Friday, August 29, 2008
Designed On A Dime (And In A Day)
When we moved, I stashed everything in the basement. Meanwhile, I went through the house, room-by-room, hitting the high points and leaving the details for later. I called this plan "temporizing."
Finally, I was ready to temporize the basement. The night before the big makeover, I took a picture and studied it. It seemed pretty hopeless.
I couldn't chuck it out and start over. The sofa and chairs are made by Ashley, and they'd been in a model home, so I'd bought them on the cheap years ago. The microsuede fabric has been durable. The coffee table is an oldie--it's the weirdest thing I've ever seen. When my son moves into his own house, he's put dibs on that coffee table. Men love it--because they can move the sections into all kinds of shapes. I started moving things around, borrowing from other rooms.
The next day was Super Bowl Sunday. So I took a bunch of pictures and mailed them to two design-loving, football hating friends. While the men watched pre-pre game activities along with regular pre-game stuff, we decorated by email, using stuff I already had.
In my mind, I had a sort of inspiration picture. I love any designer who has a decorating dog. Nina Campbell's London living room served as an inspiration.
I loved how she'd artfully blended the contemporary and the classic. That said, it was more formal than I had in mind (if you can't relax in the basement, then where?).
I've got a big Husky, Chuchee, who loves to sleep on that sofa,
along with Emma, the Pom
and the dogs and I like to hang out there when we're mad at Mr. Gollum.
So the room had to be dog and people friendly. But I liked the Nina Campbell picture for ideas on how to combine mod fabrics with more traditional ones.
A modern rug like Nina's would have added so much to this room. At Shades of Light, I spotted this rug. It reminded me of the rug in "Something's Gotta Give."
But it was Sunday, no time to dash off to the mall. I had to use my old rug. And I love a challenge. As always, I put the cart before the donkey and started hauling in boxes from the garage. I unpacked and auditioned them. The afternoon blended into night, and I snapped pictures and emailed them. My wonderful friends emailed back with suggestions. I can't think of a better thing to do during the Super Bowl. :-)
Following Nina Campbell's advice to **always** add an "off" color on purpose, I brought in the bronze pillows. Boy, that rule was made for me...it loosens up a room and makes it interesting. However, this space had a way to go. And the pillows were more than a tad off. So I looked around for accessories that would pull the color around that side of the room. This is one time where it pays to be a packrat.
The placement of the bronze accessories somehow made the pillows work. Meanwhile, my friends kept emailing ideas, and before long, the room had been "temporized." :-)