04 January 2010

Why Don't You-Name a Room?

of course all "why don't you's" lead to Diana Vreeland's famous lines. She coined the phrase and it continues to rule the thoughts of many bloggers, whether they know it or not.

so many are Always finding an amaZing innovation to post!
A How to demonstration to do.
I don't.
Not yet anyway-But,
I am going to try some Why Don't You? posts this year. I hope they will be of use-whether practical or frivolous or both.

The Red Room 1904

Why don't you Name a room?
Why don't you Wallpaper a room?
OR Why don't you Paper a room & Name it?

I, for one, am pining for A Papered Room this year.

the blue room

the green room

the yellow room

the red room

the fuschia room?
(my personal favourite)

the purple & black room?

all damask papers by Cole & Son
all photographs of Rooms at the White House here


  1. What a DElightful post! The most adorable older couple lived across the street from me when I was growing up. They named their rooms; The Blue Room, The Red Room, etc. I was always enamored by them and their fantastic way of living. You're so good to remind me!

  2. I totally agree.

    When I first started living alone I decorated my small apartement in Lisbon all in black and white with some tones of grey. Quickly I found it supidly boring. Than I started papering and painting my house, with both paper and paint, in bold colours. Black and White do not exist anymore. Now I have two different rooms that I call the blue room and the green room. The red/chinese room is coming as I am now waiting for a red chinoiserie wallpaper to cover a third room.

    Click to my blog to see the green room and the blue room:




  3. The fuschia room is an excellent idea. Michelle needs to get on that one :)

  4. Great idea LA we have a room that is currently used by the children as a games room and we refer to it as the "xbox room" I shudder every time I say it ....... I should wallpaper it in bright green wallpaper and then we could refer to it as the green room, much more inspiring. x

  5. I would love to give names to the rooms in my house but I don't have enough of them to name or to give them different colours to name after!
    But I always found it so great that rooms were given a name, especially in big houses and castles! If I could live in a castle...

  6. Columnist-that is the White House Red Room-gorgeous picture isn't it, & from the WH.org site referenced. G

  7. Scott-Isn't it interesting that we have these magical people influence or love of design and life in general.

    Diogo-Can't wait to check out your rooms. I for one love colour. The idea touted by some of white showing off one's assets(fine Art etc) is tosh!

    Jason-Yes, doesn't she, so do I actually. Must post my hall paper from another house-it was something.

    Love all the guys weighing in, thanks for coming along with me. GT

  8. Helen, sounds good. I love colour, paint is wonderful too. I just feel wallpaper gets a bad wrap. I had some clients refuse it, to come back later begging for it in a few spaces. It ups the ante!

    Greet- what about the Boiserie Room? You have beautiful rooms and I would love a castle too.

  9. I have painting in mind. Our rooms here are named by function, but my youngest always says, "Huh?" when we say "the office." "You know, the red room." "Oh, right." Infinitely clearer.

  10. Mrs B. You are so right. Back to the crayola box will never lead us astray-nor children rarely. G

  11. I loved this post. I've been writing a story about colour and my battle with it... I confess living in a black and white universe (and all the tones in between)
    ..Yes... I know...very uninspiring...specially for someone who works in the creative world..

    My excuse...'I need a space with no distraction'.... the real reason 'fear fear and more fear'...but I have given myself three weeks to change one room.. and pink might be the solution...! Thank you for the inspiration..

  12. Be sure to turn your old ermine coat into a bathrobe!

  13. la: Thought you might find this interesting. Also has some relevance to your post: I wonder if there are any manufacturers stateside who would be interested in digitally printing papers and fabrics? That would be just the thing to get something going in some of these old textile towns. Danville and Roxboro both have considerable vacant infrastucture. I suspect the same is true of Burlington.

  14. Giving names to rooms what a nice idea. I think if i would have more i would do it. Maybe in the future :-)

    Thanks for making us think :-)

    Happy New Year


  15. In case I forgot the link:

  16. My grandparents also named their rooms. The two main bedrooms were the blue room and the gold room. Lovely post and brings back memories for me!

  17. i will keep mine in Lorenza di Medici style

  18. The only room I've named in my house is the cocktail lounge, a joke because it has doors continuously and so can't really be furnished for much, and because it was furnished with red glass victorian light shade and mauvy pink shag carpets when I moved in. I have always been allergic to that shade of pink(prom dress pink).

    The White House link was very interesting, and I will go back and poke around more another day. The photos of the rooms upstairs with early versions of bedrooms, very sparely furnished, is an interesting commentary on our current standards of furnishing.

  19. ah, yes, I too have been thinking a lot about wallpaper this year. One should buy very good, very large scale wallpaper, or not at all, don't you think?

    Love this post.

  20. We have named several of our rooms at Darlington. It makes referring to them clearer and more straightforward than decribing them by their use or location (such as "the third floor's second guest bedroom", which is a mouthful). I am going to be posting soon on how we came to name our upstairs sitting room "the Snuggery".

  21. Yes, it utterly stunning hue of red, almost wine red, which is very deep. Adore it.

  22. I have names for the two rooms (out of 12-ish) in my home whose function is not immediately apparent. These are "the monkey room" (thanks to the monkey chandelier and wall sconces, and future monkey-themed wallpaper), and the "craft room" (which serves as a guest sitting room -- and has rather fabulous moroccan-ey wallpaper -- and was so named b/c I imagined myself doing arts and crafts projects up there [it hasn't happened], but some people think it means witch-craft, which never ceases to amuse me).

    But with such a spacious house, I'm quite lucky to have single-purpose rooms, which therefore need to name. To whit, dining room, parlour/sitting room/living room, library, bedroom, guest bedroom, kitchen, butler's pantry, etc, etc.

  23. Gaye, you are spot on about how we are influenced even when we aren't aware of it. And size doesn't have to be an issue when it comes to naming rooms. I use color names even in a house or apartment with very few rooms: the turquoise closet, the aqua bedroom, the black-and-white bathroom.

  24. It is interesting how many comments include memories of room's past. I am thinking about follow up posts and look forward to Reggie's Snuggery post.

    Dilettante- I do love the large scale papers especially in a smaller room, it can work beautifully! I am thinking about all the old patterns. You might like my post on Marthe Armitage and her papers from Dec09.

    Storyteller-I do hear this about rooms without distraction-I can understand it, but it wears thin After awhile, Slowly adding bits of colour would be a start.

    thanks to everyone for all the input. GT

  25. Really I would love to panel it!!! then paint it x

  26. You probably know that for me houses are sort of like people - at least like real presences so I love names for them and their rooms. I'm also for naming furniture. Had a secretary when I was young named Mrs Floyd after some documents found inside it and an armoire affectionately known as the Monster. The names don't have to be complicated, but they they're better if they come naturally.



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