July 21, 2014

The Master Bedroom

Welcome to our Master Bedroom. No one is allowed in here except adults—and Fanny, our cat, of course. It is my haven from the chaos of the three children downstairs. It's where I keep my best-loved breakable things. It's where I curl up under my fluffy down comforter with a cup of tea and a good book (if I ever get the chance). More often, whenever Kevin gives me an hour to myself before dinner, it's where I retreat with a cold beer, my knitting, and the latest episode of whatever BBC program I'm currently watching on the tablet. Occasionally, I even get to sleep here.

I love so many things about this room. First, the furniture: no Ikea here! I'm very proud of myself for only having "real furniture" in this room—the only room in the house that wasn't at least half outfitted at the Swedish superstore. The upholstered bed is from Crate and Barrel (our first an only "grow-up" furniture purchase). The bedding is from Dwell. The dresser was a refurbished antique I scored for $100 off Craigslist Boston. The vanity set and marble-top nightstands were from my grandmother's house in Arkansas. (And inside one nightstand is scribbled the address and phone number for "Dominique, Paris XVIe." Wish I knew the story behind that!) The goldenrod-coloured throw was knit by my mother.

I also keep in this room what Colin and Archer refer to as my "treasures," all of those precious little things I don't want children touching: my jewelry boxes, my grandmother's mother-of-pearl opera glasses, a glass vitrine full of miniature bottles and knickknacks I've collected on my travels. But, just like my mother (who also keeps a vitrine full of breakables in her bedroom), I'll let the boys come in and handle everything if they are very, very calm and very, very good.

But my most valuable possession is the antique sailor's desk that sits in one corner. I'm not exactly sure how old it is, but my mother, who owned it before me, guesses it has to be early 19th century. It's carved from a marbled black walnut, with lots of beautiful decorative scrollwork and lions and rosettes. I use it as a writing desk for writing "important things": letters, my journal, whatever needs to be written by hand on elegant stationary with a fine pen. Behind its hidden door I keep decades' worth of journals, my monogrammed stationary printed on a letterpress by a dear friend, and the cream-and-gold Waterman pen given to me by another friend and mentor when I graduated from college. Oh, how I love this desk—and the idea of this desk, since these days most of the writing in this room I do in my head ... just before I drift off to sleep.

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