Bedrooms should be one of the most comfortable places in the house. They serve as the personal place where we sleep at night, privately pondering thoughts, relaxing and stretching out.
For me, it's not the place where a taxidermic trophy belongs, though I'd imagine a burly rifle-wrangling man with a knack for striking his game would find it uplifting.
Mary Mitchell Hartnett is neither man nor hunter, yet in her bedroom, a deer head is mounted to the wall. Twisted slightly in the direction of the bed, its expression is serene. Dangling from its antlers are pearl necklaces.
"I had an odd wall space in my bedroom and wanted something quirky with depth to spice up an otherwise somewhat traditional bedroom with neutral walls and all white bedding," says Hartnett. "He makes me laugh a bit, as he is not only serving as a piece of natural art but as a place to hang my jewelry as well. And yes, he has a name."
Hartnett, who resides in a quaint duplex in the heart of Plaza Midwood, named the buck Lamar. The piece comes from her childhood home, where it once hung in the living room.
Elsewhere in the room is a sense of harmony. Above her dresser hangs an elegant vintage mirror with chipped paint. Hartnett acquired the piece at a yard sale. Always on the lookout for a treasure, she frequents yard sales, flea markets and Slate Interiors — an art and home furnishings shop with a broad and distinctive collection goods.
"I surround myself with things I love without being cluttered. I have a lot of found pieces and an eclectic mix without being too traditional," she says. "My mom manages Slate so I get to kind of work with some of the vendors. I see when they have a good piece come in, so I can make a deal or trade."
Another find is a barebones piece of canvas with only the head of a colorfully painted woman — a sophisticated blonde with '50s era glasses. She looks mysteriously in the direction of the deer.
On other spots along the walls is a commissioned piece of artwork of the house Hartnett lived in while in college, as well as an abstract print of skinny pink trees bought at Ikea.
Since Hartnett was not fond of the light fixture on the ceiling, she decided to cover it with a large lampshade, big enough to fit around her body. Her main sources of illumination comes from five lamps that are situated around the room. Two crystal-clear lamps by Michael Kors were purchased from Home Goods, two vintage ones from Slate Interiors and an alabaster imposter lamp from Target.
Hartnett mingles her found pieces among pricier items to create an expensive-looking, yet lax setting filled with personal touches.
"There's much more fun and creativity in mixing together found and repurposed pieces from all price ranges to form an interesting, if not cohesive, space," says Harnett.