At the start of 2018, while spending a few weeks in Copenhagen, I had an idea to change my bedroom. I loved the bedroom as it was, with its soft blue green wall and ballerina fixtures hanging on the walls and overall calming atmosphere it created, but there was also something about it that was very attached to the Emily of the past. Pre-2018 Emily. And something told me that as my life was changing, the room needed some changing too.
I got very inspired by all my surroundings in Copenhagen. Apart from being grey most of the time, Copenhagen is fantastically colourful, through the old buildings weaving their way through the city or through the exemplary products of Danish design, and this did wonders in giving me ideas for my new room colour. Eventually, I was torn between two colours:
The first was one of my very favourite colours, which I’ve nicknamed Copenhagen Yellow. For those familiar with the city, they’d recognize this as one of the most common building colours. It’s an unusual choice to make most of the city's structures this colour but the contrast is so striking to the gloomy grey skies. And perhaps the most beautiful part of these buildings is how they look at sunset with the sunlight beaming off of them.
For those less familiar with the city, the shade is a dark yellow, almost burnt, resembling a mustard yellow hue. I love this colour and it’s very close to my heart, but I also felt that I didn’t want to oversaturate myself with the colour by painting my room with it. Similarly, most Danish people who I’ve spoken to can’t stand the colour yellow. Maybe they’re just too used to it, meanwhile, coming from North America, I couldn’t say I’ve ever seen a building in that shade. I decided that I didn’t want the novelty of the yellow to wear off and stimulate a dislike for it, so I went with my other choice.
I chose a rich emerald green for my walls. In some ways, it was a safer choice than a bright yellow, but being such a dark colour, it also added a bit of risk of being too moody. Ultimately, I took the plunge and am so satisfied with it. I was first inspired by this colour sitting in the Coffee Collective on Bernikow. The café is the definition of cozy. Darkly lit, green, almost teal walls, candles everywhere, old mahogany fixtures, antique paintings, the smell of coffee. I was sitting there and planning what I would like in my new room and loved the coziness of this space, so much so that I needed it for my room.
With this vision in mind, I came back knowing the feeling I wanted for my room. Multiple paint samples later, I chose a shade that leaned towards the colour yellow, more than blue, more rich than dark, and more warm than cool. It’s an emerald green, like staring into the heart of a jade emerald or admiring the view in a big botanical garden. It’s perfect at all times of day, on dark days or sunny. When it’s nighttime and the light is dim, the darkness in the colour comes out and creates the environment of coziness that I had envisioned. In the sun, the warmth of the colour comes out, and even now in the summer it’s a very fresh and buoyant colour. I love how the sun peeks through my blinds and fashions shadows on the wall. It’s also the most inviting time to take a nap.
To compliment the new wall colour, I’ve kept some old fixtures, removed some others, and brought in new additions. I keep my bedspread pale, usually white or off white, and still have my horrible cream coloured dressers that are probably from the 80’s. Though I’m sure when the time will come to get rid of them, it will be sentimentally challenging. I’ve brought in an old mahogany rocking chair for one of the corners as well as a bright yellow Hay mini table that I somehow managed to bring back from Denmark in my suitcase...
I’ve kept my orchid, Patricia, and have gotten her a new companion, Oedipus Rex, the olive tree. Both are nested into terracotta pots and between them is a nicely sized wicker basket for all my scrunchies. I hope to add even more plants. Perhaps a lemon tree is next.
The newest addition has been the ceiling lamp. After months of trying to find the perfect chandelier, I finally settled on a paper lantern orb. I love the simplicity of it, and it feels like a full moon right above me.
The next stage will be finding some sort of a shelving system. I have a lot of nice books and magazines that I want to showcase on a very empty wall by my bed. I also have a painting I want to put up, but at the same time, I love the bareness of my walls at the moment.
One of the best things about my new room is finding all the colours that go well with the walls. There’s a surprising amount of colours that suit it, many of which I hadn’t imagined. I have a perfume bottle from Acqua di Parma, which is a deep royal blue and the way these colours look together is surprisingly visually attractive.
Overall, I’m happy I made the change. It was necessary, this sort of revival, and has now become a project in turning the room into my new self.