Friday, August 26, 2011

Update Number One on Furniture: Living Room

My color palette in here is gray (Classic Gray and Plymouth Rock Benjamin Moore on the walls), brown, and turquoise.  And white, somewhat, because my crown molding is white, but it isn't really a color I am pulling in.  Also, my main floor is a complete open layout, so my kitchen flows into my dining area which flows into my seating area.  I'm trying to divide the living room area and dining room area somewhat, without actual dividers, based on color.  Because the seats on my dining room chairs are a light beige, that area will, I think, lean toward more beige, gray, and turquoise, while the actual seating area will lean toward darker brown, gray, and turquoise.  It's tough with an open layout, especially when there is a huge, long wall down one side that needs to be broken up into areas so the wall decor doesn't look dumb.

All of my wood furniture on this floor is done.  It's Ethan Allen, a dark cherry (but not particularly "red") dining room set, two bookcases that are on either side of my fireplace, a coffee table, buffet, and side table.  Those are staying -- I bought it all in 2004 and they still look great, although my coffee table could use a refurbishing.  I'm going to try Restor A Finish, but if that fails, I'll send it out.  It's a great table, but I haven't been particularly kind to it.  The rest of it looks like new.  My floor is a medium dark brown hardwood.

Here is the furniture I ordered from Ethan Allen.  (I figured since the whole floor is Ethan Allen, why break it up?) 

The Monterey sofa in a medium brown leather.  I've always wanted a leather sofa for some reason, but I hate black leather sofas.  They remind me of fraternity houses.  Plus, after years of stains on a fabric couch, I kind of wanted something different:

Two Emerson chairs, this fabric in a hard to explain white and black very, very thin plaidish pattern that makes it look gray.  It may sound ugly, but trust me, it's very cool.

These two chairs will go in my bay window.  I had a very hard time trying to decide what to do with that area.  I wanted more seating, but it isn't a huge area, so I couldn't go with two super comfy big chairs, although the Emerson chair is very comfortable.  (At least from what I surmised by sitting in it at Ethan Allen.)  I also got one Emerson ottoman:

Actually, the fabric shown on the ottoman looks a lot like the fabric I picked, and may very well be it.  It's hard to tell online. 

The pillows for the couch are a dark brown and turquoise heavy cotton (I think...can't remember the exact fabric) pattern.  The pillows for the chairs are turquoise with a dark brown trim, and velvet.  It all goes together very well.  Well, at least I think it will, but so far my picks haven't failed me other than I wish the Classic Gray paint was one shade darker.  However, I did hit the right color of gray that I wanted, as opposed to one that looked blue or purple, so to that end, the paint pick was a win.

Then I've been thinking about wall art.  I like having paintings in my house, or at least photographs, or art.  I like somewhat unique pieces usually.  I've bought a lot of cool pieces in the past at art shows and on eBay, believe it or not.  For some reason I'm very averse to buying something for my walls at a place like Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Pottery Barn, even though they have some very cool stuff for walls.

As I said, I have a lot of art, be quite honest, I'm a little sick of it.  Except for my Robert Deyber fish picture, which will go back to its home on the perfectly sized wall and place for it across from my dining room table.  Some of my other pieces will go into the hallways maybe or the spare bedroom, or maybe even my master bedroom.  I haven't quite decided yet what I'm going to do in there. 

What I do know is that I want new art for my main floor, for the most part, which doesn't come cheap and will take some time to acquire.  It has to be just right.  I'm not a waffler on things like this.  Either I like it or I don't, and I buy it or I don't.  If I'm iffy, that means I don't like it enough.    

Anyway, I've been flailing a bit about what to do on the main floor.  I've been collecting cards from artists at the various art street fairs here this summer so I can order from them, and this weekend is the Bucktown Art Fair.  There were a few artists who I really like that I've seen this summer, but I just wasn't really ready to buy yet because I had to think about what to do. 

Then, I checked Gilt Groupe the other day.  And yes, it is one of those mass produced things that I usually don't like very much, but...I wanted it.  The artist is Parvez Taj, who is described as:
Canadian Parvez Taj uses photography, water-based paints, and ultraviolet inks to create works that blur the line between traditional and contemporary. From the beautifully distorted urban scene in NY Moving, to abstract naturalistic images like Lake Muskoka, the images speak to both the eye and the heart. Also check out the light boxes, covered in everything from abstracted subway signs, to an ink print in a wood-bark pattern.

I fell in love with this one, and I think it is going to look amazing above my couch.  I didn't buy it right away.  I thought about it for two days, only because he is a bit mass produced, and usually I like paintings, but...then I just broke down.  It's called "Elements" and is really what I wanted, colorwise, and I think it looks very cool.  (I just linked from Gilt, so if it goes away, I will repost a better picture once I receive it...which will apparently be in early November.)  I ordered the 48x32.  It was so much cheaper, over 50% off than his work usually goes for, at $175:
Then, I thought what the hell, right?  I might as well order a couple more, because I think I might be able to stack a couple along side of this one, or I have a few other spots on the main floor where these could go.  These two were only $79 each, because I got the 18x12.  Little paintings are fun because you can put them almost anywhere.  The left is "Hummingbird" and the right is "Indian Wells."  (Sorry for all the space around the photos...that's what you get when you are too lazy to download and upload and link.)  These are a little more blue than turquoise, but that is okay with me.
So, we'll see how this all turns out.  I still have to get rugs.


  1. LOVE what you picked out! The color scheme, art, furniture... LOVE it all!
    We're still looking for a brown or cream leather sofa that will work in our space. Yeah, black doesn't do it for me either.

  2. By chance do you have a photo of how the sofa turned out? Are you pleased? I am considering purchasing the same sofa in leather from Ethan Allen.

  3. Sharon,

    Sorry, I just saw your post! The couch turned out beautifully! I absolutely love it. The leather is quality and seems to be very high quality. I don't have a picture at the moment, but I can take one if you are still curious.