Behind The Scenes: Editor-In-Chief Beth Hitchcock’s Bedroom Makeover
After six years, my bedroom was looking tired and unfinished. The walls were white and bare, my bed was beige, and I’d thrown a few pillows on the bed in the name of decorating. Full-length curtains were great for blocking the light, but didn’t showcase the dormer windows — one of the room’s most charming features. Functionality and layout were even bigger problems. There was only one place to put the bed, and the door opened right into it. The door’s frame was also on an intense angle thanks to 125 years of settling, which meant the door no longer closed. My door drama extended to the closets, where the bi-fold doors were permanently off-track. It was time for a room that reflected my style and had working parts. With the help of senior design editor Stacey Smithers, I got just that. Here’s how we did it…
For a closer look at Beth’s bedroom makeover, pick up our March 2018 issue, on newsstands from February 5.
(1) The exuberant work of Toronto artist Thrush Holmes (I ended up treating myself to a small painting); (2) The effortless cool of writer Joan Didion (an online auction find reminded me of this famous portrait); (3) I thought of artist Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms when I saw the orderly, galaxy-like print of this Pierre Frey wallpaper (6); (4) & (5) The palette in the Makoto Kagoshima plate and this wall in a Portugal palace convinced me to choose muddy pink and cream fabrics (7); The placement of art to one side of the bed at NYC’s Nomad Hotel felt fresh.
Demo day! I emptied the room and closets and will be camping out in the guest room for the next six weeks or so. Time for the contractor to pry off the trim and install the new doors.
Progress never looked so good. The entry door has been reframed and hung so it’ll open out into the hallway, giving me more space around the bed. My new light fixture is up, too — a vintage find with industrial edge.
The new closet doors are in and I couldn’t be more excited. Pivot hinges are concealed inside the frame so there’s no visible hardware. Stacey proposed continuing the baseboards across the bottom of the doors — we had them specially milled to match the circa 1890 originals. Next step: wallpapering the walls and the doors for a seamless look.
The wallpaper’s up and now it’s decision time. Should we go with two pieces over this side of the bed or three? (Keep going to find out!)
We’re ready for the “after” shoot with photographer Virginia Macdonald. My dining room isn’t usually this cluttered, I swear — today it’s covered with potential props and accessories. The yellow lamp didn’t work in the bedroom, but I loved it so much I found a home for it in my living room.
I’m loving the sightline into my room from the hallway. Stacey suggested velvet roman shades for extra sumptuousness and they fall beautifully. A photograph by Maureen O’Connor adds a fresh hit of minty green to tie in with the new rug. A lower, more modern bed frame upholstered in minky-brown velvet makes the ceilings look higher.
Here you can see my inspiration board coming to life, from my new Thrush Holmes painting on the right to the “Joan Didion” etching on the left that I got for $65 at an online auction. The side tables were another vintage find we had sprayed to match the trim and baseboards.
Stacey found this curvy rattan-wrapped chair on casters at a hotel liquidation store for — wait for it — $40. After we had it reupholstered in creamy Mark Alexander wool, it looks like a high-end designer piece. My cat, Maggie, has claimed it as her throne.
Makeovers have a domino effect — once you change one or two things, you realize everything else needs freshening up. But I’m so glad I kept this pretty pine dresser from my childhood home. A round faux-shagreen mirror and plaster-look lamp make it feel new again.
To see more of Beth’s bedroom makeover, pick up our March 2018 issue, on newsstands from February 5.