Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guest Room: Round 2

It always amazes me how changing one thing in a room can change everything. A strong piece--even if it is just a lamp, or a picture, or a bowl--can change the mood, refine the style, or throw everything off, just the right amount.

Two things shifted the direction of the guest room for me.
First, I abandoned the idea of a bentwood chair and started looking for an original Nakashima chair, kind of like one of these.
I had purchased the knockoff at Ikea for $34.99. In the space, the ikea chair felt too bulky, despite it's spindles. The rounded corners and thicker everything just overwhelmed the desk, which is the same era as the original Nakashima design.Room and Board makes a better knock off, the Thatcher chair, but at $299 it would have eaten up most of the budget for the room.

I found a pair on ebay, with spindles like this (gorgeous!)

though of course I only needed one, and the ebay ones were getting expensive. Enter my friend Sara, who bought a set of four Nakashima chairs on ebay years ago. One had a bum leg, and she only wanted two for her new space so--joy, oh joy--she sent me the last one!

Isn't it pretty? So much more delicate than the Ikea one, more elegant, a perfect scale for the room, and a match made in heaven for that campaign desk, don't you think? I still need to decide whether to strip it or paint it (I'm leaning towards matching the stain to the desk, but open to suggestions).

So there it was, one piece, upping the ante. Out went the yellow lamps, which suddenly looked squat and dull. Out went the striped curtains, which felt a bit stark. In came the lamp seen above, originally purchased for the Master (is it obnoxious to just say the Master, and leave off "bedroom"? Not sure how I feel about this), with its brown ceramic animaly-printy vibe, its sensuous shape, its black shade. Sexy.

So with this new vibe in mind, I headed off to West Elm for some curtain panels, thinking I would save myself the trouble of making them custom. I was going for a sot of subtle, tone-on-tone thing. Though, truth be told, subtle is not my strong suit and I tend to go for much higher contrast in general.

These chevron stripes somehow felt blah despite the fact that they are practically a golden zebra print.
These satiny platinum panels had some texture and depth, but they seemed to fade away. In this case, it felt like less was definitely less.

And then it hit me.

Raspberry silk. Elegant, sexy, not exactly subtle. They would pick up the red tones in the rug and the pillowcases, and add some shine to a room that was mostly matte and flat. I remembered that the previous owners had had a red lamp in this room, and the color was beautiful with the walls (which I have no intention of painting). Much to my delight, I managed to find the right color silk at SR Harris, during a month when silk was on special for 65% off. (I dragged the rug to the store with me and hauled it around in the cart. I did something one should never do, and bought up 5 yards without testing a sample at home first.) Meant to be, right?

More to come.


  1. I'm feeling so valued with all these shout-outs!

    I'm almost ready for the chair project too. Thinking high gloss something...maybe we do one chair three ways feature? That is...if it stays in the room!!

  2. Sara, valued you are! You vetted many decisions that are making their way to this blog. So glad to have you. Otherwise I might be working in a vacuum.


Let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!


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