The story of the red bedrooms

I’ve been having a love affair with the color red since around 2003.  That’s when I started planning my first ever red bedroom.  I was in college and in the process of moving to a house with some friends for senior year.  It was the first time I was going to have my own room since starting college and at the height of my Trading Spaces-watching days.  I was completely obsessed with getting a red bedroom with bottle-green accents; I think this was a really popular color scheme at the time so it kept popping up on design shows and I just fell in love with it.  I loved the idea of the perfect red walls (not too fire-engine-y…not too cranberry-y) with tons of cream textiles to keep everything from getting too dark.  Luckily my roommates and I were able to find a landlord that would let us paint our rooms–a HUGE score and boon to my planning.  I found a great bedspread/throw at Urban Outfitters with a branch-y pattern in red and green printed on a cream background and was immediately inspired.  I believe this was the first time I had ever created an inspiration .ppt slide.  I then went on an extensive hunt for the perfect red for the walls.  I now can’t remember what the paint color was called, but I searched all the paint stores I could find until I found it.

At the time, of course, my budget was very limited.  I bought the bedspread/throw from Urban Outfitters, but it was certainly not warm enough for Minnesota winters (it was basically just a big sheet).  So I got out the old sewing machine for some DIY action.  I purchased a flat, cream-colored sheet and some batting, and made a (much more climate-appropriate) comforter.  My room had two rather large windows in it, but I knew real curtains would break the budget.  I knew I wanted something that was a bit flow-y, so I found some really cheap cream-colored cotton sheets from Wal-Mart, un-did the very top side seams and re-sewed them so that the top of the sheet was a nice casing for a curtain rod.  Because they were pretty cheap and therfore a low thread count, they looked a little like nice linen drapes once I put them up on the curtain rods.  I didn’t have a bed, so I just got the best mattress I could and put it on top of my futon in the folded-out position.  And my dream bedroom became reality.  I absolutely LOVED that room.  I only lived there a year and sadly, I can’t find any photos.  But trust me–to my 20-year-old self, this was total design bliss.

Since that time, I have of course moved several times, leaving a string of red bedrooms in my wake.  I kept the same basic scheme for a long time.  Sadly, my grad school apartment building management didn’t allow painting.  It was a great apartment, but I had to find other ways to make my red color scheme come a live.  One of the cool things about that apartment was the fact that in the two main rooms, one wall was made up of floor-to-ceiling windows.  So I did some DIY curtains (there was a tracking left behind from a previous tenant) using some red sheets from IKEA.  It brought just enough red in to keep me happy.

By the time I was married and in the process of moving from that apartment to Chicago with my DH, my home-made comforter was starting to bore me.  I still loved it like any first love, but I had seen another textile in a Pottery Barn catalog that seemed to speak to me even more .  I obsessed about this duvet cover for months, stalking it online and waiting for it to go on sale (PB was still pretty far out of my price range during grad school).  But then I got busy and must have totally missed the sale because when I went back to check it again, it was no longer available.  I actually cried for this duvet cover!  Luckily, I had just gotten married to the resourceful and very smart DH, and he suggested someone might be selling it on eBay.  What an idea!!  I’d never bought anything off eBay before, but we decided to give it a try.  And you know what?  I’ll never regret marrying that man.  He TOTALLY found it for me on eBay.  I don’t remember the final price, but it was good.  I was so thrilled, I probably yelled “click ‘Buy it now!'” about a million times in his ear as he ordered it for me/us.  So our new bedroom for our new place in Chicago thus started taking shape while we were still living in Minneapolis.  I probably looked/hugged that duvet cover every day after it arrived until we packed it up for the move.  I was able to find a GREAT inexpensive rug from Target online that had a similar medallion theme and was RED.  I still remember showing all this to my mom as she helped us pack (“and see mom how the medallion pattern in the rug echoes the pattern in the duvet?”).  I couldn’t wait to get to Chicago with my duvet cover, rug, paint, and same old sheet-turned-curtains to make my new bedroom design a reality.

Now this bedroom I have pictures of…because we still live here.  I believe that the bedroom was one of the first bedrooms we painted upon our arrival at our condo.  Here’s what it looked like before my paint roller got a hold of it (this was clearly before we moved in our furniture):

The room was a sort of “safe” green.  I love green and all, and our stuff would have looked okay in the room if we hadn’t painted, but I was in full red-wall obsession mode after living with white ones for two years.  This is a pic of what the room looked like a very short time later, before adding any accessories:

Here’s a current pic of the room, now that we have added lamps, art, etc. (try to ignore the fact that the bed is no longer centered between the lamps–we upgraded to a queen sized bed recently and haven’t gotten around to re-adjusting the lamps):

And here’s a pic of the fabulous rug–I just love how it complements the duvet cover!

And just for fun, here’s a pic of the other side of the room (behind that door in the above pic) which has our wardrobes and dresser:

So that’s the current red bedroom.  You can see that I’ve kept it from becoming too dark with all the white furniture and cream accents. I sure wish the room was a bit bigger so I didn’t have to take pictures in such a disjointed fashion!  But alas, such is the curse of a tiny 2bedroom in Chicago.

In case you’re wondering why I’m spending so much time talking about how much I love my red bedrooms, past and present, well, I’m seriously thinking about finally changing things up.   And saying goodbye to the red (gasp!). Can you guess what color scheme is coming up??


5 thoughts on “The story of the red bedrooms

  1. Pingback: Baby gets a new bedroom…does that mean I do too? « the2bedroomblues

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