Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I love my house; I really do. My only beef is that I find it VERY hard to decorate a 1970's French mansard/American colonial hybrid (just writing that sounds like fingernails on a chalk board, but it's not that bad).

My last two homes were 1920 bungalows. The last of the two had a gorgeous built-in dining buffet, stained glass windows, original wall lantern sconces, and a sunroom. Very easy to have fun with, as the house oozed charm without really doing anything.

This house is certainly more of a challenge. We're blessed in that the previous owners replaced the carpet and upgraded the kitchen cabinets. The bedrooms all have huge windows with window seats. The outside landscaping, particularly in the backyard, is fabulous, but the rest of the house's interior just has the generic 1970's feel.

A short while after we moved in, I redecorated the formal living room. When we bought the house, the living room had been painted a light shiny, icy pink. Yes, shiny icy pink in a formal living room. With beige carpet. Topped only by the family room that was painted the EXACT color of those squishy orange Circus Elephant Peanut candies.

Oh, that racist English couple who owned the house before us were winners.

Anyway, I digress.

So I redecorated the living room, starting with the paint on the walls. Actually, I bought my sofas first. . .which I love. . . and painted the walls a shade found in the toss pillows.

I finished the whole room and loved it. But something wasn't sitting right.

I realized that the whole room felt too much like a department store. I had sprinkled some antiques with a lot of meaning to me in that room: my father's library desk, my great-grandmother's piano roll cabinet, my childhood piano. Still, it just felt a bit canned to me.

So fast-forward to last week, when on Thursday morning I was out and about grocery shopping SOLO, because dear Jimmy took ALL the kids to the park and Dairy Queen.

As I was driving along, radio blasting ('cuz I could, since I was SOLO!), a local, relatively new consignment store came into view. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the little red Open sign illuminate upon my approach. And a woman was carrying a gorgeous antique red window into the store.

I felt this was a sign from the big man himself that I should enter the premises.

So I did just that. The frame wasn't something I wanted after all. As I enjoyed scouring through the store, not having to worry about my children breaking anything (since it's a 'you break it, you buy it' store), this heavenly fabric jumped into my peripheral vision and I could hear it sing my name:

Oh my. Two antique chairs, one of which is a rocker, were beckoning me to come closer.

I felt all warm and swoony just looking at the gorgeous fabric. The arms and legs need a good refinishing, and the fabric needs cleaning. But all in all, f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s.

"Do you like those?" a voice out of nowhere asked me. "I'll give you both for the price of one," the sales clerk offered.

Oh my. $21 FOR BOTH!!!!

Can you say, SOLD?

I had originally intended to place at least one of the chairs in my family room, to brighten it up, give it some color. Alas, the chairs are a bit too formal and it would require me painting my fireplace (which I fully intend to do, just not right now).

So the chairs ended up in my living room. After I spent 3 hours and 2 herniated spinal discs rearranging the furniture.

And I LOVE it!

The photo quality isn't the greatest here, as the whole room looks like it is tobacco-stained, but I think that was the light reflecting against the champagne gold walls.

I placed the second chair next to the piano. I leaned my grandfather's briefcase up against the chair.

I just love the warm feeling I get when I see the briefcase. Like my grandfather stopped by on his way home from work, for a visit and a cocktail.

Slowly, I'm turning the room into my own.


Jen said...

I love the fabric! I wish we had cool consignment stores like that! All we have is gross and creepy second hand stores that try and pawn off someones eles's old stained undies....

Melanie said...

Chair envy! Love them!

Janet said...

I love it the colors are some of my favorite!

Sawatzky Kids said...

Loving those chairs Miss Sarah! What a great find!

small town girl said...

Perfect!!! Alexandria Stoddard (have you heard of her? She is a designer and a writer) says you must never paint your house pink. Your man will not appreciate it at all. I think she is right. Sounds like good common sense to me. And the gold looks great!