Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Favorite Room Feature: Saudah Saleem

So to continue our organization bit, do we ever have a surprise for you. Take a quick breather before we start, because this room might stop your heart a lil' bit. Serious. Saudah from Saudah Saleem Interiors is sharing her favorite space with us today: Her Dressing Room/Office. Yes, you read that right. Girl has her own dressing room. Prepare to be envious. 

Hi Sadie + Stella readers!  My name is Saudah from Saudah Saleem Interiors  and  I’m thrilled that these two super creative and chic design bloggers have asked me to share my favorite room with you today.  Shout out to Lindsay and Lindsay!!
Okay, so first I’ll give you a little background on who I am.   I’m a wife, mom of 3, and interior designer.  Oh and I work full time as well.  It’s definitely a lot of hats to wear and involves lots of long days and late nights.  But there’s nothing more rewarding than doing what you love. I’m passionate about interior design and love creating designer looks for less.  The room I’ll be sharing with you is one that was truly a labor of love to create.  Some of you may have already spotted my room in the Holiday issue of House of Fifty magazine.  I call it my “chic mom cave.” 

I live in a 1920s town home in Baltimore.  Our house has lots of unique characteristics and architectural detail, but as with most older homes, it lacks sufficient storage space.   I also love fashion and as a result of my love affair with fashion, my bedroom often looked like a hurricane had just blown through it- clothes, clothes, everywhere!  So it was the lack of storage space combined with my ever growing wardrobe that prompted my unconventional decision to convert a bedroom into the amazing dressing room/office you see here. 

Sometimes upping the glam factor in a room is really just about the presentation.  Since I use the campaign nightstand to store and organize  my jewelry,  I lined the drawers with houndstooth scrapbook paper I scored at  Michael’s and used  ceramic pinch bowls I picked up at Odd Lots to add more of a unique look to the jewelry drawers.  The colorful, mainly vintage, pieces of jewelry really stand out against the crispness of the little white bowls. Opening the drawers feels like stumbling across a hidden treasure chest!

I love to mix pattern and texture.  So when I saw this graphic Nate Berkus dhurrie chevron rug I snatched it up in a hurry.  It’s fresh playful and fun, but in a classic colorway of black and white.  It really provides great contrast to the dark cabinetry.  Most of the pieces in the room are thrift store finds, from Craigslist or ebay auctions, or discount stores.  I found the “to die for” curved back tufted velvet mustard settee and chair set in perfect condition at a local thrift store.  This campaign nightstand beside the settee was only $15! I removed and cleaned all of the brass hardware, and then polished and shined it up using Brasso. Turned out pretty good don’t you think?
I knew that with windows measuring over 100 inches from top to bottom, whatever I chose to hang on the windows  was going to look dramatic..and I love drama in a room!  Since the 3 windows literally take up an entire wall of the room, I knew that the drapes had to be something that was classic in look and feel but modern in color.  The rich peacock blue was perfect! The floor length jewel tone drapes look give the room a more regal feel.

My inspiration for this space came from the dark moody rooms Drawing Rooms and libraries found in large 16th-18th century English houses.  These rooms were characterized with elegant lines, rich fabrics and tall wooden built-ins.  With their inset panels and dark finish, I think the wardrobe cabinets I used (IKEA Pax units found on Craigslist!) are a modern day translation of the rich wall to wall built-ins used in those Drawing rooms centuries ago.  Although they may look like custom pieces, the bookcases that house the shoes are actually IKEA Billy bookcases.   I added the extension units to the tops of each of the bookcases to allow for more storage.  I think extending the shelves as close to the ceiling as possible helped give it a more built in feel. 

As a designer, I love experimenting with color and texture.  When creating an eclectic look with touches of glamour, I like to start with a good traditional/neutral base and then layer in unexpected accents, bold color combinations and some vintage pieces.  In this instance, the dark cabinetry served as my classic neutral base sort of grounding the space.  I chose to use the glass desk top with sawhorse legs (also from IKEA) to contrast the heaviness of the bookcases and wardrobes that flank the room.  Plus using the see through surface let the rug remain visible from all view points of the room.

I also love layering design elements.  Here the infamous yellow rosette Target pillow makes an appearance layered atop the vintage fur stole I keep draped over the back of the settee.

I personalized this lampshade by adding this mustard and gold Greek key trim I found on clearance at Walmart!

Well ladies, thanks so much for the opportunity to share this space with your readers! I hope you enjoy seeing the room as much as I enjoyed creating it.   It’s truly a joy to have a space to retreat to in my home.  I know that converting a bedroom into a closet/office space seems rather ambitious, but hopefully, this space can inspire others to jump start that New Year’s resolution to be better organize and to surround yourself with what you truly love.  Even if it’s just designating a small corner in the house for yourself, personalizing the space and making it aesthetically pleasing will be so rewarding!

I have some pretty cool and exciting things in store for 2012 and I can't wait to share them all with you. A few months ago, I started a blog to chronicle my interior design findings, projects, inspiration and all the stuff in between. Do stop by for a visit. But keep in mind I am new to the whole blogging thing (so please be kind). I would love to hear from you! 


  1. I'm DYING over this- seriously is complete and utter love with that room. There isn't a single thing I'd change and am now obsessed with the idea of a converting a room to a closet- wow, wow, wow. So happy to be introduced to such a talent. LOVE!

  2. Gooorgeous! Ahh, I would love walking into that space everyday! WOW!

  3. Fabulous!! I'm obsessed with the b&w rug!!! xoxo e&a

  4. Hey ladies. Thanks so much for featuring my space! Converting the room into a closet/office space was truly a dream. Every woman needs a space of her own!

  5. Saudah, this room is absolutely breathing! It is amazing how useful, and beautiful this room was put together. I can't wait to have you over for my consultation.

    Donna B.

  6. Make that breath taking! Typo that time, LOL

    Donna B.


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