Last year we bought our Florida house and I thought “I’m going to be more bold! I’m going to try new things!” And I did. Some of it worked, but some was a fail. Case in point- my bedroom. I ordered the wallpaper sight unseen and it was too dark for my liking. After living with it and hating it for a year, it came down. And I’m ready to share my bedroom inspiration: The Colony.
bedroom inspiration: The Colony
To be honest, when I took my wallpaper down, I wasn’t set of the look I wanted. For sure, I wanted different wallpaper. Then I saw a picture of the newly renovated Colony hotel in Palm Beach and I was like- this is it!
We live an hour from Palm Beach and it’s one of my favorite towns in the world. So we drove down to see the space in person! PINCH ME!!! It was so fun (and yes, I wore a mask). We were inside maybe 5 minutes and it was a joy to walk around and enjoy the cheerful design.
Palm Beach has its own coastal meets preppy style and the lobby of The Colony completely encapsulates the iconic Palm Beach chic look. Want to obsess about it with me?!
Note, you can read more about The Colony’s makeover here.
the colony lobby
The wallpaper was custom made for The Colony by de Gourney (I talk more about this British wallpaper company in my blog post on Chinoiserie murals). Each panel of wallpaper is hand painted and costs more than $600. The whole lobby was probably $20k in wallpaper!
It’s covered with Florida specific fauna and flora. I love that special detail! Like the Florida panther, flamingos, macaw, palm trees, alligator, and iguana.
And then there’s the fireplace!!!! Isn’t that quite the focal point? Is it an antique?! Probably! The shape, the bells, the fretwork, the scale, how it includes a mirror in the design- it’s stunning! The white against the pink wallpaper- I’m drooling!
There’s lots of coastal touches like a palm tree table and bamboo furniture. Then there’s also some feminine touches like scallops, brass, and pink velvet. Also do you spy the railing that’s in the classic Chippendale style?!
more details- the colony
I love the wicker chairs with the scallop detail and how it works with the wood desk. The chairs are girly and sweet while the table is more masculine and solid. They work beautifully together!
Also, see the cavalier dog painted in the wallpaper?! It’s in the likeness of the owner’s dog. I love it because it personalizes the room and I have two cavaliers too!
There’s two sofas in front of the fire place. A few of the details I find noteworthy are the woven lamp, the palm treed, the orchid, and the chow legs on the coffee table. These small choices contribute to the overall look and are easy to replicate, even on a budget!
Here’s a pulled back view of the lobby. The floors were restored- terrazzo from the 1930’s (another Florida classic look).
I just love this lobby! The live plants, the overall feeling of light and breeziness. The feminine touches with texture to keep it grounded. It’s the exact vibe I want for my new bedroom!
get the look- the colony
chinoiserie wallpaper / brass palm tree chandelier / pagoda bookcase / elephant end table / rattan sconce / scalloped headboard / chinoiserie mirror / faux orchid / Parrots book / Bamboo wood desk / Chippendale chair / pagoda lantern / inspiration photo
I thought it would be fun to pull a bedroom look together based on what I saw at The Colony, but a more affordable version ;). I will personally be mostly re-using what I have furniture wise, but if I was starting from scratch, I would be using all of these!
Pink wallpaper with palm trees– check! It’s hard to find the combination of soft blush pink with the Florida vibe, but I think this jungle one is close.
In The Colony’s lobby, they used brass palm sconces and end tables. So I thought this gold palm chandelier would be pretty!
Pagoda shaped furniture and decor are the hardest thing to find on a budget! I searched and searched. The best thing I could find was this white bookcase, this lantern, and the chinoiserie mirror. One or two of these would pull in the look of the gorgeous mantel!
I love this wicker elephant end table– I own it in grey! I think these could be fun nightstands. Or it could go next to a sofa or side chair. The wicker adds good texture while the elephant adds whimsey.
Here’s a picture of a wicker elephant desk that’s in the Colony lobby.
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bedroom on a budget details
Next to the fireplace, there’s a sofa with a rattan lamp shade. I love that look and thought in a bedroom, sconces next to the bed would be amazing! I’m actually going to replace my bedside lamps for sconces to free up some space on the nightstands.
There’s lots of pink velvet and scallops in the lobby! You know I love scallops so this detail was not lost on me! It’d be perfect for a headboard!
I’ll be honest, I’ve never owned an orchid. But I might give it a try! They are beautiful and I love any excuse to add a flower to a space. There’s big potted ones on the coffee table. I didn’t check if they’re faux or not though…
Next to the orchids on the coffee table was two hot pink books. Since I’m more of a pastel girl, I thought this book on parrots would be good. There is a cockatoo in the upholstery on the sofa so it brings all that together.
The bamboo desk adds a natural wood element that every room needs to ground it. I love the detail on the leg that adds to the coastal vibe.
