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?