Wednesday, June 20

Conundrum.

I go through these phases where my home takes on a personality disorder. Or, perhaps, it is me with the disorder. Regardless, I get really bored with my interiors and feel a desperate need to shake things up (again!). If you're a regular reader, you've already noticed this. I do things on the fly, and relatively inexpensively, so it's not bad in terms of the cost my boredom could burden me with. One thing in, one thing out (mostly via craigslist) is my motto, so to buy something means I sell something. It's just that at this moment, I feel a little lost, and I am not usually lost. I change it. I love it. I live in it for a while. And change it again.


But these days, I'm all over the place. First there's the new Modern Sofa from Room & Board, which I love (and is super comfortable!).


Then, my mum recently shipped me her 200-year-old French farm table, so these new pieces have thrown me a bit. I can't decide what kind of chairs should go around the table - modern white, or maybe vintage chairs painted white?


And how will the new dining chairs fit in with the new wrought-iron barstools I picked up at last month's flea market? Have I mixed it up too much?


One minute I was loving the idea of this pink, Moroccan themed room, like I shared from last month's Domino. The next I'm realizing that the mid-century modern slant I've got going with many of my major furniture pieces, not to mention my artwork, doesn't really lend itself easily to pulling off this look.

Then, I think I want an eccentric, French, bohemian look, much like that of Wary Meyers' fabulous interiors. And I question if I can pull this off? And then, I really love the fresh look of Amy Butler's Midwestern modern fabrics and aesthetic, and think, this is something more compatible with my belongings. This is where I am leaning today. Ask me again tomorrow.



So, with all that said, what are your thoughts? I clearly need major analysis and a diagnosis! I've put together this montage of pieces (above) I have to work with, with some new looks I love, and thought if I put them out there in the blog universe, y'all might lend me some guidance!

45 comments:

anahata said...

Hmmmm...I think maybe white modern chairs with your new lovely table and maybe a pop of solid-ish color on the seat-in a nice and tailored shape. I think it might help tie in the playful stools and make the scene go with your mid century stuff. But I am a total "Pinata-home" dweller so my advice is tainted with overly-rose-colored glasses.

natalie. said...

i would say otherwise - i think vintage chairs painted white would really play on the charm of the old table.

i loved the bombay in brooklyn thread, but then again, i am gluttonous for moroccan/middle eastern inspired interiors...

casapinka said...

First of all, this is you:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dogmom_five/383783609/

Why not nice white tulip chairs with Amy Butler cushions? Of course, that's not the Moroccan thing but you could do that next year, right? Or mixed up flea market wood chairs with the Butler fabric cusions. Or a few tulips and a few wood chairs. I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who suffers from the pestilence of the everchanging interior. I don't know how I stayed inside my mom for nine months - I'm sure the monotonous decor drove me crazy!

Shona~ LALA dex press said...

I have an analysis (no diagnosis) there are just too many really great things in the world, and since most of us only have 1 residence (and a small one at that) it's hard not to want to change it frequently for new wonderful things that catch our eyes.

Everything you have shown is too too beautiful.

Krysta said...

First off, I absolutely loooove your table! I was looking for something similar when we moved, but instead stained what we had a dark brown. I enjoy a simple chair around my table, so I think either of your chair ideas would work well. The simplicity of your modern sofa as well as a lot of the white you have going on lends you some room to bring in lots of pinks, or patterns, or colors or whatever it is that fits your fancy. I would personally go with pink Moroccan pieces, becuase it seems so bright and cheery. Good luck and best re-decorating wishes!

Anonymous said...

I think all those fabrics would look great with your white furniture, and would help relate the ornate stools to the more modern pieces. The only thing that seems out of place to me is the rug under your table, which makes that room look dark, at least in the picture. I've seen beautiful rugs with a pinkish cast - maybe something like that would help give you a bit of the Moroccan look you want?

eshu said...

i'm completely brand-spankin' new to you and your home but i want it, all of it and as for the farm table... i've been scouring craigslist for a solid year for a good, affordable farm table...

as for yours however, i'd go with vintage chairs painted... but i don't know if i'd go white. i'd probably do a brighter color, however from the little i've seen you do a lot of white.

then again, i have no experience in design and you really shouldn't pay attention to my advice!

kcdesign said...

