Copy Carpets: getting it for cheaper

I had a colleague call me to task the other day.  We were talking about shoes I think?  Or it might have been gowns, or furniture or something of monumental importance to me.  Don’t judge me because I have momentarily forgotten which of these things it was – they are all extremely important, and were it not for the shear number of brands, furnishings, materials and projects, which require my attention, I would be able to tell you precisely which one it was.   It will all come back – fear not – and it’s beside the point anyway.  What he wanted to know was the percentage of people that could identify the high end from the low?  Really good question Mark.  I had to admit that it was few and far between.  Why then do I do it?  Well, the answer is I do it sometimes, and sometimes I don’t.  AND I notice.

Left:  Serena and Lily . Metallic Hemp & Suede . 8′ x 10′ $698.  Right:  World Market . Gray Metallic Woven Jute Alden Area Rug . 6′ x 9′ $199.

A mon Avis, the trick is to mix high and low together in one space.  Vintage and new, antique and mid-cent knock-off, art of your own creation with a prized Picaso.  Comb the beach for a shell, rock, or sculptural piece of drift wood.  Find an old sign and spray paint it gold or matte black – it snuggle it in, among other shiny objectives making it a distinguished focal point.

Left:  ABC Carpet . Color Reform . 4’1″ x 6′ $1200.  Right:  West Elm . Caspian Rug Overdyed 6′ x 9′ $899.

I do love finding a good bargain – but it must in fact be good.  It’s so disappointing when you spend money on something that falls apart – in whatever predetermined timeframe I’ve decided the item should last.  So be it, I have a 1950’s concept of how things should be made.  They should last!

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ABC Carpet . Nazarene 4′ x 6’2″ $800.

So carpets.  I’ve found some that I believe are simple lovely replicas of the original – though who arrived there first is always up for debate.  Perhaps it’s more apt to say – the higher cost version – which implies better quality, but isn’t always the case.  I think these are worth the gamble, and if I wasn’t the gambling type I wouldn’t be doing this quest.

Left:  World Market . Beige Adilah Area Rug . 7’10” x 10′  $349.99  Right:  Overstock.com . Nourish Moroccan Marrakesh Shag Rug . 9’2″ x 12′ 6″ $314.49

 

Evergreen: The Manly Bedroom

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West Elm . Sherwin-Williams – leaning toward the green.

Kermit said:  “It’s not easy being green.” Oh Kermie, I think green is beautiful.  It’s the color of nature, and new beginnings.  Of money and survival, of going for it.  It’s rough and rustic, delicate and beautiful.  It’s shades span the muddy and the pure.  It’s a color that could work in all seasons, and for a man or a women, a little girl or a tiny baby boy.

Not long ago I had a visitor to my apartment and she declared it the ultimate Bachelorette Pad.  I laughed, and have to say with No. 4, I’m guilty as charged.  Still it made me think about what my place might look like if I designed my place with a man in mind – not just any man, but a manly man – one that likes the outdoors.   A city place with an ode to the outdoors.

Left:  Worldmarket . Falkland Elsie Upholstered Headboard . $479.  Right:  Ballard Designs Burlap Fringe Curtains $49.00

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Since it just occurred to me, and I am not actually going to change the design of my beloved No. 4, I chose to consider just the bedroom.  I like mossy greens, and evergreens, textures that evoke the outdoors, and of course something that would actually grow there.

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Chairish . 22″ Spanish Moss Green Panel Linen Pillows . Pair $219.

The big question is …. is it manly enough for your man.

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Rosemary with a little violet.  Don’t men like a little color?

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?

West Elm: Working Partnerships

It was a few years ago when I first started noticing West Elm pieces in Commercial applications.  I spied a side table or two in AEW’s Corporate Offices, in the Seaport, designed by ADD, Inc., scattered throughout.  To my delight I found pillows and side tables in Hawthorne’s artisnal drinkery in Boston’s Kenmore Square, and thought, perhaps they’re on to something here.  Affordable, hip, mid-century design – way to stay on budget, on trend, and allow for the flexibility of change down the road.  Love it.

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West Elm with Inscape

A little over a year ago, West Elm partnered with Etsy to bring local businesses together in their Kenmore Square location, allowing them to have a pop-up shop under their roof.  Brilliant.  It happened in cities across the country.  What forward thinking business strategy.  I was introduced to some small business owners I wasn’t likely to have made contact with otherwise, and got to meet Erin Gates of Elements of Style, eat a fantastic bacon glazed donut from Blackbird Bakery in the South End, and leave with two pillows.  A win.

On Thursday night I visited Peabody Office Furniture in Boston’s Financial District for the big reveal of their Inscape Office Line Partnership with West Elm.  I have been waiting for the unveiling for months when I first learned of the dynamic duo’s plans.  I wasn’t disappointed.  It’s got that welcome to Don Draper’s Office, care for a Manhattan look about it.  It’s sixties cool with its clean lines, dark wood, and retro fabrics, I wanted to move right in and have the Mad Men re-make me.  I could just picture it….I enter in jeans and tennis shoes, hair in a pony tail, bags under my eyes….I exit in a red Carolina Herrera gown, Harry Winston choker hanging heavy around my delicate neck, diamonds as big as rock candy threatening to make off with my earlobes, 5 inch Louboutin’s peaking through the swaths of fabric surrounding me like meringue cloud.  Naturally either Don himself or some swashbuckling man trails behind me.

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West Elm . Mid-Century Modern Madness

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West Elm . Pelle Gooseneck Chandelier $799.

Ah, dare to dream.  Thanks West Elm for that lovely fantasy, and thanks too for finalizing my decision on a living room chandelier.  After all, your first order of business was to help the everyday gal like me have a fabulous home, was it not?