House Tour Part 6: My Bedroom

YOU’VE ALREADY SEEN the recently-restored downstairs rooms of my 187-year-old house. Shall we head upstairs? Here, in Part Six of our house tour, is the “master” bedroom:

A Victorian fireplace is the room’s best architectural feature. I love the carved, marble fire-surround.

And by the way, an even nicer fireplace exists in the room beneath this one.

In winter, Lily the Beagle  can’t resist the warmth of an open fire.

Between the fireplace and the bed is a well-worn, reproduction Chippendale sofa. I like to sprawl-out on the sofa at night, and read by firelight.

I’ll admit that the two turned-off radiators in the room are  eyesores.  But simple radiator cabinets, either obtained at a salvage store or custom-built by our contractor,  will make these heating devices disappear.

I purchased the 19th century four-poster bed at auction.  Like all beds from that period, its frame is an odd size — too small for a queen-size mattress, too wide for a twin. I tweaked the frame to accommodate a “full”-size mattress.

Other antiques in the room (besides me!) include the marble-topped, cabriole-legged bedside tables…

And a mahogany dresser with glass drawer-pulls.

Now, because the walls in this bedroom lack architectural interest, we have no choice but to clothe them with architecturally-interesting paper. The following coverings are currently under consideration:

“Butterfly Chintz” from Adelphi…

Brunschwig & Fils’ “West Indies Toile Green on White”…

Schumaker’s “Viburnum,” with a pale blue background and red-brushed, white flowers…

And the same “Viburnum” pattern as above, but with a cream background, and periwinkle-brushed flowers.

I favor Schumaker’s periwinkle “Viburnum,” and so does my partner. How about you?

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Related Posts:
How I Restored My Victorian Pocket Doors
The Entrance Hall, Before & After Papering
How to Clean Old Windows


  1. Wouldn’t I love to be your workroom for your window treatments and upholstery !

    I love the Butterfly Chintz but it seems so feminine for you. Schumacher’s Viburnum with the blue back ground and red/white flowers has more warmth and depth for me over the periwinkle with cream.

    Can’t wait to see the finished room 🙂

  2. Hi MaryAnn – We love the Viburnum papers, too. I’ll order samples on Monday.

  3. My choice would be the periwinkle Viburnum too!
    Kevin, did you know there are online stores that you can custom order mattresses for antique beds? My mother in law did so for an old bed she has. I think this is the site she ordered from

  4. Janice – I didn’t have a clue that one could order a custom-made mattress. Thanks for the link!

  5. I’m with you – it’s a beautiful choice!! Love the fireplace – I’ve always wanted one. Oh well, maybe a fire pit some day! 🙂

  6. Heidi Haas says:

    As I was scrolling down the post the Periwinkle jumped out at me, before I even saw that’s where you were leaning.

  7. Had the same experience as Heidi!

  8. Pam Whitman says:

    Periwinkle Viburnum. Blues are serene and restful. The cream adds a warm subtle contrast. What a beautiful room!

  9. Bobbie Floyd says:

    Love every one of the wallpaper choices! You will be able to make a better decision when seeing them in your light and with the other décor. Thanks for letting us see your beautiful home.

  10. Louise Brouillette says:

    I’m with everyone else: the Periwinkle Viburnum is my choice–I love that blue. Your home is stunning. Thank you for the upstairs tour.

  11. Tracy Soule says:

    I really like the Viburnum. Thanks for sharing your next project with us!

  12. I like the West Indies Toile Green, but I’m an old Florida girl and probably wouldn’t do wallpaper in the first place. If you and your partner actually agree about the Schumaker’s Viburnum, you should consider yourself blessed and go for it!

  13. Angela Willis says:

    Must say, with a room like that I really enjoy a good toile.

  14. If you both agree on one it’s a no brainer. But I like the green toile too!

  15. Schumaker’s Viburnum gets my vote! Blue, green, red, cream–it’s all there–

  16. Martha Ellen says:

    Viburnum periwinkle is just lovely! It will be gorgeous in your bedroom. Kevin, I love the canopy treatment!!

  17. Beautiful fireplace!

  18. love the choice of wallpaper! My pick as well. What is to the right of the fireplace? It looks like a folding door? I do enjoy “visits” to your home, it allows me to dream. Love to see Lily, it shows that this really is a home and not a house 🙂

  19. Kate Stalter-Mastro says:

    love the room and envy you the fireplace. I like the choice of wallpaper… serene but interesting and will be a good backdrop for the furnishings.

  20. Rhonda Strahler says:

    The periwinkle Viburnum – definitely. You and your house are amazing.

  21. Brenda Johnson says:

    LOVE your choice of wallpaper! Can’t wait to see it!!!!!

