I’ve been reading Apartment Therapy almost since Maxwell started writing in 2003. I know there are people who love his site and read it every day, and people who read it here and there (like yours truly). He was one of the first design blogs I read that eventually changed to content written by many people about many topics. I’m not a big fan of that (there are so many contributors, not a small team like Grace from Design*Sponge has, so it’s hard to keep track of who is writing what and I find the constantly-changing writing tone disconcerting). I’m also not a big fan of how snarky the comments are on some posts either. But I supposed that’s some of the blog’s charm too, and it is certainly just as popular as it always was!
In any case, I’ve never entered a design contest before, but when I saw that they were holding a contest (on behalf of a bed company) called My Bedroom Retreat, I thought it was a good opportunity because I had been meaning to take pictures of our house for a House Tour page on this here blog and also it would give me a good opportunity to showcase one of the rooms in our house that is actually “done” – and I’m actually quite proud of it! I should mention however that this room has been finished since about 2008, I had almost no money to use in the design, and I’m quite unhappy with the type of paint we used (Benjamin Moore Natura, that had just been released, and we only discovered the paint store mixed it incorrectly, which explains a lot). In any case, I still love the room and I think it’s only natural to design the main bedroom in your house last, because it’s always easy just to close the door when there is company! I was determined to not let that happen, which is why it was one of the first rooms we worked on after buying the house in 2005.
Below is what I submitted (we were allowed 5 pictures and we had to answer the questions that are shown in bold):
What do you love about your bedroom?
We call it our New York State of Mind bedroom. We couldn’t believe that a Benjamin Moore paint was actually named after one of our favorite songs, and more importantly, after where we are both from (and sleeplessly plotting our return someday). We weren’t looking for such a saturated color, but once we saw the name, we took that as a sign from the universe! I love how our bedroom feels very “us” with a combination of design books (I’m the creator of Kristen Loves Design) and horror/writing reference books (my husband just published his first novel, Mad About Undead You). Everything about our cozy bedroom says “love” (to us) and feels like a sanctuary away from the world with a fireplace on one wall (it’s a heater!) and a television on the other (when teenagers are occupying our media room). We often joke that all we need is a small refrigerator and a coffee maker (like a hotel) and we might never come out. (As long as our two cats, Pixie and Dixie, are already in the room with us!)
What are your tips for creating a beautiful, healthy and organized bedroom?
First, decide how you want the room to feel. Light and airy? Dark and cozy? Smaller? Larger? Second, decide what you might need in the room. A ceiling fan for airflow? Bright reading lights? A sitting area? Storage? Once we decided that we wanted a cozy place we could retreat to, we decided the fireplace and television were a necessity, along with a dresser that had a ton of storage. I wanted the room to feel relaxing too, like a hotel, and not cluttered with papers and books and all of our other creative whatnot. I also wanted to be able to store linens and extra blankets at the foot of the bed, along with some family memories that are in decorative boxes here and there.
In modern homes, bedrooms have become more than just a place to sleep; they can be a retreat, a home office, a library, a relaxation zone. What are some ways you make the most of your bedroom?
We retreat from the world and usually end up in some combination of the following: 1 person/cat on bed writing/reading, 1 person/cat on chair writing/reading, 2 people/2 cats on bed writing/reading, 1 person running out to the kitchen to prepare snacks/tea/coffee while other person writes/reads with cats, and so on and so forth. When I say sleeplessly plotting our return to New York someday, I really mean it! While of course we sleep in our bedroom, we spend almost as much time working on and talking about our dreams. (Note that neither cat actually participates in said writing or reading activities – but they sure do sleep a lot while other people are working!)
Overall, the experience of getting the room set up was interesting and certainly an education in and of itself! I’ll write another post soon with the details of what to do and what not to do when you’re taking pictures of a room to showcase certain angles. All in all, I’m glad I actually followed through and submitted our bedroom – it was kind of fun!
For those of you wondering, my entry did not get chosen for the contest, and unfortunately was not given any feedback as to why.