Archive for the ‘decorating’ Category

DEN, continued

Friday, April 1st, 2011

I mentioned that the den was oddly laid out. I swear, it totally is. It’s tiny, has three entrances, a huge built in desk and most importantly houses the precious cable and television that our lives and decor must revolve around. I watch TV unashamedly and I love it.

Check out the small walking gap between the desk and the chair. This is precise reason the sofa is always in the corner – there is physically no other place it can go. I know, it’s not ideal, but it’s all the space allows for. Suck it den.

This office half of the den is one of my least favorite parts of our home, but ironically, also the place where I spend insane amounts of time. I’m not bitter. I’m not totally seething with fury over this.

When we bought the house the first thing I wanted to do was rip out the desk. This plan was vetoed, but every time I clip that desk edge with my upper thigh I dream of taking a sledge hammer to this thing.

This stupid effing desk. This ugly bulky poorly laid out terrible crappy built in desk. I try to avoid photographing it since its dumb and ugly and I hate it – and normally its covered in paper – because yeah, bloggers lie. My desk is this clean on photograph day or like once a month for special guests.

We can’t tear it out because all the flooring would have to be replaced and frankly, I’m just not willing to dump a bunch of cash into the desks removal and the repair that goes with it (because, oh yeah, there is even more stupid effing wainscoting that would have to be dealt with and the last thing I’m paying for is to fix that hot mess).

I would like to put a door on the weird open section since its stupid. Also, I need to move the electrical outlet down inside the desk, because WHY IS IT OUT THERE ANYWAYS? Then all the ugly cables could be hidden, and not by loose papers, but by being smarter than a desk.

Does this very simplified floor plan explain what the layout dealio is? There isn’t a lot of leeway for another type of furniture layout – although I have tried and failed – so our biggest hope is to just get the right pieces and live harmoniously with the awkward space through sheer perseverance and willpower.

On a happier note, I did recently acquire this vintage Eames DCM chair. This has been on my must have list for forever and I’m ecstatic to report that it is much more comfortable than the Eames shell chair I was rocking before. My big ol’ booty is supported and lower back is enjoying the scoopyness.

I actually picked the chair up on the same trip that I found the lotus pendant. I grabbed it in a little antique store along with this vintage Winnebago toy as a gift for The Boy. He loves motor homes? I guess that’s something you can love right? He’s always trying to convince me we need to get one and is constantly showing me craigslist postings, but if we go traveling via a car I want a vehicle we can stuff furniture into. Talk to me about a box van, honey pants.


Monday, March 28th, 2011

That’s a new coffee table and a new chair. Let’s just get that out of the way.

Well, technically it’s a pair of new chairs, but I can only fit one in the tiny oddly laid out den. Everyone made it quite clear (and I concurred) that the new chesterfield destroyed the Eames lounger and mushed its face into the cement. This I knew when I brought in the chester amd I really wanted something to replace Mr. 670 with something like a Milo Baughman rocker (which surprisingly Emily just used on SFAS for Joy’s place and I was CRAZY JEALOUS). Since I don’t have a gazillion dollars to buy a Baughman, I went the old ebay route to look for something loosely “inspired by” and stumbled on this pair of cantilevered chrome tubular sling chairs. It had the wide 1970’s loungy vibe I was hoping for, so I made a ‘best offer’ which totally low balled the seller therefore I assumed it’d get rejected – but then they surprisingly accepted. Suddenly sh*t got real and I was obligated to arrange for local pick-up in Los Angeles, which turned into a bit of a disaster, but that’s another dumb story and blah blah blah.

Here’s the other half of the chair pair. Look at that nasty and ugly brown town upholstery. Blech.

But…I’m getting this thing redone. Navy. Leather. Sling. Or perhaps heavy duty canvas?

No cushions, no fussy crap, just a simple sling attached to the cantilever frame. Modern it up and make it super duper sex-a-fied.

Then there’s this beast. It’s new, it’s driftwood, it came from a stuffy antique store and was cheap-o until I discovered it was also an additional 40% off which means super SOLD to me. Even though, I have an army of these type of tables, none are driftwood or lightweight or have an awesome shaped top.

I love the shape of the glass but I HATE glass coffee table tops in high use areas. My big plan is to have a piece of marble cut in the same shape and size as the glass and make a crazy Saarinen tulip coffee table driftwood hybrid that I assure you, will rock your entire head off once it’s all done. At least, that’s the plan, but we all know that sometimes plans go awry.

We finally hung the Bumling lamp that I bought a long while ago off Stephanie. It totally still needs a diffuser, but those crazy Euro mm are freaking me out. I’m not quite sure what size I need.

