Saturday, August 1, 2015

My Work | A James Farmer Inspired Master Bedroom

I'm excited to let you peek at plans for a beautiful master bedroom that I've been working on.  There are several reasons I want to share this space, one, because it is one of my favorite rooms (I believe I say that with every new room. Ha.) but it also gives me an opportunity to highlight a little bit of how I like to work with a client as well as share some of my decorating philosophies (that sounds entirely too profound, which it isn't. :))

I didn't take on much new work this summer so I could be present and enjoy the time with my boys.  I did take on one new client, Leanne (wife and boy Mama of the sweetest family in Alabama), and it has been such a pleasure to work with her on their home.  I think I saved my favorite room for last too.  I adore the plans for this bedroom and can't wait to watch it evolve.

This image was the starting point for the room.  Inspiration that Leanne sent my way, from a bedroom designed by the talented James Farmer...

I don't always get inspiration images from clients and that is ok because sometimes I actually prefer to find the jumping off point on my own, but in the case of this bedroom, I was so grateful that Leanne was drawn to this room, it worked out perfectly!  She actually had a whole pinterest board of images, but I noticed this room pinned four times and she had referenced how much she loved the "feeling" of this space.

I started with checks (because as James Farmer likes to say, plaid is his favorite color...), but instead of using them in the bedding, I recommended wallpapering the walls with a medium scale buffalo check paper and using the same print on fabric for drapes.  My inspiration boards aren't meant to be prescriptive though, instead I hope they provide ideas that the homeowner can take and make their own.  There is always a lot of flexibility built into my suggestions.  For example, Leanne already has pretty plantation shutters in the room, so drapes are really optional.  And while I suggested this soft blue check, I also gave her options for more muted check patterns that would work equally well.  If wallpaper wasn't in the budget now and needed to wait till down the road, I would suggest using the checks on an upholstered headboard and adding the paper in a few years.

For the other fabrics.. On the bed I suggested classic white linens and a simple coverlet, with a drop dead gorgeous floral fabric on a big bolster, and the blue print fabric on shams.  The green velvet is for throw pillows on a settee, and the bottom fabric for a slipcover on an existing side chair.

For the bed, I suggested a gorgeous four poster spindle bed.  It is a big ticket item though and one that will be saved for over time.  Their current bed still works beautifully in the meantime.  This is another key for me with decorating rooms, I like to put an ideal plan together, even if that means not completing it all right away.  Many people feel pressure to just "finish" a room and when that happens, unless there are unlimited funds (who has unlimited funds?!), you end up making too many compromises, regretting purchases and tiring of the space more quickly.  Patience and prioritizing are key when creating timeless, warm and welcoming rooms.  On the flip, that doesn't mean everything has to be high end, I'm not against Ikea sofas or yard sale spruce ups or catalogue ordered botanicals, etc., but I like to be selective in how often they are used.

Another option, using the bed as inspiration, would be to add a barley twist table as a nightstand to get "the look" in the room while still saving for the bed and then use that table in another spot (they can go anywhere) once the bed is in place.  

 ^^These are the lamps I suggested for the dresser (we are keeping an existing dark stained antique dresser in the room - it works beautifully!).  The green lamps in the inspiration image were my favorite element in the room.  Another option would be to use the less expensive green pottery lamps from Ballard or Pottery Barn, topped with a linen drum shade.  I also recommend reading sconces for either side of the bed.^^

^^Picking up on the bird themed art found in the inspiration image, I found these gorgeous plates along with a series of vintage bird prints to hang on the wall.^^

^^A few more elements for the room that help capture the "feeling" found in the inspiration image- settee, bamboo side table (again, inspired by the bamboo motif on the inspiration image dresser), and a little taxidermy. I also loved the painted mirror in the James Farmer bedroom and suggested a painted armoire to house their TV.  I like mixing in one painted piece in a bedroom or dining room when there are a lot of darker wood antiques to keep it feeling fresh and break up the matchy-matchyness. 

(Out of respect to paying clients I don't provide the sources.  Thanks for understanding.)

PS.  I will try be back this week with some recipes and other fun blog posts... July got away from me a bit and I miss blogging!


  1. I love so many elements of the inspiration picture and the fabrics and pieces you have chosen to create the same warm and peaceful feeling bedroom. I think I have also pinned the bedroom as I have plans for a master bedroom makeover one of these days...:)
    I enjoy your blog.

  2. James is so wonderful! He is the nicest guy! Worth a trip to GA to meet him, Tessa! ;) Room looks fantastic!!! Love all your pics! Your fabric is always on point!

    1. Can you believe Iet him in Cincinnati last fall?!! So down to earth and a great storyteller! He spoke at a luncheon at the Cincinnati Antique and Art Show. xo

  3. Love, love, love, love! You and James Farmer and this room! I've got that one pinned quite a few times myself. So pretty Tessa!

  4. He is so fun and so kind. I love all of his work. I've met him a few times and we lived in his hometown for about five years. We ate lunch after church across from his store every Sunday and my son (whose name is James) was so tickled to see his name in big letters on the storefront. :)