Perhaps you remember my friend (and client) Anna who did a fantastic job renovating her family’s house, with no previous experience. But after everything was done they realized “the change orders ate the furniture budget”. Needless to say the designs she asked me to help with had to be budget friendly. The worst mistake you can do when operating on a budget is to go out and buy everything Ikea. You have to be clever about where to save, and where to spend, to get a look that will last long term. The house has a very large bedroom, and their wish was to turn it in to a Ritz Carlton suite, since the vacation for the next year will be taken….yes, you guessed it…at home. The corner of the bedroom serves as her husband Garret’s sometime working area. In it they had the Ikea version of a Saarinen table…
DOCKSTA table from Ikea for $ 179.
…which is a great buy. Around it where a couple of old, inherited chairs with no cushion left in the seats…
…that Anna was ready to trash.
But since learning they had four of the same chairs, and they had a nice masculine feel, I suggested we redo the existing chairs and keep the Ikea table. The bedroom is over sized, has soothing dark beige walls and espresso brown velvet curtains. Painting them white would lighten the mood.
So we had them refinished in a white lacquer. I suggested a brown geometric fabric and showed Anna some samples. She really liked the fabric on my bedroom chairs, so we selected Kelly Wearstler’s emerald cut which worked well in the room.
Choosing an expensive designer fabric is okay on a budget, since you need so little material, and you get a lot of “bang for your bucks” so to speak. Adding a fancy designer fabric makes the table and chairs look and feel expensive, so no new furniture was needed.
When Anna thought of getting rid of the table and getting a desk instead, I reminded her that “the Ritz Carlton has room service, so if you get a desk instead, where would you be eating your room service breakfast?”
I loved Anna’s excitement about that thought. Bottom line… if you can’t play in your own home…where are you going to play? Have fun with it. Create special areas, then use them!
I don’t think they’ve ordered “room service” there yet… But it does make a great “breakfast in the bedroom” spot for when they get around to it.
They also needed bedside tables. I was so happy when the West Elm side tables Anna liked didn’t fit, so we got another chance to add something unusual to the room. I’m glad that Anna is keen on the idea of mixing it up. So we bought…
…a pair of Danish side tables from the 60’s on Craig’s list….
…and had them done in a white lacquer finish with silver fixtures. I love the way they look in the room. White against all the brown tones is peaceful and crisp. And the white accents in the darker room allows a more masculine and feminine feel.
A suite at the Ritz needs some spice, so I had Anna get fake fur pillows and a throw to use throughout the room. The lamp and frame Anna found for a steal at Target.
I like the gray/beige tone in the fur with the colors in the room. I took some super quick snapshots and threw the fur on the bed.
Anna now have some well constructed pieces that no one else has. And the bedroom still has a streamlined, neutral toned look, which is what Anna wants, but with some character and definition.
We’re refinishing some more items, so I’ll share more images of their “Ritz Carlton suite” soon!