamp, but my bedside table features this pretty brass lamp with an exposed bulb from Anthropologie. It reminded me of a very cool mid-century style hotel bar I once visited in New York. In the evenings, it brings a warm glow and cozy feeling to the room.
Growing up we never had TVs in our bedroom and honestly the idea is still so foreign to me. As a kid we were encouraged to read and only allowed to watch films or television shows on the weekends. These days I stream almost everything from my laptop anyways. Instead I really wanted to display my book collection, I’m a huge bibliophile and I think books are a mark of curiosity and an interest in the world. I took advantage of my four windowsills to show them off. I also use my side tables and shelves to display mementos and souvenirs, my house plants, jewelry and handbags (fashion blogger remember). I like using trays like this Joie de Vivre one from Anthropologie. I store everything else in my closet, photos and cards in my memory box and random bits and bobs in bins on the top shelf. I think striking a nice balance between pretty and personal is the best way to make a space feel lovely but still like home.
I’m not just trying to justify my extensive candle collection; it’s proven that scent has a direct tie to memories. Have you ever smelled a particular food and it takes you back to childhood? Or smell a specific flower and think of your mother or grandmother? I always keep perfumes and candles in my room because it can easily transform the space. Sweet citrus of Capri Blue Volcano feels bright and fresh. Fir and cedarwood transports me to the calm of a woodland walk. Jo Malone’s Honeysuckle and Davanna is spring in a jar. And lighting Ambre by Diptyque is sophisticated and sensual. Lavender pillow mist brings sweet dreams and rose hand cream on my desk helps me gather my thoughts. I always buy products that are packaged beautifully and you can turn old candle holders into pots for matches, bobby pins or makeup brushes. Good décor should be a balance of the senses and your furnishings cover visuals and texture, so I believe a space is not a home without it smelling equally lovely to how it looks.
It always takes some time to figure out quirks. There are only two outlets in my room one by my bed while the other is inexplicably in my closet. The streetlight outside shines like a beacon through my windows and so I often sleep with a facemask or my head half buried under many pillows. I only have one piece of art up, my print of Paris from Mapiful. I need sort out artwork and frames because I’d love to hang a gallery wall. And then there’s little updates to the rest of the flat. Setting up a bar area with pretty glasses and bottles, finding a table for our erstwhile living room lamp (currently sat on the floor between couches) and getting the skyscraper of cardboard boxes out from our front hall. Fresh flowers and a giant knitted throw blanket and a bath board for soaking and reading and sipping wine in the tub. As someone who spent the previous four years in 8 different homes and stored her whole life in suitcases, debating bedding colors and putting pictures up on the walls is a brand new adventure.