First of all - all exisiting pieces are great - the room wants that table. The barstools are genius. I would do a modern chair, but keep it white - the PB ones are cute and so inexpensive - as is the Jake chair from R&B. Then, any or all of the fabrics will pop. We all have days when we flounder - for me, one good picture can inspire the thing that brings it all together.

Porcelain said...

I think you can't go wrong with any of the choices that have been suggested or that you threw out.

Here are a few ideas that I'm digging:

Love the tulip chairs casapinka suggested. You could maybe cover the cushion with some fab Amy Butler fabric. Or some pink Sari fabric and make a table runner or something out of the Amy Butler fabric that has similar colors as the Sari.

Or how about some white Eames plastic side chairs.
http://dwr.com/productdetail.cfm?id=6455

I like the painted chair idea. Maybe get something with clean lines and paint them a fun bold color, like a bold pink!

Take a look at this month's Living Etc. There's a great spread on Emily Chalmers's home in London. I love her dining table with the vintage wooden chairs and the fun cushions she made from old scarves. Maybe try something like that, but with either some Sari fabric or the Amy Butler fabric. Or mix it all up!

Good luck and I'm so with you on the constantly changing home. I don't think I'll ever reach a point where I sit back and say I'm done decorating!! It's too much fun!

Thea LaVigna said...

...I'm thinking vintage chairs painted a high gloss white and cushions covered in brown fabric for each chair seat, making the vintage chairs more comfortable...about pink, my experience is that pink always comes back into my life, no matter how hard i try to part with it I am always drawn to more! love your idea of using craigslist to disperse your possessions, I'm going to run with that great idea!

Anonymous said...

How about upholstered parsons chairs? You could slipcover them white to echo the sofa or make slipcovers out of some of the fabric choices you posted.

denise said...

DEFINITELY super simple modern white chairs. they will look bangin' with that awesome table. (I think juxtaposition is the key to all the best spaces)

MamaChilanga said...

Have you considered a couple of benches with interesting cushions instead of chairs? You could still splurge for nice armchairs for the heads. (I love the idea of plastic Eames side chairs or Saarinen tulips,too, but those can be pricey when you need more than 4!)

Mostly, what I loved about this post, is that it made you seem human, Victoria. You are one of my style super-heroes. I admire what you've done with your apartment so much -- in all of its incarnations. It is comforting to know that even you have your doubts from time to time ;-)

You make it all look so effortless, Victoria.

You have a wonderful eye. Whatever you decide, I'm sure it'll look fabulous.

(Maybe you can come over to my place some day and work your magic... a girl can dream, can't she?)

Casey said...

I love your style just the way it is!! you asked if you had mixed it TOO up--no way! I love mixing different finds, modern, (new white, simple, clean, modern chairs for your table is my suggestion)with antique (your table)
go for it!

Laura said...

My vote is modern white chairs. Love that table. If you're afraid of mixing it up too much with the barstools, you could have them painted white too, to tie the pieces together. I really like the fabric on the barstool seats, but if you're looking to change just for fun, you could recover the seats in your Amy Butler fabrics!

Anonymous said...

Hi V -- First off, there's absolutely nothing wrong with you! Not to be too NoCal, but you're a Gemini (right?), and that means things must be various and things gotta change. Sounds like you're working with the fact of that; go ahead and run with it, maybe? As a fellow G-girl, I know all that change and contradiction brings its own form of monotony and/or frustration at times. Add to it that this is your passion, and it seems to me your home is your canvas. No artist is satisfied looking at or making one little ol' painting.

As for the room(s), I'm feeling the modern chairs around that spectacular table, too. I also sense you need something a little outlandish around you -- sometimes that's more satisfying than purely 'mixing' and keeps one's interest longer. Know what I mean?

