Sunday, April 7, 2013
Corner fireplaces, angled or straight, create tension and a lack of balance. The focal point is shifted or at an angle. The furniture arrangement needs to complete the square of the fireplace by being on an angle. Usually the room is too small to accomplish this. If the room is small, as is the case in many Mid-century Ranch homes, then the furniture placement is, by necessity, awkward, if the fireplace can't be relocated to a more suitable spot. This is often cost prohibitive or structurally not feasible. This is the reason they are most often just ignored. Sarah Richardson did an admirable job of blending the fireplace into the background in season two of Sarah's House.Though, the more I look at it, the more I find the mirror distracting, pulling my eye back to the fireplace and away from the fabulous art which is the new focal point.
Creating two functional areas, makes the eye move around the room. A table and chairs near the window can be used for games or informal eating for two, as in this floorplan.
If you are
Friday, October 12, 2012
Yesterday, I got the brilliant notion that I needed to put together a board with my latest set of "go to" colors. As I fancy myself a creative, arty type of person, I wanted this board to be arty. Of course, included in the project, as with any design piece of this nature, is the need for function, form should follow function. It needed to be light weight and portable and have the right chips, at least right for me.
After gathering my supplies, I set to work. I did have to get some more loose paint chips, I am not about to start hacking up my fandecks, after all! About mid-afternoon, I found myself in a bit of a funk. If the images above haven't given you a clue, I began to feel as though I had sent myself down the useless design project rabbit hole. To salvage it, I peeled away the chips that were there because "somebody else" had recommended they be used. Whew, project saved.
It is functional, and in my eye, it is beautiful. Only time will tell how far down the rabbit hole I fell.
Monday, April 30, 2012
The closet was laid out in an L shape, with a long wall of double rods, a worthless shelf area and a small section for long hanging. It had a rather poor 33 square feet. The shelf held one and one half pairs of shoes or three-quarters of a sweater per shelf. I tried hand bags, they fell off of either side.
Something antique or at least antique in appearance.
Then there is the door knob. Again, antique in appearance or antique.
Be sure to head back to Susan's for more metamorphosis Monday!
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
The first thing I learned in Design School is, if you are on a budget, Paint is cheap. Furniture isn't. The second thing I learned is really just an extension of Lesson Number One, choose your expensive items, furniture, floors, etc. in neutrals. Finally, use your expensive fabrics as condiments, on small chairs, on pillows, etc., to use less of it, thus keeping costs lower. One yard of $200 dollar a yard fabric is a far cry from twenty yards!
This is a reverse of what realtors suggest, which is to paint in neutrals. I have nothing against painting in neutrals, in fact, my family accuses me of contemplating beige with too much frequency. Realize that your paint choice is dictated by your sofa choice. If you choose a highly patterned, brightly colored sofa, you are pretty much stuck with painting neutrals. If your sofa is a mid-toned neutral and your paint is the same mid-toned neutral, you have a very blah design. If you choose the wrong neutral to go with your neutral sofa, then your sofa and your walls are in constant conflict. A truly adept hand is needed to effectively complete a design using predominantly neutrals. I recommend choosing your flooring first, then your sofa, then choose the paint. Always have your samples with you when you plan and shop, ask for samples before you buy or remnants when your carpet or wood floor is installed. Put them all together in a zip lock bag or other clear slim container for future shopping.
What sofa is best? The best sofa is eight-way hand tied. This system of tying coils makes the sofa durable and comfortable. As this process takes time, it is also more expensive.
The frame should be solid wood. There are various hedge words which are used to suggest that what you are buying is solid wood, such as, all wood, meaning that wood products were used but not solid pieces of wood, solid wood and select veneers, meaning the legs or other parts which are round are solid wood and the rest is wood products with veneers applied.
Another way to find a sofa is to watch the ads for sales. Make sure you read all the words in the ad, don't be distracted by the pictures. Luckily as consumers have learned more, more and more retailers are carrying eight-way-hand-tied upholstery.
Lastly, consider the cost per year. Our third sofa purchase was an eight-way hand tied sofa made by a division of Century Furniture on sale from an area retailer for around a thousand dollars. It was purchased fifteen years ago. The arms are a Lawson style which has been in style for, umm I think forever. Dividing the cost by the fifteen years it has lasted, it has cost me about $67 dollars per year. After fifteen years, the sofa needs reupholstery and new foam, but otherwise it is still in excellent condition. As you can see, my previous two sofas lasted half that long. Using the inflation calculator, I calculated the inflation adjusted dollars spent on each sofa to the year that sofa number three was purchased. In inflation adjusted dollars, sofa number one cost us $1076, sofa number two cost us $1015. As you can see, both of these were about the same cost as sofa number three! This surprised me, though it really shouldn't have. Being uneducated, we paid far too much for these two sofas.
Of course, there are times when one has to purchase an inexpensive sofa, meant to get by for a few years. Ikea has an Ektorp sofa with enough style to fill the bill. It is reasonable to buy such a sofa and start a savings plan for the long-term sofa.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
When we first moved to this house, I wanted to Espalier the west side of the house in Pear trees. My favorite is the Palmette shape. A close second is the Belgian Fence design.
This has not happened.
Mainly, this is because the person who needs to help with that process is just not as enthusiastic. Mr.Mise en scène does not share the same genetic code which stirs one to dig in the dirt. Not to mention he appears to have an aversion to actually using the levels we have purchased.
To espalier a tree, you need to begin with a "one year whip". A one year whip is flexible and can be trained onto the ligature. Of course, before the training can begin, the ligature has to be constructed.
This requires digging. Lots of digging. Not only do you need the garden bed, but also, as we do not have the type of siding on our house to which things can be anchored, we may need posts to hold the wire have to be raised. For those you need to dig.
But I can dream.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Sadly, the world has lost a design great. I learned, via Habitually Chic, that Albert Hadley has passed. Mr. Hadley was graduated from Peabody College. As an aside, I know something about that august university, it was fully named Peabody College for Teachers. He was a graduate of Parsons School of Design, worked at McMillen then co-founded Parish-Hadley, Associates. He was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 1986. He has always been in my hall of fame. Included above are some of my favorite designs of his. His apartment is for sale, find the details at Brown Harris Stevens.