I hope all my friends here in the northern hemisphere are safe and warm on this winter solstice. It is very dark, very windy, and very rainy on the coast of Maine tonight. The wind is so strong that it's pushing the smoke right back down our chimney, but we are warm and dry inside, and I could not ask for more. The Christmas tree is twinkling and the candles are flickering on the mantle. I've made a huge batch of needhams, that very special Maine Christmas candy treat made with potatoes, coconut, and dark chocolate. I promise to share the recipe later in the weekend, but for tonight I thought I'd finally share a few shots of our bedroom.
We decided to decorate it for Christmas with a lovely branch that had been blown down from one of our trees during a storm. The branch strung with a few lights was all we needed to bring a little sparkle to this dark time of year. I had planned to hang crystal icicles from the branches, but once the lights were on, I loved it as it was.
The bed we bought locally at The Furniture Market in South Portland, where the fabulous Mimi helped us decide on this rich navy blue color. We ordered a model with drawers underneath, and I am so, so glad that we did! Between those drawers and that big old chest next to the bed (bought cheap from friends who were moving), we have tons of storage. The bolster on the bed is an old French grain sack that I found at Montsweag Flea Market this past summer. I made the smaller pillow from a very sweet tea towel. That wonderful ladder leaning against the chimney in the first shot was a gift from my sister, who bought it a couple of years ago at the Bath Antiques Show (formerly owned and operated by my mum, now run by her friend Paul Fuller).
The walls and ceiling of the bedroom were never really finished off, as this was once the attic of the cottage, so we simply painted over the knots in the pine with sealer and then whitewashed everything. We wanted it to feel rustic, but also bright and clean.
On another painting note, I wanted to mention the white paint on the chimney. The chimney was not painted when we moved in. If you've ever considered painting brick but were unsure about how it would work, have no fear. As long as you prime it correctly and use the proper masonry paint, you will have no problems at all! Benjamin Moore has everything you need to to the job beautifully.
Our bedroom is really more of a sleeping loft, with our two studies just off to one side. One end of the loft has this wonderful, beat-up old dresser that we bought from some friends, plus our now infamous boot collection, and our old suitcases full of CDs.
The floor is hardwood, but it was in terrible shape when we moved in, so we decided to paint it a very soft grey, which we couldn't love more. I found the blue and ivory shades for next to nothing at Christmas Tree Shop a few years ago. We hung them in our last apartment, then brought them along with us to the house. I'm so glad we did, as they fit this room perfectly!
Above is a detail of the old trunk beside the bed. That mirror is a lovely vintage one I found in a junk shop in Bloomington, Indiana, about a hundred years ago. The ironstone pitcher is one from my collection. I love tucking eucalyptus into my ironstone pitchers this time of year and just letting it dry around the house.
If you look closely, you'll notice that the trunk has pencil and marker lines on it. These were scribbled by our friends' daughters before they sold us the trunk. I don't have the heart to paint over them. Somehow they add to the trunk's charm for me.
Ah, and then there are the lockers. Mr. Magpie and I bought these three years ago at a great antiques shop in Hallowell. If you like antiques and plan to visit Maine anytime soon, Hallowell is a must. I've written about it before, because I love that little town, plus you can always grab lunch at Slates. Yum.
I should mention that the lockers were bright orange when we bought them, but they cost almost nothing, and I just spray painted them white. Easy peasy.
The doctor's bag I bought at a flea market--probably Montsweag--and the old French house number I found in London at Spitalfield's Market. Is it obvious by now that I am a flea market kind of magpie? The shot below should seal the deal. I love sparkle, and so you can always find bits of vintage sparkle around our bedroom, as well as the rest of the house. Here it's hanging from an old metal hook in the wall.
Hope you enjoyed this peek into the sleeping loft. I have a few more Christmasy photos to share later in the weekend, plus that Needham recipe, which probably sounds just awful, but I promise is delightful!
Until then, sending a sleighful of Christmas cheer to you and yours. xo Gigi