Fanny’s Bedroom

Fanny's Bedroom

In contrast to the flamboyant colors of Louis’ adjacent quarters, Fanny selected for her bedroom the soft, rich and somewhat muted tones of natural redwood. Other than her own descriptions of her room, there exists now only one drawing from Isobel’s work. Her sketch was made on the day that the furniture from Stevenson’s Edinburgh Heriot Row home was unpacked. It shows the room in great disarray, but the main features are distinguishable, such as the back of the fireplace, the supporting beam, and the windows.

The furnishings reflect the period and were selected to represent Fanny’s robust lifestyle. She had her sewing machine and her own mementos from travels with and without her husband. Her room had a “secret door” which she instructed the workmen to build for her. It was her nightmare that the wars of Samoa would be expanded to involve the Vailima village area, since it was not uncommon for household members to see face-blackened native soldiers march through the property on their way to confrontations with their enemies. The secret hideaway compartment is now a doorway, but its existence is documented in journals and writing about the house.

The secret door area now exposes a wonderful sample of the peacock blue exterior paint of the original home. The color was painted on the outside east wall of the first structure and covered-up when the addition to the house was made. A sealed museum peep-hole is illuminated to show the original paint which has not been seen since 1892.