Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Design Challenge #4 Pam's Bedroom

Hi everyone, welcome to another Design Challenge,
where we put on our Decorator Hats
and share some ideas and advice for someone out in blogland
that's looking for some design help.

Meet Pam's wonderful Master Bedroom
in her gorgeous hill country Texas home.

She has gorgeous furniture and a fabulous room to work with.
Here, "in her own words", is Pam's Design Challenge.

Design Challenge Help

First, let me take this opportunity to thank Debra for this wonderful idea and assisting all of us with this challenge. I grew up in Myrtle Beach, SC and loved the beach. My husband and I traveled the world with the military and wherever we went, the ocean always called me. Two years ago we decided to buy our retirement home in South Padre Beach, Texas. After a lot of soul searching and number crunching, with the high cost of beach front property and insurance and a nagging feeling that I was not to retire on the beach, we settled in the Hill Country on five acres just outside of New Braunfels in beautiful River Chase near Canyon Lake. We do not face the water, about eight miles from the lake and my heart still belongs near the ocean.

I wanted my master bedroom to remind me of those days near the water. As I have gotten older, I remember the beautiful look of Italy and the Mediterranean and know that my “older me” wants that look coupled with a beach look but I do not have the talent to do this alone. The rest of my home is traditional with an Italian flair so I am hoping to flow thru with something that I know I can live with both in the summer and winter.

I purchased the seashell bedding from Pottery Barn and I hope to change it up a bit for the winter months to not look so much like summer. The rest of the items I have purchased in the last two years and kept in boxes until I figured out what to do. I have gone as far as I can with no pictures purchased yet for the walls. I plan to put the shears along the tops and sides of the windows in the reading nook. Please, please do let loose with your ideas, I am grateful for anything! Thank you so much for your help, it is so very much appreciated! God Bless and Happy Decorating, Pamie G. New Braunfels, Texas

Here is an inspiration photo from Pam of the paint color she likes 


And this is from Pottery Barn catalog
showing her comforter and shams.

And a P.S. from Pam:

PS: I have a small blog at Our Hill Country Retreat. Please follow me! Our adult children (our oldest son and his wife actually) gave our “ranchito” this name because of their mini vacations staying here with us on weekends retreating from Houston, San Antonio and Austin!

Thanks so much for helping Pam out with her beautiful bedroom. Remember, you don't have to be a "professional" to weigh in with your opinion and ideas.

If you haven't entered the Give Away yet,
just click HERE

thanks again,
love ya bunches,


  1. Love that bedding. My recommendation is that she take a sham to the paint store and have it color matched to the blue in the bedding.

  2. I totally agree with Laura, pick the blue that's in your bedding for the wall colour. I'd try to find a rug in the same shade of blue and some coordinating fabric and make cushions with it for the bed and chairs.

  3. What a nice big room. You can look at at their virtual fan deck. There are some gorgeous blues. Lakeside Cabin looks very close to your inspirational picture, but of course you will have to see the colors in person. Get several different hues of blues and make some sample boards and hang them around the room and look at them in all the different lighting throughout the day. To warm the bed up for winter try the PB Hanna quilt in sandalwood or the PB essential quilt in sandalwood, too. Put it on your bed and fold the duvet you have on the bed now and lay it across the foot of the bed. You can get some Euro shams in the same line to match the quilt and then place your shell shams in front and then some more decorative pillows in front of that. A large natural fiber rug on the floor will warm the room up. Wooden base lamps with white shades or some nice alabaster lamps would be beautiful for the Italian feel you want. Hang some drapery panels high in that bay area to soften it. I would do a panel on each end and between each window. You need a long bedskirt on the bed. I noticed that one is too short. It should hit the floor or even puddle on it. A burlap or linen table skirt in the bay and some decorative pillows in the chair. You will need to find art for the room that speaks to you. Look at magazines and books on how to create vignettes on your bedside tables and the top of the chest of drawers. This can be a gorgeous room.

    Good luck!

  4. So far, I'm in agreement with the color suggestion, Pam. I'd use the blue in your bedding for your walls. I think you need taller bedside lamps or check into wall mounted swing arm lamps. They do make them where they plug into an outlet so you don't have to deal with any hardwiring. I would also get a couple of lamps for your dresser and group your accessories on there closer together. At the moment they are all in a line - like a mugshot or parade - : ) You can add some books to add height there if that helps.

    I love the plate shown on the table in your reading nook. I think three of those or something like them over each window in your nook would look good. Unless you are mounting your window treatments high.

    Maybe a solid beige/tan/sandy color area rug to give the impression of "sand" for your beachy feel. Some greenery is always good. Something on top of your husband's dresser to utilize the height of the piece and soften some of the straight edges. Whether faux or real, I think an ivy would work well and drape the edges nicely. I have seen some {but you could probably make something} arrangements that incorporate beachy type items - maybe some grasses, wild flower type florals. Is there a matching floral to the other vase pocket by your bed? The small picture on the wall by the bed - that's too small for the wall. I'd get a stand and put it on either one of the dressers or one of the nightstands.