  22. Amazing home! The periwinkle viburnum is calming and would accent the the lovely furnishings of your bedroom. Can’t wait to see the finished room.

  23. Theresa N says:

    It’s my favorite choice too.

  24. Laura Graham says:

    I have a hand made bed frame that is not a standard size. It would be almost queen sized in width but I can barely squeeze a double mattress on for the length. It is so tall that I have to use a king sized spread just to cover the side rails. I do rather enjoy the extra width on the side as a small shelf that is hidden under the spread to hold some magazines, books, and slippers at arms reach.

    You have collected some beautiful furniture for your room.I’m sure that whichever wallpaper you choose will be perfect for you. They are all lovely. I have an absolute fondness for toile, so the idea of the West Indies Green on White just seems so very exotic in a traditional and reserved way. It is almost like a secret memory of hot, tawdry nights in the tropics.

  25. Sherry Wagley says:

    Kevin, no one makes us feel at home with a friend like you do. I love the blue viburnum wallpaper for you room too and would also love to see a toile in blue for this room. Never have seen a sculpted marble fireplace like yours – it really makes this room fantastic. Such a warm touch to have your couch in front of the fire for you and Lily to enjoy together. Did you do this ceiling treatment over the bed yourself?

  26. I like the Toile, but the green looks harsh, I would like it in a softer toned green. I don’t like all those big flowery prints. Too noisy!

  27. Stick with the periwinkle! Interesting and soothing without being bland or jumpy. What a nice, comfortable room. Sweet dreams!

  28. Heather O'Shaughnessy says:

    I saw the toile and liked it immediately but then I saw the periwinkle viburnum paper and I started thinking about accessorizing with throw pillows and drapes, upholstered chairs and area rugs and realized that’s the lovliest paper I have seen in a while 🙂

  29. Mary anne says:

    I think the red viburnum looks more like Viburnum judii that has a lovely scent. It looks more real me.

  30. Beautiful room. I think the viburnum with red will pick up on the mahogany in the room. Should give a warm tone to it.

  31. Rosiland Ball says:

    Love, love, love the periwinkle viburnum!

  32. Beautiful room! The fireplace is wonderful.

    I would choose the viburnum with red as well. It is warm and has a nice depth of several colors, giving you options if you tire of the current bedcoverings, etc. You could just switch out the fabrics and have a very different look.

    It will be very beautiful either way and that fabulous fruit salad could be eaten on the sofa in front of the fire just before bedtime. Nice!! 🙂


  33. Ava lansbery says:

    I vote for the viburnum with pale blue background….so peaceful. That’s what I want in a bedroom. Just sayin……

  34. Susan Iseman says:

    Kevin: Love your blog and agree with the wallpaper choice. However, have you looked at the wallpaper offerings by the paint company Farrow & Ball? They are tre expensive, but….maybe worth a look. Whatever choice you make, I’m sure it will be fabulous, as you have excellent taste- good luck!

  35. Linda Stone says:

    Beautiful papers, but might they take away a bit from the serenity of the room? I was envisioning vertical stripes in two subtle tones of the same color, (lighter and darker) or even a high-gloss pearl with a semi-gloss pearl, fairly wide stripes, and then a delicate wallpaper border or stenciling along the ceiling just beneath crown molding. Just a thought…

  36. How beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing your wonder full home.
    My choice of paper would be Brunschwig & Fils’ “West Indies Toile Green on White”…
    So fresh and inviting. Crisp and Elegant all at the same time.
    The dresser with turned legs is so charming.
    Have a great day. The garden is looking grand. Wish I had planted a thousand garlic cloves to I could enjoy more garlic scape pesto.

  37. CarolAnn says:

    The Periwinkle Viburnum would absolutely be my choice. I love the color of periwinkle and the pattern is beautiful.

  38. I love both Viburnums but the pale blue background would be my pick. Your home is lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  39. terri akin says:

    I like the green on white pattern. With that you can play with more colors around the room with this as the background forest. All of the samples are appropriate, however.

  40. Sheri Rice says:

    I’m partial to the green toile!

  41. The green toile hands down without question. It will be stunning and allow you to hang beautiful art in the future without conflict. The blue is too boring even though it is a room that you sleep in. Also the drapery choice would be wide open and allow you to add more color. You already have the most important features, the fireplace and the floor. Your home is more than amazing and every room should be as amazing as the house itself. So hopefully in the future we will all see a photo of the green toile on the walls.

  42. Kip Morrissette says:

    Here is my two cents worth….to tell the truth, I LOVE the look of your radiators. Growing up, we used to put our mittens on them to dry, and often they would scortch but they still worked. Radiator heat ‘sings’ to you often with a ‘klink & a klank’ but the heat is so moist and you don’t wake up with a dry throat or nose. Although I can fully understand the reasons for more modern means of heat. The calm and gentleness of your lit fireplace is priceless.

