As an interior designer and a blogger it is important for me to be able to take decent interiors pictures: I can’t always rely on someone to take pictures of interiors I have worked on for my portfolio and creating my own content for the blog makes it much more interesting for my readers. Yet I am by no means a photographer and started to look at tutorials. The key element that it always came back to was the importance of shooting in natural daylight conditions. But how do you do this when you have not a well lit room or bad weather conditions? You use a tripod! So back in September I purchased a tripod for our camera ans started experimenting with it which led to my first House Tour post about our reading nook in the living room. It was a bit of work because before starting to shoot I had to clean up everything and style things up a bit which leads me to my new point: how to style things to make them look pretty?
Igor from Happy Interior Blog, recently reported taking Justina Blakeney’s interior styling e-course. I enrolled despite the facts that the four weeks class were almost over and that I was due with our number two, knowing that I had unlimited access to the class material and could always catch up later. I have finally been able to do so and am thrilled about what I’ve learned. I have tons of ideas to implement and to share with you. Yet it suddenly dawned on me that I still had loads of pictures of our home that I hadn’t yet shared with you. So before restyling everything let me show you what our bedroom looks liked, or rather looked like before we moved the furniture around to host N°2 with us for a while. I took those pictures back in September and another batch in January. In total I took approximately 150 pictures which is why it took me ages to sort through them, to decide which way to use them, how to crop them, which layout to use and so forth. So I am not only happy to be able to share them with you but also a little relieved to have done the work. So without more fuss here they are (a few explanations follow below).
When we moved to Brussels we brought along my lovely art deco nightstands, our antic rug bought in Syria (more about this story here), our simple bed frame and mattress and the good old Ikea chest and wardrobe. As much as I avoid Ikea for furniture purchases these days sometimes you simply can’t get around it and in this case the oak veneered samples we had work very well with our apartment’s oak floor. Since painting the walls was a definite “no”, I had to get creative to bring in color. I had been looking for a classic headboard for a while and found the one you see here on Ebay. It was an antic frame, had been partially stripped, still had most of the fabric nailed to the frame, and funny enough was stored not even a two minutes walk away from our home. I spent some time taking off the remaining hundred or so upholstery nails hurting my hands with a screwdriver before realizing I still had in a drawer, purchased years ago and never used, the very tool that allows to do this painlessly. After finding this beautiful blue velvet at les puces du Chien Vert (check them out if you live in Belgium) I found a matching paint color and repainted it before sending it to the upholsterer. With the left over fabric I had two small decorative cushions sewn. The headboard being the focal point in the room I then just added elements to build on the blue and red (from the rug) color scheme I had going on.I bought the blue taffeta fabric while in Paris for work in the area around the Sacré Coeur that hosts dozens of fabric stores. I used to shop there as a fashion design student so it always brings back fun memories. Back in Brussels I ordered a wide gros grain ribbon from Houlès in a dark burgundy matching our carpet and had the curtains custom made to my specifications by an amazing seamstress in our area who works for many interior designers. The bedspread with its colors matching exactly the headboard’s velvet and the carpet’s burgundy wasn’t planed at all. I saw this fabric while strolling through Matonge, the Congolese shopping area of Brussels. It came as a typical Dutch cotton wax coupon measuring 48 inches by 6 yards (1,20 m x 5,48 m) and it took the knowledge of my seamstress to turn this into a spread that fits our bed. Had I been looking for a fabric in colors matching the ones I had, it would have taken me years to find it. So saying that I lucked out is an understatement. The knick knacks found around the room were often purchased at consignment stores like our bedside lamps or the antic framed engraving on the nightstand. The bouquet themed poster has a funny story. It is actually a numbered poster of a drawing by Matisse from an exhibition my parents had seen. I don’t remember how long my parents had it for but one day it must have fallen down, or been sitting broken in the basement, so my dad who can be quite expeditious just threw it away. I literally pulled it out of the trash before the truck came by. I was nineteen and had it framed with this simple oak frame, which cost me a fortune at that time, in a framing atelier in the street I had my first flat in Paris. I am extremely happy I did, because whichever apartment I have taken this to, it has never looked outdated and I still love it as much as all those years ago.
So this was a little tour with a few stories of our bedroom. Questions, comments, suggestions on the new styling to come? I’d love to hear your thoughts after this lengthy post. I hope you enjoyed it.