"Before, Before, Before, and After - The Back Room . . . "
We're going to continue our TARDIS tour through the numerous incarnations of the house - today at the western edge of the apartment in the space that I usually refer to as "the back room." As you'll soon discover, I've never felt I needed to be bound to the traditional uses of residential spaces. 'Bedrooms' can be used however one needs to use them. Other than 'kitchen' and 'bathroom' - I've always felt that four walls, a ceiling, and a floor can be adapted to be whatever is needed of them at any particular time.
Back in 2008, this room functioned as my study. I was on several charity boards during this time, and the need for a meeting space became somewhat paramount in my life. This is certainly a significant part of the "dark and stormy" years at the house - the chocolate painted walls and ceiling - the deep olive wool carpet - and tweed and tartans everywhere.
In 2010 - when Rue Magazine stopped by - things had changed significantly. To be quite honest, I found the most incredible vintage dining table . . . and it started a snowball effect on the whole house. The whole room was tented in yards and yards of marine blue taffeta and we partied fairly heartily back there on and off for almost a year . . . until . . .
. . . I decided that I wanted to sleep back there. lol. Let me assure you that sleeping in a tented bedroom is as quiet as a tomb. The new headboard is a custom one that I designed for this incarnation of the house. I wanted to create an even greater sense of privacy, so the 'side-wings' of the headboard are just slightly deeper than the size of my sleeping pillows - so I was all nestled in comfort every night. Christmas was especially magical that year with this grove of trees in the bedroom each evening.
In 2013, when House Beautiful photographed the house, I felt like I wanted to create something new with the space. I ripped down all that taffeta (which was oddly gratifying!) and found the most delicious shade from Benjamin Moore called "Dark Clay." It was the perfect accompaniment to all the patterns swirling about in the room. Same bed - same furniture - and a lot of the same accessories and artwork - just re-sorted and re-imagined.
But, there is no constant like change at the house. After Drew moved in - we needed to use the space a bit differently - so I moved the study back into the back room. I was just getting ready to launch SMW Home during this project, so many of the pieces of furniture were prototypes for the collection. You can see our Inverness Sofa (in SMWH Blackwatch) as well as the Fife Cocktail Ottoman in this shot. In many ways, the house had always felt like a highland winter in so many of the versions up until this point. Always dark. Always tweedy. So I fell in love with the prospect of a bright English country summer instead. I was pouring though old inspiration photos - and kept circling back to Roger Banks-Pye's London apartment - so I added some Charlotte Moss toile and a bit of Schumacher linen gingham - and here we go.
Last Christmas, Traditional Home stopped by to gather some of my best holiday decorating advice - so we had a darling photo shoot of the house - drenched in sunlight - but, decorated for Christmas. No big changes - just loads of holiday decor layered in to the room - including a good many of the tartan pillows from SMW Home.
For the moment . . . nothing much has changed. For the moment.