  43. I like y’all’s choice. Very nice bedroom with a fireplace. Lucky!!

  44. Valerie C. says:

    I love the periwinkle choice. It’s beautiful. I had relatives who had similar paper and their house was near the shore. It always looked so fresh and inviting 🙂

  45. Your home reminds me of homes I’ve lived in growing up in England, specifically my parents’ bedroom. ‘But of course Dahling, it HAS to be the Viburnum w/periwinkle-brushed flowers!’

  46. Judy Pennington says:

    Schumaker’s Viburnum!! Absolutely.

  47. orangeyaglad! says:

    i think the cream viburnum is the best choice. the first wallpaper is too “red, white, and blue”. The second is just too green. the other viburnum is not interesting enough. 🙂

  48. Joy Ashley says:

    I prefer the B&F Toile feels right with the antiques… you can use a lot of different green patterns with it

  49. Cynthia says:

    West Indies dreaming, don’t envey you on this one Kevin just hate choosing wallpaper!
    Think you need a wonderful old floor lamp by the couch for your eyes while reading.

  50. I love the Viburnum patterns and think samples will help you decide the color way to go with the fireplace and sofa color.
    I must tell you I am so grateful I fell upon your newsletter. I have shared it with friends and they enjoy it as well. I am most envious of your gardens, especially your kitchen garden. Visiting for a tour is on my bucket list.
    Thank you so much allowing us to be a part of your life.

  51. The viburnum with the pale blue background.
    It will make your mahogany dresser stand out even better.

  52. I would choose the first one, the Adelphy, is lovely and would provide more colour to the room.

  53. Have you ever looked at the wallpaper offerings at I know most of their stuff is late 19th, early 20th c reproductions but they have some beautiful older papers.

  54. MarteyC says:

    Periwinkle viburnum, indeed! It’s toile-like.

  55. Dana Hutchinson says:

    I have to agree with the choice you made, love it!

  56. The Green Toile gets my vote!!

  57. Diane from Boston says:

    I am coming down on the side of the green toile. Toile forever! We shall overcome!

  58. I like the last one, the Viburnum periwinkle. I can’t wait to see the “after” pics!

  59. Viburnum with blue background, definitely. The red on the flowers combined with the green leaves keeps it softly anchored in place. It does not jump out at you the way the blue virburnum does. The red, white and green is very soothing.

    The blue of the blue viburnum just smacks me in the face. The blue just comes screaming off the paper. There is nothing to hold it down. By the time you have it on all of the walls the room is going to scream BLUE! and be very difficult to calm down. Adding another color in accessories wouldn’t have anything to tie it in.

    You have always exhibited very good taste and I’m sure it will prevail again here.

  60. All nice choices but I must admit I am always partial to greens so it’s West Indies Toile Green for me.

  61. Naomi Shelton says:

    Yes, yes, the periwinkle. I loved it the moment I saw it. It will be a nice, rather subtle pattern and the color is of course soothing and relaxing. AND, as many of have said, you and your partner BOTH like it! Can’t wait to see it on your walls. Thanks for inviting us into your boudoir!

  62. Donna Scramling says:

    I also fell in love with the Periwinkle Viburnum before I knew that it was your choice. Your bedroom will be even more spectacular once it’s papered. Thank you for sharing it with us, Kevin; I hope to see it again once it’s completed.

  63. You didn’t mention the pin up lamp. I would be interested to know more about it and see a close up picture. I like the red-brushed Viburnum best, but then I’m just not a Periwinkle type. Love the house , the gardens, and especially the African Violets.

  64. Here am I not a lover of green BUT I hope you choose the Brunschwig & Fils’ “West Indies Toile Green on White”…not too busy, with an advantage to add other color in the room

  65. The Viburnum with the pale blue background and warm green leaves with red and cream flowers would really compliment your bedroom. It would help tie in the different wood tones in the floor and furniture. Your Victorian marble fireplace is a ‘stand alone” beauty and doesn’t need any help. And Lily the Beagle’s marvelous coat and regal form would only be enhanced by this stately and warmly welcoming wallpaper …. just sayin’ 🙂

  66. Mary Frances says:

    I do like the periwinkle Viburnum, but I always consider the room imagining how it would look when overlooking a snow covered garden. I truly love the colour blue but sometimes it can “feel” cold , whereas the red toned viburnum will add warmth and cosines to your room. Also, as previously stated the red with enhance the lustrous tones of your floor and furniture.

  67. Irene Di Maio says:

    Always hard to tell on line–especially the texture and quality of the paper. But I agree with your preliminary choice of the cream and periwinkle viburnum. It is both fresh and sophisticated.

