Although I hesitate to bring most forms of paper into my home—brochures, receipts, bills, press releases, invitations, business cards— I still love books. Especially glossy design books. I don’t leaf through them nearly enough, but I appreciate being surrounded by them. Our living room in Boston, like many traditional Back Bay condos, has double built-in bookshelves flanking the fireplace, trimmed in traditional molding and calling out for impressive tomes.
I used to save decor magazines, which filled the top shelves nicely, but with the advent of Pinterest et al, tear sheets are just clutter. Besides, I now have enough coffee table books and small artworks to fill in all 16 shelves stylishly. Thanks to Rizzoli, who sends me all the best books, and the other publishers who send along design titles as well. I looked at all of them, and these are my favorite 15 design books of 2015.
As I’m wrapping up the details on Meredith and Daniel’s apartment, I’m also sorting through my overabundance of images in iPhoto. In the mass cleanup are a multitude of upholstered beds. If you recall, the design process started with the master bedroom, because Meredith had a specific look in mind. Said look revolved around a great upholstered bed. We opted for a silhouette with gentle curves, white canvas upholstery, and nickel nail heads. As you can see from these rooms, there are so many different variations on shape, pattern, color, and detailing. Tomorrow I’ll round up specific styles for you to shop.
Why gray sofas? First, I apologize for missing two days of blogging. I took a quick day trip to Connecticut to visit a friend. A friend who has so much faith in my taste that she has hired me to decorate her gorgeous new apartment in New York City. You didn’t realize that I’m an interior designer? I’m not! This very loyal friend is confident that through my writing and research, experience overseeing the building and renovations of my own places, and years of absorbing interior images, that I can do this. Or rather, we can do this. It’s definitely a collaboration. And really fun.
I’ll mainly be choosing furnishings. The project doesn’t involve any construction, kitchens, or bathrooms. The apartment is brand new and will be delivered finished and pristine. We will pick paint colors, wallpaper, rugs, furniture, and light fixtures (perhaps from Visual Comfort lighting.) The budget is similar to what I would spend if it were my own home, which makes it a lot easier. I’m nervous, but excited.
We’ve decided to go with a gray sofa in her living room. We’re thinking about a serene white and gray scheme, or white and gray with green accents. The dining room is in the same space, so we can play with that too. I’m sure I’ll be treating you to a lot of posts inspired by our deliberations and eventual decisions.
Now that our living room is habitable again (aside from the two extra dining tables taking up half the space), I’ve decided to try out the Heywood-Wakefield coffee table with revolving top that we salvaged from my husband’s grandparents house. I had initially been thinking of an airy brass and glass piece, to work with the pair of atomic ball and brass-plated vintage lamps from eBay and yet to be chosen future chandelier, but this one looks pretty good.
It works nicely with our Petrie sofa, which has similar lines to the original 1960s pieces his grandparents used to furnish the house. (Too bad our sofa is uncomfortable. Actually, it’s fine for cocktails, but not conducive to lying around with a laptop. Which do you think I spend more time doing?
Here are 49 living rooms with various styles of coffee table (or cocktail table, I guess the term is interchangeable). If you’re working on figuring out what type of design will work for you, these images will provide some ideas.
Here’s an assortment of amazing rugs in a wide range of price points. Some you’ve surely seen before, but I love them so much that I couldn’t leave them out. I recently purchased one of these rugs for our playroom-turning-family room. It has lots of colors, the pattern is more geometric than free form, and it’s not expensive. Anyone wanna guess? (There’s a clue in the Montage: Patterned Rugs post.) Also, look for a couple of designs for which you see the original and it’s much lower priced knock-off. (Hint: They’re both stripey.)