I think I’ll officially feel like a grown-up when I care as much about my house as I do my closet. Don’t get me wrong, I love flipping through Style at Home, and I’m a Sarah Richardson devotee, but if I find myself with extra cash in my pocket, it usually goes towards a sparkly dress before it does an ottoman. But every so often, the home decor bug sneaks up out of nowhere, and I go all Tasmanian Devil in reverse. Way back in January, I blogged about this phenomenon at work. A few days ago, I caught the bug again. As it was with my vanity project, I was spurred on by one really great piece, and everything unfolded from there. This time, my catalyst was this super-awesome Dr. Evil chair:
My mom bequeathed this chair unto me as a thank you for a recent string of favours. (some say it with flowers, Mom says it with home furnishing). I LOVE this chair. But it looked downright silly next to my sagging Kijiji couches. Our living space is much like a bowling aisle – saggy couches with TV on one side, desks & computers on the other side, with a wide expanse of space in between. Next to our computer stations sat two Bermuda chairs (also from Mom) They are very nice, but they always looked a little lonely and lost in the back corner of our living space. In front of them sat a large coffee table gathering dust and unopened mail. These Bermudas matched the aesthetic of the circle chair perfectly. So, off to the corner it went!
That’s when things got real. These three nice chairs still looked lost and lonely, and they deserved better. So, I channeled my inner Nate Berkus, and attacked this corner with everything I had. I pulled the rug from our kitchen, the lamp from our TV space, the coffee table books from our shelves, the clock from our dinning room, and it just took off from there. The biggest “aha” moment arrived upon the realization that I could actually pull the large coffee table apart, and use it as two separate end tables to frame the space.
If you ever feel lost when trying to pull a room together, stick to matching basic shapes and textures. I basically echoed the circle-shape through the space for most elements, and the square for the rest.
Check out those neat iron circles on the ledge: They’re a gift from my mom-in-law, an old floor grate she recovered. In fact, everything in this space is either thrifted or gifted.
The artwork on the right is a wedding gift from my friend and mentor Petra, and within it you can see almost every motif for this space at work – circles, squares, clean black edges, even the lines from the floor grates and candle lantern.
As I added more elements to the space, more visual connections arose. The glow of the candle lantern picks up the flecks of gold in that wicked retro clock (thrifted gift), that clock faces a wall of other clocks (gifted), and the gold lamp (thrifted) lights all of it up.
Oh, and all these clocks tie back to the circle chair. Full circle. (How many more times will I say circle in this post? Circle circle circle!). Even the little mirror tucked behind the candle lantern plays a part – the pattern reminds me of the button placement on the Bermuda chairs, and it has some flecks of gold, too.
When I originally posted pictures of my mom’s thrifty home decor, I mentioned that she never sets out looking to fill a particular space all at once. Rather, she “buys little bits and pieces all the time, until, voila! A vingette comes together.” That’s exactly what happened in this corner. I already had everything to make this space come alive, it just needed one element to bring it all together.
One final tip: Coffee table books are one of the easiest ways to add character to your living space. They immediately tell people about your passions. This table is great because it showcases many of my favourite reads. Some of them came from my parents’ used book store, and others have been collected over time. Show them off! They communicate a lot more about your personality than a Kindle display would.
There is only one foreseeable danger to my new corner: One I was finished with this space, I made myself a rye n’ ginger and enjoyed it in my Dr. Evil chair. My cat settled in for some snuggling, and I suddenly had a strong desire to take over the world and get myself a pint-sized henchman. Just promise you’ll intervene if I start losing my hair.