I love how my bedroom seems to have emerged out of my paternal grandfather’s landscape paintings. I have four of them hanging in my bedroom, depicting scenes in Iowa, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, and Puget Sound. Each painting features water and wood, so it seemed natural to include watery and woodsy elements in my room. Above my bed hangs a photograph taken in the lake in Iceland that was formed between the Atlantic and European continental plates. I had the wood-print curtains made of fabric from Ikea. I’m surrounded by pictures of my kids, my DVD collection is close at hand, and I can lay back in bed zoning out to the ficus that gazes longingly at the trees outside my window. I feel simultaneously energized and relaxed in my room, the place where I most enjoy thinking about my place in the world.
What are your tips for creating a beautiful, healthy and organized bedroom?:
I’m a novelist, so I tend to look at room as narratives. You should be able to walk into a room and get a sense of the character who lives there. Once I figured out the story my room wanted to tell, it all started to fall into place. Living in Seattle, I’m bound to both woods and water, and I found that these elements could comfortably coexist. They also suggested a color palate of green, brown, and blue, which I realize I’ve completely undermined with the Pendleton blanket on the bed. The DVD towers and console table are from IKEA, and I spent all my bed budget on the mattress. For the life of me I don’t understand what headboards are for. I’m most proud of the mat in front of the door that leads to the fire escape; I pieced it together with FLOR carpet samples for which I paid a total of $20.
In modern homes, bedrooms have become more than just a place to sleep; they can be a retreat, a home office, a library, a relaxation zone. What are some ways you make the most of your bedroom?:
My bedroom is a place to fall in love, read, and watch movies. I purposely decided not to get cable when I moved to my apartment, which forces me to choose a disc when I want to watch something on TV. I love ending the day with a movie, but giving up cable means I don’t aimlessly channel surf. When my kids are with me my bedroom turns into a little film festival where we watch Ray Harryhausen and Buster Keaton films. Even though a bedroom is a place to collapse it doesn’t have to be a place to give in. Relaxation can be intentional. I look at my bedroom not as a place to get away from things, but a place where I can fully be myself, and I can’t help but feel energized when I spend time there.