Today’s the day. The long awaited upstairs bedroom reveal is finally happening. Many of you have been following along with this floral saga since last September, when I first decided to go bold and wallpaper this large dormered bedroom, then as I had to totally shift gears and choose a different wallpaper, and as it took weeks (months?!) for our installer to finish the project. This room came together just days before we welcomed our first guests.
The Floral Vision
As you may recall from my before photos, this room is a long, open space that is only accessible via an exterior staircase. It has window lights and a half lite door (which we’re replacing with full lite!) but those are the only windows. Being upstairs and slightly removed from the main house, I knew this was likely a space older kids would absolutely love, but I didn’t want to go the bunk bed route. I wanted to balance sophistication with bringing color and light into the space. I wanted it to be a cheerful hideaway that felt cohesive while balancing several functions — sleeping, working, and hanging out.
Paint the room one color felt like it might be a lot of one color but wallpaper, now that could bring the whole space together. Because of the dormer ceiling, I had to make a decision on exactly how much wallpaper we were leaning into — and I wanted to do all of it. Our wallpaper installer wasn’t crazy about the idea, and she suggested we only do the straight walls. I wasn’t having it. This room needed to be completely wallpapered. We eventually came to a compromise and painted just the ceiling a light blue to match the wallpaper, while doing all the angled walls. This Rifle Paper | York Wallcoverings Hydrangea Wallpaper is so striking it seems like it must have been the first choice, but I’d actually wanted something smaller and brighter blue. Some repeat and sizing issues led us down this path, however, and I can’t imagine it any other way. It is perfect with the feminine, subtly patterned bedding and led us down a path of leaning into white, light pieces that don’t compete with or overwhelm the paper. The only exception are the headboards, which I’ll get to in a moment.
I wanted this space to feel like somewhere I would have been delighted to discover as a little kid —perhaps The Secret Garden brought to life as a blue and white bedroom.
Side note: we’ve thought through many, many possibilities on how we can connect the upstairs with an interior staircase without losing the river view from either downstair bedroom or completely altering the front of the house. We have one plan we think will work but it’s not on the immediate reno list. We also want to finish off more of the second floor. This room is massive but they didn’t finish the best parts of the river-facing attic — there are two spaces with potential huge river views that are just storage! This is probably on the 5-10 year reno plan.
All the Shoppable Details: Rifle Paper York Wallcoverings Hydrangea Wallpaper | Vintage White Wicker Mirror | Ikea Sofa | Ikea Slipcover | Laura Ashley Gingham Bedskirt | Laura Ashley Floral Sheets | Safavieh Bamboo Headboard | White Full Length Mirror | Annie Selke Wool Pebble Rug | Annie Selke Santa Monica Throw | Annie Selke Logan Pillow
The Bedding and Bamboo Beds
I believe these Safavieh Bamboo Headboard were the first item I found for the bedroom. I knew I was doing a blue wallpaper and, for a moment, I considered going the route of an upholstered headboard to match — just really lean into this grandmillennial vibe — but it seemed like the right spot to add contrast. There’s no fabulous story here, I simply found them with a “bamboo headboard” Google search. Look, it’s not easy to find two full size headboards that match, I promise I wanted to do it secondhand!
The Laura Ashley Gingham Bedskirt and Laura Ashley Floral Sheets both have much smaller scaled pattern than the wallpaper, plus they’re the exact same color, which makes it work. It would have been easy to just throw my hands up and go with solids but I knew the feminine impact of bringing in multiple patterns would add so much more to the look. For the record, I wasn’t a Laura Ashley girl growing up, but I do appreciate that many of my contemporaries see this as their 10-year-old dream room.
I finished off the bedding look with simple white matelasse bedspreads and white ruffled pillows. I do plan on buying accent pillows to match the wallpaper but that hasn’t been on the priority list. The Pine Cone Hill by Annie Selke Santa Monica Throw in Denim is absolutely perfect with the colors. The nightstand and lamp are vintage from a local antique shop.
Note: There was a slight issue in mounting these headboards. With the legs, they were actually taller than where the dormer angle hits the wall in this particular spot. Thankfully, with help from the saw at Lowe’s and French cleat hangers, we made it work.
Annie Selke Review: The Dash & Albert Pebble Rug
I debated over whether to do a rug in the sleeping space. I knew the sitting area needed one but there was something nice about leaving the floor bare and simple in a space with so much pattern. However, particularly this winter, it felt like it needed something underfoot to warm up the room and bring in a soft, luxurious vibe.
I was gifted this stunning rug, so let me give you the full details of this Annie Selke review: the Dash & Albert Pebble Rug is ever so subtly patterned that it’s more interesting than a basic sisal, but it also reads as a solid the minute you step away from it. In the 9′ x 12′ size, it takes up a majority of the sleeping area and the perfectly neutral color warms up the cool tones of the space and lends a natural, organic feel, without competing with the florals. It is cohesive rather than an afterthought.
This rug is shockingly indoor/outdoor (ideal for a high traffic area!), but it’s so soft on your feet that you’d swear it’s wool. It’s absolutely stunning in person, feels super luxe, and is a rug I’m sure I’d buy to use in other spaces.
The Sitting Area: Pine Cone Hill Oversized Logan Pillow
I figured if older kids or even a couple or two girl friends are staying upstairs, they may want somewhere they can sit for a minute or hang out before the rest of the house is up. And, again, there’s so much room up here that I wanted to take full advantage of it. We created a sitting area using the old Ikea sofa that had been in our DC condo, but livened up with a new slipcover via Etsy. I added the oversized Pine Cone Hill by Annie Selk Logan Pillow in Dove White to make the space super cozy. It’s finished off with my grandmother’s old end table repainted in Benjamin Moore Old Navy with a water-like pull from Anthropologie, the pair of the vintage lamp that’s on the bedside table, and a charming vintage wicker mirror.
This part of the room is right next to the door that is being replaced with a full lite door, so it will have a gorgeous view of the water, hopefully in the coming weeks (our next break to do reno projects is end of April!).
Beyond the sitting area, you can see the desk, which I found at a local church thrift store for $35. It needs to be fixed up but it’s the perfect space to take WFH calls when you don’t want others interrupting you. Bonus: the skylight is right in front of you for perfect Zoom lighting.
Right now, I think this room is done — I’m reluctant to hang anything because of the wallpaper and I think the space flows nicely. I will refinish the desk at some point and it needs a new desk chair (you can’t see in the photos, but it’s a leather chair from West Elm — it works, but there could be a better fit), and we plan on renovating the bathroom up here, but these are all “when we have time” projects rather than immediate needs. I will, however, continue to take lots of photos up here because, how could I not?!
Thank you so much to Annie Selke for providing several gifted items for this hydrangea room reveal and Annie Selke review! The rug, throw, and pillow are absolutely perfect for the space and, as always, my opinions are my own.