I also need a new floating media unit to  mount under our TV. Been thinking a lot about Anna’s fauxdenza and modifying the idea to be longer and leaner and have sliding media doors. Check back in a few years, because that project is like at the bottom of my huge list.

Ines Colmorgen + André Wyst. So moody. So cool. I bet they eat fancy cheese plates and smell exquisite.

Completely still in love with the Prouvé Potence Lamp. Going to have some sweet stuff to show you soon. Let’s just say, I would like something like this to add to the den as I continue to shift and change things up and I may actually be able to…


This is my little quick mock-up of the changes I’d like to make for DEN 2011.

+ Larger Gray/White cowhide rug. Good lord I’ve been searching for an affordable one for forever.
+ Marble coffee table top.
+ Navy leather and chrome sling chair.
+ Smallish Danish cabinet instead of the tension rod shelving unit
+ Potence-ish light
+ Horizontal modernist stain painting? Frankenthaler or Rothko? HA! YEAH RIGHT – but I do know how to oil paint.
+ BM Bear Creek paint? Maybe stop fighting the wainscoting and just go for it? Still considering…
+ The elusive fiddle leaf fig tree or a giant cactus?
+ Accessories, but dudes, that can wait.

Still a long ways to go with the den, but I see where it wants to be. More sophisticated for sure, but also a place to be comfy and eat dinner – yeah, we are coffee table eaters most of the time – so classy. I also spend about 80% of my day hanging out in here, either working at the computer or watching Deadwood so it needs to stop making my brain ache with what I don’t like.

Enough Already

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

A long while ago I mentioned that I was working with fancy set decorator and all around super star Laure Joliet on a TV makeover show. Well, it’s finally started airing on that new Oprah network and is called Enough Already with Peter Walsh. Laure already wrote a pretty awesome post explaining the whole shindig and the great folks involved like art director Mike, Heather, Barry and the whole crew. Laure also so kindly let me use her images below (did I mention she is also a killer photographer? I know, she is annoyingly good at everything) since with the madness of the schedule I never did get a decent shot.

When I say madness, I mean utter and complete madness.

Did I also mention that the show was about organizing and designing spaces for people with “extreme clutter” issues? Not quite hoarding, but teetering on the edge of the bell curve. Above is the “before” image of the dining room that Laure grabbed with her iPhone while they scouted the home.

How it worked was that in four days we had to remove everything, sort through it all, shop for essentials, install flooring and wall treatments and then makeover two to three rooms. During that time they are also filming things as well, so logistically it was nuts.

They were long – very very very long – and exhausting days but also incredibly exciting and fun. It seriously takes a huge bunch of folks to make these sort of transformations happen that quickly and everyone was surprisingly chipper and helpful and so well organized. It was a great team to be apart of.

Boom. Check out that blue grass cloth.

Look that’s a dining set! It was totally buried in that pile before, but now you can sit down and use it. Whenever possible we tried to reuse the owners original possessions and incorporate them in the new design. I liked that it wasn’t just about gutting everything and starting over, but that we truly did attempt to show how they could use their existing pieces to create a more cohesive and “designed” room.

See where that clock is and that little bit of credenza poking out under that big lamp? That’s this fireplace and this credenza (to the right) after we finished:

We also reused their existing chairs and added a rug and coffee table and lots of fancy pillows.

I’m proud of my fireplace vignetting – totally taking credit for that – but Laure found that really cool driftwood mirror!

With all the art we tried to take family pictures and enlarge them at Kinkos as well as reuse pieces they already had. Did you know that Kinkos can be kind of weird about that? Yeah. Seriously. I may have gotten into a bit of a tussle one late night with a Kinkos manager about enlarging a baby picture. Just be forewarned if you want to try to enlarge some family or personal photos, if the photo looks too “pro” they might freak out.

We got them this great sofa (which was a floor model from Blueprint) and a fancy new bubble lamp. Styling.

The other major room we tackled was their master bedroom. Don’t be fooled, Elmo is terrified.

Here’s the after.

So nice right? We installed hardwood floors and obviously had a major hook-up with a grass cloth company since there’s more nice grass cloth on the walls. I think it came out pretty well. Simple, relaxing and clutter free. Not like a scary pea green dungeon.

Thanks again to Laure for letting me use her images and for letting me join the crew. It was super awesome fun crazy exhausting, but ultimately warmed the cold little modernist cockles of my heart. It was incredible to see how utterly transformed these homes could be in just a few short days.

If you guys want to check it out on the TV – Enough Already airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Mondays at 8pm.