    Usually love toiles, but the green of this one seems too harsh for the setting; it would be better in the light of a more southerly home. And the grid of the butterfly paper might prove claustrophobic.

    Too bad the the radiators don’t work. I have both old radiators in some rooms and newer baseboard heating in my old house. Much prefer the cozy warmth of the radiators.

    Your bed and canopy are beautiful. I live in Dutchess county NY and found someone in western Massachusetts who made a custom mattress for my antique brass bed in the guest room. I sent him preliminary measurements, which were then verified on the phone. Shortly thereafter, the mattress was delivered. Great quality, great fit. Will be happy to pass on the info.

    Two final points:
    1) I sense you like heavier drapes than do I. But if you choose the viburnum, would you consider some gauzier curtains, at least for the summer?

    If you look around in antique stores/malls, you might find some old linens with handwork–embroidery, crocheting, or hemstitching–for pillow covers or shams and a coverlet. More economical and interesting than designer linens.

    Good luck. Your blog shows the reality of old house renovation for the majority of us–step by step as finances and finds allow.

  68. Please let us know which one you ended up choosing! Personally, I like the “West Indies Toile Green on White” for the simplicity, although maybe the palm trees are not quite New York. But that style seems to go more with the age of your house than the other ones. The one that you and your partner like is nice, but busy. I lived in a beautiful Victorian for a few years when growing up which had the type of flowered wallpaper you like in the bedroom. It felt way too busy for a room that you want for the serenity of sleep.

    I LOVE all the pictures of your renovation. I’d love to live in an old house again…sigh. Let us know what you chose!

  69. I like the first two papers although I think the green toile is most appropriate for the period of the house. The viburnums are actually from the 1920s or 30s I believe, therefore not reaally apropriate for the house. I live in a 1730 house in Connecticut with 4 fireplaces – 1 up and 3 down around the center chimney, bugt we added an autthentic looking addition with a huge square kitchen with a stove that can heat the kitchen as well as the 2 bedrooms upstairs over it. You seem t like green papers while I like any toile that is blue and white. Interesting how colors resonate with different people.

    A friend and I plan to visit your wonderful garden in the next two weeks and I am looking forward to seeing your rose garden. I have a tip for you – plant Griffith Buck roses that were hybridized in Iowa and are much more cold hardy – or Canadian roses that are good to Zone 4 at least. I have 3 Buck roses that were not touched by the cold last winter. Also a few of the Weeks roses are terrific, especially the rose called Easy Does It. Alba and Gallica roses are great too but only once-blooming. If you want more of my rose thoughts just email me and I’ll try to help. Last winter was a doozy, and I think the upcoming winter is going to be another.

  70. Sorry for the typos above but the letters are SO tiny on screen!

  71. Hello Kevin-I’m not sure you revisit comments on your older posts so you may not see my question. We, too, love our wood burning fireplaces. However, an aspect I do not enjoy is cleaning up the “wood debris” that gets brought in the house with each armful. Bits of wood and bark end up on me and in the house no matter how much I shake off/knock each piece. Have you found a solution to this? Nancy

  72. Hi Nancy R. – My best solution is to transport the wood from stack to house in a big canvas bag. The bits of bark, clinging leaves, etc., will fall into the bag instead of littering clothing and floors. (Unfortunately, I usually forget the bag, and end up with the “woody” mess on my black cashmere sweater and newly-cleaned floors!)

  73. Love the last wallpaper choice – at first glance I thought it was blue hydrangeas, a favourite of mine.
    And those large blue Ikea bags are perfect for carrying logs (and groceries). They’re so cheap you can keep a couple stashed in your trunk and another couple at the back door ready to grab on your way to the woodpile!

  74. Which one did you choose? Considering the late date here – I assume this project has been completed. I’m not fond of blues unless it is cobalt and white tile in the kitchen (mine!).. But then this is YOUR HOME so let me know what you decided.
    If you are fortunate you will make the perfect choice and live with it for many years like I have. My bedroom paper, which is a Sanderson from England, has been gracing my bedroom walls since 1978! And it is so soothing it never fails to cheer me regardless of the weather.

  75. Your choice is the best of what you’ve shown. Although the “West Indie Toile” provides a fresh, crsip backdrop that despite it’s detail, could be quite restful in your bedroom – and set off the lovely lines of your four poster. You have a great eye and great design sense. I’m sure that whatever you choose will be lovely. Can’t wait to see the finished room.

  76. Hands own, West Indies toile!

  77. The periwinkle viburnum was my choice before I knew it was yours. I like the toile as well but think the green is too “cool” for our northern climate. Does it come in blue?

    Your blog and recipes are the absolute best!!

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