Sunday, March 14, 2010

This Ain't Devine Design

I used to like HGTV until all the shows turned to house hunting newbies who won't buy a $600,000 house because it doesn't have stainless steel appliances. But I still love Candice Olson's Devine Design. I love everything she does but, let's face it, she makes it look too easy. She just opens drawers and pulls out all the perfect finishes and fabric to make the perfect room. I wish it were that easy. Every choice seems so difficult.

I ended up deciding to go with the muslin and black velvet curves for the roman blinds because it think it will be a perfect counterbalance to the art wall I want to put on the other side of the room. When my friends came over to help me put down the rug, I was saying I thought the fabric looked like an abstracted or minimal zebra print. And one of my friend pointed out the hobnail table legs look like an impala's antlers.
Holy Cow, he's right! And now, with the mountain grass rug in place, I've got a total "Out of Africa" theme going on. So I headed to the fabric store with the idea that I'd try bringing in an accent color to soften the look.
I thought this mossy green color would be a nice accent to all the neutrals so I picked up a sample of this fabric to try out.
I think it would be nice to lighten up the dark gray sofa with some pillows. This is a grain sack and another mossy green basketweave pattern. I don't know that I love the print but maybe used as a welting cord on a pillow would be nice.
And then just for fun, I decided to play with the "Out of Africa" look and I brought in this old chippy black chair I bought in Vermont for $5 several years ago, an old kuba cloth I remembered I had in the basement, a grain sack (on the chair) and an ornate gold frame that adds a little shine. I don't know...but I don't hate it. It's definitely masculine.
Here's a shot of the new rug, the new fabrics and a few grain sacks I had purchased a while back (from Wendy Lewis of the Textile Trunk, a/k/a "Loodylady" on ebay) and never used for anything. I kind of like the combination of colors, patterns and textures. And I'm viewing grain sacks in a totally different way all of a sudden.
Here's Zazu checking out all the new stuff. She's wondering, "What are you doing now?"
So here are the fabrics again on the chair next the Impala table, my antique Thai wagon wheel and a vase that suddenly looking like ostrich skin.

I'll live with these for a little while and see what speaks to me.

Candice Olson, call me!


  1. Seems like you're feeling better! Did you have to swim to the fabric store? Rowboat? I LOVE what you dug out of your own home.I'm not crazy about the lattice looking fabric for cording, i'd have to see what it looks like on the bias, but then again, it might be ok. And I don't think you really need Candice. BTW, have you ever seen any of her shows were they divulge the budget!!!??!
    Stay dry,

  2. Hi Steve,
    It's not Candice but just dropping in to say that you have a very professional approach to putting together your living room. I'm taking some notes! I really love how you're bringing in odds and ends trying to get a feel of what you're looking for. And Zazu looks like she's 'supervising' your process - cats are always good at that. Trina

  3. Good Morning! Glad you're feeling better.
    I have no doubt that Candice would be impressed with this room!
    I love the pop of apple green-it's subdued enough and each fabric has a little hint of gray, beige - all your other colors. The fabrics you have chosen are perfect and how gorgeous does that table look!!! Everything is very tasteful and sophisticated with a huge amount of character! I'm lovin it ~

  4. Hi Steve,

    I adore the movie Out of Africa. I adore Ralph Lauren. These two go together you know. So I'm loving everything here. I don't know if you can tell it or not but Ralph Lauren is the biggest inspiration for my design choices in my house. Only one person has ever commented about it so I guess I'm not channeling him very well but I think you are doing an amazing job and you don't need Candice at all.