Sunday, August 26, 2012

Duvet decisions

Master bedroom at the Franklin hacienda 

I just HAD to have a glen plaid duvet.  Nothing else would do.  The end of story.  But, that duvet has been a pain in my butt from day one!

Why?  Unfortunately the list is long....   By the time that I finally decided on a look for the room, those duvets in herringbone and glen plaid were no longer on the market.  So, after countless hours digging thru swatches of fabric, Josie finally found that pattern in Charlotte.... I think.  Anyway, since the fabric was light weight, it needed to be lined.  Unfortunately, even with a summer weight down comforter, the thermostat must be set on IGLOO.  It is heavy.  And, in a word:  Toasty! 

To add insult to injury, the fabric isn't wearing well. 

So, as we say in the South, it is fixin' to get the big... HEAVE HO!

There are a few things in the room to consider.....
1.  The carpet is builder's beige.  Not sexy, but it's in good shape.
2.  The headboard, barrister bookcase, lyre table, curtain rod, and 3-over-3 chest are dark stained hardwoods.
3.  The bench at the foot of the bed is tufted black leather.
4.  The nesting tables will eventually be replaced by something a little more Dorothy Draper-esque.
5.  Bed linens are white and euro shams are black.
6.  The pleated blinds are off white and the textured linen curtains are pale tan. 

Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Wing back chair in black velvet with silver nailhead. 

Most of the accessories are black, white, silver, crystal... with a few gold accents. 

One wacky bamboo and cane chair has paisley upholstery. 

 The overall look of the room, is fairly simple and tailored.  Or, at least that was the plan.
So, back to the duvet.
After hours of searching on-line, digging through samples at fabric stores, and a fair amount of cursing... no luck!   Keep in mind, I had already decided that this little adventure was NOT going to be as expensive as that last duvet.  No reason to break into the 401K to fix my bedroom meltdown. 
"Chalk it to me" Piggy Bank
Yesterday afternoon, I finally stumbled across THIS charcoal grey pinstripe duvet from Ralph Lauren. 
The duvet was ordered and only time will tell.  But, I think that it will work.  The thought behind the room was that it should resemble a gentleman's suit.  
The next conundrum is a pillow for the bed.  I really like the houndstooth pillow in the black chair (like in the photo above).  And, I absolutely hate two throw pillows on the bed... since the bed is a king, there should probably be one big one or three small ones. 
Ok... a kidney or lumbar pillow it will be!  Dinensions are 22 x 14 inches.  Measured it on the bed.... that will work smashingly.
But, what fabric should I choose????   For ideas, I started looking through the fall and winter suit collections at Saks, Barneys, Neiman-Marcus, Tom Ford, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale's.  The goal is masculine, but not over the top... with a tad of whimsy.
A couple of things can be ruled out:  No fur.  No leather... though black suede might be fun.  No vinyl.  No camouflage.  {Can you believe that Jimmy Choo has $600 men's shoes in camouflage fabric for the fall?   Awful!!!!!!!}  And, no traditional animal prints... this is NOT the time for zebra or leopard.
Here a few options.....
Argyle.... good idea but afraid that it might be a little busy.

Polka dots... maybe????

Ikat from the Mitchell Collection.  Ok, their website is beautiful.  THAT fabric is going to be overpriced....
Giraffe????  Only kidding...

But, this giraffe could work.  Hmmmmmmm.  I said no traditional animal prints.

These next three, I adore... but they are Madeline Weinrib!  Cost may be prohibitive. and ABC Carpet and Home
I love all three of them, but......
I'm in pillow picking hell!

 Hmmmmm.... what about this???

Classic Missoni ZigZag in black and white
I suppose... waiting until the duvet arrives is probably the best option.   But, I'm being impatient!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Upholstered Headboards

Wesport Bed from Williams-Sonoma Home

My dear friend, Josie, has been talking about upholstered headboards for several months.  Personally, I think that it is a bad idea... she has a cat and I have visions of acute anaphylaxis from kitty fur.  {Did I mention that I really hate cats; they make me itch.}  Regardless, she seems to be set on the idea.

When considering upholstered headboards, there are options galore.  And, the first decision to make regards SHAPE. 

Or, another way to ponder the question:  Are you looking for something that is rectangular and simple or curvy and Jessica-rabbit-esque?

Great room and that zig-zag rug is amazing...

...dramatic, n'est ce pas?

After discussing it, she wants a headboard that is fairly flat and straight across the top. 

OK.   Next question:  SIZE. 

In this case, size does matter.  Ha!   Upholstered headboards range from fairly standard proportions to those that are absolutely massive.  Consider...

Check out the size of that beasty headboard

Holy headboard, Batman! 

Better scaled to the size of the bed... but white?  We can find something better.  Mmmmmm, hello.... that mirrored nightstand is beautiful.

Simple and tasteful... and certainly NOT oversized.  But, I'm bored.

Moving right along.... HEADBOARD alone or HEADBOARD - FOOTBOARD combination?
Beautiful idea but she isn't going to like the shape.
Pondicherry headboard in chalk stripe from Serena and Lily

Green upholstered headboard from Sarah Richardson

Stunning bed.... awful pricepoint:  $14,000. 
Persia bed in antique gold and black leather from Ralph Lauren

Avignon Bed from Arhaus Furniture.  Upholstered bed with Indonesian Mindi wood AND nailhead.

