Sunday, August 23, 2009

anatomy of a living room, a bit more expensive edition

Can you do beach house blues in land-locked Charlotte, NC? We say a big, calm and peaceful, dreamy comfy "yes!" This is the opposing number to last week's anatomy of a living room -- our personal "formal" living room, just across the hall from the map-bedecked room we described previously. (I say "formal" living room because we live in a externally very traditional house in the South, and such houses generally have some formality, but we do use it a lot for, say, large scale school projects that involve a lot of glue and exacto knives and possibly even woodcarving. It's been known to host many a game of duck duck goose and roll-the-rather-dangerous-playground-ball to each other, so obviously a lot of actual "living" goes on here!) So, in place of the former owner's Williamsburg florals, swags, jabots, and grand piano (although I wouldn't say no to the grand piano!!!) we have Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue on the walls (half strength, but it's a winner in any value), massed family photos in silver frames on the mantle, and embracing Barbara Barry (Baker) sofas "kissing" the edge of a round jute rug from Crate & Barrel. Atop the rug, there's a charming French farm table, c. 1850, cut down to coffee table height (not guilty!), and atop the mantle, there's a country California auction Venetian mirror from the 20s or 30s. It spectacularly reflects that old, old, Italian chandelier, which I got at an estate sale for less than you'd pay at Home depot for a "boob" light -- you know the kind I mean!! Oh, and also, a West Elm octagonal table and an Ikea table holding Pottery Barn seahorse lamps . . . and last but not least, one of my favorite funky Ikea chairs -- the PS Guillholmen (I think I spelled that right!). So, again, find a favorite color, shop your floor samples sales, auctions, mass market retailers (very carefully and sparingly), estate sales and consignment shops, pull it all together, et voila!! Mommy's escape room! If only it had actual doors! But it's kind of cheap and cheerful, definitely beautiful, and therefore worth that "ahhhh" response. Hope you like it! thanks, Lynn-Anne


  1. I love your blog! You found some great pieces for your living room. I'm in love with your chandelier - and I call those "boob" lights too! I had them in my first apartment. :)

  2. thanks so much!! -- that chandelier was in pieces on the floor, wrapped in a smelly old blanket, at an estate sale, can you believe it?! I was pretty sure it was all there, and it was pretty cheap . . . sometimes bravery is rewarded! :) Most people look at me funny when I disparagingly refer to "boob" lights, at least until they get it! So glad to "meet" someone who gets it! LA