By Donna Cornelius
Lesley McRae’s muse for the design of her Decorators’ ShowHouse room is someone she knows very well.
“With this room, I had my own daughter in mind,” McRae said.
Charlotte McRae, an 18-year-old Mountain Brook High School student, writes poetry and paints, her mother said. That’s why the designer’s ShowHouse space – an upstairs bedroom – has places where a creative person can put her imagination to work.
“My daughter is an artist, so she would need a work table,” McRae said. “I found a great one that came from New York’s Hudson Valley. And there’s an easel, too, set up to take advantage of the view and light from the windows.”
That natural light was one reason McRae wanted to design this particular bedroom, she said. The view is of the terrace and swimming pool in the backyard and, beyond that, the treetops of Shades Valley.
McRae, who owns Lesley McRae Interior Design in Birmingham, is calling the room “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream.” The imaginary occupant of this room would sleep – and dream – in Charlotte’s mahogany bed. McRae dressed up the bed with pretty Yves Delorme linens from Christine’s in Mountain Brook.
Over and beside the bed are starburst mirrors.
“They’re almost like pieces of jewelry and add a touch of glamour,” McRae said. “I think rooms have more of a history and a story when you mix old and new pieces.”
McRae chose a white oversized lamp for the bedside table.
“I think it’s fun to mix up the scale of things,” she said.
The vivid artwork on the walls is by Louis Shields.
“He’s a friend of mine who grew up in Birmingham and now lives in Virginia,” McRae said.
She’s also decorated the adjoining bathroom, leaving the original tile intact and adding a personal touch with a monogrammed shower curtain.
McRae said her design for the bedroom was aimed at a girl about her daughter’s age.
“I was thinking of a girl who was maybe home from college or visiting her parents,” she said. “I wanted to create an airy, peaceful, dreamy mood here.”