When I bought my house, I was a single 29-year-old. I had been looking to buy in Memphis, TN at the time and didn’t really know that I’d end up back in Mississippi, my home state. When I was out driving around one day, I saw this house for sale and started peeking through the windows, (it was vacant). It had the most perfect natural light streaming through and was only 20 miles from Oxford, the town where I grew up. I decided to inquire further. Once I got a tour of it, it just felt like home. Up to that point, I hadn’t lived in any home for more than five years my entire life, so this was a big step to even ponder. I made an offer and have now lived here for 14 years. It’s so old and needs so many things all the time, but it’s home and I love it.
When I first moved in, it was just me in this 1,800-square-foot house, with two bedrooms and a Jack & Jill bathroom. Located off of one of the bedrooms is a small sunroom. It quickly became my favorite room in the house and I made it my bedroom. An odd choice for sure, but something about the light that streamed in, all the windows on two of the walls, and the giant oak tree just outside that almost hugs the house (creating a treehouse-like view) made this room the perfect choice for a bedroom. As time would have it — and me being one who has never been able to keep furniture in one place for long — I moved rooms two more times before settling in the front bedroom. Within the same time that passed, I met my husband Sean and a few years after we got married, we had our son, Tom Otis. There was no question which room would be his: the sunroom.
When he was a baby, we spent hours together in this room, reading, rocking, building with blocks, listening to music, etc… with his toys packed around in baskets and on extra shelves — everything with a place. His toys and books started spilling out into the actual attached bedroom, which has become his playroom and doubles as a guest room. Now that he’s six, it felt like a good time to upgrade his room, to give him a place of calm and a room he can grow up in without needing a lot of change in the future. With a new bed, blinds and dresser, this room will transition perfectly into his teen years. Sure his previous yard sale dresser was good for awhile, but when the drawers became hard to close — packed like sardines with larger clothes — I knew it was time to upgrade to a larger one that he will have for a lifetime. We found the design we were looking for in a mid-century style one from Article. Keeping this room streamlined, we put the dresser just outside the sunroom, in the attached bedroom. It also doubles as a spot for guests who need a drawer when they stay in our home. Tom needed an upgrade on his bed frame, too. His previous one was beginning to fall apart from years of jumping on it, family book time each night, and all the games of hide-and-seek, where his bed was base.
Tom Otis has told me many times that he wished he lived in a hotel. When I ask him what he likes about hotel rooms, he always says the bed and all the pillows. He also loves that hotel beds are so big and cozy. That’s my child! Now, with a low platform bed (also from Article), he feels a little more grown-up and still has all the coziness. We also wanted to update the curtains in his room. As a baby, we wanted the space to be as dark as possible for him to sleep soundly, and that meant we doubled up with blinds and curtains. We used thick velvet curtains that were never really the right size. Now with roller blinds, in a shade a tad darker than the walls, it offers a nice contrast between the high-gloss trim in white. They also help his art collection pop against the grey walls. Now each morning before school, Tom and I roll up the blinds and watch the sunrise through the big oak tree and over the roof line next door. Scroll below for a tour of Tom’s updated room. —Erin
Photography by Erin Austen Abbott
Image above: A collection of art and windows surround the Article Tessu platform bed, making a place for bedtime stories, bird-watching, and playing for Tom Otis.