an unexpected blanket

A few months ago, this image stopped me in my tracks.

Obviously, the first thing I noticed was that beautiful wallpaper but the more I looked at the image the more I realized that it was actually the deliberate contrasts between all of the objects in the room that got me excited. On paper, that striped red Hudson’s Bay or Pendleton blanket should not work. If I were to say to you as a designer, I have a great idea for you master bedroom. We’re going to paper the walls in the most delicate, pink Chinese wallpaper and then we’re going to use a traditional nailhead detailed headboard flanked by two rose-coloured, pleated shades and then to finish it all off we’re going to make the bed with a red camping blanket you would probably send me packing. But it works, it actually makes the whole room much more interesting and how nice is it to see what is traditionally considered a rustic blanket in a much more luxurious setting.

Seeing this all the time gets a little boring…

Last Christmas, I received a new Hudson’s Bay blanket as a present. It is something which I have always wanted. These blankets are treated like heirlooms in Canada and often passed down through generations. In recent years, I’ve moved away from sleeping under a duvet at night preferring the weight and feel of a wool blanket instead. As luck would have it, many of the colours that already exist in our bedroom work well with the characteristic red, green, yellow, and indigo stripes of the Hudson’s Bay blanket.

Hands down, this is the most colourful room in our house! And while I’m still thinking of moving towards an overall more serene bedroom

(all this would take is a few hard days of painting) I’m quite happy with our bright and sunny bedroom, especially during the grey days of winter.

Image Credits
1) Ngoc Minh Ngo via This is Glamarous and Fondly Seen
2) Various via Re-Nest, George Interior Design and Fondly Seen.
3) my own
4) my own from Elle Decor.
Filed under house projects


  1. Posted January 10, 2011 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    Absolutely gorgeous. I love your bedroom just the way it is. x, Abbey

  2. Posted January 10, 2011 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    That blanket caught my eye too (it was a great story in a great issue, too). I’m sure any changes you’ll make will be beautiful but I LOVE your bedroom in its current state.

  3. Posted January 10, 2011 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Yes, you are so right, never in a million years would you expect the blanket to work in that setting, but it does! Your blanket also looks fabulous in your room. I really think the contrasts make the blankets more beautiful. Your collage of “tired” pictures make the blankets look rather ho hum while that is the setting you would normally picture them in.

    I so admire your eye for design!

  4. Posted January 10, 2011 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    Wow..i have been using this photo as a design inspiration for my daughter’s room…headboard is down…now i have to think of bedding…maybe I should consider the blanket? decisions.

  5. Posted January 10, 2011 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

    Your bedroom is gorgeous and a brilliant display of contrasting colours and patterns. Wouldn’t change an ounce :)

  6. Posted January 10, 2011 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

    You know how much I like the Hudson blanket ;)

  7. Posted January 10, 2011 at 11:33 PM | Permalink

    I’ve always loved pairing Red with Pink; somehow it just works. The girls’ bedroom is grey, however punctuated with red/hot pink/neon orange–most of it inspired by the large Keith Haring Print hanging above Milla’s headboard–the rest fell into place after that. It’s fun without being obnoxious (If you can believe that!). Cheers! xo.speck

  8. Posted January 11, 2011 at 3:36 AM | Permalink

    I love to be rugged up in a blanket when camping in the cold sitting near the fire. I love the tradition of the blankets in Canada – and must admit these blankets look amazing!!! never heard of them until now.

  9. Posted January 11, 2011 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

    There are so many unique and fun details to that first room. Its very fun and so very girly!

  10. Posted January 11, 2011 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    love the blankets especially in your room!

  11. Posted January 11, 2011 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    I recently swapped my son’s duvet for a blanket and not only does it sit much more smoothly on the bed {which I like but of course he couldn’t care less!} but he is also sleeping much better. Perhaps when we all decided blankets were old-fashioned we were much too hasty??? I love your chinoiserie image.

  12. Posted January 11, 2011 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

    I have a similar dilemma…wanting to create calm neutral color spaces, but am so drawn to color and pattern! woe is me.

  13. Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    I love HBC blankets as well. We bought one almost 30 years ago now when we were first married and lived in northern Ontario one summer. It is a white blanket with blue stripes. I haven’t seen it around the stores recently so I don’t think they make it anymore. It is very warm so we can only use it in the deepest darkest part of the winter.

  14. Posted January 11, 2011 at 11:14 PM | Permalink

    A Hudson’s Bay blanket = FAB!

  15. Posted January 12, 2011 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    I received a Hudson Bay blanket this past Christmas and I’m beyond excited. I’m going to redo our bedroom to tie it in better. I’m thinking industrial – black wall where our bed is, exposed light bulbs hanging over our bedside tables etc.

  16. Posted January 21, 2011 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

    My grandparents had a Hudson Bay Blanket that was locked away in a cedar chest and never saw the light of day. It was one of the precious things damaged in the fire, not destroyed, but enough smoke and fire damage that it can’t be used in it’s splendor, but it’s out in the apartment nonetheless. They are such timeless pieces, too bad it was never used.

  17. Posted January 21, 2011 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

    @Sarah – Such a great lesson to use the things you love. I went through a period where I didn’t use the things that were precious to me for fear of “ruining” them. Then I realized that they were being ruined by not being used. I would much rather use and really enjoy something rather than keep it pristine. It’s about the experience and enjoyment of the object not the object itself.

  18. Jessica
    Posted January 22, 2011 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

    Love the room as is!!

    Btw, where is the yellow quilt from?? It’s fab!

  19. Posted January 22, 2011 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Hi Jessica – the yellow quilt is from Frette. We picked it up when we were in Italy. (Frette is way more affordable there!)

  20. Posted November 11, 2011 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    Could you please tell the paint color of the grey bedroom! Looks great and I have been to pick a grey for our living room….

  21. Posted November 11, 2011 at 9:39 AM | Permalink

    @ cathy pinter – The grey paint is Steel Wool by Benjamin Moore.

6 Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by luckylife2008. luckylife2008 said: RT @marionhousebook: I love this unexpected use of a Hudson's Bay blanket. [...]

  2. By Share with the class… « Simply Grove on January 20, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    [...] The Marion House Book (via Elle Decor [...]

  3. [...] The Hudson’s Bay Blanket is one of our most recognizable national symbols (in my humble opinion), and I have wanted one for a long time.  I love the vintage look, and as an accessory they scream ‘true North strong and free’.  Lately they have become de rigueur, and I have been seeing them pop up in design magazines all over the place (like here, and here, and here, and finally here). [...]

  4. [...] The Marion House Book lo ha rivestito con una coperta [...]

  5. By Back to Bed « designagogo on January 28, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    [...] House and Home 7. Emma of The Marion House Book dressed up her Edland with a Pendleton blanket. 8. The Petersiks of Young House Love also have [...]

  6. [...] Marion House Book’s sweet bedroom: [...]

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