    That's my initial thoughts! : )

  5. I'd keep paint colors and accessories light. I think a jute rug would be great and I like the idea of using burlap that was mentioned above. The things you have are beautiful...I just think the room needs to be lightened up and given a more casual feel.

  6. Hi Pam, you've received some wonderful ideas, I'll just share the things that came to me off the top of my head. To paint the entire room a soft warm gray that matches your fabric, and a larger area rug in a light neutral to pull your room together. Drapery panels that are light which don't "compete" with your lovely windows.
    You need a mirror above your dresser and some light larger artwork that compliments your "seaside" theme. Your furniture is gorgeous, but large and dark (like mine) so you'll have to make sure that what you do in here balances it out. Soften your chairs with some canvas or burlap pillows, and I agree with a long table skirt, adding in some greenery and maybe a large basket for magazines or reading material.
    Larger similar or matching lamps on the bedside tables will balance out your space. LOVE this amazing room, we'll all want to see it when you get it painted!
    xoxo Debra

  7. I agree with a lot of the above comments. I think a pale, gray, blue paint for the walls and a cream for the ceiling. I think you can use the shell bedding, even in the winter, if you add some winter looking pillows and perhaps a throw over the foot of the bed. The window is darling. I would suggest roman shades and take the big chair's, well at least one out. If you leave the one, slip cover and add a floor lamp. Pictures on the walls of shells and color, kinda big in scale to balance the big furniture. A jute rug and move the small chest from the foot of the bed and perhaps use it as a night stand. I would add a nice bench in light pine with a jute top and pillow at the foot of the bed. Some large glass jars full of shells would be a great touch. I think you are headed in a good direction.Richard from My Old Historic House.

  8. Beautiful furniture and bedding! I would go with a light gray-blue on the walls and introduce texture in the room with some rustic baskets and lots of natural elements. I would not use red in the room, as it fights the feel you are going for and darkens the room. I agree with Kim- alabaster lamps would be beautiful. Can't wait to see what you do with your beautiful room!

  9. I love all the suggestions about finding great blue color for the walls and elemenating all of the red. I would try to stick to blue, cream and a soft beige for a lighter look. The tall chest that is angeled in the corner seem to crowd the bay window, if possible turn it around to sit flat on the wall so the room looks more open. Larger lamps and accessories grouped into vignettes rather than lined up would give it much more interest. Long drapery panels hung high also gives a room a more open and airy look. You have beautiful furniture. Just a little re-arranging and some lighter colors will make a huge difference. Hugs, Marty

  10. I love the choice of color. It seems a little dark with all the wood, floor and furniture, I think a rug would help to break up the darkness. Also the walls need some shelves or artwork. Even though you do have shutters, the windows need some drapes for softness. You could put the drapes on the wall of the little window seating area and make it a cozy spot. I love the new bedding and the blue will really make the room look beautiful. Have fun with it.

  11. How I wish I could have a beautiful bedrooms.

    Very elegant.

    Cass from Learn Bass Guitar Online

  12. To get that Italian villa feel, I suggest watching "Under The Tuscan Sun" and "An Affair to Remember" on a continuous loop to get ideas.

  13. If Pam could find one of those mini sailboats as to place on a table top that big room could handle it. The room needs big pieces of art as well with a beach or boat theme as she likes with a light matte. It is a beautiful room and her furniture is gorgeous. Also a bowl or basket of large conch shells would be pretty.

  14. I am no designer...but I think the wall color is the big issue. I know that is a big job, but to get a beachy feel I think it should be a soft grey blue. I love the idea of drapes hung high. Your furniture is gorgeous...Maybe if you could bring in one accent piece painted a soft white...and lots of BIG shells. The room is big - which is heavenly! - so you can use bigger items. I would love to see your room when you get it beachy-er! But, really, it is gorgeous NOW!

  15. Not sure if just anyone is able to post advice here or not but I'm going to give it a try. I love your furniture! I like everything I've read so far but also thought immediately about a light grey or light grey blue on the walls to match your bedding. I also think it would be good to add a pair of rattan style chairs in your sitting area that are smaller then what you currently have and more in scale with the space. Look for rattan closer in color to what you currently have, so you could pick up a lighter color and tropical print on the fabric and cooridinate throw pillows for the bed and bedskirt to match. Additionally maybe you could move the larger dresser over where the smaller one is to open up the room more and maybe even at an angle by the double doors. Then put the smaller one along another wall with a pearl shell mirror above if space permits or beside the bed as a larger bedside table. I can't wait to see what you end up with and hope we get to see the finished result!

