“Dueling Rooms” by Tricia Canonico and Erin Hatzis of Suburban Bitches

Erin and I are two suburban moms, introduced in yoga class who then become neighbors with direct views into each other’s houses. Living that close how could we not end up snooping around each other’s homes and finding a shared love of decorating? Suburban Bitches is where we share some of the ways we’ve tried to take our suburban homes from cookie-cutter to fabulous, all while raising 6 kids and maintaining our social drinking problem.

One of our favorite regular features on the blog is “Dueling Rooms” - we share one room in our houses and highlight our unique approaches to design. Today’s post is a semi-dueling post - both rooms are bedrooms but it’s Erin’s master and my guest room.  We thought featuring our most recent projects might be a good way to introduce you to our different styles.

{Erin’s master bedroom}
I just recently did a mini makeover on my bedroom to give it more style and interest. I've found that decorating a room isn't a “one try” thing and often it takes months to curate the items that make the room reflect your individual style.

If I had to describe my style with a few words it would be midcentury, industrial, and simple. I love midcentury furniture because the pieces have lots of clean, straight lines. I like to bring in industrial elements such as dark metals and rustic woods for warmth. For my master bedroom I actually incorporated more color than I normally do in my rooms and added a feminine touch with the Oh Joy wallpaper. The gold floral wallpaper serves as the focal wall for the rather large room and brings some visual interest and texture to the space. All of the design decisions for the room were made after the wallpaper was up so as not to compete with the large pattern.

For one corner of the room I went with midcentury pieces that I picked up second hand. The vinyl chair is comfortable and was a lot more affordable than an authentic Eames lounger. And the Franco Albini rattan pouf is one of those pieces that can be moved around and used to fill a little niche.

I rarely buy furniture new since midcentury furniture is pretty easy to find on Craig's list. I love using older furniture in my decor because the pieces are always well-made and generally solid wood, and you can get the pieces for a fraction of the cost of new furniture. The trade off is that you usually have to put money into have the piece professionally refinished or insert some elbow grease of your own to make the piece current. Almost all of the time when I get second hand furniture I do something to refinish the piece. Either I'll paint the piece or strip it down and re-stain it. In my bedroom I looked forever for a set of matching nightstands for the room. Finally a full campaign style bedroom set was being sold on Craig's list and included two matching nightstands. The nightstands are a little short for modern day furniture dimensions but by putting the taller lamps on the nightstand the proportions are better. I painted these two nightstands a dark shade of gray (Urbane Bronze by Sherwin Williams) and cleaned up the brass to remove tarnish.

The heart of the bedroom is the bed of course! And this is one place where I bought new pieces of furniture, which didn't feel like such a splurge since I spent so little on the rest of the furniture in the room. The navy upholstered bed has been on my wish list for a while. With the patterned wallpaper right behind the bed I went with simple linens to keep things harmonious. Small prints on the sheets and shams break up all the white on the bed and bring in some pattern. And the bed was one example where things were curated and added over time, and were not purchased as one big matching set of bedding. The navy rug under the bed is one of my favorite pieces in the room as was bought from a friend who was moving! I love how it brings out the navy in the bed. I hope you enjoyed seeing and hearing a bit about my design process. This room didn't cost a lot to do but reflects my own personal love of vintage pieces with a bit of gold glamour thrown in!

{Tricia’s guest room}
For my guest room, I wanted to create an elegant yet playful room in grey, aqua and black with Chinoserie and gold elements. When I saw this Shumacher Shantung Silhouette paper it was instanta-love - I’m just a fool for a chinoiserie silhouette.  

While revamping this room I needed to keep my budget front and center as a certain husband does not see the necessity in parting with his money. Ever. This meant doing most of my shopping chez-moi, lots of DIY projects and doing most of the work myself.

For lighting I went with a salvaged, mid-century light fixture.  It wasn’t mid-century in a good way though, it was more a grandma-with-plastic-couch-covers kind of mid-century.  I gave the chandelier an updated look with gold spray paint, new candelabra sleeves and round modern bulbs.

I chose a white outlined duvet and shams with just a few neutral throw pillows to kept the bedding simple. I wanted to keep the focus in this section of the room on the fabulous chinoiserie wallpaper and the sunburst mirror.

After spying Mongolian sheepskin topped benches in a few magazines on the web I desperately wanted a pair for the end of the bed but I couldn’t find anything anywhere near my budget. I got crafty instead. I found a local welding shop that could fab and powder coat the legs and then I found the sheepskin on Etsy.  A little plywood, foam and batting later and I had two elegant benches at a fraction of the cost.

When it came to artwork for the room it was the same story – if I wanted it I had to find a way to make it myself.  I cut out botanical prints I found for free online, spray painted Ikea frames & mats and for under $50 I had art for my wall!

By far my favorite DIY in the room is the African juju hat. Again, to buy the real deal was outside of the comfort zone but I knew I absolutely needed all that feathery goodness in this room. A few strands of strung rooster coque feathers, hot glue and rug padding later I had the my very own juju hat. Who knew rooster tail feathers could be so delightful!

By incorporating all the DIY in the room, using a headboard, dresser, nightstands and curtains I already had, I had enough left in my budget to splurge on reupholstering my chair in Brunschwig and Fils Les Touches fabric and to buy a vintage Persian rug. Some things just aren’t worth scrimping on and both were key to pulling this room together.

I’m so happy with how this room turned out.  And when I need a little escape from the kids that’s just where you might find me.  But shhhh – don’t let them know!!


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