The year was 2005. Janine and I had shared a shop at Oella Mill for a couple of years and had were getting ready to launch our decorating business when we stumbled into the grand opportunity to decorate a room for The Historic Ellicott City Show House. It is a huge honor to be chosen to be a decorator for this annual fundraiser for the creme' de creme' of Howard County. A woman who was involved with HEC came into the mill one day when I was working and I asked her how a person goes about getting to do a room. She said she'd just heard that day that, after everyone had been selected a month earlier to decorate all the rooms, someone had to drop out and that there might be an opening. Well that was quicker than we had been planning but we knew better than to pass up an opportunity. We met with the chairwoman the next day and wowed her. We were scared crapless but acted as confident as we possibly could. We had to run around like mad because everyone else had turned in their design boards two weeks before. What we learned that day was that we had gotten the master bedroom and bath! Huge. Huge room, huge coup. Right after the main floor rooms, the master bedroom comes next. We were too excited to be overwhelmed. We had three days to get everything before meeting with the design committee and the homeowner. As I said, something everyone else had a couple of weeks to do and they all had experience. Well professional experience. Fortunately, Janine and I had both been rabid amateurs our whole lives so we caught up quickly. We were very happy with how it turned out. Now remember, when you look at these photos, this was eight years ago...things have changed but our design was bold and classic. I just found these photos this weekend and, because I didn't have a blog back then, I'm just now posting this. We did four in all; two are somewhere on here, the other I will post sometime soon.
Janine and Christine (our fab friend who, along with her husband Phil, helped us so much that we never could have completed in time and all while they were visiting from England/Wales) enjoying the finished product. You can click on any of the photos to enlarge. The wallpaper was a beautiful golden yellow Asian-themed toile.
These photos were taken before there were better digital cameras so excuse the funky quality. This was a wonderful corner with a rattan chaise, quad-fold mirror screen, potted palm on a staircase of books, and the first time I thought to use a clock as a ceiling medallion for a chandelier.
Ahh, that's where that family heirloom washstand went I've been wanting to use as a vanity for years! We took an antique bed and upholstered it with silk taffeta plaid.
There were twin lampshade pendants on each side of the bed. Phil did all of our electrical work for us even thought he was only used to European wiring. We had some exciting moments while he was working.
Topiary and cutting edge design at the time placing a vignette in the non-functioning fireplace.
To make more "retail" space we had our buddies, Bob and Bob build this bookcase and cabinet into the large closet.
A sweet secretary I found and painted white and played dress up with the chair.
In the bathroom we used a wallpaper that coordinated with the bedroom paper. We used the same Dupont silk fabric as the bed plus another to do the sink skirt and shower curtain.
Check out the detail on the shower curtain; there are crystals hanging from the harlequin points. Who doesn't love a chandy in the bathroom?
Little gilded chair with the same harlequin and crystal detail next to the tub.
Okay, the befores. Me, Phil, and Christine ready to go. See the old wallpaper and dark blue paint that had been there 25 years?
The house had not been lived in for 10 years so lots of things were in bad shape...before us.
Janine and Phil taking turns on the ladder. 16 foot ceilings made for long, tiring days.
One of many "I Love Lucy" moments.
Philly on his perch.
Not like Wales' wiring but he did it.
Our kitty, Ellie (Ellicott City Show House Cat), who I found under a fridge in the garage. The mama ran off and left her so I grabbed her. I rue the day now eight years and 15 pounds later.
Ellie had to be bottle fed the first couple of weeks. I have to say that Christine did most of the feedings. We had to take her with us to the show house in a box so we could feed her during the day. She loved it when we were at home trying to sew the bed linens, shower curtain, window treatments, and pillows. Backwards, I know, but there you are. Boy did we launch.