Friday, August 8, 2008

Bringing My Work Home For The Weekend And Thinking About Canopy Chairs

We're coming into the home stretch with the living room project. The paint is on and dry and looking rich, rich, rich. The new furniture placement feels just right, even though the room has issues.
It's a small room. About 13 X 11. With 11 foot tall ceilings. Each of the four walls have an opening. One has a set of double doors, that lead into the dance parlor. Another has one huge 150 year old floor to ceiling window, a nine over nine. This wall also has a "front door" that we do not use. This was once a double house that has been turned into a single family home. The third wall has a "regular" size window - it's 80 inches tall, and placed off center on the wall. The fourth wall has a connecting door to a bedroom - this is a shotgun style house, where one room leads into another.

For years I had a huge 9 foot long Baker credenza on the wall with the smaller off center window. It was the first thing you saw when you came into the room through the double doors. The flat screen was on this, along with a pair of lamps, and the usual clutter. I never cared for it as a the first focal point, but it seemed to be the only wall that would fit it. I never wanted to block that one gorgeous floor to ceiling old window. And I thought I should leave the connecting door accessible, although the bedroom has another entrance and this door is never used. The couch floated in front of this door, perpendicular to the credenza. An Eames chair and ottoman, and a slipper chair were across from the couch in front of the tall window and door that I treat as a window.

Now I flipped the credenza and couch. Well, the soon to come couch, which arrives on Thursday - the old girl is being recovered in faux white leather. The door behind the credenza has a mural on it, and the combination of the two looks so great. I changed the window treatments.
The off center window is a problem, because I want the couch centered, to line up with the chandelier, and the double door opening. So I replaced the curtains with some fab chippy old shutters taken down from the outside of the house. I have 4 panels, so one pair got fitted into the window as working shutters, and the second pair is installed adjacent.

I imagined a huge antique screen behind the couch to "center" it, and at the same time disguising the window, but even if I could afford one, it would have to be at least 80 inches tall and 80 inches long. I cleaned and scraped and lightly sanded the shutters, and then stabilized the remaining surface with satin finish poly-u. The pentimento is fabulous, and I think the contrast of the clean and refined sofa against the backdrop of the shutters will look wonderful. The shutters look like a huge painting. The Eames chair is back in its old place, and a metal etagere is next the the couch. Floating in front of that is my Ghost chair. The drapes had been hanging in one continuous panel across the expanse of the entire wall. I separated them, exposing a small space of center wall, just large enough to place an old metal trolley. I leaned a very distressed mirror on this. In front of this table, I layered another table, a gold wheat sheaf base with a round glass top. I piled it with my oversize books. The slipper chair is across from the Eames, and a French antique metal folding garden chair is across from that - both float off the corners of the Baker credenza. Two small tables are used as a coffee table in front of the sofa. All of the art work has been moved around just a bit, and looks better than ever. I have kept the poison green velvet drapes - they look perfectly fine with the Billy Baldwin Brown walls.
Speaking of paint, this is an old house with the sins of many others before me. I use flat paint, and paint everything the same color - walls, trim, ceiling - I wrap the room in color. This does such a good job hiding all the little quirky things. Let's face it, most of us have to deal and work with what we have, and often this is not ideal. A room wrapped in color expands it visually.

Why am I showing you pictures of canopy chairs, along with this monologue? Well, I like them very much. My friend MariLynne Kane has one HERE. I thought maybe the "new" living room might look spiffy with one. So I told the hubs about it, and he could not understand why I would want to put a folding camp chair, like the kind we take to Jazz Fest, in the living room. I was like, say what? And then it dawned on me that there are indeed two different types of canopy chairs. So I collected some images of my idea of camping out for him to look at (which left him non plussed).
The jury is still out for me too. Of course Kelly Wearstler made these things wildly popular, so the price of a vintage one is almost as dear as French antique one. Some furniture companies are doing reproductions, but they cost an arm and a leg too.
Right now I am so happy with getting the couch redone (thank you to my angels Sabina and Joe), the living room painted after four years of living with the Methodist Home mellow yellow, and having the hubs healthy enough to hang shutters, reposition the cable for the TV, take down ugly things and re plaster holes in the wall, and admire my crazy ideas in the first place (thank you my darling Tangoman).
So it's back to work for me. I am washing windows, and scraping old, old paint from around the window panes. Most everything is back in the room, which is a good thing. It had been piled up in the dance parlor. Tomorrow we have our private lessons to give, and I needed to get everything done in time for that. I started last Tuesday night, trying out a little sample of a swatch of wall color. HA! By 4 A.M. I had painted two entire walls! And from there I just kept going, a little at a time. I usually hate, hate, hate painting. But this time it was so enjoyable. The color is like chocolate, like coating the walls with lovely yummy chocolate. It was magical to see it cover the room.

Next week, will be more normal. I have lots of things in the hopper, and of course I will shoot some photos of the living room project to show you.

Have a great weekend!


lady jicky said...

I think they were designed for old castles that were darn drafty but I am sorry, I think they are sort of ugly and would be difficult to place in a room.

Old House Junkie said...

Val, can't wait to see your new living room. For some reason your canopy chair pics all make me think of Morticia Addams - she was in a peacock chair though, wasn't she? I'm deep in the dungeon of a basement drying & waterproofing project right now and won't allow myself to do a public space until I'm done with that awful job. Soooo am really really looking forward to seeing your new vision.

Visual Vamp said...

LOL The canopy chair is kind of a cousin to the fan back chair that Morticia loved. It is an odd chair, and I guess that's why I like it. I doubt that I will get one, because with such a small living room, I can't give up the real estate for something that is more eye candy than anything else.
OHJ I feel your pain! Thank god there are no basements in New Orleans! The whole place needs drying and waterproofing at times LOL.

Cote de Texas said...

show us pictures already!!!!!


Design Junkie said...

I can hardly wait to see the reveal. And ignore the haters....I adore canopy chairs.

Design Junkie said...

I can hardly wait to see the reveal. And as for me, I adore canopy least the french ones. I only like the outdoor ones if they come with a pool boy to keep my margarita fresh.