Now THIS is where I would want to spend my summer. This island retreat by Seattle design firm is all kinds of rustic, while adding a bit of whimsy with an unconventional bedroom set-up. This project shows what happens when you focus on your strengths, defy convention, and take a few risks. The demolition of half the house made room for a camp-like setting of grand indoor spaces for gathering with great outdoor spaces for taking the sun and views, or gathering around the fire. Bedrooms were replaced by a collection of wall tents that lose nothing in luxury and gain everything in the connection to the great outdoors.
“Located in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, this interior and landscape project to a 1930s weatherboard and rock house offers a careful manipulation of dark and light to suit the particular needs of a writer with a predilection for darkness and exploit the site’s broad established garden outlook.”
Melbourne-based architecture and interior design practice have taken a confused warren of rooms and created a home that moves seamlessly from cave like living room to light and bright open plan kitchen dining. Bedrooms with their ensuite bathrooms continue to play with the idea of light versus dark. The result is a modern remake of a dated farmhouse.
The lovely folks at must have sensed that my duvet cover was driving me insane (who doesn’t put a closure on their duvet cover?!) and that I absolutely adore linen. They are based in Lithuania and kindly let me choose a and for my bedroom. When they arrived I squealed in delight. I chose the woodrose colour and it is the perfect shade of dusty rose (and to note that they have every size duvet imaginable). I was a bit nervous about how it would look with my very strange wall colour (Farrow & Ball’s Mouse’s Back) but I was thankful that it they are both fairly “earthy” so they seem to jive together. And lawd half mursey their linen is TO DIE FOR. This might just be my favourite linen out there. It has a fairly thick weave, and is incredibly soft thanks to their stone-washing technique. I had to wait a few days before putting it on the bed because I didn’t have time to take photos when they arrived and of course cat fur is abundant in my bedroom so once I was finally able to it turned out I wasn’t the only one in love with the new linens. Mimin and Lucky wasted no time getting into my shots and a few minutes later, passing out. A huge thank you for adding some luxury to my bedroom. (Also on that note: their price point for this quality cannot be beat). I added a couple of photos at the end of my gallery wall opposite the bed that I recently rearranged.
It was time for a change. Don’t get me wrong. I loved my old bedroom. One of the very first things I wanted to do when we moved into our new old house 7 years ago was to paint at least one room black and it was my bedroom that turned to the dark side. Unfortunately impending renovations mean that my spacious bedroom is about to be chopped in half to make way for an upstairs bathroom. Yay! Much smaller bedroom. Boo! What to do? Why move across the landing and convert my office into my new bedroom. Quite a change as the new room is white. What to do? Where to start? Well I started with a rug.
It was as if the design gods were smiling the day the came into my life via email a few weeks ago with an offer to review their extensive range of handmade rugs. Think Turkish and Persian rugs, kilims, vintage, distressed, over dyed and patchwork. They are a small local producer trying to keep a traditional craft alive. Their rugs are fashioned from original handmade and organically dyed wool and cotton blend vintage Turkish rugs. The edges are hand sewn and they are responsible for the shaving, bleaching, colorization, over dying and drying of the reworked carpets. The exciting news for me here in Australia is that they ship worldwide. Yes everywhere. Think of it … thousands of rugs and worldwide shipping. I was in heaven but how was I to choose? Luckily the website was easy to navigate and soon I had narrowed it down to a handful of rugs. This is the beauty that was the genesis of my new bedroom design.
It’s a beige over dyed vintage rug. The takes Turkish carpets at least 40-50 years of age which then undergo a unique process of colour neutralisation before being over-dyed in an exciting new colour. The result is a mix of traditional Turkish carpet design fused with a contemporary vintage style with each rug unique in size and colour.
I wanted a bright neutral colour scheme, white walls, natural wood floors, caramel leathers. The room faces east and morning sun streams in. After years of sleeping in a black as night bedroom I was ready to celebrate the light. With my new rug laid before the fireplace (ooh can’t wait to light a fire when the weather cools) it was time to shop my house for what I needed to furnish the room. I did mention we have major kitchen and bathroom renovations in the pipeline didn’t I? Money is painfully tight. With my new vintage rug as the hero of the room I pulled together what I could, bought a few pieces I didn’t have like sheers for the windows and some new sheets (that’s all I had to buy believe me) and slapped some paint on old boards to create large art pieces for the walls. And yes I’m an art dilettante. I create paintings to match my colour scheme.
Luckily I am blessed with a large room with two huge windows and french doors onto a verandah. With my rug looking so good on the floor I thought it would be a shame to cover it up with furniture. I dragged in an 80’s glass and marble coffee table I had used in the sitting area of my old bedroom and paired it with two Robert Dunlop Tanderra chairs from the mid 70s. The glass top and the wide open legs of the chairs allow the carpet to shine through. I love it. The depression era chair in the corner I found in a secondhand store covered in layer after layer of homemade upholstery. I stripped it back to its bare bones and love its primitive honesty. An Eero Aarnio Parabel side table, found on eBay years ago and more than likely a reproduction despite the seller’s protestations that it wasn’t, sits beside. On the mantel is a piece I painted in a hurry for the spot. Something abstract to contrast with the 150 year old fireplace. On the other side is an old homemade workshop cupboard topped with various retro pieces and a mirror I picked up in the 90s at a local artisan market. I stole the bead chandelier from my dining room. Which reminds me I have to find something for there now. Bugger!
At the other end of the room is our bed, simply dressed in white. Above is a painting of mine that started off as another abstract but somehow evolved into a floral. Weird. I’m not that sort of girl. It still needs a frame but considering I pulled together this room in a week I think you can cut me some slack on an unframed artwork. The screen is a student piece from my design school days. Not my design unfortunately.
So there you have it. My transformation from dark to light, from old bedroom to new and the rug that set the scene for it all. A big thank you to for my fabulous new vintage over dyed rug. I love it.
P.S. The hemp over dyed kilim runner at the foot of my bed is also from the . It’s actually for my new bathroom whenever it is built. But you’ll get to see more of it when I reveal the new bathroom in all its black glory. What? You didn’t expect me to leave the dark side completely did you?
P.P.S. Want to see what my old bedroom looked like? And this room before the transformation? Here are couple of pictures for you.
… and a little later
The office before it became the bedroom …
I just had to share one more home by , a large, light-filled apartment in the heart of Kensington. From its moody hallways and stairs to the light bright living areas to the luxurious bedroom it’s an oasis in the hustle and bustle of London.