In my house the main living area is fairly open, and although there are 4 bedrooms in the house, the master is front and center.
This was desirable when George was alive, partially because we moved from an open floor-plan house to this house, and partially because if he didn't see something it didn't exist and he worried. Of course the master bedroom is there, but separate. There is a door. I have no problem closing that door when privacy is needed, but I have also learned that, unless someone is using the room, I do not like having that door closed, even when entertaining. The positioning of that room and that door, almost at the spoke of the flow of the public areas seems like an affront, a negative energy flow. I have no trouble closing other doors, doors off hallways at the front of the house or upstairs, only this door.
As you might surmise, this posed a problem. On the one hand a bedroom is a private space: Cheryl Mendolson, in Home Comforts, calls it the Den of Nakedness; Martha Stewart, in her Homekeeping Handbook, says she eschews decoration in bedrooms. On the other hand, this bedroom is in a semi-public space, and I am uncomfortable both with the idea of it being too private, but also too public. What to do? What to do?
It seemed to me that I needed a more intentional approach, and yes, a little decoration. Truthfully, I've always had some kind of decoration in bedrooms, a painting, a sculpture, a vase or vessel, for what is life without beauty. Art, craft, handwork, these are the human touches that, for me at least, bring a sense of comfort and security. But the bedroom was kind of a mishmash of things that worked, but didn't really "spark joy" to use another popular phrase. And so one of my summer projects has been to pull that bedroom together in such a way that I would be happy with the door open, but also happy with the door closed.
It has been an ongoing project, with each change or improvement sparking other ideas, other refinements. Yesterday the new rug arrived. It had been ordered long ago, and although I had tried to keep it in mind as I fiddled and moved things around, I fretted. Well, I'll always find something to fret about if given the chance.
First, the detail shot.
Hopefully you can see why I love this rug, I who knit, and sew and love handwork. I also love color and pattern, but sometimes color and pattern are too much, and this most certainly can be true in a bedroom. The rug is gray, but a gray that is neither warm nor cool; my photo can't capture the true color, although it is probably closest where the edges of shadow begin to blend into the light.
So which is it? Private space or public space, or a marriage of both? This photo is taken from the dining room looking in, although I am not likely to have all the lights on routinely when I am entertaining. Darkness and light can also define a space, perhaps as effectively as a door. It remains a work in progress. There are still some mismatched pieces, and I may not need both a bench and an ottoman. Or perhaps I do. I find that I love the play of shadows captured in this photograph. There are paint swatches on the wall, although neither of the colors shown in this photo will be the final color of this room. You see Tikka in her favorite spot. From this vantage point she can see and hear all comings and goings, inside and out. I suppose then, in its public aspect, this is Tikka's room.