Last is this white chair– perfect for a vanity! I love the chinoiserie criss cross back. It mimics the railing in The Colony and adds a fun pattern to the room.
Right after I saw pictures of The Colony, I knew I wanted a pagoda shaped something in my bedroom. So I hopped on Facebook Marketplace and found a cute little bookcase! I’ve been wanting a place for my home decor books so I thought this would be perfect!
It was listed for $55, but had been on there for a few months. So I made an offer for $40 that was accepted! It was in rough shape. The owner said it was from the 1950’s! It is very wobbly. Each leg was a different length and were broken.
So my husband took his circular saw and evened them out with the bottom of the shelf.
Here’s the rest of the steps I took to finish the bookcase-
- Clean the furniture. Mix 2 Tablespoons of White Lightning or TSP in 1 gallon of hot water. Use a rag dipped in the solution to clean the entire surface of the furniture you’ll be painting. Wipe the piece clean with a damp rag to remove any White Lightning residue. Let dry prior to painting.
- Lay a drop cloth on the floor. Put a towel or drop cloth on the floor underneath the furniture you’re about paint. This will protect your flooring from paint drips.
- Fix damage. If there’s any imperfections in the wood, fill them with wood filler. Let it dry and then sand until smooth. I used wood filler on the beat up leads to re-build the chunks that were missing.
- Since the finish was slick, I primed. I used one coat of Slick Stick to prime the piece. I let that dry throughly before continuing to paint.
- Spritz your brush. With chalk paint, you always want to start with a damp brush. Continue to spray the brush and furniture piece with water while painting.
- Start painting. Dip the paintbrush in the chalk paint and apply it thinly on the furniture. Brush in the direction on the wood grain until you’ve covered the entire piece. Note, you WON’T get full coverage with the first coat. If it’s streaky, don’t panic! I used Dixie Belle’s Cotton White for this project.
- Let the paint dry. Usually you only need to wait 20 minutes between coats. While it’s drying, wrap your paint brush in a wet rag or plastic bag so the brush won’t dry out between coats. If you’re painting a big piece, you might be able to begin the second coat immediately without waiting since it’s probably been 20 minutes since you first started painting.
- Paint a second coat. Repeat the instructions for the first coat of paint. This time though, you should get full coverage. If you don’t (which can happen if you’re covering dark wood with a light cover) continue with a 3rd coat of chalk paint.
- Wash out the paint brush. Usually tap water will remove all wet paint. If needed, also use mild soap. Rinse the brush until the water runs clear.
- Seal the furniture. If you’re using a clear coat, apply it with a paint brush thinly to all surfaces. If you’re using wax, apply it with a lint free rag or applicator pad all over the furniture. Buff it in with the rag after. I like to use Easy Peasy Wax Spray for sealing furniture.
Now the pagoda bookcase is all painted and looks much better. Still a little crooked, but I’ll just call it character ;).
my bedroom moodboard
tiger wallpaper / fern mirror / abstract art 1 / abstract art 2 / carved white dresser / drapes / similar headboard / drape rod / inspiration photo /
For my bedroom, I’m going to do that tiger wallpaper behind the bed. It gives me similar vibes to the Palm Beach hotel one! I linked to a pink version, but Muse Wall Studio is customizing the background (!!!) to be more peach (as shown in the picture) to coordinate with my kitchen wallpaper.
The rest of the bedroom will stay mostly the same. Though I will need to add a bit more contrast because where there used to be bright pink wallpaper on the rest of the walls will be white. Maybe I try dying the drapes? Or paint the walls pink? I still have some decisions to make, but that’s the fun part!
Does this make you excited for the new bedroom design?! I’m so pumped to see it come together! I think it’ll flow with the rest of my house better. Isn’t the bedroom inspiration: The Colony going to be a fun jumping off point?! I’ll have an updated for you soon on the room!
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dear precious Ashley 🙂 Oh my goodness so many happy things for you!! 🙂 First going to the Colony where your hearts dreams are made of! ~ & your bedroom is going to be adorable for you both! & Then the Cover of Do it Yourself magazine! ~ With lil precious Lucy xo 🙂 who you always pose sooo cutely in your newest creations! And all this after the beautiful expose in HGTV magazine! 🙂 Congratulations from the heart ~ as you are precious & the world knows it! Next your most beautiful brand new FL kitchen will be in the magazine too~oh I sooo hope! Always keep decorating happy for your heart which is so dear. Having beauty & joyful colors around you is indeed soothing ~ joyful & uplifting for the heart. I know as I’ve been extremely sensitive since a lil girl & am still playing house 🙂 & delighting in it. It has always been my safe happy place! We have lil doll houses to love! Wishing on a star for your gorgeous FL kitchen to be next & wishing you joy & rainbows always! xo 🙂