Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Does Your Furniture Talk?

How many times have you rearranged the furniture in a room? What makes you jump up from the couch and start to push it around? Does it whisper in your ear and say "move me"?

The after Christmas lull gets me moving on small projects, like rearranging furniture. I take my Christmas decorations down on January 7, the day after Three Kings Day. Moving the furniture is a prelude to the post-Christmas refresh.

I have a small living room, no family room, so the living room is well-used. There is not one clear wall in the space, that is, not one wall without doors or windows. It's a tricky little room to get just right.

Visual Vamp Living Room
Pattern chair, lime green silk drapes, drawing of Cholo by PVE
Walls are a softer version of Billy Baldwin brown

It's no secret that I was influenced by the interior decorator Mr. Billy Baldwin at a tender age. To me the rooms he created were the filled with things I loved: color, books, flowers, pictures, pattern, sophistication, a mix of high and low furnishings, furniture arranged for conversation, rooms filled with warmth and interest.

I never intended to slavishly copy a Baldwin room, yet somehow so many things I saw in those rooms have trickled down in a modest way into my decor choices, personally and professionally.

I rearranged the furniture in the living room so that furniture is "talking to one another".
The French settee is now placed facing the sofa, in front of the double doors that are at the entrance. At first I was concerned it would block the way. But with a little nudging and tweaking I managed to allow enough room to pass in and out of the room.

I love seeing the back of the settee. I also love bringing back the lime slip covered wing chair and ottoman. The chaise lounge is in the guest room now. Moving furniture from room to room really makes a room feel new again.

Visual Vamp Living Room
Portraits of Kenny, Michael Pelkey, and Audrey Hepburn

When you sit on the camel back sofa and look out, the new arrangement of furniture provides a cozy cocoon.

Visual Vamp Living Room
Portrait of Marilyn Monroe by Mario Ortiz


Anonymous said...

Love your ideas! You are always so creative. Everything looks really exciting to the eyes.

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

...and just look at cozy little cholo, would'ja!

Looks just beguiling...and inviting!

pve design said...

....and what lively bantor all your furniture would make at a cocktail party! Why Cholo looks as happy as an oyster....Oyster's Rockafella!
love how you just add panache to any room....magic!

Renae Moore said...

Love this Valorie! I moved things before Christmas, now am ready to do it again and totally different in the FR. I get bored and love a fresh look, itchin' to paint too.

I hope you and the adorable Tango man had a wonderful Christmas.


Notes From ABroad said...

Oh lordy, my furniture doesn't shut up !
"move me over there by the lamp, put me in the bedroom, I like it better in the corner " ... my husband sits there with his calm but puzzled look as I suddenly leap up off the sofa and start moving the table in the corner, switching lamps ... he and the dog just sigh and go on with whatever they were doing.
It is sooooo hot here ... I only want to be in the dark air-conditioned bedroom ..

Anonymous said...

It's good to see you back doing what you love, Valerie. Best to you and Alberto for a New Year of renewed health, creativity and happiness.

my favorite and my best- MFAMB to you said...

i don't have a ton of choice for furniture placement either. in fact i have even less than you.
but i DID take my christmas decorations down today.
my rule of thumb has always been before the new year.
but since i gave birth on new years eve (almost) 6 years ago, my new rule of thumb is before fiona's birthday.
i want no trace of christmas on her day.
i do want to sell a few pieces to make room for some new pieces though.
hope you had a fab christmas.
mike and i are planning a NO visit in the next few months, will keep you posted.

jlonit said...

It looks cosy, luxe, daring and inviting all at once. I love the lime green - I wish I had the courage to go with such a strong colour.

I noticed a rug on the lime chair which looked like Cholo and lo and behold it turns out that it was THE Cholo and not a rug!

Decor To Adore said...

Your room looks SO inviting!

I too always wait until Jan. 7th to remove the holiday decor~ yeah for us!!!

Lila said...

I think it's all the Christmas decorations that make you feel cluttered and starving for change. I also always rearrange where things go after putting away my Christmas decorations! I love your living room!
Lila Ferraro

24 Corners said...

Love that your having fun and that your creative spark is back in full swing, working it's magic! Your living room looks extremely charming and eclectic...and, very cozy (Cholo can attest to that).

Our living room is 'wall-less' also...I don't know what we were thinking of when we designed it, but what you've done has given me some great ideas for the future. As we speak, all that is in there is a garden bench (and a Christmas tree)...one day though...chairs, settee's, sofa's...and hopefully a cute pup will make it all that yours is!
xo J~

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I don't do a lot of furniture rearranging but the acessories all get shifted after the holidays. I really like the furniture talking to eachother in you living room, it creates a cozy circle and who wouldn't enjoy that?!
Happy New Year!!!

Kwana said...

Wow this is so beautiful and who knew where shared the same French fantasy. Happy New Year to you and Alberto!

Sanity Fair said...

What a great move - the back of the settee is gorgeous, and so visually interesting. I love your living room - it's so fresh and bright but still grounded. Must be the Billy Baldwin Brown!

Anonymous said...

hi, valorie and alberto and cholo,

all good wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year. enjoy.

valorie, you are going to hate me for this, but, as interested as i am in design, i have often left furniture and pictures in exactly the same place for years and years--as long as 20 years. there are things i only move to accomodate more stuff, but basically i'm more lazy than certain of myself. if it says anything, my things seem to say leave me alone, i like it here! because of a couple of confusions in the last month or two, i haven't completed this apartment, and won't for another few months. the 'agitprop' is still under the dining table, and its glass behind my japanese screen, one of the few things already uncartoned and in place.


meanwhile, feel wonderful and have a good year (and aarrff),

love, michael


Kim@Chattafabulous said...

I love your home's sexy layers and how nothing matches but it all goes together. The toughest look to pull off - stunning!!