The author of the Seeking Lavender Lane blog and founder of Fleur & Flame Candles breaks down the formula for her European farmhouse bedroom.
What makes a room more than just pretty, what are the elements that make it memorable? In our Secrets of a Great Room series, we ask designers to tell us how they created their signature rooms. From decorating advice to the practical nitty-gritty of furnishings, we get their insider advice on crafting rooms to remember, like this simple and sophisticated bedroom by design blogger Deb Foglia.
Foglia started her blog Seeking Lavender Lane in 2013 when she and her husband were in the process of buying their first home. What started as a fun way to document their renovation and decorating projects has turned into Foglia’s full-time job. Now on their second home renovation, Foglia has refined her European-inspired style. Foglia describes how she decorated her primary bedroom:
Get to know yourself first.
Foglia says the secret to any great room is to clearly define your personal style. “I actually taught a class about finding your style last year,” says Foglia, who encouraged her students to start with a Pinterest board of dozens of interiors they liked. “If you just keep pinning things, it will help you figure out choices for your house,” she says. Once you clarify what you love, it’s easier to make decisions.
Make neutrals dynamic.
“When you’re a neutral lover, you’ve got to figure out ways to add depth to your room,” cautions Foglia. “Adding texture in different fabrics and finishes is really important,” she adds, noting how velvet, linen, and even reclaimed woods can enliven a neutral room. “Texture adds that layer of interest without feeling like you have to have pops of color or pattern.”
Natural fiber rugs work in every room.
Foglia uses natural fiber rugs throughout her home, including the living room and bedrooms (she prefers jute for bedrooms for its softness). “I love natural fiber rugs because I like to have a very laidback feel in my house,” she says. “They’re a great way to bring that relaxed feel and I love that you can layer them with a vintage rug on top.”
Always add a touch of black.
“White is very welcoming and photographs beautifully, but I want more depth,” says Foglia. “Adding touches of black contrast is a great way to keep a room light and airy, but add mood to a room. If the black pieces in my room were just white or another light-colored wood, it wouldn’t have that pop that the black gives to the space.”
Strike a balance between old and new.
Foglia’s room is a literal balance between old pieces (the painting and antique chest) and new ones (the bed, rug, and bedside tables), but she says the real trick to mixing the past and the present lies in the overall aesthetic. “I like vintage, but we also have a modern feel to the layout of our house,” says Foglia. “So, I try to find things that are vintage or look vintage but have really clean lines.” The goal is to have that timeless feeling without any ornate details.
Choose velvet for subtle sophistication
“I love texture and velvet feels just so French to me—it’s so luxurious,” says Foglia of her enthusiasm for velvet fabrics. With its matte finish, the Parisienne Velvet Topaz Quilt is “a really nice way to add velvet. It feels sophisticated, but it also still feels very casual and comfortable.” Pairing it with a natural linen bed skirt and simple curtains further play up the texture.
Stay true to your vision
“I just love a harlequin pattern. It's a classic design, but
you don't normally see it in a carpet.”
Foglia says that the secret power of a mood board is not just that initial spark of inspiration, but rather as a guide to keep you true to your vision. “When you use a mood board the design comes out better,” she says, noting that without a visual reference, your choices can be impulsive. A full two years after making her initial design scheme for her bedroom, Foglia installed the Harwich Natural Jute rug from her initial mood board, and she says, “Adding this rug brought it full circle.”
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