While I love your barstools, I think they might be the things holding you back from exploring & incorporating other ideas. Just my take, tho. I love your blog, by the way, your ideas, and the way you express them. Very much.

Carlene said...

The Amy Butler fabric on the chair (with lotuses?) could look vaguely Morroccan...very thin chair pads on Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chairs in white. (I really love your place, btw. Whatever you do will look great.)

Dara said...

How about white Panton chairs for the dining table? Love the contrast between vintage and modern. Or modern chairs for each long end and mix-and-match vintage chairs on the sides?

I love the barstools, don't change a thing about them.

Anonymous said...

I think Ghost chairs would be great. They would float around the table and not distract from your other furniture...especially the lovely bar stools. Enjoy your re-design.

Another Shade of Grey said...

Boy can I relate. I'm still in the process of redecorating my living/dining combo. I started out going with a modern deco feel, geometric, blacks, whites and blues, but I have since veered toward Anthropologieness wanting to soften things, add some coral orange, butter yellow and moss green, get rid of the harsh lines and add some floral patterns. AHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. My husband is going to kill me when I tell him the West Elm geo pillows I just bought need to be replaced with floral Anthro ones. I need help!

Another Shade of Grey said...

I just realized I didn't help you out one bit. Here's my take, for what it's worth.

I think you are right about the Moroccan look. You have some great mid-century pieces, let them work for you. Morocco and mid-century do not mesh.

The Amy Butler vibe, to me, works well.

I think the chairs should be vintage, but painted the green you see in the artwork over your sofa and the books on the shelf by the sofa, and also possibly the hue of green in your new Amy Butler fabric. :) Maybe the Lotus Polka Dot?

Shelley said...

Love your blog and your changing styles, what's wrong with that? Modern, antique and Moroccan can and do work together. Your sofa is more classic than modern and most of your furniture has the clean lines of modern, which is why the barstools look lovely - the curves on the back of the stools break up the linear lines of the furniture - the farm table is a beautiful rich contrasting dark wood with all the white, love it. I think you are on the right track with white painted chairs that are all the same in height but a bit different profile.Slide a moroccan style rug (with moorish shapes in colors like orange/white or pink/white) under the whole thing or use in the bay window area or the sofa seating area. You can also throw a moroccan pouf in there as a table surface, seating or footstool. Placed by the fireplace would be great. You can always move it into the bedroom when you tire of it. Anyway, you know you just need shots of color here and there. Maybe you are restless b/c it's time to move? Just a thought -- your place is fabulous but even fabulous needs a change of scenery. Thanks for such a breath of fresh air in the blogging world!

sfgirlbybay said...

wow! thanks for the responses - i have a lot to take in and read. i appreciate this so much! thanks everyone - there's a ton of great ideas here.

jill said...

i love the ghost chairs idea for the farm table.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of "nice white tulip chairs with Amy Butler cushions".

I also like the idea of antique metal chairs.

I don't like the idea of painted wooden chairs unless they are very special. Looks too Pottery Barn and I love Monica on Friends.

French chairs of some style wood be perfect like dark wood bentwood Thonet chairs.

Basically, whatever you like would look good but stay away from anythig predictable unless it is elegant!

midcenturyjo said...

Hi Victoria. I'm leaning mamachilanga's way. Benches would give a low clean line and let that table shine through. Too many fussy chairs will engulf it. A couple of painted vintage chairs at each end (like Thonet cafe chairs)would be great for comfort because those benches will be more for look than lingering. If you go the bench way then if they have old flakey cyanide green paint great if not paint them that lovely green that shows up here and there in your apartment. When you get sick of them you can use them in a hallway to display books and pretty things or one at the end of your bed etc. Everybody's ideas are great and I envy your chance to mix it up again. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Agree with Midcentury Jo and MamaChilanga, brilliant bench suggestion. I do have to say I loved how your white table popped against the wood hutch, or are you planning on switching around that too? May I also say how much I'm swooning over your vintage stools. Can it get any better?

