Anatomy of a Beautiful Bedroom

Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope your week is going swell. We are officially in kindergarten and so far it has been a smooth experience. Our daughter loves her new school and her big-girl routine and so do we. Her school is a short ten minutes walk from our home ( a blessing, I know…) and although her backpack is twice her size she insists on carrying it herself – cute and responsible, I love that 🙂

As a result, my blogging schedule is a bit off (working on new ways to find an extra hour in my day) but from now on I’ll try to blog at least three times a week. For today’s installment of beautiful rooms to study I’m looking at a bedroom designed by Sarah Bartholomew and published in House Beautiful earlier this year. Part of a D.C rowhouse project that I wrote about here, the space is a stunning lesson in small space design.

I don’t know about you but this lady caught my attention. In a relatively short period of time, Sarah Bartholomew has become one of my favorite designers out there and that’s because one – she’s incredibly talented, two – her taste in decor is very similar to my own, three – self-taught, she has honed her skills by studying the great classics of design -Billy Baldwin, Thomas Jefferson, Oscar de la Renta, Givenchy… she’s the real deal.

Her rooms are always bright and fun, filled with classic details interpreted through a delicate, more feminine lens. What’s there not to love? Chinoiserie blue and white porcelain, abstract artwork (many of Bartholomew’s spaces feature the work of talented Ms. Kayce Hughes, which I love!). When it comes to color, soft blues, greens and neutrals complement timeless furnishings with a few modern accents thrown into the mix.  All that and more make her my favorite neo-trad.

Cafe Design | Sarah Bartholomew

Okay, about this bedroom… from the looks of it, it’s a small space with a troublesome wall situation. The angled ceiling and uneven wall pose quite a problem that Bartholomew handled beautifully. A sure way to make any space appear larger is to aim for unity as opposed to diversity. By this I mean a unified light color scheme (preferably monochromatic), wall-to-wall carpeting if possible, shades and blinds instead of heavy drapes and subtle patterns repeated throughout. Bartholomew did all of these things.

An assortment of brackets displays shell and coral and distracts from the problematic wall. That French style bed is a gorgeous statement piece in itself, upholstered in a Carolina Irving fabric and topped with a mix of pillows in yummy neutrals. A subtle herringbone wallpaper by Ralph Lauren Home and a pair of faux bamboo night stands add textural depth to the room. Everything is beautiful!

Cafe Design | Bedroom design by Sarah Bartholomew

Cafe Design | Side Table



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  1. August 23, 2017 / 4:53 pm

    You brought back memories of my daughters first day of school. She loved kindergarten but the first day of first grade was a major disappointment. What happened to snack time, nap time, and the little play kitchen? That first grade teacher became her favorite and they are still in touch 20 years later! 🙂 Enjoy this precious time.
    Beautiful bedrooms!!

    • Eva Contreras
      August 23, 2017 / 6:38 pm

      Thank you for sharing this, Elizabeth! It’s wonderful that your daughter is still in touch with her first grade teacher, she must have been really great to make such a lasting impression. Funny but my first grade memories are blurry at best, but my math teacher is still one of my favorite people! xo, Eva