We’ve made some progress sprucing up the master bedroom.
First, we bought a gray velvet bed, from Room & Board. Then, a white duvet cover and pillows from Rough Linen, and a lightweight down comforter from Warm Things. Buying sustainably has never felt so sweet.
The bed and bedding, along with a neutral Moroccan style rug from Garnet Hill, puts us well on our way to serene, textured, gently modern.
But, that’s not what I want. I’ve finally admitted to myself that I love a little drama. Not full-on, gypsy-colored, patterned extravaganza. Nor mega-glitz with shiny everything. No, I like architectural, vivid, global drama. And humor.
Luckily, our dignified bed wants a bench. Even better, the bench will want upholstery. The adventure begins.
The bench. I’ve looked at many styles. One thing — I’m constrained by dimensions. The size of the bed and its relationship to the wall requires a length of at least four feet and a depth of no more than 15 inches. OK, maybe 16.
I would ordinarily be drawn to wood and straight lines, but here, given the existing dark wood dresser, and rectangular headboard, I found myself preferring curvy, metal, upholstered. The images above track the hunt’s progression.
“Simple. No, too much wood. Upholstered and painted wood, too heavy. Gothic, too gothic. Oooh, modern metal art! Botanical cutouts in turquoise! Oh, oops, $2K. But metal, I liked the metal. Oooh, look at this quasi-garden style. Ooh, curlicues! Hmmm.”
And this is how we find ourselves at a genre we didn’t know existed. Hollywood Regency. How better to leaven neutrals with a bit of camp and circumstance?
I could go for high-end vintage, from 1st Dibs,
DIY fixup via eBay,
Or, because neither of those are quite long enough, put two small reproductions together,
from The Well-Appointed House. A retailer I’d not heard of before.
And joy upon joy, the possible upholstery thrills me almost more than the bench itself. I believe I have found a home for this souvenir from my 1982 travels through India. A woman I had come to know, from the city then called Madras, sold me a Kanchipuram sari. “It’s a classic,” she explained, “They do not weave silk like this any more.” I think I paid her $30. In any case, 33 years later, here it is.
Unscathed. More beautiful than the photos – I cannot capture the sheen, nor the way it changes from burgundy to brownish, and from magenta to a redder hue.
I want someone to make me a long cushion for the as yet unfound bench. I imagine a long vertical slice of magenta and burgundy, lightened by lime and gold in the check and border. And then more pillows, for the bed, and the armchair which I plan to slipcover in yet more white linen. I hope the silk forgives the scissors.
I might even add a very subtle gray and white toile to my cushioning strategy. We’ll see.
Historically modern. Sleekly curlicued. The tension and serenity of competing beauty. I’m very excited.