Cecilia said...

The Ghost chairs would be perfect, but so would Arne Jacobsen's Ant chair in white! I have them at my place together with a plain wood table (not as beautiful as yours but anyway...), check out my blog to see how perfect they are!

Kelly said...

Love the tulip chairs idea, but also the "antique metal chairs" idea from anonymous. Immediately while I was reading of your conundrum, I thought of this Anthropologie display. White wire chairs, similar but different from the bar stools, would be magnificent. Mixed in with darker, more solid wood chairs?

I can relate to the problem - currently I'm in a state of design ADD. I'm hoping a mood board will help focus my ideas!

tRa*pHicS said...

ok here is what i think... as a super thrifty, trasure hunting, deal seeker, diy addict, design enthusiast myself, i blieve the mismatched chairs painted white is the way to go. you can make them not so 'potterybarn' by painting them a high gloss white. this will give you a slightly more minamalist sleek look anyway.

it will be a nod to eccentricness, a great backdrop to all your fun fabrics, more traditional shapes to go with your other white furniture and super cheap if you find these chairs where you can get them. its all about the high gloss white though!!

i look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Catherine said...

I think that with a French table, you need a French look like something from one of your favorite resources Cote Sud.

Annie said...

Hi Victoria...I've tagged you! Just something silly and fun.
Hope all is well!

Shannon said...

Hi Victoria! How about white wire Bertoia chairs? Then you have your white, vintage chairs AND your clean modern chairs in one.
http://www.ragoarts.com/onlinecats/03.18.03Estate/178.jpg

Ash said...

Wow, what a great space you have! So light and airy! I love mixing things up...and like you, I'm constantly changing mine...and am wishing for something different right now.
Found your blog today and will be anxiously waiting to see what you do! Love the colors and ideas you have!

becky said...

I'm thinking Suzani - check out the post in style court called "attracted to the same things" I think it's here:

http://stylecourt.blogspot.com/2007/06/attracted-to-same-things.html

You are a master of the mix, so don't sweat it. If anything, you'll start a new trend.
Becky

sfgirlbybay said...

thanks again for the amazing response and all the brilliant ideas! you all are smart, fun and talented people that i am proud to have as my readers! i can't wait to figure this out and post the outcome of all the great suggestions. xo

sfgirlbybay said...

p.s. i *really* want the tulip chairs. i may have to sacrifice food for a month...

decor8 said...

I may have an extra suzani if you're interested, it's from my last trip to brimfield in may...

MamaChilanga said...

You must eat caviar for breakfast lunch and dinner if your food budget for a month can cover a dining room-full of Saarinen tulip chairs ;-)

Vicki said...

How much do you love the pink toile fabric...We sell tons of it in our fabric store so I think most would agree...I could LIVE in all these bold, graphic pink florals! But alas, my 3 boys and husband would vomit!

Keep on changing. Easy and fun to do. Vicki Bodwell
www.warmbiscuit.com

Gina said...

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/fur/355791850.html

Found these on Craigslist today..sure you already saw them. Maybe you could bargin down the price a bit??

Gina said...

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/fur/353531043.html

Ok these are cheaper, and then you can just add whatever fabric you want to the seats. :-)

katiedid said...

Phew! This may get lost in the shuffle, but here goes! I vote for the white tulip chairs with a patterned fabric or the cushions. Nix the rug altogether (makes for easy clean-up under a dining table, and paint a wall (or walls) that color you are craving! The white chairs will pop and so will your white dishes and other accessories.

P.S. Love your blog and ading you to my blogger links!

erin scissorhands said...

room and board sofa is awesome. i love a few of their couches right now.

the farm table is perfect- i personally hope to have a farm table someday, and i have thought about pairing them with cream or white eames chairs, with maybe a different style chair at the end (probably one with some color!)

i think the barstools are great! but part of me thinks that the fabric throws them off. maybe with a nice simple pattern or even just a plain bright fabric.

Kim said...

Your place is so pretty!! I just love the overall style.