Best Laid Plans

When we bought the Dream House we had a little time between closings, so we had the opportunity to paint the bedrooms before we moved in.  I had promised the eldest, who was reluctant to move, that he could have a red stripe on the wall of his new room.  That was before we found the house and the picture frame moldings made fulfilling the promise tricky, so we painted the inside of the doorway to the dressing room red.

The nursery was the same green in this house as the last and all the hand-me-down bedding moved in as well.  (It has since evolved to a “big-boy” room.)

In between the two, in the southwest corner of the house, is a room without a closet.  Technically not a bedroom and not very big it is likely that it was originally some sort of work room.  It was not a maid’s room, certainly, but was equipped with a built-in ironing board.  It became the playroom.  The color, chosen from a stripe on the bathroom paper, never seemed right.  Too bright, too acidic, too, well, too.  But I didn’t want more blue and I wasn’t sure what to put between those two rooms, one with the red accents and the other green, that would provide a bit of harmony and not ho-ho-ho.  
Recently, the room had devolved to a jumbley mess and the color was grating and it is in the back of my mind that someday one of the boys will want to move in.  Time for a change.

This was around the end of last year.  I thought it would be grand to paint during Christmas vacation.  I love to paint, the boys could help, tra-la, tra-la.  Trolling for something else I flipped past Albert Hadley’s room for the Kips Bay show house in 2001 and found the answer.  
The clean white wall was appealing.  Trixie, the fabric pattern, was irresistible.  And the combination of green and red seemed right and not at all holiday.  I ordered memos of both paper and fabric.  I’m in a full-on love affair with both, but they were too expensive for the playroom.  Also, wallpaper in that room seemed folly.  But there I was with three weeks on my hands.  Three wintery weeks.  Why not paint the pattern on the wall?

Dots and a starburst.  Easy!  Well, no.  Dots were easy, but my starbursts were, let’s say, unpredictable.  I decided to stamp.  I looked high and low to no avail so I had one made, which may have saved me in many ways.

I ordered a custom acrylic stamp from Village Impressions.  Fast, easy, inexpensive and the acrylic back allowed me to see through so placement was consistent.  Three weeks?  No.  Not even three months, but I did finish in time for summer vacation.
(Stay-tuned for the finished product.  It took five months – you didn’t think I’d give it all away in one post did you?)
Hadley images from Albert Hadley, The Story of America’s Preeminent Interior Designer by Adam Lewis.
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18 thoughts on “Best Laid Plans

  1. ooooohhhh – I can’t wait to see it!!!!! first time upstairs. do you think it was once a sleeping porch? seems the right size.

  2. You had me scrolling to the bottom anxiously. Yes, I did think you would give it to us in one post, crazy me! Always amazed at how the answers will come to you when you put the design question out there. Love the hunt for the answer… that little find at a flea market that just “fits” sort of thing. Patiently waiting for the reveal… can’t wait!

  3. Love the inspiration room, and can’t wait to see the finished one! I’m still trying to get our study painted — the one room I tackled on my own.

    Your little room was probably a sewing room, don’t you think, juding from the ironing board? We have some of those little mystery rooms, transformed now into a bathroom, a walk in closet, and my daughter’s “cloister” for her artwork.

    I love your blog; always learn something, always smile!


  4. You all are so nice! Don’t set your alarms early or anything. It’s a playroom -it won’t be all that exciting, but I did have fun doing it.

  5. I am clicking my red heels together – and saying “there’s no play-room like mrs.b’s” – cannot wait to see it!

  6. No matter that it’s just a playroom. It’s what you make of it that makes it home. I’m looking forward to the stamped wall too!

  7. Patricia — I think the white with the stars is just great. I love having stamps made but have never had the cool clear back. That would help so much! Happy to have the link.

  8. Jeannie – I did have that one done at the same time; it is my monogram that I had custom done a while ago.

  9. Well Mrs. Blandings is anything but BLAND! It is tastefully simple and sooooo sweet! Love the personality you infused with the decoys and toys. And I love the background history on the iron stand and ironing board area.

    Fabulous Job!

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