Bring It To Life!

I walked into the room of my latest project excited to see the space, get inspired and take some before pics.  Here are the seven things that made up the entirety of the master bedroom…

(1) Walls painted the color of cotton candy (2) a rattan/wicker trunk (3) bed

Seeing is believing!

Seeing is believing!


(4) one piece of art (5) dresser drawers (6) lamp

I liked this painting from the moment I saw it.  I love the colors, the subject and its graffiti-like qualities.  

I liked this painting from the moment I saw it.  I love the colors, the subject and its graffiti-like qualities.  


(7) mirror...  The End.  That was everything in the room!

I had to come up with a design plan that reflected the lifestyle of my client.  I used those seven items as the jumping off point.  At Helen Hamblin Designs our motto is, your home should reflect who you are, where you’ve been and the items you love.  I used the already existing items as my inspiration because they were things my client loved, however they were merely a whisper of the opening line to the story of who she is.  It was my job to tell a bolder version of the complete story through my vision and design. 

Here is the thought process behind the making of this room I’m calling "Ethnic Eclectic"… 

Let's start with item #4 (the one piece of art) because that is what inspired the new wall color and the colors of the decor throughout the redesigned room.  For the wall I chose a deeper, darker, toned down version of the original color.  

The old and new wall colors during the painting process.

The old and new wall colors during the painting process.


The dark lavender grey right off the bat was easier on the eyes and a vast improvement from the original color.

The colors in the painting also influenced the colors chosen for the beads and tassels in the new wall art.

The next item to influence the room design was the dark brown/black dresser.  It was the only thing that was dark in the entire room which made it the main focus, like a bullseye.  I needed to bring in more dark colored objects and disperse them around the room so your eyes can easily flow throughout the space instead of focusing on a solitary dark object. I started with the vintage spears, found at The Brooklyn Flea, used to hold up the beaded wall art in the photos above and below. I also brought in two small seats and upholstered them with a black mud cloth fabric.  (Mud cloth is a handmade fabric from Mali Africa traditionally dyed with fermented mud.)  Another mud cloth was used as a decorative throw at the foot of the bed.

I knew my client loved African fabrics because I noticed them in other areas in her home.

I knew my client loved African fabrics because I noticed them in other areas in her home.


Now the overall flow of the room was much better.  

The next item which heavily influenced the room design was the rattan trunk.  I liked the trunk so I kept it in the space and brought in other rattan pieces to give the room an earthy, natural feel. 

Top Left:   Original rattan trunk in an area that before was dead and unused space.  Now the area has storage, a shelf for art and books (above the mirror), and hooks for hanging coats, bags or clothes.  In the before pics only the mirror was there.  Top Right:  Cool rattan mirror   Bottom Left:   Tray, basket and blinds bringing in more of that rattan, bamboo look.   Bottom Right:  Rattan side tables 

Top Left:  Original rattan trunk in an area that before was dead and unused space.  Now the area has storage, a shelf for art and books (above the mirror), and hooks for hanging coats, bags or clothes.  In the before pics only the mirror was there. Top Right: Cool rattan mirror  Bottom Left:  Tray, basket and blinds bringing in more of that rattan, bamboo look.  Bottom Right: Rattan side tables 


The final item to influence the room design is the swirly, iron lamp that was on top of the dresser in the before pics.  Swirls and curves soften up a space and are usually seen as feminine.  I continued that idea by bringing in more circular and curved objects like the curved headboard, circle mirror and side tables as well as much of the decor in the room as you can see in the "after" photos.

I didn't make it all girly and feminine though, balance is necessary.  I love a good mix which is why I brought in straight lines with the design I chose for the closet doors and in the mud cloths I used throughout the space.  

I think the overall room is the perfect balance of masculine and feminine with a mix of earthy/tribal and glam which is how I came up with the name "Ethnic Eclectic".  

While writing this blog post I received the latest issue of Architectural Digest.  

On their "Trending" page, which features the styles and designs currently on trend, look what I found...

Maybe I should change the name of my room to Safari Chic ; )

Speaking of Architectural Digest, the Architectural Digest Design Show is happening this week, March 17-20 in New York!  This show is MAJOR and features the latest and greatest of everything in design.  I will be there with camera in hand!  My next blog post will cover this awesome show, stay tuned!  

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