Pillow Talk: Or, How Finalizing the Smallest Design Elements Can Cause the Greatest Angst!
The weeks are flying by over here at our One Room Challenge! This past week our amazing electrician was here, getting all the wiring set up for bedside sconces, replacing old canned lighting housings with new, and removing our old ceiling fan. Even though these parts of the project don’t seem that glamorous, they play a big part in how comfortable you feel in a space.
One of our favorite design books is Habitat, by Lauren Liess. If you don’t already own it, we highly recommend you get yourself a copy. Liess’s style is timeless and her design advice is evergreen. She includes “comfort” as one of those “intangible elements of design, or je ne sais quoi.” And it’s so true. The best spaces are ones where there’s been special attention paid to how comfortable you’ll be in that space. And that doesn’t just mean having a comfortable couch, it means things like, is there a drink table within easy reach to place your glass? Is there the right lighting to read, or cook, or put on makeup? Can you gather comfortably with family and friends in the space? Can all your stuff be put away efficiently, yet remain easily accessible? Comfort means thinking through exactly how you’ll use the space and making sure all the things you’ll need for it to function well are placed where they need to be.
For our master bedroom One Room Challenge, lighting and outlets were high on the list for comfort items. My husband and I like to read in bed, we like to charge our phones at night beside our bed, we don’t like to have to get up from bed to go turn the lights off before we to go to sleep, and I in particular, like full dimmable control of lights. So in the room design, we put a lot of thought into where outlets beside the bed would go so that they’d be accessible but not eye sores on the wall. Same goes for the switches to operate the bedside sconces. We don’t mind reaching down to plug in our phones, but ergonomically it’s easier to reach a little up rather than down when turning a light switch on or off.
As for the sconce placement, comfort was again at the forefront of our minds. The sconces have swing arms, so we can position them to best accommodate reading. There are no hard and fast rules for placement. The best thing to do is to sit in your bed the way you would when you’re reading. Then have someone place the sconce on the wall beside you and see what seems best and mark the spot. In our situation, here’s what seemed to be most comfortable for placement (and these measurements fall right around what you’ll find when you Google “where to place bedside sconces’) :
The fixture itself will be mounted at approximately 4’ from the ground and the top of the shade will reach to about 5’.
Each sconce will be mounted about 8” from each side of the bed frame,
The shade will be about 24” above the night stands.
The sconces will be close to 8’ apart from one another in the room.
Again, there’s no real rule for this but you do want to keep a couple of things in mind:
Don’t place the light so high that it’s hard to reach the on/off switch if it’s on the fixture itself.
Don’t place it so high that the naked bulb is visible when you walk into the room, or even glaring right at you when you’re sitting in bed (if you’re worried about this, get a sconce that has a diffuser under the shade).
If the arm does move, make sure it can move freely and not get in the way of the bed frame.
One last note on our sconces! They came with a very pretty linen 11” drum shade, but I’ve been really loving coolie shades (also known as empire shades) lately:
So I just ordered two coolie/empire replacement shades from Wayfair today and will test out which ones I like. If I keep the the cone-shaped ones, I’ll use the drums on other lamps I have--they’re so versatile! Which shade would you use on this style sconce? Drum or coolie?
Who knew simple little throw pillows for the bed could cause so much uncertainty--and so many orders of fabric memos from various vendors!
The vintage rug for our room design arrived this week from Etsy! And you guys, it’s beautiful! It’s rich and buttery and when the sun is shining in that room I just know it’s going to glow. But, the colors in it are a lot darker than we thought they were going to be (I bet there’s a lot of nodding of heads out there--those of you who’ve bought something off the internet only to open the package and realize it looks different than what you’d expected?).
Well, that happens a lot for us when we’re designing too. In this case, it made us rethink our accent colors a little bit. Here’s a close-up pic of the rug:
You can see the rich, dark olive green that’s going to play up the dark olive bureaus we’re having refinished. Check week 2 for more on those. Then there’s black, salmony coral, and almost a paprika spice color. I think against the C2 paint in Wink/or Ben Moore Warm Blush in this room it’s going to look really lovely. The rich rug colors will ground the room and keep it from all looking too girlish and pink:
Now, two bedding fabrics we were completely sold on when we first spotted them include this amazing soft, heavy tweed that is kind of speckled rust and cream. This is the fabric my mother in law is making a bed runner from—this is a swath of fabric (about 24-26” wide) for the end of the bed and will almost give it the look that there’s an extra blanket folded there. It’s a nice way to add some more texture and color to neutral bedding. So that fabric is a definite. Here’s a bit of the bed runner fabric (lower right and a swatch of the grasscloth we’re using on the ceiling) with the rug:
Then, we knew we’d probably use some type of linen fabric for two large square decorative pillows for the bed (24”). And we wanted a lumbar in front of those--something with a different texture. On Etsy we found this beautiful single yard remnant of a Schumacher Madeleine leopard print velvet in verdigris. When it arrived, we couldn’t get over how sumptuous it is! So, my mother in law is definitely going to make a large lumbar from it. I can’t wait!!
And that leaves us with the two 24” squares….
What fabric to use??
As I type, this is still undecided territory, so we thought it’d be fun to toss the idea out to all of you. We want something a bit vibrant that bridges the rug colors with the soft wall color and bed runner. We’d love it to have both greens and coral/spice. Soooo, what would you choose? Here are a few we’re contemplating (amazingly there are others too that I didn’t even include here!):
From left to right starting at top row: 1. Lisa Fine Samode in Tangerine 2. Schumacher Les Fourgeres in Spring 3. Schumacher Shirala Paisley in Berry
4. Michael S. Smith Indian Flower in Pink/Green 5. Kravet Sumbar in Foliage 6. Schumacher Hot House Flowers in Spark
7. Schumacher Huntington Gardens in Coral 8. Michael S. Smith Indian Flower in Orange 9. Schumacher Shirala Paisley in Spice
Comment with your ideas below! We’d love to hear!
— Jen & Annabel