Southern Challenge: The Drawing Room

Drawing Room – Prior to Renovation.

Living in the city as I do, and not being a person that requires vast amounts of space, I haven’t had the experience of having dining rooms and libraries, living rooms, dens and offices. I usually just have one room that isn’t a bedroom, kitchen or bath, and has to serve all the purposes of a great house in one. This is not a complaint, just a statement of fact – in fact if I did have all those rooms, I don’t know which I’d choose to sit in, but being only one person, I suspect that I’d snuggle into the same old cozy corner, every night after a long day, and the only thought I would give to all those rooms would be, how ever am I going to keep them all clean.

Inspiration in the above photos for what could be a rich drawing room with beautiful bar. Note that these cabinets are painted in lacquer finish, which is a more time intensive process then using high gloss, but it does give it that glossy sheen. Left: House Beautiful – Benjamin Moore’s Summer Nights. Right: House Beautiful – Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue.

The French perfected the art of dining in the 18th century. They had loads of rules and books on etiquette that dictated the manner in which you were to entertain. The dining room brought all the guests together, but at dinner’s conclusion, the women typically retired to the Drawing Room, leaving the men at the table to drink and discuss politics. This withdrawing to another space provided for the relaxed continuation of the evening. These rooms were not necessarily less grand than the dining room, but they were populated with sofa’s and settees, comfortable chairs, game tables, tea service, tapestries and more. The dishes and detritus of the evening’s repast left behind.

Left: Benjamin Moore’s – Gentlemen’s Gray – to be applied to the walls and the woodwork – moldings and baseboard. Ceiling to be painted in Benjamin Moore’s Nickle. Middle: Jonathan Adler’s Rio Pendant – $386.40. Left: OKL . Madison Leather Club Chair. $899.

I like the idea of the Drawing Room. It feels fitting in a home, that at its heart, will be used for a good deal of entertaining. By defining the rooms which are open to the public, from those which are for family only, is important. The adjacency of the Drawing Room to the Dining, and Dining to Powder Room feels intentional, and I am certain the architect had this in mind when their sharp pencil hit the mylar to begin its design.

Left: Benjamin Moore’s Dark Harbor for walls. Molding and baseboard in Benjamin Moore’s Mineral Ice. Ceiling in Benjamin Moore’s Mineral Ice. Middle: Modern Metal Pendant in Polished Nickle $232. Left: Pottery Barn Irving Leather Arm chair with bronze nail heads. $919.

The other rooms have all been bright and welcoming, though I have balanced cool and warm tones as you move from one room to the next. This ensures the visitors maintain an internal harmony. Why? I’m not sure, we humans are very complex creatures. We like what we like, and I try not to buck mother nature on these issues. I must reserve all my energy after all to battle her and the clock.

Left: Benjamin Moore’s Forest Hills Green – for walls. Base and molding in Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace. Ceiling in white. Middle: Carillon Pendant . Large $298. Left: West Elm . Mid Century Show Wood Leather Chair in Saddle $999.

I want this room to feel cozy, to wrap the guests in an experience. I want every surface to be in high gloss, but I will resist this temptation because the walls need to be in perfect – listen closely all you high gloss lovers – PERFECT condition. The mirror like finish will reflect every ding and dent and make someone like me, bananas. Use eggshell instead and reserve the high gloss for the woodwork. Here are my recommendations.

Shine

As I wondered through the shops in Chatham today, with only a thinly veiled guise in toe, my hunt for thank you notes, I was struck by the number of people that so openly proclaim they can get this, or that, for so much cheaper at Home Goods. While it’s undeniably true, that many wonderful things can be purchased there, show some respect folks. It’s hard being a store owner, and think how genuinely nice it is to stroll local shops in town – any town.

So I bought my cards and picture frames, and a belated birthday gift for my little 3 year old friend who will forgive my tardiness. Isn’t that one of the very best things about being 3? Time is fluid. Forgiveness is given freely, and joy is unabashed. Oh I can’t wait for her to get her fairy garland.

Now that I have supported the local shops, I can tell you with an open conscience that Target has come out with another line of lighting that BEAUTIFUL. It trails behind another HGTV hit hostess and is so crazy affordable, I am tempted to buy far more than I need and squirrel it away for a rainy day. Leanne Ford and her Project 62 line will have those that lust over Serena & Lily, Rejuvenation, or even West Elm’s more economical lines – well lining up to load their shopping cart. And wait you better because Target says it’s a limited edition.

While most the Restored by one Ford Collection is pendants, and floor lamps, if you are in the market for table lamps, head to Home Goods this weekend. They are having an enormous sale on lamps, rugs, and more, and the stores are packed with product. This girl spotted a few John Adler knock-offs, a couple of mid-century modern globe lights, a couple of Ralph Lauren ginger jar blue and white beauties, and many more, you are sure to find a desk top, bedside, or sideboard or console table lamp to brighten your home.

Miles To Go Before He Sleeps

mr 1Redd gets it right for Ballard.  Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Miles Redd found his way to NYC where he studied Interior Design at NYU.  Though some call his style quirky and theatrical, I think it rather sophisticated.  Sophisticated need not be stuffy, and with Miles love of shiny objects and surfaces, and high gloss paint in bold poppy colors, he’s a far cry from boring.

I once had occasion to meet Jonathan Adler, and I asked him if he knew Miles because their design styles seem to share an ability to coax a smile out of even the most steadfastly serious individuals.  Jonathan reported that they were good friends.  Smile I did at that.  I told him that I drew much inspiration from his furnishings and accessories, and I hope to be able to tell Miles the same one day.

mr2

Diamond Coffee Table.

When my Ballard Designs catalog arrived the other day, I spotted a canary yellow, ribbed and upholstered, with a long tassel fringe chair on it’s cover.  I saw it and said, that’s new, and I wonder who they have designing for them now.  If only I’d REDD on I would have discovered.

mr4

Channeled Slipper Chair $599.

I paged through trying to find something – anything that perhaps I didn’t love so that I might narrow down the topic of discussion, but this Bunny Williams trained talent really gets it right.  His acid green diamond coffee table $599. , also available in navy with chrome, is a stunner.  The diamond dining chair with the fretwork detailed seat in chalky white or high gloss black and an a bright selection of leather fabrics to choose from, making it both edgy and glamorous all at the same time. $649.  The glass deco fireplace screen for $299. is a yes!  The Alberta Button Headboard, $699. (queen) and the Tuxedo Chest $2299. in black lacquer are just a few of the stand out pieces in this collection.

mr3

Tuxedo Chest.

Miles style can sometimes look buttoned up in its perfection – as is often customary among Southern designers, but it takes the edge of with a bit of the playful in the form of a polka dot, or a gingham fabric, and you are reminded of how and why he rose to the top of the design world so quickly since opening his own studio in 1998….he’s good.

mr5

Diamond Dining Chair. 

While the pieces are a little pricier than Ballard’s typical pp, I’ll be one of the first to say I think it’s worth it.  I better get moving with number 5.