Text by Hannah Jones
The bedroom is arguably the most ideal space to decorate with romantic style. Soft hues, cozy linens, and delicate furnishings are both serene and relaxing, perfect for lulling you to sleep or providing a graceful awakening each morning. This sentiment rings true even in children’s spaces.
Homeowner Melissa Sturdivant Smith has a style that is distinctly French romantic, with a mixture of old and new throughout. After years of working as a stylist, Melissa subconsciously created a method for the mixture of contemporary and antique in her own home. “Striking the balance of new and old in a space must be the most difficult to get ‘just right,’” she explains. “I unknowingly use a 50/50 method. As I think through the rooms in my home, it seems if all of the furniture is antique, then most of the accessories are new, and if all of the furniture is new, all of the accessories are antique.”
The method holds true for her daughter, Everlee Grace’s, bedroom, which features an antique bed, desk, and vanity set mingled with new linens and fresh bouquets of flowers. One of the prominent contemporary pieces in the room is the crown canopy Melissa purchased for her daughter. Even though it’s new, Melissa had to add her signature stamp to the piece by applying gold leaf to the crown. “If something is new, I am notorious for adding gold to it—anything that will stand still is subject to gold leafing,” she jokes.
When designing a space in romantic style, Melissa encourages finding a “soft color palette, mixed florals, weathered furnishings, and layered textures.” In her daughter’s room, Melissa layered vintage thread spools, antique letters, and gold jewelry boxes around the space. “When an interior designer says it’s all about the layers, they are being completely honest,” she says.
Shopping for antiques is a great place to find inspiration, Melissa says, noting that it’s most important to trust your instincts. “I try to purchase items that are love at first sight,” she says. “As my collection has grown, I have realized you will always have space to place those heart-tugging pieces; when you start buying just to fill a void, it never stands the test of time.” The passion she put into the project has paid off. Every time Everlee Grace steps foot into her sweet space, she exclaims, “It’s so beautiful, Momma!” And that is all Melissa ever wanted.