fter a little tease, it’s time for the reveal. A little background first…
In Georgia, when a builder finishes the room above your garage, your home is said to have a “bonus” room. When I first walked through this house, that was to become my home, I was happy to see it did, indeed, have the oft desired bonus room.
Then, surprisingly, the room sat almost empty for 3-4 years years while I stewed over how to use this wonderfully large, space. After all, this is the woman who took 16 years to buy a coffee table, remember? The answer came one day, disguised in the form of a home tour. The home was in Buckhead, surrounded by mansions in one of the older and tonier areas of Atlanta. While touring the one and only home on the tour, I saw something I’d never seen before…an upstairs family room. There was a downstairs family room…and…an upstairs family room, complete with a sofa, chairs, and yep, a t.v. Hey, I liked this idea!
But I wanted my room to serve more than one purpose, I truly wanted it to be a “bonus” room in every sense of the word. I also knew it needed to be decorated in a completely different style from that of my downstairs family room. You may recall, the downstairs family room has floor to ceiling judges paneling…with a definite library/hunt feel to it. The bonus room is bright and sunny, thanks to windows on two walls. It’s also quirky and whimsical with it’s slanted ceilings, little nooks and window seats. I knew there would never be any cherry or mahogany furniture in this room.
It was around this time, an issue of Traditional Home magazine arrived in my mailbox…and there on the cover was the inspiration for the bonus. My mind raced with all the possibilities…all the ways I could decorate and furnish this bright, sunny room.
The Bonus Room…This photo is deceiving…the room measures approximately 16 feet wide (not counting the dormers) by 24 feet long. The ceiling is 8 foot down the middle…slanting down to 6 ft, 4 inches at the lowest point. The tall case clock is 6 ft, 8 inches tall.
I furnished the room primarily with Swedish antique pine furniture, inspired by the Traditional Home article. Sofa and two plaid chairs are Highland House. This is the only time I’ve ever selected fabrics and then ordered pieces to be made. I’ve always been afraid to do that, fearing I’d dislike the pieces when they came. I felt comfortable doing that in this case because I was able to see the denim fabric on a different sofa and I also saw the plaid fabric on another style chair…putting my mind at ease.
I really wanted to keep this room casual so I chose a heavy denim fabric for the sofa. You will see this same fabric repeated in all three window seats.
I purchased all of the antique pine pieces from a gentleman who lives very close to me. He used to travel twice yearly to Sweden/Denmark to purchase antiques he hand selected. Because he knew I was looking for certain pieces, he always called me after each trip so I could have first pick of the treasures that would arrive weeks after his return back home.
I was told this armoire is an old country piece and would have been hand made. Because of the design inside, it appears to have been made to hold clothing. Shelves were added prior to my purchasing it, so it now holds a t.v. and lots of books. It was not uncommon for furniture to be painted after it was made. Because the paint is usually very dark and sometimes not in the best of shape, the paint is often stripped off prior to shipment to the states.
I love the way the antique pine looks with the rich blues and yellows in the fabrics in this room. The walls are painted a very pale yellow color called Tea Biscuit…it’s a Duron color.
I don’t like overhead lighting and never use it in any of my rooms. I had the area on either side of the window seat wired so I could add the brass wall lamps. Yes, shiny brass…sorry guys, I love my shiny brass.
Sometimes I have a painted bunny window hanging over the window at the far end…just a little touch of whimsy for the room.
The cushion in the window seat is covered in the same denim that was used for the sofa. I found more of the plaid fabric at Calico Corners and had lots of little pillows made to go on all the window seats. The window seat is filled to the top with board games and puzzles…this was one of my son’s favorite places to hang out with his friends. I’m looking forward to the day his son can play with them, although I hope it doesn’t come too fast. They grow up way too fast as it is, right?! (Pumpkin is a denim project from this post: Make a Denim Pumpkin From Old Jeans)
Remember, I wanted this room to serve multiple functions…the sofa is a sofa sleeper for over-flow from the guest bedroom. The linens and pillows are stored in the trunk/coffee table for easy access.
The Macon Telegraph and News decided to dispose of all their bound volumes of old newspapers. Not sure why they were bound this way. Anyway, my sister, Glenda, was able to save quite a few of them and some of the ones she saved dated back to WWI. For years I stored the ones she gave me under a bed…then one day I got an idea. I had a piece of glass cut and stacked them here to use as an end table. Every once in a while I pull them out and flip through them…just the ads alone are amazing. Maybe one day I’ll do a post showing some of those.
Update: To see a post showing ad and articles inside these old bound newspaper volumes, click HERE.
The beach theme of this room is evident here above the sofa.
The light house watercolors you see here and on either side of the armoire were done by artist, Donna Elias. I met her in Hilton Head back in 1994. She has traveled all over America, photographing and painting over 250 of America’s light houses. Click HERE to visit her website to see more of here beautiful lighthouse and beach themed art.
Plate rack is antique and holds a few pieces of old flow blue and Blue Willow I’ve collected.
I found this large flow blue platter in an antique shop on a skiing trip in Oregon. Fortunately, it survived the plane trip back home.
The mirror that hangs above this Swedish antique pine chest is an old family piece. You saw a little snippet of the corner of it yesterday.
This is a Danish Bornholm clock made in 1830. You saw a close-up of the worm holes that the old pieces frequently have…apparently insect control was quite the issue back then. I actually read recently that some current furniture manufacturers make fake worm holes in some pine furniture to make it look old. Can you imagine what a person living in 1830 in Sweden or Denmark would think of that?
This room has two dormer windows. I had them wired for wall lamps…love the way they light the little window seat and the way the dormers glow when viewing them from outside.
Hope this room lived up to the suspense…thanks for stopping back to see the full view!