Sunday, March 16, 2014

A New Garden (Bed-)Room

This isn't strictly about my garden or gardening, but it is garden-related: So, like most gardeners, by the middle of winter I start to yearn for spring, for the blue skies, the green grass, the colorful flowers of springtime and summer. What to do? (Besides bankrupting myself by building a huge conservatory, complete with grass and flowers, to spend my winters in -- see this marvelous article in this weekend's WSJ about fabulous greenhouses of the wealthy -- although not as fabulous as this one:)

Longwood Garden's Orangery. This is what I need! (wikipedia)
OK, so I'm not going to be able to build a large (or even a small) conservatory to take the chill and dreariness of winter away. So I did something a bit more modest: I redid my bedroom decor to reflect my love of plants, green foliage and blue skies.

Before, my bedroom had tan walls, dark brown silk curtains and a dark brown bedspread. They matched the beautiful dark-finished wood in my Arts & Crafts-style house, but they contributed to a dark feeling for such a sunny, southeast-facing room. Out with the brown, and in with the springy green:
  1. First, I chose a botanical-themed quilt. I found one at Walmart that was pretty nice. 
  2. Then I found some draperies at that were the rich green I was looking for and that matched the green in the quilt. I sewed linings in them so they would block more light when I want to sleep in.
  3. Then, with my husband's help (I am slightly color-blind about light shades of green and pink), I picked a wall color, a light, springy green. 
  4. We also painted the ceiling a light sky blue, so that I can wake up under blue skies every day (even in winter!).
  5. I repainted the two bedside tables in a rich green that matches the curtains, which really makes them look more fresh and modern.
  6. Finally, I had some vintage seed catalog posters printed from to the size of some standard frames available in a six-pack at Walmart. I also got a couple of larger posters and frames.
The result (click on the photos for more detail):

Our new, botanical room, on a sunny spring day. The grass hasn't greened up yet outside, but all is lushly verdant in here.
Two more vintage seed catalog prints above the bed, which is flanked by the freshly repainted side tables that had been pretty dingy before.
A large "Gardener's Alphabet" poster above the dresser.

Here are a few of the prints I got:

I got this one from
The vintage seed catalog prints I got from The two Iowa ones I made by finding images online and sizing them to the right size for the frames, and the others were images that Zazzle had available in print to order sizes. Very convenient and affordable way to custom-print color posters!

I think that seed catalogs from the turn of the last century are fascinating, and they tell us much about our culture. Here is the Smithsonian's online collection of covers, and a bibliography of research about them. Some of the covers are so beautifully illustrated, and evoke a nostalgic time. I think I will love having these on my walls.

Thanks for reading about my new garden room!


  1. Thanks, Carla! Any progress on painting and redoing your own bedroom?

  2. Your bedroom looks lovely, Beth! I really like the green walls. Our bedroom walls are also green. You have created some great artwork for your walls too. Lovely! :)