The Battle of the Manse

Picking things that are going to appeal to a large audience isn’t as easy as just having the appropriate budget to spend.  The inhabitants, and even casual users, will tell you exactly what they want in the design – even if there time there is going to be brief.  Herein lies the challenge.  You will never please everyone with your design choices.

Left:  Oly Studio – Flowerfall Chandelier $3,000.  Right Top:  Parsons Table – West Elm $400.  Right Bottom:  Pappelina Rug SVEA, Grey.

Offering options in these trying times is likely to be your safest – albeit not the purest route to achieving your overall aesthetic.  I am going to tackle it room by room as I have already encounter much opposition along the way.

Left:  Ro Sham Beaux Chandelier Malibu 18 $1998.  Right Top:  Ballard Designs . Tatum Trestle Table $1099.  Right Bottom:  Ballard Design . Braided Jute . $449.

The bedrooms are easier because people feel ownership or none at all – those you can work with a single end-user to determine the design.  Public rooms require a good deal more diplomacy, and in the busy season, I feel a little less diplomatic than this situation might call for – still – I soldier on, because in the end the input from those that will enjoy the space matters a lot.

Left Top:  Pottery Barn . Francesca Beaded Chandelier, Grey  Left Bottom:  Knoll Saarinen oval table – Inmod $899.  Right:  Turkish Oushak – Nazmiyal Collection $62,000.

I have devised three rough plans for the living room, center around the chandelier, carpet and table.  Which would you choose for a Cape Cod, year round home?

Rosy Glow: Living in the pink

Photographers live for “the golden hour” that time of day when the light is glowy and romantic, and casts a shimmer and sparkle on those that are bathed in it.  It’s sequins and fireworks, and candle light.  It’s dew drops, and effervescence, and youthful sleepiness.  It’s first bloom, it’s a Florence skyline, it’s perfection.  I want perfection for a moment.  There…I said it.  I want it in that moment when the light sheds years from your world weary skin, and plumps your heart to overflowing with happiness and possibility.

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No. 4 Coming Together . Painting – Stephanie Shank . Verellen Sofa

I think I may be on my way to achieving it in my living room.  I went for the pastels and the peaches, the blush and palest of the cream white tones.  I blanketed it in a backdrop of Benjamin Moore Sand Dollar.  (oh Ben, we’ll get to you tomorrow – you’ve stepped up your game yet again – how you do please me).

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Pastel puddles under toe (not to be confused with undertow which sweeps you along and spits you out if you know how to work with it, or has disastrous ramifications, if you don’t)  We won’t think about that now.  We’ll think about the luscious Landry and Arcari Turkish Oushak that tickles my toes, and my fancy all at the same time.  Though I wasn’t sure it achieved my bright side fantasies, it is well suited to the setting and I have grown very fond of it.

 

Achieving lighting levels that will flatter you and your guests require some simple rules of thumb.

  • Variety:  Cans, pendants, chandeliers, standing lamps, table lamps, wall mounted,
  • Bulbs:  Say no to Florescent, yes to LED, and don’t be afraid to strategically employ soft pink bulbs,
  • Dimmers:  yes please – have an Electrician install them everywhere, variety is key to achieving a sultry smolder or a blushy beam,
  • In-direct:  keep them guessing.  From what point does the light emanate?  Hide it behind a plant, beneath a molding, allow it to splash a wall or painting rather than direct it’s beam toward some Bell in a Ballgown.
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Oomph Slipper . Bungalow5 Side Table . L & A . Turkish Oushak

I’ll be bringing back an Electrician – a fourth time.  There’s work to do yet, but my furnishings and art are working hard to do their part.

Magic Carpet Ride

I’ve been in the market for a carpet.  I haven’t traveled the world in the search of said carpet, but I’ve covered some ground.  NYC, Dallas, Boston.  I’ve looked in the magazines, and on the internet.  I’ve purchased several, returned as many, contemplated going custom, but my budget doesn’t support that luxury.  Believe me, I had my pretty little yarn bundles in the hues I adore, and which lie within the range of the color palette I have selected for this current project.  It’s so little it demands light.  If I threw caution to the wind and made the investment then where would I be.

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The Rug Company . Create your own.

That’s the thing about rugs. They can make a huge statement.  My whole young rental life was defined by an Oriental my grandfather left to me, and which I felt compelled to use.  It was of high quality, really one of the only nice pieces that I owned and could use to hint at the fact that I’d graduated from collegiate leftovers to young adulthood.  The problem of course was that it didn’t reflect my style.  It was too serious, and the other pieces I purchased over time to compliment this major statement, also didn’t reflect me.  That hip custom 1950’s sofa my grandmother gave me, and I had upholstered in a pretty french country cranberry shade – not me, the Laura Ashley club chair I bought on super sale in a cobalt blue – I think I threw my jackets on that chair just to cover it up.  This isn’t a pair of Chanel boots that you can tuck in the back of your closet and forget you spent $1500. of your hard earned cash on…a carpet is always there, haunting you, reminding you of your shortcomings and fallibility as a design diva.

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Landry & Arcari . Turkish Oushak . think it’s worth a second look….

Well I did what any self-respecting gal would do.  I bought my first condo, put the carpet on permanent loan to a dear friend to assuage my guilt, and arrived prepared to feather my new nest with….nothing.  It was the most freeing design decision I ever made.  Totally unencumbered I forged ahead with purchases;  furnishings, lighting, side tables, pillows and all the little objects in-between that I felt best represented ME.  When I say “forged ahead” I am more like the Tortoise than the Hare in this fairy tale.  I moved at a pace that my limited funds would allow.  This is something to be valued.  Patience keeps you from making expensive mistakes.  You can feel good about a purchase that you have not wavered from in months, in my case, sometimes years.

Landry & Arcari . same carpet, reads so differently on the floor of my living room than in the store.

So now I have an Oushak lying on the living room floor of my new condo.  It’s a bit of an odd size, but fits perfectly into this space.  It is a tad darker than what I have been carrying around in my minds eye, but admittedly looks beautiful in the space.  I’m in a pickle.  This carpet is on super sale at Landry & Arcari.  Super sale does not mean inexpensive.  I’m curfluckled.  I’m in a bunch, a knot, a predicament.  I know together with my other pieces it will achieve the overall look I have been after, but when I open the door and spy it after a long day, will it bring a smile to my face?  Please help dear reader, I feel ill equipped to make this decision on my own.

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Landry & Arcari . Saeed, I see some more rug flipping in your future.