Friday, 9 October 2009

Why do I love this bedroom?

With each new edition of World of Interiors, I greedily turn the pages and end up feeling almost queasy from its rich array of visual delights. I regard the magazine as a dreamspace but sometimes it just does my head in. ‘ I want that, I’ll copy that, I’ll save up, I’ll buy a new house! An empty canvas to have my wicked way with.’

Today, the pepto-bismol pink of an armchair in a rigorously understated bedroom soothed my heartburn. I savour this bedroom in the Saarinen House on the Cranbook Campus in Michigan and I have had to analyse why.

It can be a spur to creativity to write down everything you love about an image, any image, and thus capture the elements you could make your own.

The first thing I love here is the dove grey paint on the walls, closet and beds. I use this a lot myself for its elegance, restraint and, actually, warmth. Unfortunately there’s not much restraint in my house so Finnish architect Elias Saarinen plays to my inner minimalist. I could never maintain the discipline of this room (let’s not talk about the single beds) but it resonates for me with a strange sense of comfort. Does it look like a sick-room, a place of convalescence to you? I think that’s it! I can hear the rustle of a nurse’s starched cambric dress, imagine the freshly made lemonade by the bedside, see my mother sitting on that armchair in a state of gentle concern.

To put it more formally the blend of Arts and Crafts, which was Saarinen’s background (the light fitting, the craftsmanship) and early 20th Century modernism
is for me a perfect blend of styles. There is a northern (Scandinavian) aesthetic here that reminds me of Swedish illustrator Carl Larssen’s family house and good manners, good housekeeping, stability. Well, perhaps those are the things I can take away from this image today?

To visit Saarinen House, ring 001 248 645 3300 or visit the website here

Image from World of Interiors November 2009


  1. I tried to paint our dining room dove gray, but its sole source of light is a tiny, almost medieval window, and the resulting color is a sort of mess-tent green. It looks strange set off with its old hotel chandelier and depression era reproduction cannonball Elizabethan furniture. Once you fire up the wood stove, however, it's tough to beat as a reading room.
    Looking at that photograph, I wish in retrospect I'd selected a shade a couple of degrees lighter.

  2. My bedroom is grey - Farrow and Ball Cornforth White, grey silk and grey suede with a big punch of orange. No twin beds, though. There is a northern European warmth to grey - like shadows on snow. Today I was given an old bronze Japanese crab to go in there.

  3. cozledad and Blue, your rooms sound marvellous. I was always trying to
    achieve a Christian Dior salon look, HA.Shadows on snow.. that is a much finer rationale!

  4. The single clear Pepto Bismol Pink note is perfection ... .


  5. again-that is a little-doggie-enlarge the photo ladies- a little yorkie to be exact, granted it could be that the lady love her like rag doll so much she had it converted into a hotwater bottle-But I hope not. I suspect a cat of some sort up closer to the infirmed. hugs, G

  6. okay so my comment went on the wrong Rose Post-but you get the idea. G

  7. Why do you love this room? Because it's unusually beautiful, calm and chic. Maybe you just have exceptionally refined taste.

  8. Anonymous, thanks. You got me in one! Seriously, it is calm and it is unusual. It escapes definition actually.


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