painting a trompe l'oeil tufted headboard

The bed makes the bedroom, and the headboard makes the bed.  In short, a bedroom always ends up being about the headboard.  Luckily, a headboard is probably the easiest piece of furniture to fake.  I've created the look of a headboard using folding screens, doors, large scale art, fabric panels....the list is almost endless.  Unless a client has a really large budget (and that does not happen often) and/or is in love with a particular bed, I usually try to conjure up a bed with smoke and mirrors and save the cash for upgraded bedding or fantastic night stands.

This is a headboard I made from painting bifold closet doors and mounting them directly on wall.

My kitchen door turned into a headboard.  (i have better photos of the door, but I couldn't  resist posting a pic of Cleopatra.

Before I re-did the bedroom, a large piece of art substituted for a dramatic headboard.  The one I had at the time could barely be seen behind the pillows.

I've long been a fan of Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook and her DIY projects, especially her headboards, and in particular, her diamond tufted headboard. (Click here for her tutorial)
DIY diamond tufted headboard by Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook

Recently, I helped my sister on a quick fluff of her bedroom.  She still liked her yellow walls, but wanted to incorporate some blue/greens, and in general, jazz things up, but on a tight budget, both of money and time.  We picked up some new lamp shades, a great new quilt, and some fun giclees for over the bed, but we still didn't have a headboard.  I immediately thought that an upholstered headboard would be fun, and thought of the great tutorial at Little Green Notebook, but I didn't have the time.
New lampshades, quilt, and throw pillow, but something's still missing.  (Please ignore suitcase.  I don't know how I didn't notice.)

Then it hit me.  Why not paint it on?  Using a photo of real diamond tufted headboard as a model, I painted one directly onto the wall.
I started with an outline drawn with a level.

I taped off, and brushed on a couple of coats of paint.  Using Jenny's headboard as a template, I used quarters to draw on the "buttons" in a diamond pattern.  I then added highlights and shadows to suggest 3D.

I finished with drawing in the diamond "pleating" between the tufts, again referencing the photo of an actual headboard.

The art went back up, now grounded by the headboard

 Adding blue/green to the room, check.  Adding instant interest, check.  Giving the bed wall the focus that only a headboard can bring, check.  Not bad for a quart of paint and two hours.  I wish decorating could always be that cheap and easy.

I love those lamp shades.  In person, they're a perfect match for the wall paint.


a dream desk

*Correction:  Apparently, while Windsor Smith DID manage the overall Veranda show house, this room was designed by Peter Dunham.*

 If you're a decor junkie (and if you're not, you wouldn't be reading this blog), you see lots of images.  Most are pretty, a lot are inspiring.  But through all that visual noise comes the occasional image that knocks you're socks off.  That image that inspires lust, burning lust.  This shot of a green desk in front of a leopardlike wallpaper comes from a Veranda showhouse designed by Windsor Smith.  And I love everything about it, but what really gets me is that shot of  kelly green  in front of that tobacco brown.
But I think that fact that's it's a desk is what seals the deal for me.  I've always liked to write, to day dream on paper, and it was the sorrow of my childhood that my bedroom was too small for me to have a writing desk.  Since then, I've dreamed of writing desks.

 I have one in my office, but it's a place for work (and reading blogs IS work, dammit!) and internet surfing.  I like that desk a lot (it was one of the first REAL pieces of furniture I bought), but the space itself is a public one, a utilitarian one.

The curtains have migrated to another room, but everything else is the same.

Lately, I've been dreaming again, specifically about writing fiction, something I haven't done with any regularity since childhood.  And like a good decor junkie, I plan to start my feathering a creative writing nest.  While I like my office, it's too close to the center of action in the house--too close to distraction.  Plus, it's a dark space.  I need someone airy, open, more secluded.

The perfect space:  the guest room.  While we do frequently have overnight guests, it is free most of the time, and it's flooded with light from large windows on free walls.  And most importantly, as it is off the main track of the house, it is usually free of clutter and visual distraction.  I do have a sewing table set up there, but I usually end up hauling the sewing machine downstairs to the dining table for more space to spread out anyway.  The sewing table itself is just white melamine and will continue to make itself useful downstairs in my studio.
The current sewing table in guest room.

Luckily, I had a  client give me a fantastic writing desk left over from a commercial remodel.  While not the same shape as Smith's desk, it has a great silhouette and will look terrific in kelly green.  I originally tried to turn the wall behind the desk into a magnetic board with magnetic primer...an experiment that failed miserably;  I plan to resort to good ol' cork squares.  Finally, a dream desk.  I can hardly wait.

Waiting for green paint.