Leif’s Modern Victorian Bedroom
Name: Leif Oliver, 16 months
Location: Natchez, Mississippi
Room Size: 176 sq. ft.
When Vicki Eastland’s family moved from an ultra-modern townhouse to a 100-year-old cottage, there was some serious redecorating to do. Vicki met the challenge head on, though, and after scouring flea markets and vintage shops on Etsy, she’s managed to design a room for her 16-month-old son Leif that combines a Victorian aesthetic with modern sensibility.
Leif’s room was inspired by the vintage penny-farthing bicycle sculpture Vicki found and the British telephone booth door. These pieces bring a Victorian feel to the room, but with some modern touches (like the Ikea rocker) and clean lines, the whole aesthetic feels modern. Vicki found the blue dresser in the attic of her parents’ house, left there by one of the previous eight owners (the house was built in 1834). Although the dresser had no top, Vicki outfitted it with an old table her father had made and replaced the knobs, creating her own updated vintage piece. The room also has some beautiful artwork; the family gives Leif one piece of art every Christmas in order to build an art keepsake collection for his room.
How would you describe the look and feel of this room?
A happy hodge-podge of new and old.
You recently moved from a modern townhouse to a Victorian. Which style do you prefer? Do you feel like your experiences in a modern space influenced the way you decorated the Victorian one?
I like a good mixture of the two, although I find my decorating style is leaning more toward vintage items and antiques these days. While modern is so crisp, sleek and functional (not to mention easier to keep clean!), there’s a uniqueness to vintage treasures that really makes your room stand apart from everyone else’s. I like that. We saved so much money using the free crib, cheap Ikea rocker, and minimal bedding that I was able to splurge on decorative items like the rug and sheepskin throw. The entire interior of our contemporary townhouse was painted Dove Wing white, and we carried that basic color scheme over to this house. I’m a big fan of white walls; I think they make everything pop and work well with both new and old furnishings.
What is your favorite piece or element?
The vintage trunk is one of my favorite items in his room…I love thinking that some old chap named Eugene took it with him to camp so many years ago. I also love the vintage horseshoe on Leif’s bathroom door. It was his great-grandfather’s good luck charm.
What is Leif’s favorite element?
Aside from toys (the obvious), he loves sitting in his little rocking chair and playing with the felt fire in the fireplace.
What was the biggest challenge decorating this room?
One of the biggest challenges was the layout of the room. Old houses have tons of character, which makes for an interesting challenge when it comes to placing a bed. The bay window would have been my first choice but the glass hazard, combined with the glaring sunlight, nixed that idea. I also tried the middle of the room before settling on the left hand side behind the door. I love the way it turned out and, judging by the time I had trying to snap some photos before it was wrecked again, so does my little guy!
What do your friends say about the room?
Everyone loves the tree and the telephone booth. They also always comment on the fact that this room is so gender neutral. I find that most people automatically think that nursery must be either pink or blue, and are surprised that a child’s room can be playful without going totally one way or the other. Replace the car prints with something a little more girlie, put a dress on the hook instead of a coat, and it’s instantly fit for a girl. Or a shared space with one of each!
Do you have any advice for parents who want to use vintage materials in a room?
You would be surprised what gems are hiding in the attics and basements of relatives, and you would also be surprised how excited they are to let you use them! Older people often have great things stowed away but wouldn’t dream in a million years that someone our age would want their “junk.” Ask and poke around! Not only do these vintage items have charm, they also have family history. I found the chest, chest top, wine crates, elephant bookends, antique car, toy basket & horseshoe all in storage (which also means free!)
• Wall paint: Sherwin-Williams Dove Wing
• Rug: Dwell Studio
• Rocker:Ikea Poang Rocker
• Blanket: Sheepskin throw, DWR
• Felt fire: Hopewell Creek Designs
• Sheep sculptures: Ginger Williams
• Mobile: Flensted, “Shoal of Fish”
• Vintage faucet knobs: Scrap Yard Girl
• Handmade puppets bought by grandparents in Prague
• Prints: Be Happy Now prints (picture frames $1 each from Big Lots and painted)
• Handmade by Vicki: Jerry Garcia nesting doll, felted owl, 70’s fabric crib skirt, fabric scrap tree leaves, vintage wine crate book cubby, vintage lexicon card & water faucet banners & water faucet curtain tiebacks.
Thanks, Vicki! You can see more of Vicki’s decorating style at her blog, All Through the Looking Glass.
(Images: Vicki Eastland)
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