  16. Hi pam. I love your room. It's so big and the bay window exquisite. Let me start by saying I am not a professional decorator so this is just my suggestions or opinion which I believe would help you acheive a room with the feel and look you want. I like the inspiration picture you chose for your room with one change. How about painting the ceiling blue and keeping your walls tan (i.e. sky and sand). With the exception of the red wall behind your bed, they are already a beautiful sandy shade that goes well with your furniture and bedding. You could either paint the red wall the same tan as the others or go with a slightly lighter or darker shade of tan if you feel that wall needs to be accented. As I said, I love your bay window. I would also suggest long cotton panels hung higher than the windows themselves, perhaps in a blue shade that compliments the blue in your bedding. Bring the chairs in a little closer to the table, change out the tablecloth and add a reading lamp to that area. Perhaps your blue jars would look good there in a grouping filled with some fabulous beachy items.

    A large sunburst mirror would look great over your bed or a large beachy print. Also a large mirror or print over the dresser would look nice. You could add some taller chunkier lamps to your bedside table. Perhaps the base of the lamps could be your blue accent color and the shades white.

    For a change in bedding for the seasons perhaps a nice striped quilt in the blue and tan colors would be good and then fold the shell bedding and place it at the foot of the bed.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts. Can't wait to see what you do in hear.

  17. It's hard to give an advice but maybe some of the following photos would inspire you to get what you really want. maybe some of these photos, esp. bedroom ones will help you figure out which way to go.

  18. I'm no decorator, and lord knows i could use some advice myself. But from my amateur perspective, it's all gonna be about the wall color. It'll probably transform this room. You're lucky that you have pretty pieces of furniture, and brown is wonderful with blue. So, loose the red wall, and well, red everything, and tell them to never come back. Paint the walls a soft gray blue, Ben Moore Palladium Blue is wonderful. I think a sisal rug would be beachy and kind of sandy looking. They have a great one at Ikea for a great price. The two big chairs in the window don't play very well with the little table, sooo, something with them. A little settee in a natural linen would be wonderful there. Put a big gorgeous mirror over the dresser, take the stuff that's all lined up on the dresser and do something different. Some great neutral lamps... take the little stuff off the walls, and you're room is gonna be amazing!


  19. Oh how fun, I am going to put a button on my blog. You as well as those above have given some great advice!

  20. Good Afternoon! WOW!! I have copied all of your comments and pasted them in word and read every single one of them and love it. Thank you so much, I have a big job ahead of me which cannot be done all at once but some things are just so easy to change! The only thing I cannot do is have a puddled bedskirt. Hill Country is wonderful but on occasion when pest control time is running out, those scorpions find it amusing to climb the bedskirts so we have to keep them off the floor! I know it sounds scary, it is but it is rare but I don't want to invite them and my neighbors found this out the hard way! Thank you so much Debra and each and everyone of you that took the time to help me on this project. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! Pamie G.

  21. Debra,
    I've been away so long that you've started another wonderful blog party I see. What an amazing idea. I love it!!!!!!! I need to send in a couple of rooms. The only thing is I'd be mortified to show ya'll how we live. 3 six year olds with a hoarder Mother. Well you get the picture.
    The only advice I can offer Pam is to lighten up big time. Her furniture is beautiful but I would drape it with some vintage lace panels or something to add texture & lighten some of the wood. I love the sisal rug idea someone mentioned.

  22. wonderful ideas so far ;). i also am no decorator but seems so much easier to give advice to another. 1] change that wall color grey blue but lighter than the insiration pic.also paint is wierd do the color boards so you know what you will have with your light.2] like the idea of the mirror above the dresser will lighten up the space. also i'm agin the matchie matchie. maybe a rope mirror bring out the rope accents on your furniture.and if your going to do a sunburst mirror maybe the one with driftwood 3] like a rug prob tan of some sort sisal is ok but make sure you like the texture on bare feet. 4]maybe your could loose the dust ruffle completely and go with white painted suitcases or wicker baskets under the bed.5] reading nook; like the idea of the smaller scale wicker chairs or maybe a wicker chaise. 6] good luck ya'll can come to my house next ;).

  23. Hi, I am not a decorator but I must say that since you love the water and the beach, that I would paint the walls that blue/gray color in the picture. Would it be possible to paint your furniture in the newly popular Annie Sloan's chalk paint. She has some amazing colors and I hear that it is so easy because you don't have to sand or do any prepping.
    Best of have a lot of very talented people giving you advice out there.


  24. Such pretty furniture! I agree with the others that a blue or a gray on the walls would really lighten it up. I think I remember reading that you wanted to keep the Italian influence. How about doing some Venetian plaster on the walls in a blue, or even a sponge paint look? I was also thinking a lovely mirror (or collection of small mirrors) on one of the larger walls would help to lighten it a bit. It is really fun to have an assortment of mirrors on the wall, but unify them in painting the frames all the same color. Hope this gives you some other ideas...! : )

  25. I am looking at Dove gray for the room, just not sure yet! I have "refuge" Sherwin Williams for the red wall so far! My furniture is quite expensive and beautiful, no painting there, my husband would kill me! Thanks to all for your help! Pamie G.


I love hearing from you. Feel free to comment, big or small. Be sure and leave your name and blog if commenting under anonymous. Thanks friends