June 25, 2014

Virginia's Room

Oh, Virginia's room! Other than the boys' room, it's my favourite room in the house. No doubt I love my kids'  rooms so much because I spent so much time thinking about what I wanted their experience of their bedrooms to be, and then selected everything that's in them accordingly. This is not true of the other rooms in my home, which are "decorated" with whatever hand-me-downs I brought to Canada from my mother's attic in Arkansas and then filled out with whatever functional pieces of furniture I could afford from Ikea.

But to finally have a girl, and get to indulge in a feminine colour palette! Just before Virginia was born, my aunt sent me the antique hand-stitched quilt that is on the twin bed. My grandmother had bought it in rural Arkansas in the 1970s from an old woman who said she had sewn it as part of her "hope chest" when she was a girl. My guess is the quilt is now 80 years old or more.  The stitching is very fine, and quite sturdy, despite the quilt's age. And the colour-scheme is so unusual: bright orange and chambray blues and lilacs. In person, the colours are quite beautiful and the quilt inspired me to "go bold" in Virginia's room instead of sticking to the soft girlie pinks and purples that I'm so fond of. And I am so glad I did. I had so much fun outfitting this room.

I had my mom sew the purple dust ruffle to match, and she also painted the purple dresser, which is the very simple Tarva, from Ikea. I spiced it up with a set of bright orange floral drawer pulls from Anthropologie. I sewed the crib quilt from a stash of Heather Ross fabric I bought five years ago, when I was still just dreaming about having a girl. (I promise to post more about that quilt later, since it was a project very dear to my heart.) I also had my mom sew a couple of crib sheets in some coordinating (but out-of-print) fabric by Heather Ross that I scavenged on Spoonflower.

What else? This room is chock full of lovely little things I have collected over the years. The gilt wood "princess" crown above the mirror was an antique my grandmother bought in the '60s. Wish I knew about it's origins. I'm sure there is an interesting story there. My grandmother was always buying outrageous antiques on her travels. The harvest-gold "music chair" that I use as a desk chair in this room is another of her finds—as is the small white screen-door dresser, which I use as a diaper changing table (also with updated drawer pulls from Anthropologie).

The crewel-work sampler above the dresser was embroidered by my great-grandmother in the '70s.  The print above the changing table is from the Story People series by Brian Andreas, which I bought for my mother in the 1990s. The pair of Beatrix Potter prints above the crib are from a limited edition printing my aunt purchased at Hill Top, Beatrix Potter's home in the UK. The butterfly mobile was Archer's when he was a baby and is from Michael Olaf. And some of the toys I made myself, including the clothespin ballerina, the felt unicorn, and the grey felt bunny, which is from a kit by the ├╝ber-talented Alicia Paulson of Posey Gets Cozy. Whew!

Finally, you can see that Virginia's bedroom also doubles as my office and "craft space." This is a terrible arrangement, but, alas, there are just not enough rooms in this house for everyone to have a "room of one's own." Nor are their enough rooms in our new house for mama to have a dedicated work space. This is becoming a huge problem not that Virginia is fully mobile and is into all of my drawers. And, oh, that craft desk holds some interesting treasures...

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