Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Little Red for Valentine's Day

I'm not making very much progress on anything.  This happens to me every winter at this time of year.  It's (self-diagnosed) Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I always feel better when the days get longer and the weather starts to warm.   One thing in particular that's holding me up is making a decision on fabric for the Louis chairs.  I've been looking for ways to bring some more color into my house and finding an accent color that works has been a really tough.

If you remember, my living room is all neutrals.  It's a look I'm drawn to in photographs online and in magazines but I always end up longing for more color.  I typically gravitate toward blue and green--my favorite colors--but when I've tried adding them into this room, they always seem out of place. 

This morning as I was doing my Sunday chores, I pulled the rug from the foyer into the living room so I could wash the floor and it all suddenly seemed "right."  So I pulled together a few more accessories with reds to see how they looked.  A wool throw in a plaid of browns, tans and reds, a paisley fabric wrapped around a pillow and a wooden bowl filled with pomegranates quickly came together to create an entirely new look.  I like it.  I really like it.  I think it's a great look for winter at least.  You'll also notice I hung some new drapes (Pottery Barn Peyton drapes in oatmeal).  They're a little out of control having just come out of the package but I thought I would hang them for a little while before I press them and train them. 

This makes me feel a little more comfortable bringing some of the same colors to the dining room.  So the search goes on for the right fabrics.

* * * * *

And speaking of accessories, Janet (everyone's favorite stylish vegan) from The Gardener's Cottage asked for photos of people's favorite accessories so she could post them; in fact, she sent me a personal plea.  Good Do-Bee that I am, I sent Janet a photo of my favorite accessory which, it should come as no surprise, is a piece that has a history.

This vintage Hamilton automatic watch was given to my grandfather as an anniversary gift from my grandmother in 1962.  It's a very humble piece of jewelry but it's one of my most prized possessions.   (I think the band is one of the most handsome watchbands I've ever seen.  It still seems modern.)  This was my grandmother's second husband and they married in 1960 so this was their second anniversary.  At the time of this gift, I'm certain they were sweethearts.

I hope you enjoy your day with your sweetheart.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Louis XVI Chairs: Strip Search

Today was a snow day.  I don't want to talk about it.   Every time I do, people leave me comments about how it's 70 degrees here, 85 degrees there or that they're sitting on the beach; they're picking their first crop of snowdrops or planting their sweet peas.  So I'm just going to sit here in my igloo and be happy.

I wanted a diversion from shoveling and painting windows so I decided to strip the Louis XVI chairs I bought on ebay and search for some inspiration for their makeover.  The welting must have been glued on with gorilla glue and there must have been a thousand staples  in the upholstery.  It took me a few hours with a screwdriver and pliers to get the job done.

And here he is stripped down.  Isn't it a huge improvement?  They remind me...

...of the Louis XVI chair from Wisteria found here.

I tend to want to change paint colors, drapes, duvet covers, pillows, etc., every few years so I'd like to keep them fairly neutral.


I'm thinking that a medium gray with a neutral linen would look great with the new wood and zinc pedestal table.  But I'd love to put some pattern on that opening on the back.

I've been thinking that I'd like to use a light with a more contemporary drum shade over the table.  Except for the table, I really love this room.  I love the light, the bookcases, the window seat and I even find the lucite chairs with grain sack cushions an interesting juxtaposition.  I really don't dislike the table, but it might be nicer for my imaginary summer home in Spruce Head, Maine.

The metallic finish is interesting and I love the combination of gray and brown (in the floor).

The boys love them too!  

I think I'll go get some paint this weekend if I can get out of my igloo.  A few light glazes might be all they need.

Any suggestions?

(To Mommy of 3:  Thank you for all your great comments!  You don't have an e-mail address attached to your profile so I have no way to respond to you.  If you'll leave me a comment with your e-mail, or send me an e-mail to I'll be happy to get back to you.)