Friday, October 24, 2014

everything old is new again

Anytime I'm in a house that is truly a home, the thing that is most noticeable is that almost nothing is brand new.  There may be a few new pieces (I'm a big proponent of mixing new stuff with old), but the rooms with the most comfort and charm don't come from going into a retailer and buying furniture and setting it up like the display at the showroom.  The really good ones are collected, put together over years with thrift store finds and family heirlooms and vintage pieces from different eras and varying provenance.  So when the lovely people at Chairish, purveyors of all sorts of vintage furniture, art and accessories, asked me to design a room using some of their gorgeous stuff, I was excited to give it a go.

The space in question:  a library with particular challenges.  Not a super large room (12'x15' or so),  but with great features like windows on two walls and a built-in bookcase (because its a library) running the entire length of one wall, from the floor to just beneath the window sills. 

The whole design started with the golden velour sofa.   I was obsessed with it the moment I saw it and knew it would become the anchor in this space.  I also found a pair of long lumbar pillows in a graphic gold chain fabric that were perfect for it.  Biggest piece in the room and some accessories for it.  Done.

The antique Persian rug came next -- it is comfy and rich and great with the sofa.  The room is full of light, so I knew that the deep gold/red/chocolate brown tones wouldn't be too dark or heavy here.  Plus, they are just the sort of colors that make for an inviting spot to curl up with a book.

The room needed way more seating than just the sofa and I LOVE chairs, so it was a no-brainer to choose a pair of them to go with the sofa and rug combo.  Chairish has so many fantastic options for seating (and you know that I love chairs), but I managed to narrow it down to a pair of mohair club chairs by Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams.  MGBW has long been my go-to for chairs, so it makes sense that I chose them.  And just like always these are super comfortable, the upholstery is luxe, the color is yummy and they are so right with everything else in the space.

The mood board for the Chairish library.  Besides all of the books, I found every item in this room in one place.
The tables were easy.  The tree shaped teak table is so interesting and unique.  I was determined to find a way to use it, and it turns out that it tucked nicely between the club chairs.  The mid-century modern nesting tables, well, I'm a sucker for the versatility of nesters.  I've used two in front of the sofa like a coffee table and the third one as an end table, but they can be used in the room in lots of different ways.

Every library needs a bar, and this one was no exception.  I wanted a piece with some size and weight, so instead of seeking out a typical bar cart I decided to re-purpose an art deco dresser with a beautiful walnut finish and great hardware.  The drawers are storage for glassware and the cabinet side is perfect used as liquor storage.  The surface space is great for mixing and serving drinks and is large enough to accommodate a glossy cobalt blue lamp with a clean white shade. 
My sketch of the furniture plan with each item on the mood board.

Sometimes the hardest part of a room is getting the art and accessories right.  Good art -- the kind that you love and want to live with -- is tough to find.   And I'm a firm believer that accessories should be a minimal amount of stuff, but it should be the right stuff.  I think I managed to collect a balanced mix of art and accessories that looks great with all those books.
I could not resist the vintage George Nelson clock.  It will fit perfectly between the windows on the bookcase wall.
Globes are the greatest thing ever.  This one will live atop the built-in bookshelves.

A large shot of the abstract art for the wall behind the sofa.  So much dreamy color.  I love the frame on this piece, too.

So.  Like this room?  Love and covet something in it?  Its all for sale right now, so don't hesitate.

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