Friday’s post What Is Palm Beach Chic? was a little prelude to today’s article, as I wanted to quickly explain what this style of decorating actually is (just in case you didn’t know) before I launched into a full-blown explanation of how I want our guest bedroom to be all Palm Beach-ified and you’re like, scratching your heads and muttering ‘what the hell’s she going on about’ under your breath. So, now that we’re all on the same page, singing from the same hymn sheet, and any other confusing corporate-ey phrase you want to add in, I can now begin to tell you about my scheme, and hopefully you’ll be able to see where the inspiration has come from.
But before I begin, I’d like to explain some things, so that you don’t judge me. (Please don’t judge me!). Firstly, we’re decorating the guest bedroom before our own, which is weird yes? But not when you know it will be the much cheaper bedroom to decorate, for various reasons, so it made sense to start on this one. Next, I’m decorating this room completely out of kilter with the position (countryside) and age (1930’s) of the house, and completely differently to the other rooms downstairs, which surely goes against everything I’ve already written about how I’m sympathetic to my surroundings? And how I like to have flow? Well, yes it does, but this room is so off on its own above the garage and away from the other rooms, that I feel I can get away with being a bit more random in here. And actually, with bedrooms, I think you can get away with less continuity anyway. And finally, I’m decorating a dark, English 1930’s bedroom as if I’m living in sunny Florida! What’s that all about? But surely decorating is about transporting yourself to a happy place, and when it’s cold and raining outside, I’ll visit my Palm Beach bedroom and pretend I’m somewhere warm and toasty.
Good. Now that that’s all cleared up I can tell you how it all came about. Well, it started with a
kiss, never thought it would come to this (I’m so sorry. I seem incapable of saying ‘it started with a…’ in my mind without mentally breaking out in to song. Good old Hot Chocolate); it actually started with a bed. From the photographs, you’ll see that the room has a very low back wall, so I knew that when it came to buying a bed, I needed a low bed to prevent guests from banging their heads on the sloping roof. I hit eBay, found this lovely loft bed for not a lot of money, and immediately knew that due to its slightly oriental style, I’d be decorating this room with a chinoiserie spin.
Ok. So I now had the chinoiserie angle. What came next? Well, it was the fact that I’m the very proud owner of the most amazing Hollywood Regency palm tree chandelier that’s ever lived, but which sadly, has never graced any of my own ceilings. In the four years I’ve owned this gorgeous thing, not once have I been able to use it in our home. You might be wondering why on earth I bought it and the answer would be as an investment piece. There are times I come across items that are priced at a fraction of what they’re worth, so I invest my money. Some people have savings, I have furniture. When we couldn’t use it due to our low ceilings, I lent it for a while to a pub I decorated, which was lovely because I got to visit it and admire it over a glass of wine! But on moving to this house, I was desperate to enjoy it for ourselves, and it was a very happy moment when I realised that the vortexed ceiling of this guest bedroom would accommodate it’s height.
So, I had the chinoiserie angle with a hint of Hollywood Regency, two key components of the Palm Beach look that I wrote about last week. What next? Time to pick my wallpaper. I say this like it’s always a given that I use paper, but it does tend to be with me as I just love seeing pattern all over the place. And the pattern I was looking for this time was something oriental, ideally with black or dark brown in it, so that the dark wooden bed wouldn’t look too stark against it. As you may know, I store up favourite wallpapers in my mind that I want to use one day, and my immediate thoughts flew to one of my all time favourite papers, Cole & Son’s Gondola.
However, it got eliminated fairly quickly as I realised that I wanted this room to be light and airy. Plus, I knew I’d want to put pink and turquoise fabrics against the dark blue background, and then I’d end up with just a slightly different (more retro) version of my old bedroom at the flat. I wanted something different.
So the next wallpaper to pop into my head, and ultimately the one I’m going to go for, was another of my absolute favourite wallpapers, Nina Campbell’s Swan Lake. This paper has been around for absolutely ages, but as you might know, I’m not one for trends and don’t really mind that everyone and their dog has seen this paper before, because I love it. And that’s all that matters. I’ve used it a few times in the past, including the gold colourway in my shop’s swatch book library, and the white in my client’s hallway. But this time it was the yellow that I was thinking of: it was colourful, bright and airy, had the perfect amount of chinoiserie appeal, and had that all important splash of black that I wanted to tie the bed in with.
I sort of knew immediately I’d thought of it, that this was going to be the one. But that didn’t stop me from looking at every other chinoiserie paper available just to make sure! Here are some others that I considered but dismissed; because even though I liked them and knew they could work, I just didn’t love them like I did the Swan Lake. You have to feel the love folks, that’s one of my rules.
Even though I never set out to have a Palm Beach influenced bedroom, you can see how it just sort of happened. I had a bright yellow, chinoiserie bedroom with a palm tree chandelier, and once those elements were in play, I knew the look I was imagining was going to look a bit Palm Beach-ey. So I couldn’t believe my luck when I found two pieces of faux bamboo furniture on eBay, as they are so so very rare in the UK. My eBay Fairy was definitely with me that week, but I’ll tell you more about my eBay Fairy another time! The smaller cupboard cost what I expected a decent cupboard to cost, but the sideboard, oh the sideboard! That little beauty cost me the princely sum of twenty. six. pounds. (you have to say that very slowly and emphatically). And has to be the bargain of the year.
As well as being gorgeous, having bamboo cabinets also means I am complying with the Palm Beach Law (see Friday’s article)! And I’ll be earning extra brownie points when I paint them up in some lovely colour.
So that’s all I’ve got so far. Oh, except another little something that, like the palm chandelier, I’ve never used for myself, a pagoda lamp that I bought off eBay three years ago for £80. I was meant to sell it in my shop, but could never bring myself to as it was so lovely, so I popped it somewhere safe for a while! I’m glad I did now, as it will be perfect in my soon-to-be Palm Beach chic bedroom.
I’ll be to sure to keep you updated on progress, and I hope you approve of the scheme! Are you planning any decorating schemes at the moment? Let me know if you are as I love to know these things, I’m nosey like that.
© Carnival Of Colour 2020