THAT'S pretty... boring as grits... but pretty!
Mara bed with pewter nailhead from Ballard Designs

And, the choices go on and on.  FABRIC... simple, patterned, raffia, leather? 

Wonder if the fabric on that headboard is scratchy??????

Pattern overload.... especially with the upholstered platform. 
Norfolk, VA

That's better.... Sometimes LESS is MORE.

Love this one... Colors are fantastic.

...great tufted headboard in a very small space

THAT is one sexy bed!  Chesterfield leather sleigh bed from Restoration Hardware. 

And, there are still more choices!   Tufted, non-tufted.  Plain or nailhead trim.  Sleigh-bed style.   YIKES....

So, knowing my buddy, Josie, and considering her guest bedroom, here are some upholstered headboard candidates for her persual. 

Chambery bed from Back to Bed.  Those bed linens are just dreadful... but the headboard looks good.  And, the height of the headboard is adjustable.  Price:  $619.

Sutton Bed from Williams-Sonoma Home.  Great lines and simple nailhead.  Price:  $1350

Helaine or Nina Bed from Mitchel Gold and Bob Williams.  Wonder if she will remember our shopping adventure in DC when I took this photo?  Price:  $2440

Belgian Slipcovered bed from Restoration Hardware.  Price:  $1019

I like the shape of this bed, but it is LOW.... Wyatt Bed from Room&Board.   Price:  $1299.

Marlo Bed from Room&Board.  Price:  $1599.

Warner Bed from Restoration Hardware.  Price:  $2400

Isabel from Ethan Allen.  Price:  $749

Just look at that chicken over the bed!  Headboard by Candice Olson.   Price:  $2600

This is MY favorite!  Lorraine Tufted Headboard from Pottery Barn.
Tall (68inches) but not gargantuan.  Stylish without being over-the-top.  Tufted without nailhead.... no need to overdo a good thing.  And, the price is fantastic:  $799

I'll let you know if she ever makes a decision!  Ha.   Happy Tuesday.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dining room library combination...

Now, that's the ticket.... a library, dining room combination might be the perfect answer! 

Oh..... sorry.   I'm get a bit ahead of myself.  Allow me to explain.

Last weekend, I visited my friend's new farmhouse.  It is simply charming and I would steal it from her in a minute.

Unfortunately, as with any older home, there are always a few rooms that are -- how do I put this politely -- difficult to decorate. 

Consider the following diagram.

So, in Suzi's house, there is a wonderful room which connects the living room and the kitchen.  It has a fireplace, built-in bookshelves, and an enormous picture window.  It is a lovely, well-lit space.  But, that little bastard has doors on 3 walls... and a window on the only remaining wall.  WTH were they thinking????  Where does the furniture go?

The original idea was to use it as a library and an art room for the kids.  Ok, that sounds great, but.... furniture placement?

Hmmmmm.... a loveseat cannot be floated in front of the fireplace or your feet will be resting on the hearth.  (Did I mention that the room is narrow?)  A sofa in front of the windows might work, but there is nothing that can visually balance the opposite side of the room because of the barn door.  A couple of club chairs might work at the window elevation, but nothing really fits on the opposite wall. 


Last weekend, we literally walked around the room... measured, placed "make believe" furniture in the room, and scratched our heads.

Then....  Why not think outside the box?

I've got an idea!

Let's start with the basics.  There will be no structural changes.  It is what it is!

The floors are great old hardwoods that look fantastic.  The ceiling... well... needs a tweak.  Most of the house has old wooden ceilings that are in lovely shape.  But, since this ceiling needs to be changed, why not use tin ceiling tiles???

Ok, I'll admit, the cost of antique tin ceiling tiles would make a millionaire choke, but new tiles aren't really expensive.  New tiles in an antique finish are only about $6-11, each, for 24x24inches.  So, the cost would be about $600 plus labor. 

Vintage inspired tin ceiling tile
Check out the ceiling in this room by CWB Architects

Ok, next... since there are only bookshelves adjacent to the fireplace, lets put some on the opposite wall.  Visual symmetry is, sometimes, the best option. 

Not the best photo, but you get the idea.  And, check out that bench beneath the window.  Hmmmmmm.....

A long bench beneath that picture window might work well.  What about.....?

The Raleigh Bench from Pottery Barn

Louis XVI Bench from Ballard Designs

On the wall beside the barn door, we need something a little fun and funky.  Suzi loves antique map chests and this could be great!

Vintage map chest

The patina on the chest could dictate the finish on the barn door.  Perhaps....

Now, back to the center of the room.  Making this space into a dining room would be great.  The table needs to be round with a leaf or two... that would allow seating for as few as 4 people or as many as 8 guests. 

Reclaimed hardwood round pedestal extension table
Adams Furniture, Highpoint, NC

So, a few examples of how the room could look include....
Pretty.. but a little too rustic.

Too masculine???? 

The white table is an interesting option

Great curtains and bookshelves

GREAT room.... for Colorado... not North Carolina

Fantastic room... and those pink chairs are amazing

 But, these last three are my favorites!!!!

Decisions, decisions, decisions.