OK, I know I promised to tell more about this room, and ta-daa, today’s the day! This is it, we call it the Peter Rabbit room; here it is as you come to it, at the top of the stairs.
I hope I didn’t get everyone’s expectations too high by taking so long to take these photos! It’s just a little room, it’s not like Architectural Digest by any stretch of the imagination; everything in it is old. ♥
The room is only 11′ x 12′; tucked up under the eves in the very back of the house, over the kitchen. We think it was the maid’s quarters at one time. See those two tiny windows above the dresser? Note where your head would be on the bed? When you’re lying on the bed, you can see the sky, up through trees. So here we go, on a little tour . . .
My old Laura Ashley hat is on one of the bedposts. She belongs in the Peter Rabbit room. And see the heart book case? It’s all travel books and pamphlets up there. Years ago, I drew a design for this shelf on a piece of paper (I bet you can tell that!); a carpenter friend built it for me; it was over my bed in my old house.
The two larger windows (on each side of the bed) are only waist high, so when you’re in bed, it feels like you’re in a tree house. The wind blows the curtains out into the room; from the wisteria arbor outside the window (in the photo above), across the four-poster bed (and you), to the huge maple tree outside the window on the other side; you can hear the leaves rubbing together, go shhhhh, and you feel the 160 years of history this room has in its DNA.
Why is it called the Peter Rabbit Room? Years ago, a girlfriend came to visit, she loved this bedroom; it was hard to make her go home, she said “I love my Peter Rabbit room” — her room? she was getting scary — the name, of course I glommed on to, what a perfect name; if I didn’t love her so much I would have thrown her out immediately and moved in myself; she called it that because there was a Peter Rabbit on top of a stack of Beatrix Potter books on the dresser (of course nowadays there are even more, once I figured out it was the Peter Rabbit room, I had to go over the top or my friends would think I wasn’t well!) Now when girlfriends come, they ask if they can have the Peter Rabbit room, even though it’s the smallest bedroom.
. . . and another Peter, so miniature it was almost invisible on the sill over the window. I wallpapered the room in pink with rosebuds when we first moved into the house.
. . . And these linens, I love to find old ones, but I have a trick for the really expensive new ones . . . just get the pillow cases! Makes all the difference in the details of a room, dontcha think? Your face gets to touch the softest part, and you can buy nice white or colored sheets to go with them, and you don’t have to take out a loan at the bank to afford them, making you, of course, brilliant!
And then there is just your basic fan worship of Beatrix herself. I have that. What I love the most is the total simplicity, of her story, her art, her colors, and even, to a certain extent, her life.♥
I started collecting Beatrix Potter figures when I first moved away from home. From the time I managed to scrape together thirty dollars that didn’t have to pay the electric bill, I was indulging. There was a little shop next to the record store where I worked that sold them. I would go there and think “which one will I get next?” It was the first place I would take my paycheck. My value system has always been in the right place. 🙂
My husband at the time had a different value system, didn’t really get this fetish of mine, so I would hide Mrs. Tiggy Winkle in my purse until I could make her blend into our household. Since my first kitchen, I’ve always had these guys watching over me. Aren’t they wonderful? Do they not remind you of watercolor?
Sometimes in the natural course of living at our house, a bunny ear will get chipped — poor Jemima Puddleduck has tiny chips, all hard-earned, nicks out of her bill — so I just watercolor the chip, and make them whole again.
I think Beatrix Potter, forever content in heaven’s edition of her beloved Lake District, looks down and likes it when I’m doing that. ♥
Speaking of Beatrix Potter, the other day I got a message from one of our (yours and mine, here in blogland) English friends, Bernie Gardiner, giving us the link to one of the most charming websites I’ve ever seen. Thank you Bernie! ♥
Here you go girls, have fun, come back someday! http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2pBRdY/www.peterrabbit.com
Anyway, that’s the Peter Rabbit room in all its glory. I hope it didn’t disappoint, it’s just a room. But if you would want it to be more than a room, all you need is one tiny little thing . . . the perfect prop, the detail that beats all others . . .
Have a wonderful day girlfriends. So long from me and my friends! xoxo ♥